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What type of oil to use in a lampada?


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#21 Anthony Stokes

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 04:55 PM

What is lamp grade olive oil...how does it differ from food grade olive oil and EVOO?


I'm not sure either, but my wife went to a retreat with Mother Gabriella from Michigan, who said to at least, always use pure olive oil as opposed to evoo.

Subdeacon Anthony

#22 Olga

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 11:23 PM

The little wax-impregnated louminia which many people use in their household vigil lamps are less susceptible to clogging. Clogging is much more of a problem when cord wicks (wick cord looks like thick string, and it comes in reels) are used, which are the type used in church lamps. Of course, there are also people who use this type of wick in their lamps at home, and, at least where I live, cord wicks are also used in the lamps incorporated in headstones at cemeteries.

#23 James Drougas

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 05:48 AM

Oil that should be used is just the best you can afford.

Just like the woman that gave all she had, we should do the same.
Personally, I have found that a 50/50 mix of extra virgin 1st press olive oil and vegetable oil is fantastic - its burns 2 times longer and you also save $$$ with the cost of living going up etc...we should off the best we can, thats all that matters.

God bless!

#24 Robert Hegwood

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 06:25 AM

I certainly have clogging issues with my wicks. It's like a little charcoal briquet builds up at the tip of the wick. Sometimes it almost smothers the flame... other times it can double...even triple the burn rate. It doesn't seem to matter if I use EVOO (which is pricey and mostly what grocery stores sell) or regular olive oil (cheaper but harder to find in bulk). If there is a better grade to use in lampadas I would like to know what it is and where to find it.

As for wicks I've use the little wax things...which I don't like, cotton string and wicking cord. All clog on me. Someone once told me the trick to getting wicks to burn cleaner was to soak them in vinegar then let them dry. He preferred to use strings shorn from clean cotton mopheads as wicks, which he claimed worked as well or better than other wicking materials.

#25 Anthony Stokes

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:16 PM

I certainly have clogging issues with my wicks. It's like a little charcoal briquet builds up at the tip of the wick. Sometimes it almost smothers the flame... other times it can double...even triple the burn rate.



I think one trick for this is to make sure that you keep the wick short on the top. This works especially well if you don't leave your lamp lit 24 hours a day. The longer the wick (above the cork), the bigger "briquet" that will form.

Subdeacon Anthony

#26 Father David Moser

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 02:18 PM

In reading this discussion I think the fact needs to be emphasized that any oil lamp using any type of oil will build up carbon on the wick and the wick will always need trimming and cleaning at least once or twice a day (sometimes more). Different oils may affect the frequency of cleaning, but you will have to clean it for sure daily. There no way you can just "light it and forget it".

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#27 Olga

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:20 PM

I think one trick for this is to make sure that you keep the wick short on the top. This works especially well if you don't leave your lamp lit 24 hours a day. The longer the wick (above the cork), the bigger "briquet" that will form.

Subdeacon Anthony


Very true. Another reason for leaving the wick short is the soot factor. A long flame is tapered, and if you look closely, you can see the smoky soot at the top of the flame trailing upwards. A short wick produces a rounded flame, with far less soot generated, which eventually deposits itself on anything near the oil lamp, such as icons.

#28 Robert Hegwood

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 11:00 PM

Yes, a short wick keeps the flame even and sootless. Very early on in my examination of Orthodoxy I came across instructions for lampadas that said a properly trimmed wick will yield a passionless flame...drawing an iconic parallel between a burning wick or taper and the progress of our spiritual lives. Without cleaning/trimming our spiritual life become cluttered and choked off, or else it burns too fast and produces too much heat and smoke...an exhaustion of one's spiritual life that fouls every endeavor with its busyness. We want our inner life to be a passionless flame...bright, steady and clean.

#29 Olga

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 04:24 AM

Yes, a short wick keeps the flame even and sootless. Very early on in my examination of Orthodoxy I came across instructions for lampadas that said a properly trimmed wick will yield a passionless flame...drawing an iconic parallel between a burning wick or taper and the progress of our spiritual lives. Without cleaning/trimming our spiritual life become cluttered and choked off, or else it burns too fast and produces too much heat and smoke...an exhaustion of one's spiritual life that fouls every endeavor with its busyness. We want our inner life to be a passionless flame...bright, steady and clean.


Very, very good analogies! I'll have to remember them. Where did you come across this analysis?

#30 Nina

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 05:20 AM

I think one trick for this is to make sure that you keep the wick short on the top. This works especially well if you don't leave your lamp lit 24 hours a day. The longer the wick (above the cork), the bigger "briquet" that will form.

Subdeacon Anthony


This is what I do. I use the wicks shown in the photo (Greek wicks and float) and what you say Deacon Anthony is the trick. I have a small lamp container however it goes often more than a day (it depends though). I will just light a new one now and I will report how much oil is in the container that I have and also for how long it stayed on.

Wow, Robert, Olga is right that what you say is so interesting.

Another question for all: how do you dispose of the wicks and other things remaining from the oil lamp and the censer? I have a large vase with a palm and I place there what remains of the wicks and the charcoal from the censer. and overturn the earth time after time. Needless to say that is one of the best and lush plants I have and while I re-pot all my flowers, that palm has never been re-poted.

I place the glass lamp container in the dishwasher (I have a couple) when the oil in it is finished. What Robert wrote made me think: Should I wash it by hand? I just think that the high temp. in the dishwasher is better to wash the oil. Also do you first rinse it with water and throw it in a special place and then wash the lamp?

#31 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 05:50 AM

A small flame which minimises soot is especially necessary where you use those little metal three-legged incense carriers which Russians place on top of the lamp bowl.

#32 Patrick

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 12:25 PM

Please help me with my vigil lamp. I've recently switched from floating wax wicks to the cotton wicks. I put water in the bottom of my vigil lamp for a safety precaution, but it seems my wick soaks up some water. And, at a certain point, the wick goes out, even with the lamp full of oil. Then, I either can't relight the wick or it sparkles and crackles and goes out within an hour. Is there anyway to alleviate this?

#33 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 06:25 PM

Please help me with my vigil lamp. I've recently switched from floating wax wicks to the cotton wicks. I put water in the bottom of my vigil lamp for a safety precaution, but it seems my wick soaks up some water. And, at a certain point, the wick goes out, even with the lamp full of oil. Then, I either can't relight the wick or it sparkles and crackles and goes out within an hour. Is there anyway to alleviate this?


When using a longer cloth wick you really cannot use water in the bottom of the lamp, you just have to keep a closer eye on things to make sure it does not go dry. That is one reason floating wax wicks are more popular, in that respect they are safer if left unattended and the oil burns down. You simply cannot do this with a cloth wick, since it will dip into the water well before the oil is gone or even low. You might try putting wine instead of water in the bottom, but I don't know if this makes a difference. Otherwise you simply have to use nothing but oil and make sure it doesn't get too low or makes sure it is out when unattended.

Herman

#34 Patrick

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 08:51 PM

When using a longer cloth wick you really cannot use water in the bottom of the lamp, you just have to keep a closer eye on things to make sure it does not go dry. That is one reason floating wax wicks are more popular, in that respect they are safer if left unattended and the oil burns down. You simply cannot do this with a cloth wick, since it will dip into the water well before the oil is gone or even low. You might try putting wine instead of water in the bottom, but I don't know if this makes a difference. Otherwise you simply have to use nothing but oil and make sure it doesn't get too low or makes sure it is out when unattended.

Herman


Thank you, Herman, for you answer. I was afraid that this would be the answer.
I switched from the floating wax wicks because my float keeps turning upside down when refilling the lamp. Are there any wick holders that keep the same wicks but hang to the lamp like with the old believers holders?

#35 Robert Hegwood

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 08:02 PM

With respect to cleaning and disposal of waste, the only time I've had occasion to clean my lampada is if I moved. All I remember is letting it burn up as much as I could of the oil safely then pour the little remainder into my little tin of "holy trash", wiping it out with a paper towel and placing that with the holy trash as well.

As for burned out wicks and char sediments, I tend to burn them off in my incense burner and add their ash to my tin of holy trash. When my tin is full I find a place to do a simple contained and controled burn of everything then take the ashes and spead them in a place where no one is likely to walk (at least in my lifetime)...under a hedge, places like that.

#36 Angela V.

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:02 AM

This is what I do. I use the wicks shown in the photo (Greek wicks and float) and what you say Deacon Anthony is the trick. I have a small lamp container however it goes often more than a day (it depends though). I will just light a new one now and I will report how much oil is in the container that I have and also for how long it stayed on.

Wow, Robert, Olga is right that what you say is so interesting.

Another question for all: how do you dispose of the wicks and other things remaining from the oil lamp and the censer? I have a large vase with a palm and I place there what remains of the wicks and the charcoal from the censer. and overturn the earth time after time. Needless to say that is one of the best and lush plants I have and while I re-pot all my flowers, that palm has never been re-poted.

I place the glass lamp container in the dishwasher (I have a couple) when the oil in it is finished. What Robert wrote made me think: Should I wash it by hand? I just think that the high temp. in the dishwasher is better to wash the oil. Also do you first rinse it with water and throw it in a special place and then wash the lamp?


Dear Nina,

What I do when cleaning the oil lamps, I place a big plastic ice cream container under my tap, and with my icon sponge I clean the oil lamp , meanwhile my tap is trickling with hot water. The water left in my plastic tub, I place in an area in my garden in the corner so as not to get trampled on.

Angela

#37 Nina

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 07:43 PM

Dear Nina,

What I do when cleaning the oil lamps, I place a big plastic ice cream container under my tap, and with my icon sponge I clean the oil lamp , meanwhile my tap is trickling with hot water. The water left in my plastic tub, I place in an area in my garden in the corner so as not to get trampled on.

Angela


Thank you dear Angela!

#38 Josh Sundheim

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 10:14 PM

I started my first vigil lamp today. I got a box of the Greek-style wicks from my parish bookstore. So far so good. It light right up the first time. I used "Pure Olive Oil" because I heard it burns better than "Extra Virgin Olive Oil." I've heard the stuff called "Light Olive Oil" burns even better, but Wal-Mart was out of it when I picked up the oil.

Does anyone scent their oil? I've seen oil for sale from monasteries that had rose oil mixed into it and was wondering if anyone had made their own for home use?

#39 Nina

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 05:07 AM

Does anyone scent their oil? I've seen oil for sale from monasteries that had rose oil mixed into it and was wondering if anyone had made their own for home use?


Scented oil is an interesting idea, and a new one for me. I would like to hear more about it, although I like olive oil pure and scent the dwelling with incense. Although I am opened to the idea. Maybe the scented vigil lamp oil serves as an aromatherapuetic?

#40 Father David Moser

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 05:20 AM

Does anyone scent their oil? I've seen oil for sale from monasteries that had rose oil mixed into it and was wondering if anyone had made their own for home use?


This is the only scented oil that I found and it is not for burning in the vigil lamp but rather to be added to the blessed oil used for anointing (such as that blessed at Litia or oil taken from the lamp at the shrine of a saint.) I don't know that burning scented oil would distribute much of a scent since it only really works if the scented oil is heated releasing the aroma before it is burnt.

Fr David Moser




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