Oil/Kerosene Lantern rust out, how?

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Oil/Kerosene Lantern rust out, how?

Postby JaggedEdges » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:07 pm

Hi gang,

I've been coming across a few wick type oil lamps lately, and every one of the last 3 I looked at, seemed to have rusted out the tank from the inside. Not terribly old ones either, or ones that looked like they'd been sitting out in the weather 10 years.

Just wondering if anyone has a handle on how this happens? Are people rinsing them out with water or something?

Kinda curious because I have some myself, and I'd have thunk that a bit of kerosene or lamp oil residue would protect the steel pretty good for a long while. So wanna check there's not something I'm missing and I'll find mine rotted out when I go to use them one day.


Thanks for any intel,
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Re: Oil/Kerosene Lantern rust out, how?

Postby Shadow Catcher » Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:52 pm

I would say the likely culprit is having water in the Kerosene, it floats on the water.
Looking at this a second time I was not necessary clear, Kerosene floats on water and that water sitting at the bottom is rust waiting to happen.
Last edited by Shadow Catcher on Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oil/Kerosene Lantern rust out, how?

Postby JaggedEdges » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:45 am

Yah, must be...

Though you know what I didn't check/notice, that the wick wasn't short.... it was one of those old lifehacks when they were called hints and wrinkles or something, that if your wick was too short to reach oil, and you didn't have oil to top it up, you could put some water in and it would float on it, bringing up to the wick.

Though that might explain why they have seemed in good condition otherwise, ppl "use up" the first wick, do that, forget to get new wick, tank/fount rusts out from water.
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Re: Oil/Kerosene Lantern rust out, how?

Postby logman7777 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:05 pm

My guess is that they are the China made Dietz copies. Paper thin steel. have 2 in the garage to keep the mosquitoes at bay (burn citronella oil in em) One is 5 years young and the other 3 and both are at the end of useful service. Both have only had Tiki fuel out of fresh bottles. Fortunately Wally World has em for $6 so when they start leaking put the globe and the wick on the shelf and get more :beer:
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Re: Oil/Kerosene Lantern rust out, how?

Postby HossHoffer » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:42 pm

Petroleum products produce acids as they degrade or burn. One of the reasons to change the oil in your car is because of the buildup of these acids.
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Re: Oil/Kerosene Lantern rust out, how?

Postby JaggedEdges » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:52 am

logman7777 wrote:My guess is that they are the China made Dietz copies. Paper thin steel. have 2 in the garage to keep the mosquitoes at bay (burn citronella oil in em) One is 5 years young and the other 3 and both are at the end of useful service. Both have only had Tiki fuel out of fresh bottles. Fortunately Wally World has em for $6 so when they start leaking put the globe and the wick on the shelf and get more :beer:


Got a chinese one that isn't too bad, though it's 20 year old Chinese one, not recent. Rest of the the "fleet" is Dietz though.

How are the wicks with the fuel you use? I keep seeing "OMG no, don't burn citronella straight, you'll clog your wicks." but all the citronella fuel I see is approved/recommended for lamps so not sure it's what the warning is about or not. Also had old beater lamp-ish thing, more like a tiki torch burner, that had over a decade of dollar store grade "citronella" that was liquid whether it was approved for lamps or not, and there was nothing noticeable with that.
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Re: Oil/Kerosene Lantern rust out, how?

Postby logman7777 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:41 pm

Wicks are fine never see any clogging. They are the cheap cotton woven ones that come with the lantern.
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Re: Oil/Kerosene Lantern rust out, how?

Postby Weirdnerd » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:25 pm

I normally add one teaspoon of denatured alcohol per gallon of kerosene, it "absorbs" the water and keeps the fount dry, then it just wicks into the flame and goes away.
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Re: Oil/Kerosene Lantern rust out, how?

Postby swoody126 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:41 am

WATER INTRUSION is simply a result of the heating and cooling of the lantern when it is closer to empty than full

condensation happens easier in an empty vessel than a full one

i do kinda like the above^^^ idea of adding alcohol to the fuel to mix with and burn off any condensation :thumbsup:

keeping the lanterns full will help

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