Coleman® Model 502A
Born in September, 1997

Always place the burning lamp or lantern where it can't get knocked over, and where unsuspecting fingers can't touch it. Protect those that cannot protect themselves. Keep appliances and fuels away from children and pets.

User Manuals found here.

Troubleshooting Poorly Burning Lanterns & Stoves

A lantern chases away the darkness while a stove fills the air with the unmistakable aroma of bacon and eggs in the morning. Unless they just don't work as well as they should.

Lanterns and stoves are engineered to generate "X" amount of gas vapor and mix it with "X" amount of fresh air. The raw fuel (gasoline or kerosene) is pressurized to a point that it is forced into the generator. The generator heats it to boiling and releases the gas vapors into the mixing chamber. The mixing chamber mixes the vapors with air, accelerates the mixture and passes it to the burner. Here it is ignited and produces a small hot flame that will cook our food or illuminate our mantle(s).

If either of these variables' change, the appliance will not work properly.

If you introduce too much pressure or fuel into the system, it will flood. If you have flooding or flame-up issues, please click here for troubleshooting that problem.

Usually a poorly burning lantern or stove will be from not enough fuel or not enough air. If your appliance is not getting the proper amount of fuel, it just won't get as bright or as hot as it should. If it is starving from air it will not burn hot or bright and often times appear yellow.

1. Burns weak. The lack of fuel is almost always the generator. The generator uses heat from the stove's flames or the lantern's mantle to "cook" the fuel running through it. After many hours of doing this, it begins to fill and clog-up with the dirt, soot and carbon associated with burning liquid fuel.

I recommend you either clean or replace the generator. A lantern generator is pretty small and delicate so you would probably be better off just replacing it. A stove generator is much larger and can be cleaned fairly easily. With a clean generator your appliance should burn just fine.

If you are not mechanically inclined or are not comfortable working on fueled appliances, I encourage you to send your lantern or stove back to Coleman® for repair. Click here for more information.

2. Burns yellow. If the flame at the stove burner or lantern burner tube is starving for air, it will burn yellow. Almost always this is due to a blocked mixing chamber or burner tube. Sometime a double-mantle lantern will have one side burning bright and the other side burning yellow or not at all. This is perfectly illustrated in this photo that I received from Eddie V. in Shelby, North Carolina.

Cleaning the burner should be fairly easy, if you have access to an air compressor. My lighting instructions for lanterns and stoves include cleaning instructions for this very reason. You can also find them in the rebuilding pages.

If you get stuck, you can send me an email to, or you can post your question on our Facebook page. Good luck!

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