BWCA Whisperlite stove issues… maybe user error Boundary Waters Gear Forum
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* BWCA is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Gear Forum
      Whisperlite stove issues… maybe user error     

Author

Text

bombinbrian
distinguished member (407)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/25/2022 05:30PM  
I have a Whisperlite stove that I bought from a guy. Can’t get it to burn anywhere but in that bottom bowl and man does it ever burn there. What am I doing wrong?
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
04/25/2022 05:46PM  


I first fill the lines with fuel, then finish priming with alcohol (less soot), after the flame goes down and the burner heated open the valve.

butthead
 
04/25/2022 06:27PM  
Butthead knows!
 
bombinbrian
distinguished member (407)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/25/2022 07:15PM  
Jaywalker: "Butthead knows!"

I just told my son if Butthead says so, you do it.
 
cyclones30
distinguished member(4155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
04/25/2022 07:46PM  
haha, find out what was wrong? Not much to them
 
bombinbrian
distinguished member (407)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/25/2022 08:01PM  
I’m going to let my son figure it out or tell me to go buy a new one. I did buy the rebuild kit for it but it’s still not working
 
04/25/2022 08:42PM  
If you can prime the cup and light it, the jet is open. There are piles of videos on lighting this stove and on cleaning/maintaining it.
Your description leaves little to work with, so it could be any number of issues. Poor fuel to not pre-heating.
They do not wear out past the point of simple maintenance.

butthead
 
BrianDay
distinguished member (135)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/26/2022 07:18AM  
Like Butthead said, we don't have much to go on from your description.

If you're getting fuel into the priming cup your jet is clear. So you don't have a clogged jet.

Remember you have to close the fuel valve after you fill the priming cup and before lighting the cup. Then you let this burn until it is almost out. Then you reopen the fuel valve. You will have gas vapor at that point. If you leave the fuel valve open or partially open you will continue to draw liquid fuel into the priming cup and will continue to have fire there and flareups.

If you're getting a lot of fuel flow into the priming cup even though the valve is closed you likely have a bad o-ring on the fuel valve or debris caught in the pump/valve body. Remove the valve and check both. Replace/clean as necessary.

Here's an article on the Whisperlite. Scroll to the end for a video on how to light the stove and for MSR's videos on how to remove the fuel valve.

https://kitchi-gami.com/2020/03/28/essential-outdoor-gear-msr-whisperlite-international-review/

The Whisperlite is a very simple design. The only way it ever "breaks" is if a component of the stove is physically broken. For instance, if the pump is cracked or the braise that holds the fuel line to the jet body is melted. This is extremely unlikely. Odds are the fix for your stove is simple, either technique related or a part to replace.

Brian from Wenonah
 
bombinbrian
distinguished member (407)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/26/2022 07:56AM  
I’msure this is simply user error at this point. I’ve always used cannister fuel. Getting one of these was my son’s idea to lighten the load. We’ll keep playing with it and if we don’t figure it out I’ll just take my old stove that I love anyways
 
BrianDay
distinguished member (135)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/26/2022 08:02AM  
Probably.

Try this experiment. Pump the bottle. Open the valve. Fill the priming cup 2/3 full. Close the valve. Light the priming cup. Let it burn until it goes completely out.

If it doesn't go out, you have a leak at the fuel valve.

If it does go out, open the fuel valve again. You should hear gas flowing like you do in a canister stove. Just do this for a moment because the longer it is open without being lit the more it will cool. Eventually it will cool enough to start spitting liquid gas into the priming cup again.

If you do this and hear gas flow at the burner you're definitely in good shape and just need to practice priming and lighting the stove. As Butthead said, there are lots of videos out there on how to do this, including the two referenced in this thread.

Theory of operation in these liquid fuels stoves is simple. At a certain temperature the liquid fuel converts into a gas vapor. By priming the stove you heat up the fuel line and jet body to the correct temperature to change liquid to vapor. Liquid fuel flows out of the fuel bottle, hits the hot fuel line and changes into a gas. This gas shoots out the jet and burns in the stove. Once the stove is up and running it reheats itself because the fuel line/generator tube goes over the hot burner.

Brian
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(1018)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/26/2022 09:35AM  
This entire thread demonstrates why I only bring the WhisperLite as a diversion for days when I am stuck in camp. ;-)



 
bombinbrian
distinguished member (407)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/26/2022 01:16PM  
Thanks for all the advice… got it working perfectly…

It was operator error… that’s why I love this community…
 
BrianDay
distinguished member (135)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/26/2022 01:35PM  
bombinbrian: "Thanks for all the advice… got it working perfectly…


It was operator error… that’s why I love this community…"


Great! Glad you got it running. If you search around the forum you'll likely find some tips and tricks for using it. Especially how to simmer and do routine maintenance. They're great little stoves.

B
 
bombinbrian
distinguished member (407)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/26/2022 01:49PM  
BrianDay: "
bombinbrian: "Thanks for all the advice… got it working perfectly…



It was operator error… that’s why I love this community…"



Great! Glad you got it running. If you search around the forum you'll likely find some tips and tricks for using it. Especially how to simmer and do routine maintenance. They're great little stoves.


B"


Are you kidding? I'm just glad I can boil water with it at this point. We usually do all the cooking on the fire grate. I only use the stoves for heating water for coffee and oatmeal. I also take a diffuser with me in case I have to cook on it.

Again, thanks for all the help, I'm an idiot and need all the help I can get
 
BrianDay
distinguished member (135)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/26/2022 02:01PM  
bombinbrian: "
BrianDay: "
bombinbrian: "Thanks for all the advice… got it working perfectly…



It was operator error… that’s why I love this community…"




Great! Glad you got it running. If you search around the forum you'll likely find some tips and tricks for using it. Especially how to simmer and do routine maintenance. They're great little stoves.



B"



Are you kidding? I'm just glad I can boil water with it at this point. We usually do all the cooking on the fire grate. I only use the stoves for heating water for coffee and oatmeal. I also take a diffuser with me in case I have to cook on it.


Again, thanks for all the help, I'm an idiot and need all the help I can get"


Ha! It's not like they're intuitive to use. You're not the first person who had trouble getting one primed the first time or two.

B
 
04/26/2022 04:16PM  
Could be priming a SVEA like gravelroad! Without the optional pump they can be fussy also.

butthead
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(1018)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/26/2022 05:14PM  
butthead: "Could be priming a SVEA like gravelroad! Without the optional pump they can be fussy also.


butthead"


Nope. Not with the right technique. Not at any temperature down to -30.
 
bombinbrian
distinguished member (407)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/26/2022 06:14PM  
It did take just shy of 13 minutes to boil 6 cups of water in a tea kettle… I’m assuming a wind screen would help with that but I don’t know.
 
izzy052
member (34)member
  
04/26/2022 06:38PM  
my only advice ....... listen to butthead
 
cyclones30
distinguished member(4155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
04/26/2022 07:27PM  
bombinbrian: "It did take just shy of 13 minutes to boil 6 cups of water in a tea kettle… I’m assuming a wind screen would help with that but I don’t know."


Usually they came w/ a folded up tin windscreen and bottom floor type piece. With both of those in place.....and if you just need to boil water the whisper lite can become a roaring volcano (in a good way)

I think it's harder to get one to "whisper" vs being a roar. All about the pressure you pump or don't on the bottle before priming.

 
04/26/2022 07:51PM  
gravelroad: "
butthead: "Could be priming a SVEA like gravelroad! Without the optional pump they can be fussy also.

butthead"

Nope. Not with the right technique. Not at any temperature down to -30."

Same as the Whisperlight They are both good burners just one is remote pressurized tank with a waffle plate burner, the other self pressurized burner on tank with a roarer burner bell. Both prime in the same way. One thing on the SVEA if over primed the fuel runs over the fuel tank and filler cap, on a Whisperlight it puddles under the stove.

butthead
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(1018)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/27/2022 08:42AM  
butthead: "
gravelroad: "
butthead: "Could be priming a SVEA like gravelroad! Without the optional pump they can be fussy also.

butthead"

Nope. Not with the right technique. Not at any temperature down to -30."

Both prime in the same way.
butthead"


Nope, and it's why the SVEA is more reliable. You can prime it with your hands in the summer or a match or a candle in the winter.

You could hold a WhisperLite burner in your hands until hell and you freeze over, and it ain't gonna light without the aid of that pump. ;-)
 
BrianDay
distinguished member (135)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/27/2022 08:58AM  
gravelroad: "
butthead: "
gravelroad: "
butthead: "Could be priming a SVEA like gravelroad! Without the optional pump they can be fussy also.


butthead"

Nope. Not with the right technique. Not at any temperature down to -30."

Both prime in the same way.
butthead"



Nope, and it's why the SVEA is more reliable. You can prime it with your hands in the summer or a match or a candle in the winter.


You could hold a WhisperLite burner in your hands until hell and you freeze over, and it ain't gonna light without the aid of that pump. ;-) "


OPE! I'd better pop some popcorn. Stove wars are on! :-)
 
04/27/2022 09:10AM  
No need for popcorn. I have used SVEA burners. You need to warm them by some means (hands will do) to get some pressure in the tank, Whisperlights use a pump. You can also use a small bottle of alcohol to add priming fuel to either. Lighting the priming fuel heats the burner, primes it to get liquid fuel hot enough to vaporize and burn.
Potato vs Po-tah-toe. Gotta pressurize the fuel tanks some way to get fuel to flow.
The primary difference is still integrated tank/burner vs external tank and separate burner.
As for my own choice I'd rather not heat up my fuel tank that close to the burner.

butthead
 
BrianDay
distinguished member (135)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/27/2022 09:59AM  
butthead: "No need for popcorn. I have used SVEA burners. You need to warm them by some means (hands will do) to get some pressure in the tank, Whisperlights use a pump. You can also use a small bottle of alcohol to add priming fuel to either. Lighting the priming fuel heats the burner, primes it to get liquid fuel hot enough to vaporize and burn.
Potato vs Po-tah-toe. Gotta pressurize the fuel tanks some way to get fuel to flow.
The primary difference is still integrated tank/burner vs external tank and separate burner.
As for my own choice I'd rather not heat up my fuel tank that close to the burner.


butthead"


Yep, same here. I don't have a dog in the stove fight. There's lots of stoves to like. I had a SVEA 123 many years ago and liked it well enough. Was my first stove. Since then have used everything from Trangias to Dragonflies to Jetboils to home-made alcohol stoves.

Dragonfly is my favorite for cooking but the thing is so darned loud that most of the time I take a Whisperlite. And I usually throw the Jet Boil in on canoe trips. It's very convenient for boiling water fast.

Brian
 
schweady
distinguished member(8091)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
04/27/2022 11:06AM  
BrianDay: "...I had a SVEA 123 many years ago and liked it well enough. Was my first stove..."

Oh, how many of us can say those exact words?

I do rue the day I got rid of mine, but mostly for the memories. Sort of like my Lo-K-Tor green box. Another mantle piece I have no room for anyway.
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next