Lighters are a requirement for smokers; unless you choose to use matches, of course. However, lighters are far more convenient than matches and also more economical. With that said butane lighters and even jet lighters can have problems with operation. One of the most common problems associated with any type of lighter is a failure to ignite, accompanied by a hissing sound.

When the igniter of the lighter is pressed down, no flame appears. The lighter does, however, emit a hissing sound, as of fuel escaping. What could be going on? What’s wrong with your lighter? Actually, this situation can be remedied quite easily, though you’ll need to troubleshoot your lighter a bit first.

The first step is to ensure that there is no debris, dirt or lint clogging or blocking the lighter’s operation. Even a small amount of debris can stop a lighter from functioning correctly. Exercise care when checking for blockages and keep your fingers well away from the igniter. If you find an obstruction of any kind, remove it and then attempt to light your lighter. If the lighter still emits a hissing sound, but does not light, then continue to the next step in the process.

Usually, the problem with a lighter emitting a hissing sound, but not lighting, is a problem of flame adjustment. If the adjustment is set too high, then the force of the fuel escaping can be too great for the striker to ignite it. Essentially, the speeding fuel actually “blows out” the flame. Check the flame adjuster to ensure that it is not too high; on a standard butane lighter, you’ll find the slide adjustment on the back, under the metallic cap. On a jet lighter, the adjuster is usually located on the bottom of the lighter. In all cases, it is denoted with plus and minus symbols.

The flame height can be adjusted quite easily. For a jet lighter, you’ll need a small flathead screwdriver or a similar tool. Insert the head into the slot of the adjuster and rotate it toward the minus symbol a small amount. Check the lighter to determine if you have lowered the flame height/fuel flow sufficiently. If it still does not light, continue to turn it toward the minus symbol, checking the lighter periodically to determine if it lights. If you adjust the flame height all the way to the minimum with no luck, you might have a defective lighter.


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