Trouble With MSR Whisperlite Stove

I recieved an MSR Whisperlite Internationale stove for my birthday. I used it for the first time today using white gas and it worked perfectly. I pulled it out again late this afternoon, set it up and could not get any fuel into the priming cup when I turn the valve on after pressurizing the stove. I have tried everything from shaking the stove to unhooking and hooking everything back together and still nothing. The pump seems to be pressurizing fine and I also tried turning on the valve without the stove being attached to the fuel bottle and fuel seems to emit as it should. What could be the problem? Any ideas? Should I contact MSR?



Though it has a ‘shaker jet’…
which essentially cleans the jet orifice with a needle whenever the stove is shaken or moved around, you may have a blockage in the jet the needle isn’t clearing. Remove and disassemble the jet and blow anything in there out in reverse of fuel flow. There should also be a braided wire cable in the feed tube, pull it out slightly and ‘floss’ it back and forth, then pull the cable out, clean it, and blow the tube clear before reinserting the cable and jet. Really not a whole lot than can be wrong besides a clogged jet or fuel line, IF you are getting gas coming out the stove fuel line to pump connection hole. Good luck, my guess is that should restore fuel flow throughout the system.

From what you discribed
It sure sounds like either the fuel or the brand new pump is the problem. When you say white gas do you mean Coleman fuel? White gas is not the same and if it’s old or dirty that could be the problem that is clogging the line or the jet. After you remove the jet (don’t lose it that’s easy to do) and check for obstruction buy holding it to the light (should be able to see through the hole where the shaker pin goes) and doing what the Stickman said with the cable reassemble the stove and try again. If it still won’t get fuel to the bowl check the pump while the line is off by opening the valve. CARFULL just crack the valve enough to see if the bottle is pressurized. If nothing is coming out of the pump one of the vales is stuck or obstructed. Disassemble the pump and follow the instructions to find the problem with the pump.

When all else fails spray the stove only (not the pump) with some carburetor cleaner. This will cut any varnish from old or contaminated fuel that is in the line.

These are very good stoves especially in cold weather and very easy to work on. I have 3 and have used them for years with little or no failures. The important thing is the fuel. I always use Coleman fuel, it is much higher octane than lead free gas.

They don’t simmer worth a damn but who needs that? We are not baking cookies.

You will notice that the cost of Coleman fuel and MSR version of stove fuel has gone through the roof along with the price of gasoline.

MSRs version of stove fuel is 10.99 a pint! Ouch.

Most of the time when someone first uses these burners, between the delayed reaction of the valve and not knowing how much or little fuel is needed in the cup they use too much fuel in the cup and get a lot of soot on the mechanism. There is always going to be some, but over priming makes a big mess and is a likely cause of the blockage.

As noted above, give it a few good shakes and a blow through the fuel path and see if that clears it.

Try taking
the stove apart. With the fuel line connected to the pump, but disconnected from the stove, see if fuel can pass through the fuel line. At the same time you can inspect the jet (make sure you can see through the orfice) and the shaker cleaning needle.

Some of the rubber o-rings used to have a green coating to them. That coating comes off and can clog parts of the fuel line. I would also take the fuel pump apart to look at those o-rings.

It is always good to know how to take apart and assemble the stove.

Much Obliged To You All!!
Thanks for all of your help!! I took the stove apart like ya’ll told me to, cleaned it and now she is working like a charm!! I have only used Coleman fuel so far and the only reason that I wanted the multi-fuel version of the Whisperlite was in case I had to use unleaded gas when no Coleman fuel was available. Thanks again!!

Coleman/unleaded use the same jet?
I may not remember correctly, but I seem to recall that the Coleman fuel/unleaded gas options use the same jet? So for the U.S., the international stove is probably not really necessary. I found this out after I had purchased mine. Oh well…

Priming Fluid Alternative
You should also know that instead of fuel, you can also use Methyl Alcohol (gas-line antifreeze such as HEET, in the familiar yellow bottle) to preheat your stove. It’s something extra to carry, but it burns hotter and does not leave that sooty black deposit all over your stove, which can plug up your fuel orifices and is just plain messy.

It only takes a quarter teaspoon or so, so a tiny squirt bottle of alcohol lasts for weeks of backcountry cooking. Be aware that alcohol flames are often invisible, at least in daylight, so it may be lit without you knowing it–so be careful.

Don’t try to use isopropyl/rubbing alcohol, as it’s something like 40% water, and will not ignite. Ask me how I know…