Replacing the burner of your kerosene lamp might seem intimidating, but Antique Lamp Supply is here to help. In this article, we will walk you through the process of replacing a kerosene burner safely, so you can appreciate the accent light from your lamp for years to come. We will also explain how to replace the wick in your kerosene lamp because they eventually burn away. Without a proper wick replacement, you might not have the light you need in the event of an emergency.
How to Replace a Kerosene Burner
Choosing a kerosene burner for your vintage or antique lamp is a big decision, but it's especially important that the burner fit the lamp collar perfectly. If the threading on the base of the burner doesn't fit the threading in the collar, the lamp will wobble even if the burner is securely attached. Without an appropriate fit, your lamp may pose a fire hazard or the burner may cause your lamp to break. You must carefully test the burner to confirm a proper fit before you add any fuel or glassware to the lamp. To test, screw the burner down until it fits tightly against the lamp. The threading of your burner should fit snugly into the lamp collar without any issue or extra space.
Determine the burner size you need by measuring the inside diameter of the lamp collar's opening. There are also a wide variety of catalogs available to you to confirm what kind of kerosene burner you require for your lamp collar type. No. 2 is the most common lamp collar size in North America, but you will find smaller and larger sizes as well.
Once you've found the correct size burner for your lamp, screw clockwise to attach the burner to the lamp's threaded collar. Make sure that the burner is screwed all the way down – you should not have to force the burner if it's the right size. If you experience any difficulty, there is a good chance that the threading of your lamp collar is damaged, dirty, or gritty. You can easily clean the threading with a toothbrush and warm, soapy water. If you still have difficulty, the lamp collar may need to be replaced. Before you fully assemble your lamp, the wick must be properly inserted.
How to Replace a Wick in a Kerosene Burner
Start by placing your lamp on a flat surface. We recommend that you keep an old towel or rag nearby. Remove the lamp's shade, chimney, and any other components. Set them aside and ensure that they are cool to the touch. Next, unscrew the burner from the lamp collar. Your lamp's burner features a narrow slot through which the wick is held in place. Turn the knob that raises the wick forward, so you can remove the old wick.
Thread the replacement wick into the burner from the bottom. Once you feel the wick catch the teeth of your burner, turn the knob forward until the new wick rises through the narrow slot. Don't feed too much of the new wick through, or else your lamp will produce too much smoke. Trim the new wick until only an eighth of an inch is exposed over the burner slot. If the wick seems uneven, you can use scissors to trim it before lighting a flame.
Fill the lamp with the appropriate lamp oil before you replace the burner, allowing the wick to absorb oil. Use an old towel or rag to wipe any residue from your lamp's components. Screw the burner back onto the lamp collar. Wait at least 20 minutes before lighting the lamp. In the meantime, you can use warm, soapy water to clean the chimney so it's free of soot. Most important, don't allow the chimney to cool completely before you reattach it. The chimney of a cooled lamp can easily shatter due to thermal shock when you suddenly light a hot flame.
Make sure that the new wick has absorbed oil by touching the top of the exposed wick to test. Last but not least, light the exposed wick and adjust the flame by turning the knob forward or backward until you reach your desired amount of light and heat. Reattach the glass chimney. Adjust the wick as needed, so you can enjoy a low, steady, smokeless flame. The size of your lamp burner will also affect the size of the lampshade and shade holder you plan to use with your lamp. We list the proper burner size and shade fitter size for each of the shade holders we offer in our selection. If you have any questions about this article or would like to learn more about the products in our inventory, please call or email us today for additional information or expert assistance.