In this article, we will go through how a kerosene heater works, what are the common problems, and how to deal with them.
Well, before checking your heater, many areas in the world ban kerosene heaters because they have been associated with residential fires occurring every year. For that reason, make sure that your area allows you to use one. And for the sake of your safety, you need to follow all the safety guides strictly. Be careful while replacing the kerosene and store your kerosene jug in a safe place away from children or pets.
How do they work?
Different from an electric space heater, K-1 kerosene is the fuel of a kerosene heater. After pumping your kerosene into the heater’s tank, a wick then drains the kerosene from the tank and leads it to the other end of the cord. Here, kerosene is heated and ignited for combustion. Burn the kerosene to generate heat. You can controll the heat by turning the wick adjustment at the front of your heater. Kerosene heaters use a fan to distribute warm air all over the room (radiant heating).
Radiant heating means that the heat will be blown directly toward objects and people standing in front of the heater, unlike convection heating which will heat the air around the room. This is also the reason why kerosene heaters are more dangerous, compared to other heaters. However, modern models now have a combination of both convection and radiant heating, so that the warm air is distributed more evenly.
Usually, it takes a long time to light up an old kerosene heater. There are times that the heater will stop working. So the most common problems of a kerosene heater lie in the wick for its responsible for igniting the fuel: the heater will not light up, the flame dies frequently, or something sticks to the cord adjustment.
Other problems are its smell and smoke while burning, being not hot enough because of your unclean heater. In that case, you would need to disassemble the parts and clean your heater accordingly.
Attention: if your heater produces some weird smell or if it makes strange noise or similar problems, you need to turn it off immediately. These problems are relative to the fuel (maybe you have used the wrong kerosene or if you mix your kerosene with other liquid. Problems with fuel are severe as it may break or cause your heater to explode. In the long term, it is also harmful to use such a heater.
Tools for repairing your heater
To check a kerosene heater, you should carry out a few steps. These are the regulations for the sake of your safety, so do not forget them.
You need to turn your heater off and take it outside. Take out the kerosene tank before doing anything.
You should also place some rags under the heater to prevent kerosene from spilling on the ground or the floor.
Wear a pair of gloves while working with kerosene and your heater.
You should store your kerosene inside of the jug you purchased from the store and should not mix it with other liquid.
Prepare: your manual, appropriate screwdrivers, toothbrush, rags, new parts (wick, air filter), so on, depending on what you are fixing.
Kerosene Heater Repair: Solution to common problems
Heater will not light: fill the fuel tank. If the tanked is already full, discard the remaining kerosene in the tank and replace it with newer kerosene. If you store a kerosene for more than three months, it may cause malfunctions in your heater.
Also, you would need to disassemble your heater to check if the wick and automatic igniter are still working. You may need to adjust their position, so that the igniter makes contact with the top of the candle.
Many stores sell kerosene heaters’ wick so you could buy a new one if needed.
The flame flickers continuously or dies: Dust or water can clog your system. When was the last time you clean your heater? Simply follow the cleaning instruction. Your air filter and your wick shall be clean by a toothbrush until they are free from dust and reliable kerosene. Leave them dry under the sun and place them back. They will work well now.
Also, a dirty heater is very hazardous, and it looks ugly. You will not be able to feel comfortable using it.
There is smoke and strange smell, noises: The kerosene might have some problems. You need to clean it off the whole system. Discard of old kerosene if they are more than half a year old. Only use new kerosene you got from the store. You should not store your kerosene in a can that previously used to store gasoline or other stuff. Make sure that the wick, the fan, and air filter are clean and free from dust.
If the wick is damaged or it cannot be adjusted, you can only buy a new one from the store and replace it.
A kerosene heater is a cost-saving option during the cold and dark days. But make sure to take good care of it. Also, to make sure you can handle any sudden situations, learn how to do kerosene heater repair.