Bad gas experience...

4:28 a.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
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312 forum posts

So I have one of those Primus adaptor things for using gas canister (LP?) fuel to refill a storm lighter. I thought it would get rid of the problem of canisters with just a little gas left in them that were not worth taking backpacking and so on. But after nearly freezing my fingers off, spraying liquid gas all over the place, accidentally letting the remaining fuel that was already in the lighter out (thus emptying the lighter completely of proper fuel), filling the house with stinking gas before I had the sense to move to a well ventilated area, filling the well ventilated area with sprays of liquid gas and killing half of the birds in the neighbourhood...I decided it was time to reassess the situation:

It seems you need to use just the right amount of pressure on the lighter's hole with the adaptor's nozzle, or it goes everywhere but into the lighter; the metal adaptor, especially when you don't align the aforementioned interfaces correctly, will freeze with the liquid gas so that when you finish filling and put the canister down, the frozen spring will continue to release the gas into the air like a geyser from a cold hell; breathing half a canister of gas will make you see things you cannot un-see; it's better to just use up those nearly-empty canisters by either taking them car camping or making a drink in the back yard (while you give the birds a decent burial).

To make things worse, now that the storm lighter is full of fuel from the canister, the flame is half of what it was, which is surprising as I expected the fuel to be similar (otherwise what is the point?). I am calling it my "gentle wind" lighter from now on. Good job it was only a cheap lighter. The adaptor, however, is expensive and seems a total waste.

9:36 a.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
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200 forum posts

I assume that you refilled your lighter with butane and not with an iso-butane blend or other fuel. I'd be surprised if it worked at all after that.

Butane lighters are very sensitive to fill pressure and contaminant gas. The instructions on filling your butane lighter should include a method for expelling atmospheric gas, which is typically simply turning it upside down and opening the fill nozzle briefly. Without bleeding off that gas, you may get a smaller flame, a flame that extinguishes itself, or no flame at all.

On the much, much simpler side. it's possible that you refilled the lighter correctly and accidentally moved the flame adjustment screw.

10:36 a.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
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311 forum posts

In the house is a very bad idea.

11:19 a.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
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312 forum posts


I tried the upside down method: made no difference. I checked that the flame adjuster screw was correct - it was turned to max and on min there wasn't even enough gas coming through to light.

I have since burned off the gas that was inside the lighter and refilled with proper butane and the flame is back to normal. Unfortunately I cannot remember exactly which canister I used to fill the lighter - one is butane/propane and the other is butane/propane/isobutane (Primus' own) but they are probably both as bad.

I'm glad I didn't buy the Primus storm lighter when I bought the adaptor (unless it is a different output). I am going back to flint and steel anyway and the lighter was just for a candle and the odd joint (kidding).

5:51 p.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
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440 forum posts

"Bad gas experience"...I was half-expecting a bean recipe somewhere in here.

6:19 p.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
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3,556 forum posts

Me too....but an interesting thread none the less!

I had not heard of an adapter for this. Do you think they have an adapter for the beans too?


Let us know if you get it figured out, that would be cool.

11:08 p.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
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223 forum posts

I have a similar adapter, the Brunton fuel tool, and have had none of the problems you describe, including poor light/burn performance. I am filling a Brunton Helios lighter; turn the canister and lighter upside down, no leakage/frozen fingers. Using iso-butane also.

6:04 a.m. on March 6, 2010 (EST)
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312 forum posts

Yes, nobody wants bad gas whilst sharing a tent either.

I do have a Sigg storm lighter somewhere in the house but I couldn't find it, so I used a cheap one. I am glad I did, just incase I ruined it. Shame about the nearly-empties. There were no instructions on the adaptor packaging and it didn't even come with the cord that you see in the online photos. Perhaps it was actually an old tractor part.

I noticed that the adaptor nozzle has exactly the same dimensions as the standard yellow bottle of butane lighter gas (which works fine on all my lighters). The flame when I filled it back up with the proper fuel was a nice blue and pointed jet. So, if the Primus lighters that they sell with the adaptor can run a good flame on propane/butane, then I imagine that with pure butane they would be "sticking out a mile!"

I think I am done experimenting anyway. I really like the fire steel I just acquired and a lighter carried as spare will work with the candle (some of my stoves also have a piezo thing). How do you spell piezo - my spell-checker wants to change it to "pies". Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm pies.

11:35 a.m. on March 6, 2010 (EST)
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440 forum posts

I'm sticking with my fire steel and a Bic back-up. Those, I understand. Storm lighters, fuel adapters and whatnot--I'm never quite sure I didn't fail to read a really important consumer safety warning.

Does sound cool, though. And I'll admit to a little lighter envy every once in a while when someone pulls out a lighter and proceeds to weld together the pieces of a broken Jeep strut. Very hard to do that with a Bic.

10:04 p.m. on April 2, 2010 (EDT)
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190 forum posts

"Bad gas experience"...I was half-expecting a bean recipe somewhere in here.

Having one right now.... No beans in sight.

December 22, 2014
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