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Duh... how to fill a butane lighter?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by wahoowad, Nov 10, 2007.

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  1. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I have one of those butane lighters for lighting the woodstove that looks like a long, giant matchstick. It ran out and I am trying to fill it using a can of butane for refillable lighters. Is there a trick to it? I've pressed the butane can tip into the refill port a couple times but the lighter doesn't seem to be getting any fuel. Do you need to hold it a long time? Hold it upside down or right-side up? I've never done this!

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  2. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    I cant tell you how to fill it but I can tell you a better way. Go to HD, lowes, etc or Harbor and get a self ignighting propane torch. not that pricey and will last an entire season on one tank. Lights a fire in a flash
  3. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Check that the tip is the right tip for it. It should fill up by compressing it for a few seconds. Hold lighter upside down is how I have always done it.
  4. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    You usually need to have the butane can upside down (ie butane on top, lighter on bottom) because you want to get the liquid out of the can. However, if you've been playing with it right side up for a while, the lighter may be filled with vapor to the same pressure as the can, so you won't even be able to get liquid in the lighter. Just burn off some of the gas in the lighter and try again...should only take a few seconds to fill with liquid.
  5. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    At first I had the butane can upright, then tried it upside down. It just won't light at all now that I have tried to fill it. Previously it would light but had a tiny flame that went out quickly - which was why I went and bought a new can of butane. It just won't light now, even when I hold the tip to a lit candle. That suggests no fuel is coming out at all.

    Piece of sh1t is going in the trash.
  6. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    I had some probs like that with lighters. Thought maybe fuel was old & bad, got a new one. I don't know either. Its all a conspiracy.
  7. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    You go back to rubbin sticks together

    ROFL
  8. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Cmon man, we got the stone wheel now. I use a couple rocks now ;) F that old fashioned way ;)
  9. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    1. IS IT A REFILLABLE? Lots of those things are not...

    2. You need to use the right adapter tip on the can, most of the time it's just the bare tip, but this can vary

    3. Shake can well, and it works better in a warm area, but DON'T heat the can. If you don't feel liquid sloshing around inside the can, the can is empty. DO NOT SMOKE or do this around flames!

    4 Hold the can upside down, valve at the bottom, and insert it into the filler opening on the lighter - hold the lighter so the filler opening is on top, above the tank. Push down FIRMLY, you should get a hissing noise, with little or no back spray out the intersection of the two valves - You should see the level of liquid in the lighter tank rise rapidly. If the level stops rising, or it reaches the top and you start getting back spray, release the can.

    4A. If you don't get a hiss w/ liquid going into the tank, or you get a lot of back spray, you are either using the wrong tip, or you don't have the two valves lined up properly.

    5. It sometimes takes a couple of push / release cycles to completely fill the lighter - repeat until either the tank is full, or you get an increase in the amount of back spray.

    6. Done...

    Gooserider (ex pipe-smoker!)
  10. ilmbg

    ilmbg New Member

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    Oh God- I thought they were disposables!! I have thrown out a couple after they run out!
  11. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Depends, I've got some that are disposable, and some that are refillable, it all depends on the product - usually the refillable ones will be very clearly labeled as such since its a potential "sales feature" that costs them a small amount extra to add. The disposables don't usually say either way. It may just be where I shop, but it seems like I see more of the disposables than I do the refillables. I've also had many of the cheap refillables break on me - right now my lighting system involves two lighters - a refillable who's spark generator broke, and an empty disposable that I use to supply the spark to light the refillable - what can I say, I'm cheap... :cheese:

    The sure fire way to tell is to look for a refill valve. This will NOT be the valve where the flame comes out, on every refillable I've seen the fill valve is on the end opposite the flame end. If you just see plastic, it's a disposable. If you see a little valve that looks a little bit like a miniature tire valve core, then it's refillable. Some of the fancy lighters may hide the valve under a dust cover.

    Gooserider
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I just switched to the pressurized "outdoor" style butane lighters to start my little chunks of wax log that I use for firestarters. The flame is like an orange prpane torch flame. Fantastic compared to the old style lighters whose flames were not unlike a standard bic lighter with a trigger.
  13. Gene K.

    Gene K. New Member

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    As an occasional cigar smoker, I can tell you that they refill by having the liquid of the butane squirt in upside-down. However, I love Zippos for all fire purposes. They're refillable, they have a lifetime warranty *which they do support*, and they are windproof.


  14. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Well as a former pipe smoker for many years (I've been a non-smoker for about a year now) I can tell you that Zippo's and other liquid fuel lighters were NASTY in terms of the taste they would impart to the pipe - If I lit my pipe once with a Zippo, that entire bowl of tobacco, and to a lesser degree the next couple, would taste like I was stuck behind a really obnoxious school bus. I found the same thing to a lesser degree with cigars and cigarettes. Butane lighers were tasteless, same with matches as long as you let them burn long enough to allow the head chemicals to get consumed. But I found the "Zippo taste" to be objectionable enough that I would generally skip a smoke rather than light up with a liquid fuel lighter.

    I agree on the other advantages - if you aren't going to smoke what you light, a Zippo is a wonderful pyro tool...

    Gooserider
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