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Old 16-06-2011, 19:41   #16
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

My doctor told me that fish oil was good for me. It's a real pain squeezing all those little pills into my lamp. I had to switch to this: Lamp Fuel | Weems & Plath
Very clean burning but without the cardiovascular benefits of fish oil.
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Old 16-06-2011, 20:31   #17
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

I remember it being called coal oil. Some fondue oil I think is the same stuff.
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Old 17-06-2011, 15:30   #18
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
liquid parrafin in usa is a lot better refined than i s kerosene, even k-1 kerosene. it is not the same--i know when i burn kero i have headaches and can smell the crap burning--i have asthma and other sensitivities due to reynauds disease and there IS difference.
lamp oil is kerosene. NOT liquid parrafin. i cannot use LAMP OIL. i CAN use liquid parrafin. there IS a large difference in being able to use and not being able to use a product.
heating oil is also kerosene. not even k-1 kerosene..jim--you donthave the sensitivities to be able to need to differentiate --isnt a bad thing-- there are folks who DO have these sensitivities, just as there are folks unable to ingest aspirin and other meds. same difference-- so-- donot say one is the other when they are NOT the same. please. and NO--is NOT internet caused this...
OK Zee, I'll agree that individuals can have different responses to irritants... I know that Ann can detect a cigarette smoker at least ten miles to leeward of us! And for you, burning kero might well be a bad idea.

What I was carping about was the statement that to use kero in your lamps would give ANY user a headache, and quite possibly kill them.

We have used various forms of kero in our circular wick trawler lamps for many years without suffering either of those symptoms, which seems to contradict her (Anjou's) statement. And I really do dislike the broad and sweeping statements, offered without any support or documentation, that populate the Internet in the guise of advice.

And, FWIW, we did once encounter a fuel (in La Paz, circa 1986) that our supplier assured us was really kero. Local name was "Tractolina "and it was REALLY cheap. That part suited us fine, but the fact that it would hardly burn, and when it finally did it clogged the wick with some insoluble deposit rendering it useless... well, that seemed to override the attractive price! At that time, other cruisers were buying JP4 jet fuel at the airport and claimed that it was super in lamps and kero stoves. Never tried it ourselves, though.

So, for all you lovers of oil lamps... burn whatever you like in your lamps. I think that it is highly unlikely that any of the fuels named so far in this thread will actually do you in, and some may find that the higher priced fuels are what they like. Having some ventilation isn't a bad idea, by the way, any time you are using such a device down below, no matter which fuel you choose.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 19-06-2011, 20:10   #19
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

I like well refined parrafin myself inside, kero is just a little bit too stinky for my taste. A mate of mine keeps kero and high quality parrafin on board mixing them half and half for his inside lamps and going straight kero for his nav lights. Haven't tried that myself but the idea seems good. Economical and practical for me as well since I like keeping kerosene around anyway for loosening frozen bits and cleaning up this n that.
Can take some of the bite out of the cost by avoiding the W&P sold at Chandlers and checking the local osh or ace hardware stores (in the U.S.) or by buying large drums from survival suppliers on line... 50 gal. among 5 sailors... never tried that angle, could work out I suppose.
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Old 19-06-2011, 20:22   #20
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

Out here in the wilds we are used to power black outs and have plenty of oil lamps. At first I bought proper lamp oil but soon changed to a five gallon drum of kero due to the price. The trick is in trimming the wick is all. A bad trimmed wick will burn bad with any oil.
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Old 19-06-2011, 21:47   #21
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

I grew up using kerosene lamps, since we had no electricity. Other homes in the area heated with kerosene burners [vented]. In my first ocean sailboat I had no power and no solar panels so kerosene was burned both in my 2 burner primus and in my reading lamps, including a beautiful Den Haan fisherman lamp, the kind with the round wick with a flare cap over the wick, causing an intense light. Loved it. Kerosene in everything. Lived aboard. No headaches, no nausea [well, never mind the day after the rum binges]. Kerosene works well in all of those devices. [The use of charcoal lighter? Are you kidding? Are you still alive?]. There is one thing about kero devices. You gotta keep them clean and you gotta use a modicum of common sense. I know that kero devices can cause allergic type reactions, as Zeehag has experienced. For me, however, never has been a problem. I use the best I can find. I did check the price on lamp oil once. It is a little pricey for my budget. [Of course, in this boat there will be solar panels and DC electric lights. Astonishing.]
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Old 19-06-2011, 21:49   #22
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

I think there is a bit of semantics getting in the way here. "Kerosene" is the name for a range of petroleum distillates. In the UK there are two grades of kerosene available (and specified in standards): premium kerosene is known as "paraffin"; the other is used for heating (and IIRC is referred to as simply "kerosene"). See Kerosene - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (see how useful the internet is?) Outside of the UK the term is occasionally used and may meet the UK (or other national) standards; it would be nice to see that stated. Elsewhere I buy premium "deodorized" kerosene, clear as water, and am happy with the results in both my stove and lamps. Plain old kerosene is (or at least can be) something else again: noticeably smelly and sooty. If it is not as clear as water don't buy it. But I much prefer the deodorized stuff. I would be interested in knowing if anyone can do an A-B blind comparison between paraffin and deodorized kerosene and tell the difference. The bottom line is that there is a lot of liquid out there labelled kerosene, and only the best is suitable for our uses.

"Lamp oil" is/should be paraffin, and is usually packaged in smaller containers and costs a lot more. Since I use this for everyday cooking I don't buy lamp oil unless I have no choice (almost never happens - I have 15 gallons of capacity). I see no difference to the other premium deodorized kerosenes.

NEVER, EVER, burn jet fuel in a stove or lamp! It is indeed based on kerosene, and will burn just fine, but the additives are toxic - nothing you want inside your boat.
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Old 20-06-2011, 02:28   #23
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

See Mike Buckler's“International Fuel Names”

This document contains translations for the names of fuels commonly used in backpacking stoves and lanterns, and information about the availability of fuels in various countries.

Goto ➥ International Fuel Names
http : //fuel.papo-art.com/

And ➥ International Fuel Names
http : //fuel.papo-art.com/#tableoffuelnames
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Old 20-06-2011, 07:07   #24
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

Just an aside here:

We burn citronella oil in our oil lamps - not for light, but for the bugs. The smell is a bit too strong for inside the boat. For lighting purposes however, we use paraffin - right now the stuff on hand is Weems & Plath Lamp Oil. It's expensive, but it was all I could find last time I was out...
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Old 20-06-2011, 10:35   #25
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
NEVER, EVER, burn jet fuel in a stove or lamp! It is indeed based on kerosene, and will burn just fine, but the additives are toxic - nothing you want inside your boat.
References, please... I don't seem to see folks standing behind aircraft occupationally wearing respirators, and with OSHA's hyper reaction to most toxins this seems contradictory.

Always willing to learn, though'

Cheers

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Old 20-06-2011, 11:46   #26
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

Jet A fuel is extremely close to kerosene, and burns well in kerosene lamps and heaters, and is the fuel of choice for those who heat with kerosene heaters in many remote areas of Canada and Alaska. It works wonderfully in kerosene heaters, stoves, lamps, and lanterns.
According to the MSDS sheets, the flash point for Jet A is 100ºF, and the flash point of Kerosene is 100ºF. The Flammability Classification for both is Class II Combustible Liquid. The boiling point for both is between 330 - 550ºF and the specific gravity Jet A is .81 and .83 for Kerosene.
In northern climes, anti-icing additives are often added. Don't get the additives when obtaining Jet A for kerosene lamp/heater use.
Jet A is not the same as JP-4. Do not use JP-4 in a kerosene heater.
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Old 20-06-2011, 11:58   #27
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

JP-4 is the military designation for kerosene but with anti-icing, a corrosion inhibitor and a static dissipator. It is being phased out by the military for JP-8. JP-4, 5 and 8 all have additives you do not want to be breathing. You don't want any military designated kerosene fuels.

Jet-A is a narrow cut kerosene product. It is safe if it does not contain any anti-icing chemicals, which may or may not be added.

Reference: http://purvisbros.com/av7.htm
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Old 20-06-2011, 12:39   #28
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
JP-4 is the military designation for kerosene but with anti-icing, a corrosion inhibitor and a static dissipator. It is being phased out by the military for JP-8. JP-4, 5 and 8 all have additives you do not want to be breathing. You don't want any military designated kerosene fuels.

Jet-A is a narrow cut kerosene product. It is safe if it does not contain any anti-icing chemicals, which may or may not be added.

Reference: http://purvisbros.com/av7.htm
A few hundred ppm of this is a concern? No, not really, rather like burning traces of glycol and alchols. Should burn just as cleanly as the fuel, perhaps better.
http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedL...romPage=GetDoc

That said, I prefer electricity. The lamp sits on the shelf, looking pretty. I far person has any health or safety concerns I'll be darned if I can figure why they burn a lamp at all.
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Old 20-06-2011, 15:28   #29
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

So I read the definitions of jet fuel grades, and yes, it says that they have additives. But nowhere does it say what they are, what concentration they are, or define their toxicity.

Anyone that can help?

Cheers,

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Old 20-06-2011, 15:48   #30
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Re: Oil lamp oil?

In response to Jim, I did try to find the web site I read a few months ago re: toxic additives but couldn't find it. It is easy to find other sites that say the same thing (e.g. The Differences Between Kerosene & Jet Fuel | eHow.com) but the references given don't support the conclusion IMHO. Looking at the MSDS for most of the additives indicates that they are irritants, as is the underlying kerosene, and given the ppm concentrations I have to conclude they do not increase the toxicity in any significant way. I ran into research for the military about JP toxicity and the primary concern was inhalation of atomized fuel which can cause pneumonia in high quantities, and secondarily irritation of skin, eyes, and digestive track. But no additive concerns were mentioned, so I have to retract the warning.

As for which jet fuel to use, JP-4 is "wide-cut" and is too flammable for lamps and stoves (and military use as it turns out). It is being phased out. The modern JP-5 (Navy), JP-8 (Air Force), and A & A-1 (commercial) are all kerosene based and should work.

In the process of tracking this down I learned that "paraffin" oil (in the USA, not to be confused with the UK stuff) is a problem for wick lamps (wicks 5/8" and larger) as it reduces the capillary flow through the wick over time (see KEROSENE FUEL PRIMER for more than you would ever want to know). "Lamp oil" is similar to, if not identical to, this paraffin and will have the same result. Kerosene, which is mostly (80%+) paraffin, will also eventually reduce wick performance. Which I take to mean that after running many gallons of any of these fuels through a wick the flow (and brightness) will be reduced.

Any water in the fuel will block the wick's capillary action as well.

The above site recommends "low odor mineral spirits" for circular wick center draft lamps, with the advantage that the wick doesn't get blocked with time. However, he (and others: Kerosene Lantern Frequently Asked Questions Page) warn against using any form of mineral spirits with flat wicks as a serious fire hazard (back to kerosene).

For those of us who have multiple uses for fuel (flat wicks, circular wicks, and primus burners) I conclude that premium deodorized kerosene (paraffin in the UK) is the best bet. YMMV.
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