- Blocked jets due to either carbon build up or detritus from the canister or fuel line.
- Kinked fuel hoses (due to improper storage typically).
- Stripped threads due to cross threading or long term heavy use.
- Melted parts due to using something that deflects heat downward somehow (improper use of a windscreen, too large of a pot, a heat diffuser, etc.)
- Crud in the threads (due to being set base down in the dirt or the like)
- Hardened "O" rings, gaskets, or seals (don't store canister stoves in your trunk or other hot places for long periods and never store in direct sunlight)
- General mechnical failures. I've actually seen a cheap Chinese stove fail at the stove's valve: the valve jammed, and the knob unscrewed itself off the valve shaft. The only way I could fix it was to dissassemble the whole thing. The valve was poorly designed and poorly machined. Not all Chinese stoves are bad, but I personally would stay away from "no name" cheapies.
One trick to keeping your stove in good operating condtion is to store the stove in your pot. Your pot should protect it and keep crud out of the threads.
|Packing your stove in your pot helps protect your stove and keep it clean.|
The pot is an 850ml MSR Titan kettle. The stove is a Kovea Spider (KB-1109).
|A Kovea Spider (KB-1109) remote canister stove running with the canister inverted.|
The pot is an Evernew 1300ml ultralight titanium.
If you want to be prepared to clear a blocked jet, you need to carry a) the tools necessary to disassemble the stove to the point where you could get at the jet and b) a very thin wire that you can use to "prick" the jet (slide the wire through the orifice and physically clear any blockage). Be careful though. If you use a wire too much or use a wire that's too large, you can alter the soft brass of your jet and ruin your stove. Some stoves, like the two shown below, simply unscrew; no tools are required.
|Dissassembling canister stoves to get at the jet.|
An MSR Superfly (left) and a Monatauk Gnat (right).
The jet is the small brass object at the top of the base portion of each stove.
Always dissassemble on a clean surface!
The only other form of maintenance (other than keeping the stove generally clean and keeping the threads clear) you might want to do is to use silicon lubricant on your "O" rings as a form of preventative maintenance, but personally I've never felt it necessary.
|Always keep the connector on your stove free of debris. |
Silicon lubricant can be employed to help preserve "O"rings like the black one shown above (inside the connector).
|Always keep the threads on your canister and your stove clean and free of debris.|
|Always keep the plastic cap on your canister when not in use.|
Always keep the threads on your stove clean. Be careful not to set them down in the dirt.
The pot is a Snow Peak 780ml titanium pot.
P.S. Feb 28 2013:
Reader Jim H. reminded me of the burning down of the Gleann Dubh Lighe "bothy" (a bothy is bascially a mountain hut) which was caused by, you guessed it, a canister stove.
|The gutted Gleann Dugh "bothy" (shelter) -- destroyed when a canister was taken off a stove by candlelight and the valve stuck open.|
Photo copyright © 2011 by Allan and used under a Creative Commons license.
NEVER change a canister near an open flame or a heat source.