A butane torch is one of the most efficient lighters on the market. They’re affordable, easy to light up, and very portable. On top of that, they’re ideal for various applications.
Some of these uses include epoxy crafting, welding, and soldering. However, like other gas-powered devices, torches have a limited butane fuel capacity.
So, after you use your lighter several times, fuel will eventually run out. Thus the need to refill your lighter from time to time.
Surprisingly, most butane torch users don’t know how to refill their butane torch. If you’re one of those users, worry not! In this article, I’ll show you all the steps you need to follow to accomplish that!
General Rules When Refilling a Butane Torch
Refueling a butane torch is a simple task that takes a few minutes. Besides, you just need a quality butane fuel refill can and you’re good to go. However, before you start refilling your butane torch, there are certain rules you need to keep in mind. Some of those rules include;
- Never refuel your butane torch right away after using it. Instead, give it some time to cool off.
- Bleed the gas canister before you refill the torch. This helps to remove the fuel and air that accumulate in the lighter.
- Always put your torch upside-down you refill it. This will prevent you from injecting air into your device.
- You should set the lighter’s flame height to the minimum setting. To do this, use a small screwdriver to turn the flame height adjuster in a clockwise direction. While doing so, avoid touching the smaller screw (mostly a Phillips head screw). That screw is intended for disassembling the lighter.
- Hold the torch away from your body and face, and carefully light it up. If it doesn’t ignite, repeat the refueling process.
- Let your lighter components and gas reach room temperature before igniting. This can take about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Always use premium butane fuel to enhance your lighter’s performance. Non-premium gas may lead to inconsistent performance and ignition. Besides, the gas impurity can cause the burner valve to clog or malfunction.
- Ensure you purchase a butane fuel refill can that’s compatible with your butane torch. Also, please read and follow the instructions for your exact torch model.
- Always refill your butane torch in an open space to avoid breathing in the gas.
Steps of Refilling a Butane Torch
After familiarizing yourself with the tips, you can now start refueling your butane torch. The refilling process involves the following steps;
As you know, butane fuel is a flammable gas so prepare the working space properly. You also need to gather all the necessary equipment before getting right into the process of refilling a torch;
Ensuring the Area is Well-Ventilated:
If possible, I’d recommend that you refill your lighter in an open space. This is because butane creates many harmful spits and fumes during the process. Thus causing serious burns and irritation on your eyes or face.
However, if you’re working in a closed space, ensure the room has proper ventilation. To achieve that, open the windows and doors. Alternatively, you can use a stationary fan to enhance the room’s air circulation.
Working on a Flat and Strong Surface:
Look for a clean and sturdy working surface like a table, desk, or countertop. Then lay down a drop cloth or some newspaper on the surface. This will protect the surface from any butane that sprays/spills onto it.
Allowing the Lighter to Cool Down:
Your lighter’s fuel probably ran out during usage. If that’s the case, don’t refill the lighter instantly. Instead, give it enough time to cool off completely before you refill it. To speed up the cooling process, you can place the lighter in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes.
Keeping all Flammable Items Away:
At some point, this project may involve igniting the flame. For instance, after refilling the lighter, you’ll need to test and ignite it. Unfortunately, some gas may be trapped in the air. Thus causing any flammable items in the working area to catch fire. So, for safety reasons, it’s good to remove all those items from the room.
2. Purge the Lighter
Purging involves removing any polluted air and remaining fuel from the butane torch. And there are various reasons why this step is important. For starters, the remaining fuel may act as an obstacle to the new gas you intend to inject. Also, mixing old and new butane isn’t a good idea, especially if they’re not the same.
But, how do you drain the pre-existing fuel? Well, start by moving the lighter’s face away from you. Then turn the lighter upside down and press on its refilling lever with a screwdriver. You can use other tools like a paper clip or pen for this task as well. While pressing the lever, you’ll notice a hissing sound. That sound stops when you’ve drained the lighter completely.
3. Adjust the Flame Intensity
Set the flame height to the lowest setting. In most cases, the flame height adjustment screw is located on the bottom of the lighter. To set the flame height to the lowest setting, turn the knob/ screw clockwise with a small screwdriver. Note, some lighter models have a wheel instead of a screw. But they all do the same task.
4. Shake the Lighter Properly
After adjusting the flame intensity, it’s time to prepare the butane refill canister. To achieve that, thoroughly shake the can about 5 to 6 times. This helps to dilute the fuel inside the can for effective spraying. More importantly, shaking the can enables you to prime the gas that sinks to the bottom of the canister.
5. Secure Your Lighter
Always make sure your butane lighter is secured tightly before you start refueling. Otherwise, air may enter into the fuel tank if you hold it at an angle. Thus affecting its performance. On top of that, you need to ensure that the tip over its valve fits perfectly. If it doesn’t, use an adapter to make the nozzle fit the valve tightly.
6. Fill the Butane Torch
Once the setup is complete, it’s time to refill the butane torch. Turn the lighter upside down and look for the refill hole on the bottom of your torch. Insert the refill can’s nozzle into the hole, holding the can in a vertical position.
Now, press the refill can towards the lighter and hold it tightly. This will cause the canister’s nozzle to press in. Thus allowing butane gas to flow into your torch.
The filling process can take about 5 -10 seconds. To check the fuel level, some torches have a fuel window for that. This eliminates the need to pump the gas while fueling. Some models even come with a gauge, enabling you to track the level of the filled fuel.
Once the torch is full, butane gas will start to leak out. At this point, stop filling the tank immediately. And remove the canister’s nozzle from the refill hole. However, if the torch isn’t filled, repeat the entire process.
7. Reset & Test the Flame Intensity
Butane fuel comes in a compressed form, making it colder than at room temperature. So, once you refill your lighter, you’ll realize that the fuel tank becomes cold. Leave your torch for about 5 minutes for the butane to reach room temperature. This will also allow any excess gas from the lighter’s exterior to evaporate.
When everything is at room temperature, reset the flame height. But first, flip the lighter over. Then put the flame adjuster screw in its original position. In other words, use a screwdriver to turn the flame adjuster back up. Afterward, check whether your butane torch is leaking. If you notice any leaked fuel, use a damped rag to wipe it up.
Lastly, check whether your lighter is flaming properly or not. Just remember to maintain a safe distance from the torch. On the same note, make sure you hold the torch safely. With that in mind, light the torch to produce a flame. If the flame is weak or doesn’t light up at all, add more fuel. Then repeat the above steps until your lighter produces a uniform burning flame.
To sum things up, refilling a butane torch isn’t a time-consuming or difficult task. Instead, it’s so simple that anyone can easily do it. You just need to follow the tips and instructions I’ve highlighted above step by step. And you’ll be done refilling your torch in a matter of minutes.
Nonetheless, always read your lighter’s users’ guide before you start refueling it. That is because the refueling process may be different in some lighter models.
1. How do I know if my butane torch is full?
Butane gas starts to leak from the stem when the torch is full, so you’ll easily know. Also, some torches have a fuel window or gauge. That way, you can monitor the fuel level to see if it’s full or not.
2. How do I bleed air out of my butane torch?
Hold your torch in a vertical, upright position. Then use a small screwdriver to press in the filler valve. This will cause the fuel tank to produce a hissing sound, indicating that the fuel is being bled. When the hissing stops, shake the lighter and repeat that process. This ensures the torch is bled completely.
3. What will happen if I overfill a butane torch?
Overfilling your butane torch will cause the fuel to leak. So, always avoid overfilling it.