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Old 02-01-2012, 04:34   #1
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Kerosene Stoves - Pressurized?

came across a kerosene stove/oven at a steal of a price if it is functioning, however it is pressurized kerosene... so my question is, are these like alcohol stoves where pressurized is not desired (read: dangerous) but the non pressurized ones are... do they make non pressurized kerosene stoves?

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Old 02-01-2012, 06:03   #2
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Re: kerosene stoves - pressurized?

Originally Posted by pressuredrop View Post
came across a kerosene stove/oven at a steal of a price if it is functioning, however it is pressurized kerosene... so my question is, are these like alcohol stoves where pressurized is not desired (read: dangerous) but the non pressurized ones are... do they make non pressurized kerosene stoves?
In the early '70's we had a pressurized kerosene stove aboard our (then) 41' Rhodes Reliant. The fuel was pressurized with a small pump, somewhat like a bicycle pump. The pressuized fuel was discharged through tiny spray nozzels in the burners. These would foul from time to time and require a cleaning. The stove actually worked reasonably well but the smell could be a bit much if the burners weren't kept in good order. Unpressurized stoves require a wick, just like a lamp, and do not seem to burn the fuel as cleanly as do the pressurized versions. Of course, it has been many years since our experience so my comments may not be applicable to what is available today.


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Old 02-01-2012, 06:44   #3
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Re: kerosene stoves - pressurized?

The only problem with pressurized stoves, be it alcohol or kerosene, is they form leaks at seals and joints (because they are pressurized and the seals get old etc..)

Because of this, it's recommended to have spare burners and spare parts for both the burners and stove. When something springs a leak, you may not know about it until you go to light the stove.

The pressurized alcohol stoves had a tendancy to flare up excessively when lighting. This is was mostly caused by overfilling the primer and/or not giving the primer enough time to do it's job properly. It's possible on kero stoves as well, but if you practice lighting it and get used to how it operates, it really shouldn't be a problem.

Some people suggest using an alcohol soaked 'wick' material for the primer instead of attempting to pour alcohol over the burner everytime. Seems like a good suggestion.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:59   #4
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Re: kerosene stoves - pressurized?

Speaking of which. The stove in my boat is the original Hillerange alcohol stove and oven, converted to diesel. And, I am sure kerosene would work too. I have to replace a gasket and tank control valve to try it out.

The one instruction that you might follow is to release the pressure after using it. That should help with the leak problem.
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Old 06-01-2012, 19:07   #5
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Re: kerosene stoves - pressurized?

We have two boats and I have pressurized kero in both. You do NOT want the unpressurized (wick) type. I have used that and...well, no.

I find that the kero works quite well but it takes a bit of getting used to. You need some patience.

Until you get some spare parts you will need to scrounge around to find the bits you may need.

St. Brendans Isle (yes the mail people) sells new Taylor stuff but it is pricey.

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Base Camp in the UK is a good source for spare bits but I don't think they have entire burners.

Personally I like the kero stuff. Heaters also.
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Old 07-01-2012, 16:15   #6
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Re: kerosene stoves - pressurized?

In my experience pressurized kero is not as dangerous as pressurized alcohol. A leaking system with alcohol could lead to real trouble but kero not so much so as it is not quite as volatile. Rather deal with kero flare-ups due to leaks than alcohol ones.
Had an ancient kero for a long time that was perfectly fine but was also well maintained over it's life but they can develop leaks at the connections in the piping , the burners can sometimes need replacement (new ones go for about 75 usd each) and if burners are not self-cleaning can be a real pita.
Yes, you can get a burner warming pad made of fiberglass that you soak with alcohol from a little squeeze bottle for burner priming. Works fine this way and you are not getting the alcohol all over the place.
Getting clean kerosene seems to be difficult but is kind of important. Kero and Alcohol are good cleaning angents and kero is good for freeing seized turnbuckles etc. and can also be used to cut and extend good paraffin for lamps. Good stuff to have around anyway. Nigel Calders book on boat mechanical stuff has pretty thorough info on stove burner maintenance.
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Old 07-01-2012, 17:05   #7
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Re: kerosene stoves - pressurized?

I had a Force 10 diesel/kerosene in a boat some years back. It had an auxiliary pressure tank that supplied the stove and a cabin heater. This one required preheating using alcohol in a dish that was part of the burner assembly. It worked well enough but did require some maintenance . Needle valve and cleaning wires were needed always. Parts were readily available at the time but were not cheap. We used to filter the kerosene with a coffee filter to prevent burner plugs but they did carbon up once in a while. The valve that controlled the flame had a clean position which basically just drove a fine wire through the injector nozzle.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:01   #8
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Re: Kerosene Stoves - Pressurized?

Good luck finding parts for kerosine stoves these days. Outer caps burn up every 3 to 5 months, if you cook full time. If you can find them they will cost you $20 a pop. Too rich for my blood. And finding quality fuel after leaving the mainland is impossible in some places. I love my kerosine stove but after several years in the third world I wish I had what the locals use... PROPANE!
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:09   #9
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Re: Kerosene Stoves - Pressurized?

Pressurized kero stoves are quite safe, but the biggest disadvantages are required maintenance and fiddling, and IMHO everything onboard eventually develops an eau-de-kero aroma, including the food you eat. We had some good friends who were great bakers, and they were always bringing us over fresh muffins and such from their kero oven, but we had to quietly throw the stuff away when they weren't looking as the smell was too much. Some people don't seem to mind it, but we did. Also, they require a certain touch to keep running properly--they aren't just turn on and cook like a propane stove.

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