Why Does My Gas Burner Not Work in Winter

That such a question does not arise in the campaign, it is better to read this note before going to the mountains.

So, gas burners feed on a mixture of gases in the gaseous state (without tautology here can not do). In a cylinder, this mixture is in a liquid. Shake the can. Feel? Inside the liquid splashes. Let us recall the lessons of physics: the liquid begins to evaporate when the temperature of the substance exceeds its boiling point.

Why Does My Outdoor Propane Burner Not Work in Winter?

Summer. The air heats the cylinder to relatively high temperatures, above the boiling point of the gas – gas boils – evaporation creates excess pressure in the cylinder – because of pressure, a part of the vapors escapes from the cylinder into the burner, mixing with air at the exit – the gas burns efficiently at the burner outlet. And we get a hot dinner.

Now let’s see what happens in summer and winter.


Winter. It’s cold outside, the cylinder in the backpack has cooled to below the boiling temperature of the gas mixture – the gas remains in a liquid state – there is no pressure – there is no gas in the burner – the burner does not work. And we freeze from the cold, licking frozen food.

Another fact that plays against our hot dinner in the winter is the nature of the evaporation process itself. During evaporation the substance loses a large amount of heat (it is strongly cooled). The gas evaporates very intensively, and therefore it cools very much.

In the summer, this does not affect the operation of the burner, because the cylinder is again heated from hot air. And in winter the balloon just cools. When the balloon is full, it is not so noticeable, since heat losses are distributed over a larger amount of fuel. And if the balloon is almost empty, then the temperature of the gas mixture can quickly fall below its boiling temperature.

To what temperature can a gas burner be used?

Drawing conclusions from the above, we need the gas in the cylinder to be heated above the boiling point. But, in fact, this is not enough. If we want to feast on a hot lunch, then we just need to ensure that the pressure inside the cylinder is sufficient to allow a large amount of gas to flow into the burner. For this we need a gap of several degrees.

The gases from our cylinder boil at temperatures:

  • Butane (normal butane, n-butane) …..31,1 ° F
  • isobutane ….. 10.886 ° F
  • propane …..- 43,762 ° F

Hence, if our bottle is predominantly butane, it can be effectively used at temperatures above 41 ° F. If only propane with isobutane, then we can go to 14 ° F. One propane in the tank can not be, because in the summer the gas pressure inside the balloon would simply rip it off.

Very handy! If you decide to refill your tank, do not ask and do not agree to refuel with pure propane. In the best case, you will see a beautiful fireworks in a hike with such a balloon, and at worst it will be your last hike.

So it’s only up to 14 ° F? Can not anything be done?

Of course you can! First, read and remember such useful little tricks here. And secondly, in the winter campaign, take a burner with preheating fuel. Using the first and second experienced tourists use gas at temperatures of -4 ° F and lower.

Be always on the alert and do not freeze!

Also Read: 7 best outdoor propane burner ramotordamt!

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