QuietStove.com

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Coleman Gas Canisters – The Fix

Recently, I issued a Caution on Coleman Canisters.  The latest Coleman canisters, those with an orange label on top of the canister can have trouble with other brands of stoves.  Jetboil and Primus stoves generally work with the orange label Coleman canisters, but the results are mixed with other brands.  For example, I tested a Pocket Rocket, and it didn't work for me, but someone else tested the same stove and it worked fine for them.

So, what happens if you have a non-Coleman stove, need a canister, and the only brand available in a given area is Coleman?  There is a work around.  You can stick a very small pebble in the valve opening, hopefully a really smooth one that won't jam open the Lindal valve.  Better still is some small ball bearing or the like which is less likely to jam open the valve than a pebble.

Here's an example:  I couldn't get my nice, shiney, new MSR Pocket Rocket 2 to work with a Coleman orange label canister.  No way was I going to crank down hard on the stove; that's a good way to ruin the threads on your stove.  A friend sent me a small baggie of #7 shot.  I put a piece of the shot into the opening of the Lindal valve.
Placing a piece of #7 shot into the Lindal valve's opening
I then pushed the shot down into the valve with an eyeglasses screw driver.  A paper clip would probably also work.
Pushing the shot down into the valve opening with an eyeglasses screw driver.
I then screwed on the stove, and... Success!!
Success!  A stove that heretofore would not work on a Coleman canister now works just fine.
The shot acts as an extender on the pin of the stove.  Whereas before the pin was too short, now, with the extension provided by the shot, the stove works fine.

Caution!
Now that the pin is longer, the pin engages sooner.  You will get more gas escaping when you screw on the stove than normal.  I don't recommend this procedure, but, if you're stuck, it should help you out.  Be aware that if you do this with a small pebble, the pebble could wedge into the valve.  If the pebble wedges into the valve, when you screw the stove off, the gas will continue to flow!  A bit scary, but no worries, just screw the stove back on.  You'll have to hold the gas back with the valve of the stove, which is a royal pain in the neck, but what else are you going to do?  Again, this is only something you should do in a pinch.  In general:  Do not buy Coleman canisters unless you're sure they'll work with your stove.  Oh, and of course NEVER change a gas canister near a heat source or open flame.  That could be, um, bad.  Flames, burning, death, you know, bad.  You don't want that; trust me.

Danger!
DO NOT light your stove if you hear gas hissing.  When you screw on your stove, make sure you get a good seal.  If you hear gas hissing, even the slightest amount, do not use that canister.


So, there you have it, a bit of a fix.  Nothing elegant.  Recommended only if you just have no other options.

Stay safe out there,

HJ

13 comments:

  1. I tried my G-Works adapter with the two new Coleman canisters. One worked and the other hesitated until I screwed the adapter all of the way down on the canister.

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    1. The #7 shot work-around appeals to me because I don't have to screw down my adapter so hard. I'm worried that if I screw the adapter down too hard that I'll either screw up the O-ring inside or the threads themselves.

      HJ

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  2. I had thought about the O-Ring. I need to get one of the O-Rings out so I can see what size it is. If you know what size, O-Rings are really easy to get. McMaster-Carr Supply has just about every O-Ring you could possibly want. Most are Buna-N, which is compatible with petroleum products, but you can also get Viton, which should work for just about anything. The canister thread is a 7/16"-27, which, although it is an imperial thread, is almost exactly 11mm. The O-Ring could be imperial or metric.

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    1. I took the O-Ring out of one of my generic Chinese adapters and measured it. The thickness was 0.078" and the outer diameter was 0.470". This corresponds pretty well to a 2.0mm X 8.00mm Metric O-Ring. The OD is 12mm. Metric O-Rings are identified by the thickness and Internal Diameter. McMaster has this O-Ring in super resilient Viton as Part No. 1295N226 and a package of 10 is $3.73. I ordered some and will see how they fit in my adapters. Since this is a static compression seal, there should be lots of leeway in the O-Ring size and just about any O-Ring that will fit in and not fall out should work. The closest imperial size is a -011, which is 1/16" thick X 7/16" OD. It's a bit smaller than the Metric O-Ring.

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    2. Bill, the specification for a canister thread is 7/16″ UNEF 28 tpi. I think 27 tpi will be just a bit off.

      That's good info about PN 1295N226 -- and the price is right. I guess I won't worry too much about shredding my O rings just yet, but the #7 shot trick is working well.

      I just did a write up on using the G-Works adapter with which I have had good success:
      G-Works Adapter Refilling

      HJ

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  3. My memory might have failed me for a moment. There are both the 27 and 28 thread per inch in use for different things and I think that I have both taps. I think that 27 is a pipe thread. Anyway, the major diameter is 7/16", which was what I used to guess at the O-Ring size.

    I'll let you know how the O-Rings work out.

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    1. OK, sounds good, Bill. Take care,

      HJ

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    2. I got the O-Rings this morning. I popped one out of my G-Works adapter and put one of the new ones in. They work fine and look identical to the originals. The best tool to use to remove an O-Ring id a dull pocket screwdriver. Rounded edges on the blade help to keep it from cutting the O-Rings and you can use it to push the new one into place.

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    3. Ah, good. I'm glad that worked out. I guess I don't have to stress out about shredding my O rings if I overtighten the adapter. However, the #7 shot trick seems to work well. I've used it on two canisters and have gotten multiple smaller canisters refilled from the larger Coleman canisters.

      HJ

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  4. I'll buy an orange top coleman canister next time I see them, just to find out if my stove works or not before doing a planned resupplied hike later this year. Thanks for the info and the fix to this problem Jim.

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    1. That's the way to do it: Test before trail.

      I myself am now using the Coleman canisters to refill smaller canisters using a G-Works adapter. If you're interested, you can check out my review of the G-Works adapter.

      HJ

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  5. A word of caution, as the gas escapes as you screw on the canister there is a very real danger of frostbit. Use a glove or rag. Used this trick on a defective canister years ago and it will freeze skin.

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    1. Hi, PapaSmurf,

      Yeah, that spray can be **really** cold. Good tip.

      HJ

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