kero problem

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poppa
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kero problem

#1

Post by poppa »

I have four kerosene lanterns. Three 639 and a 201 converted from a 200A. A member requested a light up and I chose my 200a kero and one of the 639. I had burned them both less than two weeks before. I had used up my kero on my last burning so I went to my building where I had five gallons from tractor supply stored. The five gallon had never been opened and got close to a gallon in a gallon jug. My lanterns were 1/4 to 1/2 full so I topped them off with the new kero from tractor supply. I might add both keros were Crown 1K. I had a little trouble lighting up but not bad. I hung the lanterns up on my patio and would check on them every hour or so. After about four hours and the 201 was out and the 639 was burning a little dim with a small yellow flame inside the mantel. I checked pump pressure and it was good, I turned the pricker and it flamed up so I shut it down. I checked the generators and the were so gummed up they had to be completely rebuilt. I got two pint canning jars and pored the fuel form the founts into separate jars. The fuel looked like weak beer. I got another jar and went to my five gallon can and it looked like moonshine, clear as could be. I think my problem was that the fuel that was in the lanterns had gone bad and I added good fuel on top of it. Since this happened I pour what kero I have left in the founts out and put a little CF in the fount and rinse it out and pour that out. Before I fill my founts with kero when I am going to use them I take a quart fruit jar and fill it with fuel and check to make sure it looks good before I put it in the lantern. I had no idea that kerosene was so bad to condensate in cold weather until I read about it in the archives. I have read posts where people would empty a fount after using and put in fresh fuel when they were going to use the lantern again. I always thought that was a waste of fuel but doing that defiantly has merit especially with kerosene.........poppa
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hikerduane
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Re: kero problem

#2

Post by hikerduane »

My 1K kero gets discolored even after brief usage of my small stoves. Heat, kero cleaning out the fount on a old stove? Hmm! I fire up some of my tons of kero stoves now and then and have been using a small can to pour off used fuel into so I can use it first, then if more kero is needed to fill a fount more, then will use kero from my main container.
Duane
Duane-All seasons, year round backpacker and camper.  So many stoves and lanterns, who's counting.
poppa
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Re: kero problem

#3

Post by poppa »

Duane thanks for your post. I am by no means experienced with kero as most of you. I am just trying to figure out what happened. Not only was my kero discolored but it had tiny bubbles rising from the bottom to the top of the jar...poppa
zoomkat
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Re: kero problem

#4

Post by zoomkat »

" Not only was my kero discolored but it had tiny bubbles rising from the bottom to the top of the jar."

The actual makeup of the "kerosene" might be needed if there were no contaminants in the containers/lanterns in the use chain. There are known issues with the storage and breakdown of organic components in "bio diesel" fuel. If their are also organic materials now being used in kerosene, then similar things might happen.
MYN927
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Re: kero problem

#5

Post by MYN927 »

In my opinion:- Once the lantern has been operating, some of the kero that rised to the generator would actually be pushed back down to the fount in continuous cycles. Not all of them get vaporized via the gas nipple orifice. Well, it'll start to thermally breakdown while dwelling in the heated generator, with excess being cycled back to the fount.
So what's left in the fount after use would be partially decomposed fuel. The color will get darker too. Its more prevalent with kero because of the ease of thermal breakdown as compared to lighter fueĺs such CF.
I would suggest filtering the excess kero before re-use. You'd be surprised of the amount of slight-gummy residues and perhaps some soot particles left behind.
Things might improve to some extents if you have some brass mesh in the generator to arrest as much as possible any residues as well as impeding the backflow/pulsing cycles.
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Leviticus_Tomethreus
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Re: kero problem

#6

Post by Leviticus_Tomethreus »

Interesting information here. Get some wickies to burn old kero. They love it.
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poppa
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Re: kero problem

#7

Post by poppa »

I thank each of you for the information. There is no substitute for experience. I have been burning kero lanterns for a couple of years and never really had any problems until this happened. It kind of rattled my cage and I did not know what it was or how to fix it.....poppa
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JimL
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Re: kero problem

#8

Post by JimL »

Coleman kero lanterns run just fine on Coleman/Crown fuel. I wonder if adding a little CF would help with your issue. Since I don't use kero lanterns as much during the winter months, I switch them over to CF in the fall, but that's because I don't want to store them with kero for long periods. You're using yours so concerns of storage in a lantern doesn't apply.
-Jim

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Phredd
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Re: kero problem

#9

Post by Phredd »

Jim

Would use of an Amish mix help with longer storage?

Kevin

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Masseyhouse
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Re: kero problem

#10

Post by Masseyhouse »

Greeting
Good Question Phredd,
As my questions is along the same Lines.
What is best practice for long term storage?
Or Perhaps the most successful? :D
Drain?
Add some % of CF?
Both?
Run it every 6 months?
All of the Above???
I use my 200A converted to Kerosene as part of our Hurricane prep / recovery.
Living near Pensacola Florida, we do get the occasional Hurricane.
So it sits more then it is used.
Thanks to all for their input.
Last edited by Masseyhouse on Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deacon Jeff at Masseyhouse@yahoo.com
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JimL
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Re: kero problem

#11

Post by JimL »

>>Would use of an Amish mix help with longer storage?

I haven't tried it and likely won't because I prefer to store my kero lanterns with straight CF. I haven't experienced your issues, but do suspect it may help with your situation. If you have some CF, I think it's worth a shot.

I had some jet fuel in a gallon can turning a straw color once. It burned fine, but had me concerned about long term storage in a lantern and is why I began switching to CF in the fall. If I used my kero's regularly during the colder months, I would leave the kero in there because it would be getting consumed and refilled.
-Jim

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Chucker
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Re: kero problem

#12

Post by Chucker »

Not sure if an Amish mix would last longer in storage and probably wouldn't keep it from turning color while burning. HOWEVER, the lower flash point of CF will help keep the lantern's running longer and the gen's cleaner.

CF does not cure every ill found with kero's but it noticeably helps. PLEASE, never use an Amish mix with the non-positive shut-off Euro Style (Petromax/Vapalux, etc) lanterns.

I had an NRV fail then shoot fuel up the pump tube as it lit from the mantle. It was an Australian Aladdin 1A with Amish mix and flaming fuel blew past my right ear and hit a plastic box hanging behind me catching it on fire. I had a fire extinguisher so it was a happy ending.

Careful to use up kero in plastic containers within 6 months (estimate). If you want long-term kero storage you'll want metal cans or barrels. Apparently the plastic will "breathe" as the temps rise and fall making it "stale"?
Chuck
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JimL
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Re: kero problem

#13

Post by JimL »

Chuck makes a good point about not storing in a plastic container. My kero that turned straw color was in a CF can, but admittedly was maybe up to two years old.
-Jim

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