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Old 19-01-2015, 17:58   #1
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Kero or Oil in My Lamp

I have been given a beautiful Dan Han Clipper lamp and have read that it will burn kerosene. I have always used oil in my lamps and am wondering what is the best way to go. Thinking the kerosene burns way cleaner but more dangerous from a flammability standpoint. Oil maybe a little safer but more soot, so whats the way to go here?
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Old 19-01-2015, 18:03   #2
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Re: Kero or Oil in My Lamp

You may want to give liquid paraffin a try, burns clean and little soot if your wick is trimmed properly.
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Old 19-01-2015, 18:03   #3
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Re: Kero or Oil in My Lamp

My friend burns Kero in his lamp and I noticed how clean burning it was compared to us using citronella oil - we only use in the cockpit for the bugs. With two of those suckers going you could heat the boat!
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Old 19-01-2015, 18:23   #4
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Re: Kero or Oil in My Lamp

We've had and used kero in our trawler lamp since about 1985, even kero can smoke. But keeping the wick trimmed helps. Also, only ever re-filled them when it was calm at anchor, not when the boat was lurching about. Never a problem. Only problem with them is that water is part of the combustion product, so it is a wet heat, and will add to condensation problems if used when really cold.
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Old 19-01-2015, 18:53   #5
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Re: Kero or Oil in My Lamp

Cburger,
Weren't you the guy with the cranky diesel heater?

If so I might have some info for you. I had to take a carb apart on mine.
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Old 19-01-2015, 19:00   #6
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Re: Kero or Oil in My Lamp

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Cburger,
Weren't you the guy with the cranky diesel heater?

If so I might have some info for you. I had to take a carb apart on mine.
Yea all the problems were solved once I started lighting the heater with wood alcohol
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Old 19-01-2015, 19:06   #7
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Re: Kero or Oil in My Lamp

Depends on what works on your device. Oil lamps with certain types of wicks/burners need lamp oil, others kerosene and many will burn paint thinner. Our Den Haan trawler lamp has to have lamp oil. The other fuels vaporize at too low a temperature and will flare up if used with these lamps. Same for Aladdin wick lamps. Have used paint thinner in all our other kerosene devices like flat wick lamps and stoves. FWIW, when the trawler lamp flares up it is a major PITA. It sends soot and bits of carbon floating around the boat that will blacken the overhead and anything they touch. Haven't had the problem once I switched to lamp oil. Got the lamp oil recommendation direct from the Den Haan importer.

Used oil lamps fueled with paint thinner exclusively on our last boat living aboard for 1 1/2 years around SoCal. Soot was not a problem. Did have a build up of soot enough to notice over the stove after another 1 1/2 years. A couple minutes with 409 and rag cleaned it right up on the wood overhead. Once we got to the tropics, the heat generated even from the small flat wicked lamps was way too much. Couldn't use them down south. On current boat, have switched all the light s to LEDs and done away with all but the trawler lamp that we keep for ambience and heat. The LEDs have such low drain that our solar panels have no problem keeping the batteries charged. Way more convenient than oil lamps which are interesting to refill on a long passage.
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Old 20-01-2015, 03:51   #8
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Re: Kero or Oil in My Lamp

I came interestingly close for setting the boat afire about 100 miles offshore. Lighting a pressure kero lamp, spilled some lite alcohol. Some kinds of cloth makes great fuel.


On to the diesel for a slight hijack. I had not heard of starting them with alchohol, but had considered it.

Some dummie (me) got water in my fuel line. That filled the carb. Had to take it apart to get the water out. Major PITA.


BUT, while in there found a bunch of white granular crap inside the carb. Ot on the float but loosely attached to the walls of the chamber. Think tiny curd cottage cheese, but hard curds.

I got it out with Q tips and kero. Now the stove seems to work much better. I have a lot more control over the range of heat it produces. I think this stuff was inhibiting the movement of the float.

This stove is pretty old, but unused. I took the shrink wrap off. Maybe a hundred hours total burn time.
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Old 20-01-2015, 06:14   #9
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Re: Kero or Oil in My Lamp

I presume you have a Den Haan "Clipper" lamp, which is intended to burn liquid paraffin lamp fuel (such as Weems and Plath#780).

See also ➥ Lamp Oil vs Kerosene
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