This is Curtsey of the:

Only air comes out of the generator

How This Part Works:

Sitting inside the lantern fount or the stove tank is a device called the "Fuel and Air Tube," or F&A for short. On some very old lanterns (pre-30's), most pressure lamps and kerosene lanterns this tube is a "fuel pickup tube." Assuming you have a "regular" appliance I'll stick to the F&A tube.

Lanterns and stoves require fuel and air to operate. The F&A tube is in the fount or tank and the bottom is submerged in fuel. The top of the tube is above the fuel level and surrounded by air. In the picture below, fuel is red and air is blue. The F&A tube is the center tube extending down into the fount.

For more information go to our Theory of Operation chapter.

There are very small pick-up holes at both the top and bottom of the F&A tube: top is for air, bottom is for fuel. When you open the valve a mixture of fuel and air is picked-up by the F&A tube. The proportional amount of fuel-vs-air is set by how far the valve is opened. Initially a lean mixture is sent to the appliance, to start it, but after the valve is wide-open the mixture gets much richer.

Why it is Not Working Properly:

The bottom hole in the F&A tube is where the problem usually lies. If the lantern or stove is stored for a long period of time with fuel left in it, varnish will build up and ultimately completely block this small hole. So when you open the valve up, air will be passed through as it should be no fuel will make it by the blockage. A second possibility that is much rarer is that the F&A tube is broken. If this occurs there will be a relatively large gap for air to pass through and the lantern or stove won't pick up any fuel. Not a common problem but it does happen.

How To Fix It:

You have to clean the F&A tube and in order to do that you have to pull the valve out of the lantern or stove. Sorry, no easy fix here! Refer to our Rebuild Instructions and choose the appliance you're working with. I'll show you how to get the valve out and the F&A tube clean.