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Kerosene Heater Wick Replacement

How do you change a wick on a kerosene heater? Installation instructions will be provided with the replacement wick. Details will vary by wick and heater. Some heaters (radiant heaters) use unpinned wicks, which can be tricky. For all heaters, the wick must be raised and lowered by a gear shaft and turning knob.

These are standardized instructions for a general overview of how to change a wick in a kerosene heater

  1. Burn the heater dry of all kerosene in the pump and old wick.
  2. Allow the heater to cool.
  3. Take out the fuel tank, batteries, and wick adjuster knob by pulling them straight out.
  4. Open the front grill and gently remove the catalytic converter. Be careful not to break its glass chimney.
  5. Unscrew and remove the screws that fasten the cabinet to the heater base and lift the cabinet straight up (keep these screws handy).
  6. Remove the mica windshield over the burner.
  7. Unscrew the wing nuts, which secure the wick assembly to the base, and raise the entire assembly straight up.
  8. Remove the wick and wick holder by lifting them straight up the draft tube of the wick holder assembly.
  9. Before the next step, draw a line with a marker on the old wick where it meets the collar of the wick holder. This will make installing the new wick easier.
  10. Fold the old wick in on itself to free it from the teeth connecting it to the wick holder.
  11. Compare the line you drew on your wick to the black line on the replacement wick. If the lines are not in the same place, draw a new line around your replacement wick to match the old one. This shows how much should be inserted in the wick holder.
  12. Fold the replacement wick in on itself and insert it into the holder to the depth you marked. Then release it and let it pop back into shape, engaging with the teeth inside the collar of the holder.
  13. Slide the wick and holder back onto the draft tube. Spin it around the tube while pressing it against its sides to make sure the teeth in the holder fully engage with the wick.
  14. Place the wick adjuster knob back onto the shaft (removed in step 3).
  15. Move the shut-off switch on the adjuster assembly so that it lowers all the way down.
  16. Rotate the adjuster knob 3/4 of a turn clockwise and hold the latch attached to the knob shaft in that position.
  17. Engage the pinion on the inside of the wick, raising shaft into the latch, so the wick holder and wick are near the top of the shaft.
  18. Replace the entire wick adjuster assembly onto the base and test the mechanism.
  19. Screw the wing nuts back on loosely. Once loosely attached, steadily raise the wick using the knob.
  20. Tighten the wing nuts. Adjust the height of the wick using the knob so that about 3/8 of an inch is showing at the top of the shaft.
  21. Finally, replace all the other parts of the heater in the opposite order from when you took them off in steps 3-6.
  22. Congratulations! You have replaced your wick!

Now that you know how to replace your wick, use our wick finder to purchase your wick today!