Jump to content


Photo
* * * * - 1 votes

Oil Lamp Wicks Burning Out


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Brad D.

Brad D.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 244 posts
  • Guest from Another Religious Tradition

Posted 24 February 2015 - 12:27 PM

So, I have purchased a couple gold wick holders that sit on top of the vessel of oil, and I know for sure the wicking I bought goes with that particular wick holder....  But, the flame keeps burning down basically into the gold tube where the wick is, and then the flame either goes out or is so small it is not really worth using.  Am I doing something wrong?  Seems pretty simple!  But I have tried trimming it...and I have pulled the wick futher out once lit (and before lighting) but it just burns down again to the tube and goes out...

 

Brad



#2 Gregory Korbut

Gregory Korbut

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 24 February 2015 - 04:56 PM

Brad,

 

Are you referring to the braided metal wick holders that sit on the rim of the lampada?  If I recall, those have a finite time to burn, usually 3-6 hours.  A combination of the wick getting too small, coated with carbon, and the ability to get oil up to the flame essentiall cause them to go out in that timeframe.  After this point, cleaning, re-adjusting the wick (I recall 1/8 - 1/4" being ok - 3-5mm), and topping the lamp off with oil will be required.

 

This is different I believe than the Greek float style (wick in the center of a cork ring??).  I have never used these, but I believe they travel down with the oil, and may burn longer.  Drawbacks to this obviously would be the potential for a lampada burning all the way down (cracked glass possible?).

 

I'm sure there are others with better experience and information.

 

 

Gregory



#3 John S.

John S.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 53 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 24 February 2015 - 07:06 PM

"This is different I believe than the Greek float style (wick in the
center of a cork ring??).  I have never used these, but I believe they
travel down with the oil, and may burn longer.  Drawbacks to this
obviously would be the potential for a lampada burning all the way down
(cracked glass possible?)."

 

I use the floating wick and yes, it travels down with the oil and lasts a long time. Regarding the drawback of when it gets to the bottom: Before you put in the oil, put in an inch of water or so. The oil will float to the top, and if the lamp burns all the way down, it will just go out!


Edited by John S., 24 February 2015 - 07:07 PM.


#4 Olga

Olga

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,827 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 24 February 2015 - 09:18 PM

So, I have purchased a couple gold wick holders that sit on top of the vessel of oil, and I know for sure the wicking I bought goes with that particular wick holder....  But, the flame keeps burning down basically into the gold tube where the wick is, and then the flame either goes out or is so small it is not really worth using.  Am I doing something wrong?  Seems pretty simple!  But I have tried trimming it...and I have pulled the wick futher out once lit (and before lighting) but it just burns down again to the tube and goes out...

 

Brad

 

What sort of oil are you using, Brad? The problem you describe is either because the wick is too dense to draw enough oil to burn properly (so the wick burns faster than the oil), or the oil you use is too "thick".



#5 Seraphim of the Midwest

Seraphim of the Midwest

    Conversationalist

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 133 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 25 February 2015 - 04:32 AM

You can try fiberglass wicking.  I use it and it burns until all the oil is consumed.  It may do what you are wanting better.



#6 Father David Moser

Father David Moser

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 3,581 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Cleric

Posted 25 February 2015 - 06:52 PM

A number of things can cause this issue:

Wicking material - if the weave is too tight, it won't draw the oil up

dimensions of the wick - needs to move freely in the holder and needs to be long enough to reach the oil and have plenty left to burn.

the oil you use. Most food grade olive oil is generally not good for oil lamps! its too heavy. I usually look for a light olive oil. The cathedral clergy in SF all are big fans of Canola or Safflower oil for burning in lamps as it is lighter than olive oil. My Archbishop pointed out that you really can't get the lamp grade olive oil easily in this county which is thinner and often on the rancid side. In my altar, most of the "oil" lamps are actually burning liquid paraffin (also known as "lamp oil"). This burns excellently with the fiberglass wicks.

Seraphim - you mentioned using fiberglass wicks. Do you know where I can get some? I need to replace some that have just completely come unstrung.

Fr David

#7 Seraphim of the Midwest

Seraphim of the Midwest

    Conversationalist

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 133 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 25 February 2015 - 08:19 PM

Fiberglass Wicks vs. Cotton Wicks

 
I have no interest in any of the businesses that I link to, I just use them to show what is available:

My experience: I burn "light olive oil" (not virgin or extra virgin), so I still get black gunk build up, it easily scrapes off and I trim it maybe once every 5-10 uses, depending on how low the oil got.  If the oil gets really low, the glass can fuse or get really hard and lose wicking properties.  Also, when you handle it, use rubber gloves or a paper towel unless you have "working' man's hands" as it is fiberglass, and can lead to itchy hands.



#8 Brad D.

Brad D.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 244 posts
  • Guest from Another Religious Tradition

Posted 25 February 2015 - 08:31 PM

Thank you all very much!  I highly suspect after reading your comments that the oil I am using may be no good.  I bought standard "pure olive oil" from the grocery store, the generic kind.  I will try some different oil!  I also did buy some floating wicks which will arrive tomorrow.  I will try them before tossing out the oil I did buy.  The kind of wicks I have are the thin string kind, and the toppers are the gold kind with a thin gold tube the wick feeds through.  I have emailed the seller and they have instructed me on what to do, but nothing they have said to do changed anything.  I bet it is the oil!

 

Thanks so much!

Brad



#9 Angie

Angie

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 219 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 05 February 2018 - 05:56 AM

Would anyone know what kind of cork disk to get to prevent it from sinking?

 

We have to keep putting new ones.  I don't know why, but the cork, with the silver disc on top, after a few uses starts sinking.

 

What does everyone use in there oil lamp to prevent that from happening??


Edited by Angie, 05 February 2018 - 05:57 AM.


#10 Sbdn. Peter Simko

Sbdn. Peter Simko

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 156 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 05 February 2018 - 03:34 PM

Angie,

 

I have never heard of the sinking cork phenomenon you are describing.  Perhaps it is just a bad cork distributer.  You could potentially try some of the other shaped cork floats that are available.

 

My recent problem with oil lamps might be unique to this forum.  I have a lampada that I only light in the morning and at night, during daily prayers.  However, it now has to be stored under extra protection in a pantry during the day, as one of our two kittens has discovered that dipping his paw in the oil when nobody is around is a rather exciting sensation, immediately followed by shaking it all over the icons (in what I can only assume is some sort daily blessing ritual, right? hehe)...



#11 Phoebe K.

Phoebe K.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 281 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 05 February 2018 - 04:25 PM

Angie,

 

I have found I get  a similar issues as my flat which is several years old not has a tendency to float unevenly, it seems to be less of a problem if heavier oil is used as it is dencer so the surface tension is stronger. I have found that placing the cork on a cotton wool pad for 12 hours or so when I change the wick helps. I have noticed the wick floats at church tend to float level with the surface of the oil which is what mine at home dose and there have been no issues with lighting the lamp unless it floats so low it swamps the wick.

 

Phoebe



#12 Angie

Angie

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 219 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 06 February 2018 - 01:56 AM

Thanks Phoebe

 

That a great idea.  Your right it seems to absorb the oil.  I am sure there are corks that don't do that, I just cant seem to find them.

 

Also our new cork float is only about a month old.

 

Phoebe, every when do you do the cork on the cotton for?


Edited by Angie, 06 February 2018 - 01:59 AM.


#13 Phoebe K.

Phoebe K.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 281 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 06 February 2018 - 04:57 PM

Angie,

 

I tend to about once a week or once every ten days, it depends on when the wick needs changing.

 

The oil gets into the air spaces in the cork, I suspect the heavier oils do this less as even when they thin with heat they will not get as thin, it might be worth trying with virgin olive oil as this is heavier and may not effect to cork so quickly.

 

Phoebe



#14 Angie

Angie

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 219 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 February 2018 - 03:36 AM

Thank you Phoebe

 

We use the extra light olive oil, which could be the problem.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users