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Check Valve Removal

Check Valve Removal

That rotten *#&$ no-good son-of-*@*#$% check valve. Those of you who have fought with them and know what I mean. Enough is enough.

If you've spent any time at all on this website you'll know two things. First, I'm very much a "do-it-yourself" advocate. Anything I can do, you can do as well with a little guidance. Second, I'm a believer that this hobby should stay inexpensive. With that being said, let's look at a very good check valve remover that you can find and buy locally and it will cost you about $10.00. Do-it-yourself and save some of your hard-earned money in the process!

I went to our little local hardware store and the three required pieces were sitting right there on the shelf. All three are made by Vermont American so they're easy to find. Part number 21916 is a "T-Handle Tap Wrench" and it cost me $4.69. The large screw extractor is a #4 and the part number is 21814. The small extractor is a #3 and is part number 21813. The small one cost $2.79 while the large one was $2.49. If you have access to a larger hardware store these prices will certainly be lower and you'll probably be able to come in for under $10.

There are numerous styles of check valves and the tools I'm describing here should not be used for all of them. If you have a 242 or early 242A without the air stem, don't use them. If you have a 2-mantle lantern prior to the 220D/228D series don't use 'em. In the case of these check valves you will still need to use a blade tool to remove the valves. Any check valve that you NEED to re-use cannot be removed with an extractor!

Check valves are for safety and since I'm a safety nut I'll tell you that if you can replace the check valve then you should. Re-use only if necessary!

Luckily 95% of the lanterns on the planet use a "standard" check valve and replacements are still available. They came with 2 different size air stems, old and new, and this is why I recommend you get both extractors (#3 and #4). The #4 will work for most original check valves--they are those that have a larger air stem. Modern lanterns, from the 80s or so on up, use a smaller air stem and the #3 extractor is used here. Also, replacement check valve P/N 200-6381 uses a small airstem and 5 years down the road when you go to replace the replacement you'll need the smaller one...

Okay so look at the picture at the top of the page again. At the top you will see the T-handle tool, with the #4 extractor in it and an original 1952 check valve attached to the end. With the tool as shown, it took me less than 5 seconds to remove.

At the bottom you'll see the #3 extractor with a more modern check valve attached. On the right you'll see the two different size air stems. The one with the red paint on it is an original and you'll see that the threaded end is significantly larger than the new one...is easy to tell them apart.

The #4 extractor is just a tad bit larger than the T-handle wants to accept. I gently pryed open the teeth with a screwdriver and she fit right in. The #3 fits with no problem.

To re-install a check valve one only needs a good sized flattip screwdriver and a little caution. Snug the check valve, don't lean on it. Someday it will have to come out again.

But what if you have the "other" type of check valve? Well you'll need to use a blade tool. If you have a 242 or 242A without the air stem you might have to cast a glance at your power drill. But if you have the 220B or C or an LQ427 a properly fitting blade will work just fine.

I have one and I paid out the nose for it and I would never recommend it to anyone. Coleman does sell a check valve removal tool but it is too narrow.

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