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Ask Kristin

Cracking Stove O-Rings

Can you prevent cracking stove O rings?

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Question:

I’ve been told that O rings on the WhisperLite International Stove may crack when the temp reaches -10. Do you have any suggestions for operating the stove at temps below -10, or a way to keep the O rings from cracking?

Submitted by – Robert – Sachse, TX

Answer:

All O-rings will eventually start to crack, even ones that aren’t exposed to extreme cold. If your stove starts leaking or you can’t get the bottle to pressurize, disassemble the stove and inspect your O-rings. If they look dry or there are any visible cracks, intervention is necessary. It’s always smart, of course, to pack a couple extras in your repair kit (they are literally weightless after all and can really save the day if you run into a problem). But if you find yourself with out a spare, and your O-rings are starting to show some fatigue, you can use any number of things to lubricate them: cooking oil, lip balm, sunscreen, even saliva. Just give them a good dousing of your chosen lube, reassemble the stove and fire it up. And be sure to replace them when you get home.