Originally Posted by michigander
Hope this is in the correct sub forum. I have a 2 burner Hillerange pressure (has manual pump
like a Coleman on the front) stove. I know the last owner never used it and I donít think the previous owner did either as it looks like new (itís the original stove in Ď85 Oíday 28). In researching I see quite a bit of negative regarding the safety
. Can I learn to use it safely and can anyone offer specific instructions or links to do so? Iíd rather give it a chance before looking at replacement options. Thanks for any help!
I got used to the pressure alcohol stove in my C&C
while I still had that.
The biggest problem is flare ups. Keep a spray bottle with water
handy. If the alcohol is diluted enough, the boiling water
as it burns will cool it down and you can control the flare ups. If you add about 1 part water to 4 parts
alcohol it will cease to burn entirely. This makes it easy to put out in an emergency
Ideally youíll never have a flare up, but you have to start it right. Get a separate container for alcohol that you will use for preheating. I used a small stainless oil
spray can. I sprayed about a tablespoon of the fuel
alcohol into the preheating cup below the burner and then used a long butane jet lighter to ignite the alcohol. I waited until the flames were nearly dying out, then put the burner on low with a pot over it (mostly to shade the flame so it could be seen).
If the preheating flame died out before I got it lit, I would add a little more (less than a teaspoon) of alcohol to the preheating cup before lighting
Some people use a propane
blowtorch to preheat, but keep in mind that whatever the choice... The burners stay off until individually preheated and lit.
If you donít preheat a burner, alcohol will spill of the burner head
, then out of the preheating cup. At this point it will really flare up, and cover your whole stove top with flame. If the burner still hasnít been turned off it will continue to spill and possibly youíll loose control of the flame. Itís just a race
to figure if itíll overflow the oven
too, start a fire, or heat the burner up enough to start working.
For small flare ups, where alcohol was beginning to spill out of the cup, I would simply turn the burner off and spray off the cabin
walls above the stove to prevent it from heating
up and warping. If the flare ups made me uncomfortable - my only choice was to douse the flame.
Sometimes smaller flare ups would occur if the tank was running out. So be vigilant.
The flames are impossible to see in bright sunlight. So shading the area is vital for safety.
My wife was able to light the stove well after being shown 2-3 times and freaking out slightly the first time she messed up.
The flames made the boat
a bit damp in winter, but thatís not unique to alcohol.
Finally a note about stove fuel
. Methanol is toxic to some degree and is used in stove fuels. Avoid breathing excessive amounts of it. Keep the galley
well ventilated until the range is up to temp. The fumes can sting your eyes. Granted there is a wide variety in quality of fuel alcohol. I think having it to do over again thatís the only thing I would change - I would get better alcohol with less methanol.
If my boat
had an alcohol stove in it now, I would not replace it. After getting used to it, which takes some practice I think itís inherently safer than propane
. Thatís definitely an unpopular opinion these days.
Theyíre difficult to use, and I think most of the safety issues are user error.