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  #11  
Old 01-22-2012
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Thanks for the tip Faster! I still have the old alcohol stove which works well and a kero cabin heater. Both have alcohol priming. I'll most definitely try the torch idea. The heater is a big PITA to get primed. Know what you mean about fumes from the alcohol. Fire aboard is just plain scary. Glad you didn't go up in flames Leocat. Sounds like you were on it quickly.
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainForce View Post
alc is probably alcohol and kero is probably kerosene. They are definitely not the same fuel!
Capt., sorry, guess I did not make myself clear on the fuel being used, alcohol/kerosene. The fuel is kerosene, being used in a Taylors 030 stove, which uses the pre heat cups below the burners, in which the alcohol is used for the pre heat process only.

The problem was my fault, without question, in that I apparently did not tighten the sealing gasket nut on the underside of the cup enough after rebuilding the oven burner. I have come to this conclusion as I removed the stove from the boat and used the same gasket in the reassembly process, I discovered the loose nut, and have since bench tested the stove with positive results for two hours.

This oven burner is difficult to install due to space and the need for using two wrenches together, blindly, in order to align it properly. (Not an excuse, just a fact). I will not, in the future, attempt to rebuild the oven burner without removing the stove. The top burners are very simple as access is fine and it is easy to see the underside of things to better check for leaks.

There was no spillage, in this instance, as there was no alcohol appearing on the floor of the stove under the burner, before lighting, as occurs in an overfill situation. This was the first time the burner was being tried after the rebuilding, and I was looking for that, which has occurred on occasion in the past.

I use a long tube, 20 inches, on a squeeze container to fill the cups, which I have found to be very effective so far. I did not realize that after filling cup that the alcohol, from the cup was leaking from the hole in the bottom of the cup as the alc in the cup was burning properly on the surface. When the burner knob was turned, the flare up from the kerosene, which is somewhat typical, apparently ignited the alcohol, which had run under the stove, down the copper tube from the burner, and into the rear compartment behind the stove. It was also burning under the stove.

Last edited by Leocat66; 01-23-2012 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 01-23-2012
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
The powder was everywhere. Yes, it will be turning up for weeks or months. There are some aqueous foam models and sprays that are more expensive but less mess, fwiw. As well as CO2 of course, ignoring the difference in intended uses. One of the "sprays" is called Tundra and apparently it is a fairly clean way to hit small fires.

You might consider using "fire jelly" instead of alcohol to preheat. You can buy it in tubes, like toothpaste, or make it up easily yourself. Take some white canning paraffin wax, or old candle stubs, dice it up, add some naphtha or similar petrosolvent, and let it sit in a jelly jar for a week or two. The wax dissolves and gives you a thicker white version of vaseline, except it is wax not grease so it burns cleanly. Add to a tube (from a pharmacy or camping store) and you can easily control the preheat by squeezing a small ribbon of fire jelly into the cup instead of the alcohol. the jelly can't run off, and burns with a visible flame.

The rule of thumb for the small powder exinguishers (about a liter size) is that they can put out "one trash basket" worth of fire, and they'll be gone in 30 seconds. The problem being that a fire will also usualy double in size in 30 seconds.

Glad you got it under control so quickly!
Fire Jelly. That seems like a great idea. Is it similar to Sterno jell?
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Old 01-23-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
We used a pressurized alcohol stove for a decade (with the same preheat requirements of a kerosene stove) and after a few scary preheat fires and stinging eyes we took to preheating the burners with a propane torch.. I know, another fuel, but the convenience and safety of it seem worth it. No more flareups and no smell/fumes.
Thanks Faster, we do on occasion use the propane torch, kept above deck, to preheat, which according to Taylors is actually better for burner longevity also.

Thank you to everyone for your post and suggestions. Been at this for 50 years, and am always learning!
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Old 01-23-2012
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Definitely some good suggestions here, re: fire jelly and propane pre-heating.

Faster: Are you using something like a plumber's torch or something more like a chef's torch for creme brulee? How long are you heating the tube for?

Leo: You're not the only one. I nearly burned my boat to the waterline with a liquid fuel camping stove. The rubber o-ring on the plunger pump deteriorated just enough to weep under pressure, but not during storage so I did not notice a leak. The pump wept fuel into a puddle beneath and behind the stove, out of sight.

The fumes abruptly caught, in a rather large conflagration. Like you, I responded immediately with a powder ABC extinguisher, and prevented any damage but it was a scary thing. I had some personal effects on the galley counter that were ruined by the flames. I served aboard submarines where I was taught paranoia about fires and flooding, so luckily I was clear headed and reaction was automatic. I didn't freak out until it was over.
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Old 01-23-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
Faster: Are you using something like a plumber's torch or something more like a chef's torch for creme brulee? How long are you heating the tube for?
We used the 'plumber's torch' - the tall narrow ones - with a self sparking burner attachment. We've long since switched to propane, but we used to head the burner for at least 45 secs to a minute, then turn on the stove burner using the torch to light it off. No fumes, no mess. Worked every time.

It also made a great barbeque lighter as well!
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Old 01-23-2012
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I think a nice propane system would be a sensible safety upgrade

Perhaps a more PC post would be to say:

"It just goes to show, it's always something."
Rosanna Rosannadanna, SNL

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Honestly, I've played with too many camp stoves (white gas and kero) to feel that anything requiring preheating is intrinsically safer, just different failure modes. And starting a kero stove in the winter is even worse. I would consider it a negative and the corporate would veto it.

Just my opinion.
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Old 01-23-2012
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I agree, and got rid of the white gas camping stove. Although I have the pressurized alcohol stove now, I'd really like to get rid of it, and buy an Origo, non-pressurized alcohol stove.

I'm just looking for a safer way to use this stove, in the meantime.
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Old 01-23-2012
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For those who have not see this. Yachting Monthly trashed a Jeanneau to demonstrate emergencies.



I really like the fire blanket idea; but have never seen one on a boat.
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Old 01-23-2012
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I understand the issues of inconvenience with the traditional stoves and the like. I probably would not be around had I made a similar error with some other fuels. Kero is much safer, IMHO and cannot be lit with an open flame unless atomized and heated first. It will produce one heck of a fire though once it takes off. The risk of explosion is very low.

As mentioned earlier, I sometimes use propane to light the stove. It is kept in a box on deck. I cringe every time I carry it below. We use oil lamps much of the time and therefore have open flames on a regular basis. Those are always turned off prior to lighting the torch. We have a friend who was badly burned while attempting to change a butane cannister on a portable one burner camp type stove, in his galley, while underway well offshore, while the main stove was operating. The apparently defective can ruptured in his hand on installation and exploded, due to the stove flame. He survived and went on to sail again, making a lasting impression on those who know him. Just another human error which could have had awful results for he and his crew.
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