Thermacell Hack




Introduction: Thermacell Hack

Ever run out of those costly butane refills for your thermacell repellents? Here's a fairly quick and simple way to refill them.

Step 1: Tools

Tools needed for this hack. 1) side cutters 2) pair of pliers 3) small sheet metal screws 4) butane refill bottle 5) utility/sharp knife 6) #2 Phillips screwdriver

Step 2: Disassembly

First take your side cutters and carefully remove brass valve on the top of cartridge.

Step 3:

Using a small sheet metal screw carefully thread it into the one way check valve in cartridge.

Step 4:

Once screw is secure use side cutters to carefully "wiggle" and pull one way check valve out.

Step 5:

Firmly snap the first valve back in. It should "snap" when in.

Step 6:

Ok now set the "prepped" cartridge aside for now. Grab the butane refill and remove the tapered end on the top of the can. Now using a sharp knife of your choice slit the plastic nozzle end. Make the slit somewhat tapered so when it's pressed into the cartridge valve it can squeeze together. (This might take some fine tuning to get just right)

Step 7:

Last thing, hold empty cartridge upright and refill with the butane canister. The fill amount does sometimes vary from 1/3 to almost full. Now mark the butane canister tip so you can replace it when you need to buy a new refill, you won't have to cut a new tip. Also mark your "hacked" thermacell cartridges so you know which ones are refillable and which ones are not

Step 8:

Good luck and just be careful. And then enjoy your bug free area!!!

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    5 years ago

    no luck here. I've bought two refill cans that came with the plastic tip assortment. I got one refill done on the first can and the adapter tip broke. Same thing happened on the second can only bought. Making my two refilled cartriges cost about 10 bucket each, and two useless cans of butane on my hands. Wish you could get ball adapter tips for these cans.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Longnkrnch, These days many of the ultra pure cans of butane don't come with any tips whatsoever other than the cans main nozzle.

    I happen to favor Puretane N-Butane 11x Filtered - 99.9998% Pure, this can also has no tips.
    My solution was simple, I simply shaped the metal nozzle with an emory board, I tapered it so it fits right into the brass valve (this method does not require the fill nozzle to be split as instructed with this guide) My shop has Proxxon rotary tools and I retired an aviation engineer, all my grinding and shaping tools were outclassed with a .25 cent emory board.

    I then took a small piece of rubber, punched a hole in it and placed it on the metal butane cans now modified tapered nozzle, then I pushed down on the rubber while filling it up and it works perfectly.

    Even if you have a butane can nozzle adapter that doesn't fit, a couple moments with an emory board, can shape it to the desired shape in less than a minute.

    Kudos to rhathaway for posting this guide.


    4 years ago

    Saw this somewhere else way back tried and it worked really well.

    But great instructable one of my colleagues fishes a lot.

    He told me that he had thrown away a lot of thermacell cartridges.

    Since he saw them as not refillable i showed him this trick and was very happy.

    But i wonder if this goes for the new thermacells where you push the cartridge in rather than screw it in.