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Canister Stove Maintenance

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Canister Stove Maintenance

Postby robow8 » Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:01 pm

Since we've talked a bunch about canister stoves lately, I thought of something else. Do you need to perform maintenance on a canister stove? If so, what? From what i see, the only thing that could go bad would be the o-ring, but I have been wrong before. Many times, depending on who you talk to! :lol:



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Re: Canister Stove Maintenance

Postby gary c. » Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:13 pm

I've been using the same pocket Rocket for close to 10yrs and despite not having any kind of maintenance it has never missed a lick. I do wipe it off every now and then with a rag when I think of it. I have noticed some slight cracking with the O-ring and keep saying I'm going to replace it. I haven't replaced it yet and I'm afraid it will fail at the worst possible time.
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Re: Canister Stove Maintenance

Postby longri » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:49 am

I noticed that the little fingernail size o-ring on my Gigapower stove was looking a little worn and so I started carrying a spare. That was about, oh, 12 years ago? I don't really remember. It's still working fine, although the valve doesn't turn as smoothly now that the stove is over 15 years old.

What can you do to maintain one anyway? Clean its jet? They're so cheap, I'd just buy a new one if it started acting funny.
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Re: Canister Stove Maintenance

Postby hikin_jim » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:42 am

Canister gas stoves have very few problems if you take reasonable care of them. I've melted some parts playing with windscreens before, but that was my fault.

The one problem I've seen with canister stoves, and even that is rare, is a blocked jet. A very fine wire will clear the jet. MSR (and probably other companies) sell a maintenance kit for their liquid fueled stoves that has a wire with a handle on it, but you'd have to buy the whole kit to get the one piece. I've heard of guys using fine wires from a guitar string. Jet sizes in a canister gas stove are going to be somewhere around 0.3 mm in diameter or slightly larger. You'd want to get a fairly fine gauge wire.

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Re: Canister Stove Maintenance

Postby Jimr » Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:02 pm

a light E (1st) string would fit that bill. Probably a few bristles from a wire brush as well. I carry environmental silicone and a small jet cleaning wire in my kit, but I've only had to use the silicone. The kit is for my MSR whisperlite, but the above should work well for the canister stoves I now have.
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Re: Canister Stove Maintenance

Postby longri » Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:02 pm

I had a canister stove sort of clog once. Not that it matters, but it was a stove that used the blue bayonet Campingaz canisters.

We were camping in this area with really silty, fine, dusty dirt everywhere. I think that was why it started acting funny.

The symptoms were a little weird. With a newer canister it would work flawlessly. But once the canister got down to about 1/4 full the stove would simply stop working at all. It was either 100% or zero. I tried cleaning it and got nowhere. I figured there was something deep inside the valve that got gummed up with that fine dirt somehow.

So I bought a new stove for $25.
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Re: Canister Stove Maintenance

Postby longri » Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:31 pm

Jimr wrote:The kit is for my MSR whisperlite...

No surprise there.

When I used an MSR white gas stove I carried all sorts of maintenance and repair equipment and parts. It was ridiculous. Redonkulous. That stove ruined numerous trips. I spent hours administering to its greedy neediness: cleaning, reaming, rebuilding, replacing. I was a slave to that MSR white gas stove. It owned me. I was its bítch.
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Re: Canister Stove Maintenance

Postby Jimr » Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:39 pm

Interesting. I have two of them and other than one of them catching fire twice due to leakage of the o-ring, they worked fine. Other than a little environmental silicone on the o-ring once a year and replacing it once last year, I've had no problems except for the weight of the gas.
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Re: Canister Stove Maintenance

Postby longri » Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:06 pm

Yeah, I know. Lots of people love their MSRs. My first one worked flawlessly. It even functioned well on dirty kerosene in Asia when my partners's MSR stoves clogged and had to be painstakingly cleaned, reamed, and rebuilt.

But the second MSR stove I owned was the devil. It made me its bítch.
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Re: Canister Stove Maintenance

Postby Jimr » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:12 pm

Can't say I loved mine, but they served me well. One I bought in 1985 and the other one just appeared in 2008. Since I hadn't backpacked since 1995, I figured it belonged to person I did that hike with. Haven't seen him since that time.
They have now both been decommissioned. Maybe I should put them in an emergency kit for when the fan hits the zh!+
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