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Old 19-09-2013, 23:01   #1
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Primus white gas stove?????

I had dinner on a friends boat last night and he had a Primus stove that he used Coleman fuel in. He primed it by letting a little fuel into the cup, and let it heat up the burner. It scared the hell out of me. Seemed like way too high a flame for priming, but when it finally burned down and lit the burner, it seemed fine. I always thought that Primus stoves were all kerosene. Did Primus sell white gas stoves that look just like all of the kerosene stoves I have seen, or is my friend playing with a potential bomb? White gas makes me nervous in a cabin. ____Grant??????.
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Old 20-09-2013, 00:30   #2
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Re: Primus white gas stove?????

I haven't found heating a kerosene burner any different than a white gas burner. Maybe he over primed the cup? I also prefer using methyl alcohol rather than white gas to heat up the burner, its tamer.

White gas isn't any more dangerous than propane. Both have the potential of blowing up your boat if not handled correctly.
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Old 20-09-2013, 02:40   #3
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Re: Primus white gas stove?????

It would be a lot less dramatic if he primed his stove with meths
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Old 20-09-2013, 04:08   #4
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Re: Primus white gas stove?????

Haven't used white gas for many many years but it is a reasonable fuel source and IMO probably somewhat less dangerous than gas when handled incorrectly.

It should take a less priming than kerosene and some white gas set-ups have none or next to none priming.
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Old 20-09-2013, 06:09   #5
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Re: Primus white gas stove?????

I believe I am correct in saying there are two types of stoves....kero and gas. Similar but different.

Kero uses alcohol or spirits to prime it and kero for fuel.

Gas stoves use a wee bit of the gas fuel for the priming.

Fuel is NOT interchangeable between stoves. Each stove is fine for the intended fuel. Don't get them confused.

I have a kero stove and bulkhead heater on each boat.

I also have a gas backup stove on one boat, and carry some Colman fuel for that.

IIRC you may be able to prime a gas stove simply by warming the tank with your hands. Causes expansion forcing gas out of orrifice.
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Old 20-09-2013, 06:52   #6
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In the back packing market there are multi fuel stoves which will burn most common liquid fuels. For some you have to change the jet to match the fuel type. They are also very compact. I keep one in my ditch bag.

Re priming. With kerosene or diesel a good hot prime is important. The dramatic flames are not an issue as long as you dont have flammable materials too close...they will only last as long as the small amount of fuel in the primimg cup and they sure beat big plumes of soot from an inadequate prime...the flares that can result from this are potentially more dangerous than the flames from priming. There are priming pastes which burn hot but less dramatically, but are less readily available. If the flames freak you out, then you can prime with a small butane torch...just the vaporization tube that needs to be good and hot...exact temp depends on fuel but generally more for diesel/kerosene and less for more refined fuels.
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Old 20-09-2013, 10:10   #7
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Re: Primus white gas stove?????

The reason I asked the question is that in my youth I used lots of Coleman stoves, and was told that kerosene would not work in them. I never tried kerosene so maybe the advice was wrong. I have one of the small multi fuel stoves, and my understanding of it, is that you can use coleman fuel, white gas or auto fuel. All three of these fuels are very similar , while kerosene is much less volatile. My real worry watching my friend was the curtains above the stove, but I never allowed gasoline below decks on my own boat, so I dont think I want coleman fuel either. I agree that priming with alcohol is much tamer. I always used Tilly wicks to prime my kerosene stove, which was easier. I still have doubts that white gas in a kerosene stove is a good idea. Maybe I will learn something new? _______Grant.
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Old 20-09-2013, 11:31   #8
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Unless the stove is designed for it, or you change out the jets, I think it could be a problem to use the wrong fuel type. Probably not a dangerous problem, but I suspect it wont perform optimally.
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Old 21-10-2013, 09:56   #9
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Re: Primus white gas stove?????

I like the old Primus kerosene stoves, or "roarers" as they are affectionately called. The Indians in Ecuador used to use gas in them, but blowups were fairly common. Also, the tiny Svea 123 is a good backup, and perhaps the best backpacking stove, particularly at high altitudes. It looks like a small roarer, but burns white gas or Coleman fuel.

To prime a stove for either gas or alcohol, I like to use Sterno, which is really gelled alcohol.

It stays put better in a moving boat, and the cans seal nicely, If the can is upset, the Sterno doesn't go anywhere.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:06   #10
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Re: Primus white gas stove?????

My old Primus single burner uses White Gas as its fuel. Priming, or pre-heating the burner is a bit of an art form for these older "pack stoves". Can be very entertaining to watch the uninitiated learn provided they are out doors and away from flamable objects.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:25   #11
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Re: Primus white gas stove?????

Dumb question; What is "white gas"? Is it propane? And Coleman gas? Is that a brand of propane ? If it is propane, is this a European thing? Or an Aussie thing? Or could it be butane? Just curious
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:17   #12
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Re: Primus white gas stove?????

White Gas and Coleman fuel are both naphtha based liquid fuels.
Coleman - How to Choose a Fuel

Coleman also markets propane gas appliances & fuels.

See also, Mike Buckler's “International Fuel Names”

http://fuel.papo-art.com/
http : //fuel.papo-art.com/

http://fuel.papo-art.com/#tableoffuelnames
http :// fuel.papo-art.com/#tableoffuelnames
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:25   #13
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Primus white gas stove?????

Huh, I've never encountered it. (White gas, I know the coleman camping stuff tho) I gotta get out more Thanks Gord!
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:06   #14
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Re: Primus white gas stove?????

Red gallon can of Coleman camp fuel from Walmart...white gas. There are other brands, but the Coleman stuff has been a staple for my family for going on three generations. I have my Dad's old Primus (REALLY OLD PRIMUS) and my kids used it...ONCE. They bought a new tent shifted to disposable 8 ounce propane cans after that.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:49   #15
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Re: Primus white gas stove?????

Unleaded gas works in Coleman stoves and lanterns, though it gives off nasty fumes, especially high test.

60 years ago, we were using Amoco lead free high test gasoline, and it worked fine, then and now.

Some white gas coleman products can be used with kerosene if preheated, but it shortens generator life.

Coleman makes kerosene pressure lanterns. You can tell them by model number, or by the little priming cup at the bottom of the generator tube.

If you use Coleman products, their main retail store is in Foley Alabama, near Fairhope, below Mobile. They have lots of parts, and it is a good place to stock up on spares.

My kerosene stoves work well at the higher settings, but do poorly on low heats. The compromise is to use medium heat, with a flattened 16 ounce beer can to tame the flame.

Depending on the fuel, you are right to be concerned with stoves in the cabin, depending on the fuel. But my concern would be more with fumes than explosions. In 50 years of white gas and kerosene use, I have yet to see an explosion.
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