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Leaks in Coleman Lanterns

Coleman lanterns have been a staple in camping supplies for more than 100 years. These lanterns provided brilliant, long-lasting lighting for farmers, ranchers and others in remote and rural areas for decades, and remain the choice of outdoors enthusiasts and campers to this day. Though known for their reliability, Coleman lanterns occasionally develop leaks that require a change of parts or complete replacement of the unit.
  1. Gasket Problems

    • Over time, Coleman lanterns may develop problems with the gasket. It may become loose, brittle or cracked so that it does not seal adequately. Exchange the gasket with a suitable Coleman replacement and reattach the filler cap. The filler cap itself could require replacement, if it has become damaged. Coleman may not have filler caps for older models of the lantern. In this case, contact a company that manufactures reproduction parts for these lanterns.

    Valve Problems

    • After a number of years of use, the control valve of the lantern can begin to malfunction. If you suspect a leak at the valve, carefully examine the area where it meets the tank. You may need a flashlight to look inside the frame to see it clearly. A damp area around the valve holes indicates that you have a leak and should replace the valve immediately.

    Cracks in the Lantern

    • Because Coleman lanterns are often used in rugged conditions in which packing and storing the lantern can be damaging, owners should carefully examine the housing to ensure that there are no cracks that allow the required pressure to escape. Cracks in the tank can also leak water into the fuel, which can lead to inadequate lighting or a failure to light. Pressurize the lantern fully and look for damp areas on the surface of the lantern as you listen for the sound of air escaping. Then, locate the source of the leak. If a crack is evident, replace the unit, as any repair will be hazardous and only temporary, according to the Old Town Coleman website.

    Using Vintage Coleman Lanterns

    • Often, old Coleman lanterns can be found at garage sales, flea markets and second-hand stores. Though these may seem like a wonderful find at a good price, buyers should ensure that the lantern is in good condition, without dents, cracks or loose parts. These lanterns may experience leaks and loss of pressure and may require considerable refurbishment before using. Some replacement parts may not be available, rendering the lantern useless.