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Snow Peak LiteMax stove malfunction? or was it the canister’s fault? or maybe just my own stupidity?


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Home Forums Gear Forums Gear (General) Snow Peak LiteMax stove malfunction? or was it the canister’s fault? or maybe just my own stupidity?

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  • #2142712
    Dave Grey
    BPL Member

    @dapperdave

    Could there be a problem with the stove on/off valve not turning off fully, the pin depresses the lindal valve before the canister is fully screwed on?

    Another possibility – debris between the canister and O-ring prevented an effective seal forming.

    Dave

    #2142752
    Katy Anderson
    Member

    @katyanderson

    Thanks to all for engaging in this discussion. It is helpful for me and I am hoping maybe for others who use canister stoves. To that end, info about the canister and a question.

    I started the trip with a new Snow Peak Giga Power 4 ounce canister purchased at REI. The cap was kept on between uses.

    The flare-up happened while preparing dinner on the third day of my trip. Each day I had used the stove at breakfast and dinner. When connecting and disconnecting the stove to the canister, some gas was released. More so than I am used to seeing. My Litemax stove has always caused a little bit of gas to be released on connect/disconnect. I figured that was normal, now I am not so sure. Is it?

    #2142763
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I've had several brands of stoves. When I screw it on or off, there's a short burst of leaked gas, especially when the canister is more full.

    One time, the Lindal valve wouldn't close, so I had to leave stove screwed on until it was empty. (I don't think that has anything to do with your case)

    Canisters are cheap, mass produced. If the distance from where the o ring seats to where the Lindal valve opens is less on one particular canister, it could leak more. Roger has reported some canisters with tolerance problems like that.

    Maybe that one canister was bad. Try another canister and see if it has the same problem.

    #2142819
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Hi Katy

    > My Litemax stove has always caused a little bit of gas to be released on
    > connect/disconnect. I figured that was normal, now I am not so sure. Is it?
    NO.
    It should NOT happen.
    Given your comment, that this has been happening 'always', it is possible that you could have a defective stove. Very rare, but possible. Techie explanation follows.

    When you screw the stove onto the canister, the first thing which should happen is that the O-ring contacts the canister and makes a bit of a seal. That's what keeps the gas in. Only then should the pin press on the poppet inside the Lindal valve to open it. The amount of travel between 'sealing' and 'opening' is not large, so that pin has to be made with reasonable precision. The amazing thing is that most stoves (manufacturers) do actually manage this.

    Now, how is that pin made? It is first made separately from the rest of the stove and is then pressed into a hole there. It has to be pressed in properly so it seats and the length sticking out is just right. IF that pin was not pressed in fully, it will be sticking out too far and will open the Lindal valve before the O-ring seal is made.

    Grab a new canister and very gently attach your stove to it, with the valve shut, outdoors. If you can hear gas escaping well before the stove is tight, then this is your problem. In this case you have three choices.

    1) Always spin the stove onto the canister very fast to minimise the escape of gas. And do this outside away from any flames.

    2) Return the stove as defective and request a replacement. You would be entitled to one. Demo the problem in the shop if necessary.

    3) Modify/shorten the pin yourself. With a Dremel or similar, take a whisker off the tip of the pin and retry it on a full canister. Repeat as necessary until the O-ring seal precedes the opening of the Lindal valve, but do not go too far. All warranties are lost this way, but so what?

    Cheers

    #2142827
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    It depends on where the gas is escaping.

    When the canister and stove burner engage, often the gas escapes the canister for a half-second as it fills the tiny space below the control valve. But that stops very quickly. Only if you open the control valve will the gas escape upward through the top of the burner. If the o-ring is defective or mis-positioned, then the gas will escape right around the top of the canister, and it escapes outward, not upward.

    –B.G.–

    #2142836
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    On my three canister stoves I've used, when you screw it in, a bit of gas escapes. You can smell the sulfur smell that they put in so you'll know it's leaking.

    I assume the pin opens the Lindal valve just before the o ring makes a good seal

    Exponent F1, Pocket Rocket, and Soto

    Not enough gas leaks to make any difference. I can't measure a difference in weight.

    #2142837
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    "the sulfur smell"

    Mercaptan.

    –B.G.–

    #2142853
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    On second thought, maybe when I screw stove onto canister what I hear is the hiss of gas filling the space between canister and the stove valve

    and when I unscrew, the gas in that space is vented producing a hiss and the smell

    the next time, I'll have to carefully determine if I smell sulfur when I screw it on

    #2142855
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    "if I smell sulfur"

    Or mercaptan.

    –B.G.–

    #2142906
    Billy Ray
    Spectator

    @rosyfinch

    Locale: the mountains

    "3) Modify/shorten the pin yourself. With a Dremel or similar, take a whisker off the tip of the pin and retry it on a full canister. Repeat as necessary until the O-ring seal precedes the opening of the Lindal valve, but do not go too far. All warranties are lost this way, but so what?"

    seems to me that this remedy would run the risk of the cuttings from the Dremel clogging the tiny hole in the fuel jet. Then you'd have to tear take it apart and clean the innards from the pin to the jet…

    Billy

    #2142963
    Jim H
    BPL Member

    @jraiderguy

    Locale: Bay Area

    I'm apparently having similar issues, but never realized it. My LiteMax has this leakage occur when screwing onto a canister. I know my o-ring is there. I'm going to try and make a video tonight and will post. In the meantime, does anyone know if Snow Peak or Kovea sells maintenance kits for these? Google only brings up ones for the GigaPower.

    #2142969
    Matthew Black
    Spectator

    @mtblack

    I do not believe that a maintenance kit or disassembly guide is available for the LiteMax. Roger Caffin has listed the type of O-ring necessary for the Lindal valve.

    #2142971
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    when you screw it on do you smell sulfur? (Bob?)

    and if you screw very slowly, is there a point where there is a continuous leakage? or is it just the flow of gas into the space between canister and the stove valve?

    #2142986
    Richard Fischel
    BPL Member

    @ricko

    away from any ignition sources attach a canister to the stove and then (with a spray bottle) apply soapy water around the stove/canister attachment point and the stove itself. if you see bubbles it's leaking. I'd do this with stove in both the on and off position stop see if there was a leak around the valve.

    i would not reuse the stove without the manufacturer saying i could. it may be perfectly fine as others have said, but i couldn't trust it anymore.

    #2142990
    Matthew Black
    Spectator

    @mtblack

    +1 for keeping it safe. Why play "frag the lieutenant" when you don't have to?

    #2142991
    Jim H
    BPL Member

    @jraiderguy

    Locale: Bay Area

    On ebay I'm seeing two types of BS-011 o-rings. There's a "BS011 Viton 90" and a "BS011 Viton 75". I having trouble figuring out what the difference is. Anyone know?

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BS011-Viton-90-ORing-100x-/141201413344?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item20e04294e0

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BS011-Viton-75-ORing-100x-/131124539292?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item1e87a1af9c

    #2142995
    Greg Mihalik
    BPL Member

    @greg23

    Locale: Colorado

    They are "durometer" values – hardness, elasticity, squishyness, …

    … and speak to how "tight" of a seal is required, and the amount of force to get it.

    In this case I would guess that lighter is better, as the pressure is low, and the force applied by minimal threads would be small.

    "Soft" o-rings are around "50".

    Is "75" to high for this application?
    I don't know.

    #2143012
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    A canister stove isn't necesarily that dangerous.

    If you operate it in enclosed space then it can explode, also carbon monoxide – avoid enclosed space

    If it has a large leak, it can produce a large flame, but you can easily tell by listening to it. Just don't light it and make sure you're not in an enclosed space or next to a flame.

    If you get the canister too hot, it can burst, and that can produce a large flame or possibly explode, but you just have to feel the canister and make sure it doesn't feel hot. If it's getting warm to touch, turn it off. It's okay if the top part of the canister gets warm as long as the sides aren't (where the fuel is).

    If it has a small leak and flames up from the stove/canister connection, quickly blow it out and rectify the situation. Maybe just screw the stove on a little tighter.

    In the unlikely event it does have a major flame-up, make sure it's in a space where there aren't flamable objects near by. It will quickly burn up. The liquid quickly evaporates and burns off or blows away.

    With white gas, liquid goes all over and slowly evaporates so it burns for a while. You can get the liquid on yourself and then it will burn for a while and you can get severe burns.

    #2143096
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    > There's a "BS011 Viton 90" and a "BS011 Viton 75".
    Durometer or hardness values, as Greg said.

    For cold weather or winter use you definitely want the softer one (75). It won't hurt in summer time to use the 75 as well. The 90 would be used for other applications with higher pressures – and hydraulics is one areas for that.

    Me, I always carry one or two spares. They weigh nothing, and are so essential!

    Cheers

    #2143135
    Katy Anderson
    Member

    @katyanderson

    Snow Peak just sent me this response:

    "Hello,

    I am glad to hear that you are okay and that there was no injury to you or your surroundings. Can you provide me with any pictures of the stove and it's base? It's tough to answer your question specifically but based on experience it could likely be one of several issues. I have encountered canisters that have bad threads and they can damage the base of the stove. Typically this makes the stove difficult to thread on and in this situation does not sound like the issue. In your case it sounds to me like it may have been a damaged o-ring. There is a small o-ring that sits in the base of the stove and creates a tight seal. If this o-ring is damaged it can allow gas to escape.

    Regardless of the cause I would recommend at this point not using the stove until we are able to ascertain the cause of your fire. Again please provide me with some pictures of your stove and it's base and we will get you taken care of.

    regards

    -ryan"

    and I just sent him the picture that I posted here. Looks like he suspects the o-ring as well.

    #2143294
    Jim H
    BPL Member

    @jraiderguy

    Locale: Bay Area

    Last night I played with my stoves. Both the Pocket Rocket and the LiteMax let out a small burst of gas (that I could smell but not see) when putting on/taking off of two half-full canisters (one GigaPower, on no-name from Big5). But on a full MSR canister, both produced a larger burst. The LiteMax went first, and it was enough I could see the burst as well as smell it. With the Pocket Rocket I couldn't see it. Neither exhibited any sign/sound/smell of leakage after being fully mounted.

    I took a video with the half-full SnowPeak GigaPower canister to show what the average sound was. Sorry about cellphone quality video — had to balance it on a lamp. I guess I'm concluding that this is normal operation, and small bursts like this aren't a worry.

    YouTube

    #2143305
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    Interesting. That's what I thought.

    You could smell it when you screwed it on?

    Yeah, I think it's a small enough amount it doesn't make any difference. As long as it isn't leaking when fully screwed on.

    #2143307
    Jim H
    BPL Member

    @jraiderguy

    Locale: Bay Area

    Yes, I could smell it when it made the sounds you hear in the video. Both putting on and taking off.

    #2143311
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    That's what I thought you said but there was a slight ambiguity : )

    #2143315
    Billy Ray
    Spectator

    @rosyfinch

    Locale: the mountains

    all three of my canister stoves have always puffed out a bit of gas both when screwed on and off… always… and yes, I can both hear it and smell it…

    I've always assumed it is normal…

    though sometimes it is a stronger puff and sometimes less…

    billy

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