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Kerosene Heater Wick Questions

How should I handle my new kerosene heater wick?

Always allow the wick to soak completely before initial ignition. Soak the wick for at least 60 minutes in the down position in a full tank of fuel. Perform this soaking process for new wicks and anytime a wick has burnt dry. Click here to purchase new kerosene heater wicks.

Problems occur if the wick is not fully saturated. Air pockets develop in the wick capillaries to block kerosene absorption. This brings the point of vaporization closer to the wick's surface, cooling rising vapors rather than burning them off. Tar/carbon will begin to build up on the burner tube and wick, which decreases performance and causes smoke, odor, burning, and igniting problems. Click here for replacement kerosene heater wicks.

Why has my kerosene heater wick hardened over time?

This is the accumulation of unburnt carbons and tar on the surface of the wick. This happens when the wick is at an improper height or adjustment, when the fuel has been contaminated (specifically with water), or if the heater has been operated at a lower than recommended setting. Click here for a selection of replacement kerosene heater wicks.

How often should I change my kerosene heater wick?

The American Lung Association, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission state, you should check and replace wicks yearly. You should check and replace wicks more often if low quality fuel has been used or if the heater has been operated on a lower than recommended setting. Wicks with tar/carbon build up, degraded wicks, wicks from last season, and improperly used wicks should all be replaced for your safety. Click here for replacement kerosene heater wicks.

Cleaning a wick

If the wick has black tar deposits, it needs to be cleaned or replaced. Wicks are best cleaned after a dry burning.Regularly remove carbon deposits with a brush or comb. Avoid using anything stiff or hard, as this could damage the wick. Cotton wicks can be slightly trimmed (1/8 inch) for increased longevity. Do not do this with a fiberglass wicks, as this would damage the wick. If you wick is old, damaged, or degraded, purchase a new wick. Do not store old wicks from previous seasons. Click here for a new kerosene heater wick.