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Old 01-21-2010, 09:48 AM
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Default Kerosene or lamp oil?



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We have a couple of those (mostly decorative I think) lamps with the glass bottom and chimney. They have been empty for years and before that we had that coloured lamp oil which costs way too much at Wallyworld. I'm wondering what the major differences between oil and kerosene are, and which would be preferable to purchase and stash away?
Old 01-21-2010, 09:51 AM
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Lamp oil smells much better burning in your house
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:01 AM
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If you monitor your wick, modern kero burns ok without too much smell or smoke.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:30 AM
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kerosene burns fine in these lamps.

however, the smoke is bad and the fumes are worse

i set one of mine up with white kerosene the other day to see how it worked out. i left it in a spare bedroom and i can still smell it every time i go in there. the kerosene just being in the lamp smells strong in a room. it puts off massive amounts of smoke when you put it out so i would suggest putting it out...outside. otherwise, burns fine.

it is too bad that good odorless/smokeless lamp oil is so friggin expensive.

maybe this thread should be about finding the best price for online bulk purchase of said oil
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:38 AM
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my experience is that kerosene gums up wicks much faster than lamp oil.
liquid paraffin is far superior to regular kerosene.
Old 01-21-2010, 11:22 AM
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I use clear lamp oil. Not much smell to it. I picked up several 64oz bottles at Walmart for $3.97 I think it was.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:51 AM
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Our local Wal-Marts recently stopped selling lamp oil. A few days ago my wife drug me to a home decorating store that is closing. I found 32 oz. bottles of lamp oil marked down to $1 each. I bought the last twelve bottles they had.
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandma View Post
We have a couple of those (mostly decorative I think) lamps with the glass bottom and chimney. They have been empty for years and before that we had that coloured lamp oil which costs way too much at Wallyworld. I'm wondering what the major differences between oil and kerosene are, and which would be preferable to purchase and stash away?
Most store bought "lamp oil" is nothing but deodorized kerosene anyway, with a little fragrance and color. It might have a little methanol added to make it burn cleaner. You can add that to plain kerosene and get the same effect. Even if it says liquid paraffin on the bottle, it's usually kerosene. Liquid paraffin is mineral oil and it smells like hot candle wax when you extinguish it. If it smells like kerosene when you extinguish it, then that's what it is. Regular kerosene will burn fine in your lamps. You can get a clean burn additive for it, but it's just methanol (sometimes with fragrance added).

You might price deodorized kerosene in the paint section of the hardware store to see how it compares. To make it burn cleaner, add an ounce or so of methanol per gallon.
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:23 PM
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There used to be a candle factory not to far from where I lived and they had an outlet store. You could get tons of good huge candles and lamp light oil for a song. I went once and it was fill a paper grocery bag with whatever you want for 10 bucks. Y'all should look around for a place like that. I've got candles out the yin yang now!! LOL
Old 01-21-2010, 08:06 PM
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+1 what MikeK said.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:42 AM
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We use a pressurized fuel lantern.

It burns kerosene or oil. It makes no visible smoke and no detectable smell.

They do cost more, however the light they put out is really bright. One hanging over our kitchen table allows us to have a dinner party and everyone has enough light to read by.

Our lantern is made by Petromax.
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:49 AM
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Thanks for all the replies; now, further to the previous...I know various cooking oils have different burn temperatures, and was wondering if these could be used as a fuel in my lamps. In my pantry are several kinds of oils which are used for cooking; could older oil be used in the lamps? I currently have larger amounts of olive oil, and less of sunflower oil...is either better? I'd try them out myself, but don't want to gum up the wick; has anyone actually used either? I remember many years ago making a button lamp to show my (then) young daughter...
Old 01-23-2010, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandma View Post
Thanks for all the replies; now, further to the previous...I know various cooking oils have different burn temperatures, and was wondering if these could be used as a fuel in my lamps. In my pantry are several kinds of oils which are used for cooking; could older oil be used in the lamps? I currently have larger amounts of olive oil, and less of sunflower oil...is either better? I'd try them out myself, but don't want to gum up the wick; has anyone actually used either? I remember many years ago making a button lamp to show my (then) young daughter...
1- Old style [Biblical] lamps used veggie oil to burn, and they make a lot of smoke.

2- Later mankind moved toward glass lamps that use a chimney; higher efficiency is seen and less smoke is made.

3- The ultimate in burning veggie oil is a pressurized system with a 'regulator'. The liquid is under pressure, and pumped into a heated pipe. In that pipe it heats up to above it's vapour flash point. As a vapour in a gaseous state it moves to a orifice where it is sprayed out into a mantle.

Hot, under pressure in a gaseous state and sprayed into a mantle is the most efficient system known to man for converting volatile oils into heat and light.

In such a system any volatile liquid can be used.

As you move back down to more primitive lamps, you will see more soot, more smoke and less heat / light.

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Old 01-23-2010, 11:17 AM
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there are differnt grades of kerosene make sure you get K-1 its the best grade and will have the less smoke and fumes

i would mainly use the lamp oil and get 5gal of kerosene as back up
Old 01-23-2010, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandma View Post
Thanks for all the replies; now, further to the previous...I know various cooking oils have different burn temperatures, and was wondering if these could be used as a fuel in my lamps. In my pantry are several kinds of oils which are used for cooking; could older oil be used in the lamps? I currently have larger amounts of olive oil, and less of sunflower oil...is either better? I'd try them out myself, but don't want to gum up the wick; has anyone actually used either? I remember many years ago making a button lamp to show my (then) young daughter...
You can't use vegetable oil in standard oil lamps. They're designed for lighter, thinner petroleum distillate. You can buy or make "olive oil" lamps though. They'll burn vegetable oils of all sorts. They're essentially just a wick and a bowl, so they're pretty easy to make. Those small "oil candle" type lamps might work with vegetable oil. I've never tried it though. Google "olive oil lamp" and you'll get an idea of what you need.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:16 PM
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I was experimenting a few weeks ago with Olive Oil and Pure corn oil. Mostly I dd it out of curiosity and just "wonder if it would work.. and how" kinda things.

I took a wick that would be used for a regular hurricane lamp (about 6 inches long and half an inch wide) and cut it into 3 long strips. I then got a potpourri bowl that I wasn't using, and placed a 1/2 cup of oil in it. The oil was short about a half inch on the sides of the bowl. I laid the three wicks in the bowl with them sticking out about a 1/4 of an inch of the oil and laying on the side of the bowl. I lit them up and.. voila.. had a flame about the size of a candle in three spots. Good enough to read by and maybe warm some foods up if held over it lol. (going to experiment with that later.).

With everything I read.. nearly everyone made some kind of a stand for the wicks to hold them out of the oil. I was also concerned that the oil would catch on fire. Another concern I had was with soot or smell.

What I discovered...:
As long as the oil stays relatively cool... it's not going to flash fire... But I still only burned it in a metal (glass would work too) with a small tray under it "Just in case". With the three wicks I had .. it was not a problem I found.

Soot... If the wick is too far out of the oil... it starts smoking and sooting all over the place and destroys the wick. Based on my concern about a flash fire.. I kept the wick high. But I discovered the oil will actually put the wick flame out if it's too low in the oil. So.. after dinking around with it.. I found that if the wick was about 1/4 of an inch out of the oil.. that was enough to prevent it from dousing itself out. Play around with it a bit and you will see what I mean. I used to pencil to move the wick around back and forth in the oil to get it just right :P (Like I said.. about that of a candle flame).

As long as it wasn't smoking.. I had no real issue with smell. The Olive oil burned cleaner in my experience.. the corn oil burned with a small.. french fry smell. Not overwhelming.. just a faint hint of it.

1/2 half cup of oil burned for nearly 7 hours with the three wicks. it was the same for both Corn and Olive oil.

Anyway... hope that helps out someone with some info I discovered. I am mulling over trying it in one of my hurricane lamps. I was searching the web to see if anyone else did this and what results they had. But this thread was the closest I came to anything. My concern with my lamp is that I'm unable to really access the reservoir to clean it thoroughly. Thinking about just buying an $8 one at wally world lol. Anyway. happy hunting all!
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:22 PM
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I have a couple of typical flat wick glass bottom kerosene lamp with stale fuel I need to clean out anyway. I'll try canola in one and see how it goes...

Forget wallyworld, look for old lamps at garage sales. Much better quality for much less...
Old 09-28-2012, 09:01 PM
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Jet A-1 is around $3.35/gal, if you can buy locally. Treated, it will last a long time, and doesn't have the red dye.

Also, home improvement stores will have K-1 in the paint section, but it is expensive, $7/gal.
Old 09-28-2012, 09:19 PM
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kerosene is around five bucks a gallon in NW Arkansas, if you can find it.

-bob
Old 09-28-2012, 09:25 PM
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Jet A-1 is around $3.35/gal, if you can buy locally. Treated, it will last a long time, and doesn't have the red dye.
It also has all sorts of anti gelling and anti corrosion additives. I'm not sure I'd want to burn it indoors.
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