• Controlling fuel costs, having a toastier heat and a mobile heat source are a few reasons why people use kerosene heaters. A contaminated wick diminishes the efficiency of the heat and emits an odor. Miles Stair's Wick Shop says the wick is the heart of the kerosene heater. No matter how old or how new a kerosene heater is, problems arise if the wick is dirty and the replacement wick is too thin.

    When to Replace the Wick

    Miles Stair's Wick Shop says wick replacement is needed when the wick is thin and ragged and burns with a ragged-edged flame; the flame doesn't curl around the top plate of the catalytic converter, the heater is hard to start, even after a dry burn, the wick is hard, not supple and the wick burns irregularly at an uneven height. Each time you change the wick at the beginning of the heating season, Miles Stair's Wick Shop suggests it be "dry burned" to increase the heater's efficiency. Take the heater into a well-ventilated area, and pour one qt. of kerosene in the tank. Leave for 30 minutes so the wick can get thoroughly soaked. Set the wick at the maximum height and ignite it. Leave the wick in this position until the burner is red, and one inch flames shoot from the top of the burner. Let it burn until the flames die out.

    How to Replace the Wick

    To replace the wick, start with a cool stove and remove the fuel tank, batteries, knobs and levers. Open the grill, and remove the catalytic converter. Unscrew the cabinet retaining screws. Tilt the cabinet towards you to remove it from the base. If the heater has a windshield, remove it. If the ignition unit is attached to the assembly, unscrew it and set it aside on the base. Loosen the wing nuts holding the wick adjuster assembly to the base, and remove it. Mark the wick to be removed with a black line completely around the top edge. Miles Stair's Wick Shop says to fold the wick inward to remove it from the inner wick holder sleeve. Loosen it from the sharp teeth holding it in place, and slide it out. The replacement wick should already have a black line around it. Make sure the line for the old wick and the new wick are the same height from the top; if not, draw a new line. Insert the new wick into the sleeve with the black line above the top of the sleeve. Press it smooth and into the sharp teeth to keep it in place. Slide the wick and sleeve back onto the draft tube. The wick should slide with ease within the center of the draft tube. Reassemble the heater, making sure all the screws and knobs are in place, and fill the tank with kerosene. Wait at least 20 minutes before lighting the heater, so the newly installed wick becomes saturated.


    Miles Stair's Wick Shop: Kerosene Heater Wick Replacement

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