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KenD 12-02-2003 03:49 AM

alcohol stove
I have a pressure tank under the sink with a valve for closing it some copper pipe going to the stove,where it looks like it has been replaced by a flexible tubing to the stove. The tank pumps up to 15 pounds and when I open the valve a little alcohol comes out If I turn on the burner for the preheat part of lighting nothing comes out,should I assume that it''s the flex tube thats either clogged or swollen to closeure,or pull the whole rig out and replace with new? any tricks for testing would be appreciated.

williamjchampion 12-02-2003 06:05 AM

alcohol stove
Ken, make sure you fill the cup under the burner about 3/4 full then light and wait til virtually all the alcohol is burned off. Then turn on the burner. Sounds like you have enough pressure. The burners themselves may need a little cleaning, but if you can get them to light, they actually are self-cleaning. (Parts for the burners will probably be pretty hard to find if you need them.) You will hear the pulsing of the air/alcohol mix. Multiple burners? Try them all. I''ve got a 33 year old Galley Maid pressurized alcohol stove w/ an oven an 3 burners in a lovely brown shade. Since I only use the oven two times I''m considering replacing with an Origo two-burner non-pressurized alcohol. Certainly safer.

KenD 12-03-2003 05:36 AM

alcohol stove
I am not getting alcohol to the burners at all should I disconnect at the stove an check for fuel or is thier a trick to cleaning the burner head without taking the **** THING APART?

paulk 12-03-2003 01:19 PM

alcohol stove
If you''re using a pressure alcohol stove that doesn''t work, I''d replace it. We had an alcohol stove explosion/fire on a boat visiting our harbor. The owner lived... More personally, I also went transatlantic on a boat with an alcohol stove. It stopped holding pressure on the second day of our 22-day trip to Ireland. I have also crewed many times when fumes from the stove stung the eyes and made sleeping below quite nasty. (And that was in nice weather....) In combustion, the alcohol also gives off water vapor, adding to the humidity below. Needless to say, I am nott a fan of dangerous, unreliable, and noxious systems that have lots of parts that can (and obviously do) go wrong. CNG is safer, but not always readily available. We have a LPG stove & oven on our boat now.

petercra 12-03-2003 05:59 PM

alcohol stove
Try A&H Enterprises in Tustin, CA, 714-258-2525. They supply rebuild kits for pressurized alcohol stoves and were quite helpful. At the end of the day, however, and after breaking the tubing that went from my tank to the burner I gave up and bought an Origo.

There''s a huge difference in heat output compared to my old, clogged Princess pressurized stove. The Origo boils a quart of water in about 8 minutes vs. 6 minutes on my home electric stove. And, its safe, unless you try to refill it without removing the canister from the stove there''s really nothing that can cause a fire or explosion. Yes, alcohol has only half the heat output per pound of fuel as LPG, but that doesn''t consider the weight and size of the tank! Adjust for that and alcohol is actually about as efficient weight wise, and probably occupies less space per unit of heat than LPG. Unless you''re living aboard and going through tens of gallons of alcohol a year, fuel cost is a non-issue. Alcohol stoves have gotten a bad rap due to the old pressurized stoves. There''s literally no reason to spend thousands of dollars to refit with LPG. (I have no connection with Origo or the industry).

Sailmc 12-04-2003 03:41 AM

alcohol stove
Having owned 2 boats with Origos and 2 with LPG there is no way I could ever cook with alcohol again. Way too slow.

RLK 12-04-2003 04:07 AM

alcohol stove
If there is pressure in the tank and no alcohol flow to the burners the flash back valve is stuck closed. This valve is basicly a check valve to prevent reverse flow or an explosion. These valves should be located on the stove copper tube at the joint where the flex hose attaches. Stove alcohol contains a small amount of water that causes corrosion at this valve and in the small passage in each burner casting.

From the author of books on boat refrigeration.

KenD 12-04-2003 11:28 AM

alcohol stove
Thanks I''ll check that this weekend the stove oven is the best part of this boats galley I really wonder where the designers were when they turned these out nice double sinks with no counter space to prepare anything, oh well!

williamjchampion 12-09-2003 09:32 AM

alcohol stove
RLK''s advice seems sound. As the owner of a 33 year old pressurized alcohol stove that has seen a lot of use, I wouldn''t put too much time/effort/money into trying to fix it. Propane''s wonderful, but retrofitting can be a real bear and very expensive in a boat w/ no fuel locker. I''d look into the Origo.

splitmind 12-13-2003 06:50 AM

alcohol stove
We refited an Origo on our boat after the survey found that the propane system was not up to code. (Previous owner did a poor DIY, install.)

Having used propane on charters, and friends boats, and cruising all summer with our Origo, I would endorse the Origo. (I also am not affiliated with the company.) Ours was purchased second hand, was ten years old, and other than a good cleaning works faultlessly. We didn''t even need to replace the burner cannisters.

The big plus is when cruising, you can buy 24 hours cooking time of fuel, (3 litres) for around six bucks at any hardware store, throw it in your backpack, and keep walking. No heavy propane tanks to drag around.

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