Forum Index > Gear Talk > Do Isobutane cannisters lose fuel over time?
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Bowregard
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PostFri May 27, 2022 6:38 am 
I have a handful of MSR Isobutane cannisters of various sizes and was surprised when I weighed the 8oz ones for a trip and found two of them that I expected to be full weighed only 306g. That is only about 68% full. My daughter bought these cheap at Sierra in Silverton a few years ago and I was sure they had not been touched. I refill from the 16oz containers but typically use only the 4oz cannisters except for rare longer trips. I keep track of refills by labelling to make sure not to put too many pressure cycles on any cannister and I suppose these could have been used only once but it would be quite a coincidence for that to happen twice and both cannisters to have been used the exact same amount. I am wondering if one of the gas components leaks out slowly over time or if I should start weighing every cannister I buy from here out. Anybody had similar experiences or know what the characteristics of the cannisters is over time?

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Randito
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PostFri May 27, 2022 8:22 am 
All valves leak to some degree. The Lindal Valves used in small butane/propane canisters are mass produced at low cost, since they are single use. The manufacturer doesn't have an incentive to make them tight enough for long term storage-- the opposite in fact. https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/control-valves-leakage-d_484.html

Bowregard
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Bowregard
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PostFri May 27, 2022 9:03 am 
hmmm... I guess maybe I need to get a bit more organized and change assumptions to minimize the loss then. 1. Weigh and record cannisters at time of purchase and after use. 2. Weigh and record cannisters periodically to understand the loss over time. 3. Consider "Last In - First Out" strategy (assuming loss rate reduces as pressure drops). 4. Consider cool/cold storage? 6. Consider "Just In Time" instead of "lowest cost" purchasing. And "YES" I know I am overthinking this. But if the loss really is 30% over a couple of years I want to know about it and change. If anybody has any leakage data I would be interested in hearing it.

reststep, Anne Elk
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reststep
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PostFri May 27, 2022 12:18 pm 
Good idea about checking them. I have some unused canisters that are several old years that I need to check and thank you for posting. It had not occurred to me that they leak.

"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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cdestroyer
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PostFri May 27, 2022 2:05 pm 
A: I believe it is illegal to refill these canisters. b: how do you know what is the correct pressure? c: el cheapo cheating retailers out of money on new canister purchases. d: tmi got nothing better to do than this?

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HitTheTrail
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PostFri May 27, 2022 2:34 pm 
cdestroyer wrote:
b: how do you know what is the correct pressure?
Get a good postal scale and just make sure you never fill them more than the original amount they were sold with (or a little less). And, don't refill then too many times.

pula58, Bowregard
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Randito
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PostFri May 27, 2022 2:54 pm 
cdestroyer wrote:
A: I believe it is illegal to refill these canisters.
Technically refilling them isn't illegal -- however transporting a refilled cylinder in a federal highway is and subject to up $500,000 fine and 5 years in prison Also

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Bowregard
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PostFri May 27, 2022 8:03 pm 
cdestroyer wrote:
A: I believe it is illegal to refill these canisters. b: how do you know what is the correct pressure? c: el cheapo cheating retailers out of money on new canister purchases. d: tmi got nothing better to do than this?
Sorry you had a bad day. frown.gif I hope tomorrow is better. smile.gif

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Slim
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PostMon May 30, 2022 7:23 am 
I have experienced canisters losing their contents over time. I stopped stocking up on them when on sale as they would be 2/3 empty a year later. Mostly MSR canisters. YMMV. ~Slim

"Lean mean money-making-machines serving fiends"

mosey, Bowregard
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ejain
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PostMon May 30, 2022 1:47 pm 
I have noticed some loss when I leave cannisters (MSR, Snow Peak) screwed on to the Jetboil, but no measurable loss if a detach them, add the plastic cap back, and store them upright at room temperature for 6+ months.

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Bowregard
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dave allyn
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PostMon May 30, 2022 3:11 pm 
I've got a half dozen partial canisters. I weigh them and write the weight on the can. For some reason I dated several of them, 2015 and 2017. 3 different brands. All are within a gram of what they were. No signs of leakage.

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CS
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PostTue May 31, 2022 9:40 am 
I saw someone saying that a common reason for leaking is a small particle got stuck in the valve and itís not closing completely.

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