Troubleshooting part 2
The fast burning wick and sooting problems
The wick burns too fast because it is used as a fuel, instead of transporting the oil to the flame.
So it’s either the wick or the fuel that causes the problem.
Fast burning wick
1. First, the wick is probably to stuffed with solidified paraffin and the capillary function is not working sufficient. That’s why the flame uses the wick as fuel. This is often indicated by a greenish colour of the wick. Don’t try to clean the wick with water or chemicals, paraffin is not only insolvable in water, but rinsing the cotton will only decrease the capillary action.
2. The second option is that you use the wrong oil. The oil burns at a temperature too high, caused by an oil with an inappropriate flame point. A hotter flame needs more oxygen and more fuel. But if this exceeds the burners limits, the wick cannot transport enough oil up to the flame anymore. This causes the flame to burn the wick as a fuel instead. Often combined with a unsteady flame.
3. The third option is using an aftermarket wick. Wick sizes are indicated in width only and if you have the right size it looks okay. However thickness is also very important. If it is too thin, the burner lets gasses escape causing the flame to puff. Too thick and the wick swells up by the oil and pinches itself in the burner thus it cannot transport enough oil. Therefore we advise you to always use wicks approved by the manufacturer. Another key factor besides the right size is a good quality cotton to ensure a good capillary function.
1. Sooting or smoking can have different reasons. The main problem is often caused by using the wrong oil. The oil that is best for oil lamps is purified clear paraffin (in the US called kerosene, but not the Jet type kerosene) which burns odourless. If a cheap lamp oil is used, it often contains sulphur and other contamination. When the contamination is burned, it produces the soot and/or odour.
2. Another option is that the wick burns to fast and a fast burning wick produces soot. Because, as described above, the wick is used as a fuel
3. The last option is that the air supply is blocked by dead bugs or dirt. A blocked air supply causes an insufficient burning, which in turn causes soot.
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