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 Problems with Zippo

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Brewdude
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Age : 65
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Problems with Zippo   Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:15 pm

So I have a Zippo with the pipe insert that I use virtually 100% of the time.

Lately it takes 6-10 strikes to light, despite keeping it full of fuel. Changed the flint out recently.

Figured it might be the wick, and pulled a new length out the other day and trimmed it just right.

That worked for a little while and it lit on the first or second strike.

Now back to multiple strikes and can't figure out why.

How many strikes does it take you? Or should i send it back to Zippo?

confused



Cheers,

RR

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"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin


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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:22 pm

Is the wick bunched-up someplace where it isn't getting a steady supply of fuel from the cotton wadding? I've had that happen before.

Whenever I load a new wick, I take out all of the cotton, and feed the new wick down through the top of the inner works. After pulling the wick to the right height in the combustion chamber, I then pull the wick through the open bottom, and use a black paper clip (the kind that looks like a black wedge with two handles) to hold the wick at the metal edge where the screw is undone to load in a flint. I then re-stuff the cotton wadding, fold back over the felt stopper, fill up, and boom--perfect. That makes the wick able to soak up fluid at any level.

Cool
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TonyS

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:09 pm

^^ What Kyle said ^^
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DrumsAndBeer

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Age : 46
Location : Northern, CA
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:09 am

Are you smoking in an enclosed room with a propane heater running? Razz
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:11 am

DrumsAndBeer wrote:
Are you smoking in an enclosed room with a propane heater running? Razz

Hahaha Laughing

Cool
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Dave_In_Philly

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Age : 37
Location : Philly
Registration date : 2011-08-18

PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:47 am

Check the striker wheel too - if that gets crudded up it won't spark, even with a new flint.
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sonarman

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Age : 36
Location : Ct the land of never ending winter, and July
Registration date : 2012-08-21

PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:55 am

Temp can be a problem as well. The liquid is less likely to go into a gas state at cold temps.
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dbreazeale

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:26 pm

Maybe an airlock problem. before striking blow on the fuse first and then give the wheel a spin.
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monbla256

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Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:24 pm

sonarman wrote:
Temp can be a problem as well. The liquid is less likely to go into a gas state at cold temps.

It's a FLUID lighter! No "... gas state..." is involved Razz When I've had that sort of problem, my flint was worn or it was near empty of fluid. Check both and if it's still giving you problems, send it back to Zippo for a new insert. They are not "rocket science" lighters Twisted Evil
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Aristokles



Location : Pittsburgh, PA
Registration date : 2010-10-02

PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:31 pm

Another possibility which I have experienced (once) - a weakened tensioning spring for the flint.

Over-fueling the lighter can cause spark problems as well,
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:32 pm

monbla256 wrote:
sonarman wrote:
Temp can be a problem as well. The liquid is less likely to go into a gas state at cold temps.

It's a FLUID lighter! No "... gas state..." is involved Razz When I've had that sort of problem, my flint was worn or it was near empty of fluid. Check both and if it's still giving you problems, send it back to Zippo for a new insert. They are not "rocket science" lighters Twisted Evil

Thank you; beat me to it.

It's a "vapor" state, if anything. Toothbrush soaked in said fluid cleans up dirty striker-wheels pretty good, too. If it's a really old lighter, or you habitually used the flint down to the spring, the wheel itself might be tuckered out, which would require a trip back to Zippo.

Worse case scenario? The lighter gets sent back and you get a refurbished, working insert.

Cool
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williamcharles

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Age : 67
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:35 pm

If the case is important to you enclose a note telling them you want it back.
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i.keenum

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Location : coast of mississippi
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:22 pm

Mine have done the same lately. Replaced wick, batting, stretched the spring, new fuel and flint. All zippo products. Still can't get mine to light reliably been about 2 years of good lights before it went out. Is that normal? Oh and scrubbed it all down with old tooth brush and ever clear.
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Simple Man

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Registration date : 2011-10-24

PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:32 pm

i.keenum wrote:
Mine have done the same lately. Replaced wick, batting, stretched the spring, new fuel and flint. All zippo products. Still can't get mine to light reliably been about 2 years of good lights before it went out. Is that normal? Oh and scrubbed it all down with old tooth brush and ever clear.

It shouldn't be normal. I'm still using the same Zippo lighter that I have had since 1981. Still works like a charm. Unless they are not making them the same now as they did then?
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Brewdude
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:03 pm

Lots of good helpful advice here. Thank you gents.

Actually I've been wondering if there isn't something up with the spark from the wheel. Maybe it's not throwing off enough spark due to being gummed up or not enough tension on the flint, but the spring seems just fine in that regard.

I'll try cleaning off the wheel with a toothbrush and some lighter fluid and see how that works. Don't think it's anything with the wick - as I said I just pulled a new length up and trimmed it just right so it's not all carbonized up or frayed.

If all that doesn't work I have no problem shipping it back to Zippo for a fix. They sure do seem to be great on the lifetime guarantee/CS front and they stand behind their product. Might have to put up with not having it for a few weeks if that's the case. NBD.

Again, thanks for the advice. I appreciate it.


cheers



Cheers,

RR

_________________
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin


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dugo



Location : Amsterdam
Registration date : 2012-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Problems with Zippo   Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:58 pm

Once, twice, max.

I pull up and cut a wick only once if it wears out[1] and then reweave/replace the next time. If you can workaround the issue with a drop of fuel on the wick you probably have a problem with the capillary action of your wick. It's could be too short, bent too tight somewhere or squeezed whilst pulling it up. Take a good look at what could possibly reduce the capillary action of your wick. A bit of fiddling with a pin might fix it. The top should have a bit of surface area, not be a point. Otherwise just get a new wick and reweave.

A fresh piece of wick never lights as well as one that's saturated with pieces of unburnt flint, so give it some time.

The flint wheel can also get dull. Even though this is because of normal wear, Zippo will be happy to replace.

As I only use my Zippo to light cigarettes I keep the wick about 2 mm below the end of the chimney for better fuel efficiency and lighting reliability.

Also, never ever underestimate the relation between rocket science and a Zippo lighter.

[1] It only seem to do that when lightening it too often on low fuel.
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