How to Fix a Coleman Stove

Written by david mcguffin
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How to Fix a Coleman Stove
Camp stoves should burn with blue flames and only a few red flares. (Gas flame on the kitchen gas-stove image by Peter Ivanov from

Every camp stove eventually needs to be cleaned or repaired to keep the flame burning properly. Coleman made its first stove in 1923. But the basic design for its stoves that use liquid gas such as Coleman fuel or white gas has remained the same. For the stove to work properly, it needs clean fuel, clear ports where the flames appear and a fuel tank that will hold pressure.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Dish soap
  • Soapy water
  • Wire brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Can of soda
  • Soft cloth
  • Replacement generator
  • Fuel system cleaner
  • Clean fuel
  • Leather conditioner
  • Catch pan
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • BBs

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  1. 1

    Use a screwdriver to remove the screw from the centre of each burner. Remove the burner ring and bowl and check the manifold for food debris and dirt. Clean the burner manifold with dish soap and warm water, and rinse with water. If the manifold has a build-up of grime, soak it in warm, soapy water. Then brush off any remaining particles. Turn the stove upside down to remove water from the manifold.

  2. 2

    Clean the burner bowls, filler rings, burner caps and screws with a stiff wire brush and soapy water. Some parts may be thin and easily bent. Be careful to maintain the integrity of each piece as you clean it. The cleaning helps ensure the entire burner assembly is unclogged and that fuel will burn easily.

  3. 3

    Place soda, preferably a cola, into a small bowl and put the fuel and air tubes, valve stems and valve body into the soda for cleaning. Scrub each part with a toothbrush after soaking about 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and dry with a clean towel or cloth.

  4. 4

    Turn the stove's valve knob clockwise until it stops. Many Coleman stoves have a needle attached to the valve knob that will unclog carbon build-up around the stove's generator when you turn the knob. If you continue to have problems lighting the stove, you may have to replace the generator.

  5. 5

    Clean the check valve, which is found at the bottom of the pump assembly. Unscrew the pump and squirt fuel system cleaner into the pump well. This will help remove build-up around the valve and pump well. To further clean the pump well and check valve area, try mixing an ounce of fuel system cleaner with Coleman fuel, assuming that the stove will light, and allow it to run dry.

  6. 6

    Remove the pump plunger washer, which is made of leather. Check the leather for cracks and other signs of wear. Use a leather conditioner to help restore suppleness to the part. This will help maintain pressure when you use the pump.

  7. 7

    Empty the fuel tank of any fuel still inside. Add clean fuel to the tank and swish it around to dissolve loose dirt or debris in the tank. Pour the fuel and dirt into the catch pan.

  8. 8

    If the fuel you poured out is brown or full of debris, pour isopropyl alcohol into the tank along with a few BBs and shake the tank to further clean it. Pour out the alcohol and BBs.

  9. 9

    Reinstall all parts after allowing them to dry. Add fresh fuel and try relighting the stove. If you still have problems, call Coleman's customer support centre at 800-835-3278.

Tips and warnings

  • Before storing your Coleman stove, add an ounce of carburettor cleaner to a tank of Coleman fuel and burn it all the way through. This will remove dirt and moisture from the fuel line.

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