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Discussion Starter #1
First off, let me say I've been lurking for a while but finally made an account. You guys are so helpful and so full of information. I'm hoping I can get some help here.

Bear with me this is my first post.

I have a few oil lamps, with the glass chimneys that I've been using for a few years and never had a problem, fill with lamp oil, light, and cover back up and the flame stays right where I put it for hours.

Recently, I picked up a cheap walmart lantern, the old hurricane lantern style, filled it with kerosene and read the instructions a few times to give it time to soak, and lit it up. Everything is good, no wick burns, no problem. About an hour later, I see the flame get bigger out of the corner of my eye, I go to turn it down and get no response from the knob so I blow it out and put it up for a few days while I research. I found nothing, so I thought I'd come here and inquire. I'm using standard 1/2 inch wick, with crown brand kerosene.

Just a few minutes ago, I tried it again, making sure the wick was not too high and kept a dead close eye on it, making sure everything is in place and sitting as it should and it happened again, this time in about 15 minutes. It's not overfilled and everything was sealed so I'm just not sure what's going on for sure. My brain is saying flare up, but I'm new so I dont know for sure.

I guess what my questions are is

1) is this normal? Some places I'm reading is that when it's up to temp, the flame will get a little bigger and start to burn a little bigger and brighter but that's normal. Others are saying if you have no control over the flame by the knob, it's a dangerous situation, which is the way I'm leaning.

2) would it be the flash point of the kerosene? Its crown brand k1 kerosene. Supposed to be 150 degrees flash point but again, I'm getting conflicting answers and I cant find an accurate msds on the stuff.

3) is it a bad idea to mix lamp oil and kerosene until the flash point is raised enough where it doesnt do that? Maybe a 50/50 mix?

Thank you so much in advance for all your wisdom, I'm new to the kerosene thing and I would really like to try it out without having to worry about my lamp exploding or burning out of control. Thank you again for even reading all of this.
 

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I've never had it happen with mine. But mine are older than I am. Since you don't have an issue with your other lamps I would be pointing a finger at the lamp being the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The other lamps I have are the walmart type with the glass chimneys and burn lamp oil exclusively. It's a weird issue. I'm not exactly new to the whole lamp thing, but kerosene is a new fuel for me. I wish I had access to the old lamps but around here they either are impossible to find or people know the value of one in a storm and are unwilling to part with them so I'm stuck with starting a whole new collection. Everything I read on them was that it may leak, well I can solve that with some solder and a little time and patience, but if it's a run away lamp issue within 15 minutes, I just cant trust it until I have this problem beat without a doubt.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I need to try that. Everything is still in factory bottles and everything so it shouldn't be contaminated by gas or anything like that. Thank you for your help,I'll be sure to update this thread as testing is done so we can try to narrow it down.
 

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Did the lamp instructions say you can use kerosene in the lamp?
Does the knob move the wick up and down while the lamp is burning?
It could be that once the wick holder gets warm it loosens up and won't move the wick down.
I never used kerosene in my lamps, just lamp oil.

While researching your problem I found that paraffin crystalizes over time. I may have a problem. I haven't used those lamps in years.
 

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I use K1 kerosene in our Aladdin lamps. Once lit, the flame gets brighter and brighter until fully warmed up, which takes several minutes. Sometimes, it gets too bright which results in carbon collecting on the mantle. Consequently, I start the lamps with very little wick showing and then raise the wick after the lamp has warmed up.

It's kind of like building a fire in the woodstove. The draw/draft is low when you first start the fire. Once the wood has been burning a while, and the chimney is heated up, the draft will be much greater.
 
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If You get no response when You turn the knob down, You may have a faulty/stripped wick raiser?
 

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I am guessing maybe bad wick. Remember they dont really think anybody is going to use these, sold more for a decoration. Try a replacement wick for regular lamp. One meant for actual use. If you need it narrower, you can trim it. I lived with kerosene lamps for a decade in 80s. Used the glass ones. Had one of those hurricane ones but it didnt put out near as much light. Oh and little trick, trim top of wick in an "M" shape. You get more light since you have two flames.

Honest after moving to place with electric in 1990, hadnt used kerosene until I tried in Feb 2009, the mother of all ice storms, electric down full month. Price of kerosene had zoomed and became clear it cost more buy kerosene than to use Dcell batteries and LEDs. Lot less hassle too. If I were living off grid, then would invest in some storage batteries and couple solar panels. Those older kerosene lamps didnt give off lot light. You get about same light buying half dozen of those $2 solar path marker lights. Put them out in sun during day, bring them in arranged in cluster for several hours light, no fuel needed. Probably get most light if you remove the diffusers inside house. You can replace the el cheapo rechargable AA cells in them with higher quality rechargable AA and they will provide light all night.
 
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