Paraffin heaters

Posted 20th Oct 2021
I was chatting on the phone to my friend today and he said he uses paraffin heaters so isn't worried about the energy crisis.

He says he has Japanese made paraffin heaters and he get about £28 of paraffin every 3 weeks and that works fine for him in a 2 bed flat. So his gas cost is not much per month.

Anyone uses paraffin heaters and can comment? I am thinking may be we should also do this as gas prices are going through the roof and it costs a lot to heat our house in the winter.
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  1. Delbert.Grady's avatar
    mutley120/10/2021 19:53

    i have not heard of paraffin before until he mentioned he had these …i have not heard of paraffin before until he mentioned he had these heaters. i asked him if you can get paraffin from the petrol station and he says he doesn't know as he gets them from the shop, but that B&Q sells them.i think these heaters are meant to be used outdoors? so they were used indoors in the olden days and you could get the paraffin from the petrol station?


    Paraffin heaters were very popular in rented flats and bedsits years ago because they were cheap to run. Gas and electricity had to come via the landlords meter at whatever price he or she decided but paraffin you could buy yourself. They were also popular as portable heaters in houses in the days before central heating. We had one like this that my parents used to put in the bathroom in winter to take the chill off or in a bedroom to avoid having to light the coal fire, you could also boil a kettle or cook on it during a power cut.
    45839234-P4Tr3.jpgBecause paraffin was oily, smelly stuff (rather like diesel) and quite heavy to carry (many people who used it didn't have cars), most people got it from the "Paraffin Man" who came round with his lorry once or twice a week, every town had one, or you could also get it from hardware shops and ironmongers. Some petrol stations sold it as well but it wasn't the normal place to get it when I was a kid. You had to provide your own metal cans though which they filled for you, it wasn't pre-packaged back then!
    Contrary to what people think, paraffin stoves don't smell and don't cause any more pollution than a gas stove provided you maintain them, keep them clean and adjust the flame using the little wheel so that it burns blue. If you neglect it or let it burn with a yellow flame it will smoke and stink your house out!
    If you have cold walls or windows a bit of ventilation is advised because they give out a fairly damp heat which can cause condensation, and a Carbon Monoxide alarm would be a good investment as well if you don't already have one.
  2. gazdoubleu's avatar
    mutley120/10/2021 20:13

    doesn't surprise me. but paraffin may not be affected as it is not used …doesn't surprise me. but paraffin may not be affected as it is not used by the mass population as it sounds like no one uses them really except for the greenhouse?


    That makes no sense as it follows the price of oil just like all crude distillates. Paraffin is highly refined and as there's less demand production is limited so the price is kept artificially high. (edited)
  3. melted's avatar
    Make sure you get sold the right sort of paraffin for your heaters, unless they will safely burn the cheaper stuff.

    I ruined my father's nice old Tilley lamp years ago, burning the wrong stuff in it. Used to light it up and bring it indoors when we had power cuts.

    He asked for Paraffin, but was actually sold C2 (Kerosene, I think), paraffin is C1 and burns cleaner with less toxic fumes. The C2 stuff burns smokey, scorched and sooted up the glass and ruined the mantle. (edited)
  4. VeganPolice's avatar
    mutley120/10/2021 20:05

    i have never heard of these heaters and have only heard that people used …i have never heard of these heaters and have only heard that people used coal fires or log fires in the 'olden days' before electric and gas fires came along. strange that i have never heard of them if they were used indoors. they couldn't have been very popular.the fact that paraffin are now only sold by DIY stores makes me think they are only ever used for outdoors and google refers to heating the greenhouse with paraffin heaters.doesn't sound very safe for indoor use from the comments above.


    They used to deliver the stuff and advertise on TV

  5. VeganPolice's avatar
    mutley120/10/2021 19:53

    i have not heard of paraffin before until he mentioned he had these …i have not heard of paraffin before until he mentioned he had these heaters. i asked him if you can get paraffin from the petrol station and he says he doesn't know as he gets them from the shop, but that B&Q sells them.i think these heaters are meant to be used outdoors? so they were used indoors in the olden days and you could get the paraffin from the petrol station?


    They asked me how I knew,
    It was Esso Blue.
    To which I replied,
    With lower grades one buys,
    Smoke gets in your eyes...
  6. gazdoubleu's avatar
    Delbert.Grady21/10/2021 04:02

    Paraffin heaters were very popular in rented flats and bedsits years ago …Paraffin heaters were very popular in rented flats and bedsits years ago because they were cheap to run. Gas and electricity had to come via the landlords meter at whatever price he or she decided but paraffin you could buy yourself. They were also popular as portable heaters in houses in the days before central heating. We had one like this that my parents used to put in the bathroom in winter to take the chill off or in a bedroom to avoid having to light the coal fire, you could also boil a kettle or cook on it during a power cut.[Image] Because paraffin was oily, smelly stuff (rather like diesel) and quite heavy to carry (many people who used it didn't have cars), most people got it from the "Paraffin Man" who came round with his lorry once or twice a week, every town had one, or you could also get it from hardware shops and ironmongers. Some petrol stations sold it as well but it wasn't the normal place to get it when I was a kid. You had to provide your own metal cans though which they filled for you, it wasn't pre-packaged back then!Contrary to what people think, paraffin stoves don't smell and don't cause any more pollution than a gas stove provided you maintain them, keep them clean and adjust the flame using the little wheel so that it burns blue. If you neglect it or let it burn with a yellow flame it will smoke and stink your house out!If you have cold walls or windows a bit of ventilation is advised because they give out a fairly damp heat which can cause condensation, and a Carbon Monoxide alarm would be a good investment as well if you don't already have one.


    My dad had one of these in the garage with his beloved VW to save it from cold start issues. I remember it stinking but then he probably had the lowest wick setting humanly possible as he was tight as a nuns! (edited)
  7. richp's avatar
    Chinesium paraffin heater, what could possibly go wrong (edited)
  8. Xippi's avatar
    Distant memories of my childhood. They were common but were dirty and they stank. You'd spill the stuff and it stank. You'd fill the heater and it stank. I'm sure they've come on though and genuine Japanese burners would probably have to be earthquake proof so kicking one over by accident shouldn't be an issue - apart from the stink of spilled paraffin soaking into your carpet. Not a fan but as I say, experience from many moons ago.
  9. richp's avatar
    Xippi20/10/2021 19:36

    Distant memories of my childhood. They were common but were dirty and they …Distant memories of my childhood. They were common but were dirty and they stank. You'd spill the stuff and it stank. You'd fill the heater and it stank. I'm sure they've come on though and genuine Japanese burners would probably have to be earthquake proof so kicking one over by accident shouldn't be an issue - apart from the stink of spilled paraffin soaking into your carpet. Not a fan but as I say, experience from many moons ago.


    Eyes streaming from the unburnt paraffin & the smell, me mum sending me to the local petrol station on my bike with a plastic bottle & asking the man for a £1's worth of paraffin, happy days
  10. mutley1's avatar
    Author
    VeganPolice20/10/2021 20:11

    They used to deliver the stuff and advertise on TV[Video]


    lol. this now makes sense as i wondered what you were going on about esso blue. i thought that was some sort of petrol grade that you could get at the petrol station so wasn't sure what significance that had to this thread
  11. VeganPolice's avatar
    mutley120/10/2021 20:17

    lol. this now makes sense as i wondered what you were going on about esso …lol. this now makes sense as i wondered what you were going on about esso blue. i thought that was some sort of petrol grade that you could get at the petrol station so wasn't sure what significance that had to this thread


    "Esso Blue
    Esso Blue was the brand name of Esso's paraffin oil (kerosene) for domestic heaters in countries such as the United Kingdom. Their television advertising song from the 1950s, through to the 1970s, was the famous "Bom, Bom, Bom, Bom, Esso Blue!"

    One campaign used the well-known song tune of "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" reworded as: "They asked me how I knew, it was Esso Blue, I of course replied, with lower grades one buys, smoke gets in your eyes. The non-smoking paraffin". The track was released as a flexi disk which was given away free in hardware stores."
  12. melted's avatar
    mutley120/10/2021 20:05

    i have never heard of these heaters and have only heard that people used …i have never heard of these heaters and have only heard that people used coal fires or log fires in the 'olden days' before electric and gas fires came along. strange that i have never heard of them if they were used indoors. they couldn't have been very popular.the fact that paraffin are now only sold by DIY stores makes me think they are only ever used for outdoors and google refers to heating the greenhouse with paraffin heaters.doesn't sound very safe for indoor use from the comments above.


    My parents had an indoor paraffin heater stored in a shed going rusty for quite a few years, vaguely similar to this thing:- ebay.co.uk/itm…=28


    I think they may have used it when I was very young, before they got electric storage heaters. I'd imagine they would have been a lot quicker, and possibly cheaper than lighting a second coal fire when you need instant heat in another room just to take the chill off, but don't plan on keeping it going all night.

    Back then, houses were much more drafty with sash windows and the like, no-one had even heard of double glazing, so they'd be better ventilated, although you still presumably need the window open, and portable gas cylinder heaters would not have been an option.
  13. C0mm0d0re_K1d's avatar
    I can remember us having them when I was a child. Yeah they do smell a bit. But back then the vast majority of homes didn't have full gas central heating. Some houses still had outside toilets.

    As for fumes and carbon monoxide, back then most homes only had single glazed windows and drafts a plenty. So i don't think anyone suffercated.

    I'm not sure if they are a particularly good idea these days. In modern houses with double glazing and insulation. The Japanese do still like to use a lot of these old technologies. Like metal handles warmers, with burning stuff inside and hot water bottles made of metal. They are traditional and are still used and made.

    Hey @melted, we used to have Tilley lamps and heaters as well. I believe aladin are still around and a few years ago you could still get spare parts, like new mantles and glasses etc etc.
    Benzyl's avatar
    Tilley lamp spares and parts are still easy to get and cheap, the lamps are even available new from the original manufacturer albeit at a higher price than they used to be.
  14. gazdoubleu's avatar
    Paraffin is kerosene essentially when its sold as a heating oil. It ain't cheap per kwh and I imagine the prices below will account for bulk buying as heating oil for rural properties not your average joe buying 5 litres in the hardware shop. False economy if you have access to natural gas, even if these figures are slightly dated. Cheaper than bottled gas but all the problems assiciated with it i.e. condensation (in a portable unvented unit). The more moisture there is in the air the more energy it takes to heat it to a given temp.

    nottenergy.com/res…on/ (edited)
  15. compadre's avatar
    Willy_Wonka20/10/2021 22:18

    I think paraffin is a byproduct of petrol production so it is actually …I think paraffin is a byproduct of petrol production so it is actually cheap. Might be wrong though.


    Petrol is cheap, initially. By the time you get it it is not. Essentially diesel is a by product of petrol production, along with countless other fractions including paraffin.
    You may find paraffin/kerosene takes you on holiday on your jet flight. (edited)
  16. Willy_Wonka's avatar
    2 bed flat?

    I am sure it is fine so long as you have adequate ventilation & a carbon monoxide alarm & fire alarm in each room. So it should be fine for you.
  17. deleted124280's avatar
    I'm sure that he has informed his insurers and the other building residents?
  18. m4rmite's avatar
    Have a read here.
    Good luck as paraffin( aka kerosene) stinks.

    iii.org/art…ety

    Wouldn't a gas bottle heater be safer?
  19. gazdoubleu's avatar
    I've been in a hardware shop that sold catalytic, supposedly odourless one's. They smelt like when you light the gas cooker when your house is full of paint fumes. They also give off shed loads of condensation. (edited)
  20. EndlessWaves's avatar
    m4rmite20/10/2021 19:28

    Have a read here. Good luck as paraffin( aka kerosene) …Have a read here. Good luck as paraffin( aka kerosene) stinks.https://www.iii.org/article/kerosene-heater-safetyWouldn't a gas bottle heater be safer?


    Nah, it doesn't smell when burnt efficiently. It's not great for your health though.

    While heating oil (paraffin) is very common in the UK outside of towns and cities with mains gas, most properties have an external or externally vented boiler and a central heating system rather than individual burners in each room.
  21. mutley1's avatar
    Author
    Xippi20/10/2021 19:36

    Distant memories of my childhood. They were common but were dirty and they …Distant memories of my childhood. They were common but were dirty and they stank. You'd spill the stuff and it stank. You'd fill the heater and it stank. I'm sure they've come on though and genuine Japanese burners would probably have to be earthquake proof so kicking one over by accident shouldn't be an issue - apart from the stink of spilled paraffin soaking into your carpet. Not a fan but as I say, experience from many moons ago.


    yeah, he was saying that they turn off as soon as there is any movement. i didn't understand the significance at the time.
  22. Xippi's avatar
    gazdoubleu20/10/2021 19:30

    I've been in a hardware shop that sold catalytic, supposedly odourless …I've been in a hardware shop that sold catalytic, supposedly odourless one's. They smelt like when you light the gas cooker when your house is full of paint fumes. They also give off shed loads of condensation.



    Aye....I'd forgotten about the condensation issue - water rnning down the inside of the single grazed windows of the time. Burn hydrocarbons in oxygen and you get water.
  23. mutley1's avatar
    Author
    richp20/10/2021 19:44

    Eyes streaming from the unburnt paraffin & the smell, me mum sending me to …Eyes streaming from the unburnt paraffin & the smell, me mum sending me to the local petrol station on my bike with a plastic bottle & asking the man for a £1's worth of paraffin, happy days


    i have not heard of paraffin before until he mentioned he had these heaters. i asked him if you can get paraffin from the petrol station and he says he doesn't know as he gets them from the shop, but that B&Q sells them.

    i think these heaters are meant to be used outdoors? so they were used indoors in the olden days and you could get the paraffin from the petrol station?
  24. richp's avatar
    mutley120/10/2021 19:53

    i have not heard of paraffin before until he mentioned he had these …i have not heard of paraffin before until he mentioned he had these heaters. i asked him if you can get paraffin from the petrol station and he says he doesn't know as he gets them from the shop, but that B&Q sells them.i think these heaters are meant to be used outdoors? so they were used indoors in the olden days and you could get the paraffin from the petrol station?


    Olden days Designed to be used indoors & they weren't very healthy & yes paraffin from the petrol station, but not these days, but most hardware stores sell it.
  25. mutley1's avatar
    Author
    richp20/10/2021 20:01

    Olden days Designed to be used indoors & they weren't very …Olden days Designed to be used indoors & they weren't very healthy & yes paraffin from the petrol station, but not these days, but most hardware stores sell it.


    i have never heard of these heaters and have only heard that people used coal fires or log fires in the 'olden days' before electric and gas fires came along. strange that i have never heard of them if they were used indoors. they couldn't have been very popular.

    the fact that paraffin are now only sold by DIY stores makes me think they are only ever used for outdoors and google refers to heating the greenhouse with paraffin heaters.

    doesn't sound very safe for indoor use from the comments above.
  26. mutley1's avatar
    Author
    gazdoubleu20/10/2021 20:09

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-10091455/amp/Households-fuelled-heating-oil-face-biggest-energy-cost-hikes-winter.html


    doesn't surprise me. but paraffin may not be affected as it is not used by the mass population as it sounds like no one uses them really except for the greenhouse?
  27. JimboParrot's avatar
    Years ago we used paraffin heaters to keep the frost at bay in the greenhouse!
  28. radium's avatar
    I remember these. We used to have an Aladdin heater.
  29. Willy_Wonka's avatar
    gazdoubleu20/10/2021 20:42

    That makes no sense as it follows the price of oil just like all crude …That makes no sense as it follows the price of oil just like all crude distillates. Paraffin is highly refined and as there's less demand production is limited so the price is kept artificially high.


    I think paraffin is a byproduct of petrol production so it is actually cheap.

    Might be wrong though.
  30. mutley1's avatar
    Author
    melted20/10/2021 21:10

    My parents had an indoor paraffin heater stored in a shed going rusty for …My parents had an indoor paraffin heater stored in a shed going rusty for quite a few years, vaguely similar to this thing:- https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324502886002?chn=ps&mkevt=1&mkcid=28I think they may have used it when I was very young, before they got electric storage heaters. I'd imagine they would have been a lot quicker, and possibly cheaper than lighting a second coal fire when you need instant heat in another room just to take the chill off, but don't plan on keeping it going all night.Back then, houses were much more drafty with sash windows and the like, no-one had even heard of double glazing, so they'd be better ventilated, although you still presumably need the window open, and portable gas cylinder heaters would not have been an option.


    i have never seen one of those before. alladin? that is such an appropriate name, lol

    that heater looks ancient. my friend says he has a new one of Japanese made and i have found these on google, so i think he may have these, which are much more modern and uses more modern tech

    toyotomi.eu/pro…er/
  31. EndlessWaves's avatar
    mutley120/10/2021 22:40

    i have never seen one of those before. alladin? that is such an …i have never seen one of those before. alladin? that is such an appropriate name, lol that heater looks ancient. my friend says he has a new one of Japanese made and i have found these on google, so i think he may have these, which are much more modern and uses more modern techhttps://www.toyotomi.eu/product-category/heating/ff-type-paraffin-heater/


    Any builder's merchant will have the normal UK style of paraffin central heating boiler, e.g. here's the 52 different models that screwfix sells:
    screwfix.com/c/h…oil
  32. MonkeysUncle's avatar
    £37 in paraffin a month for with gas price etc on top for a 2 bed flat doesn't sound cheap to me.
  33. melted's avatar
    mutley120/10/2021 22:40

    i have never seen one of those before. alladin? that is such an …i have never seen one of those before. alladin? that is such an appropriate name, lol that heater looks ancient. my friend says he has a new one of Japanese made and i have found these on google, so i think he may have these, which are much more modern and uses more modern techhttps://www.toyotomi.eu/product-category/heating/ff-type-paraffin-heater/


    They'd certainly be better if they have a flue venting them outside and you'd be able to use the cheaper less clean burning kerosene rather than more expensive, more highly refined C1 paraffin. jamesdbilsland.com/blo…oil

    I believe burning paraffin releases harmful chemicals like benzene into the air, although so does burning paraffin wax candles.

    Also the wicks used in some paraffin heaters used to contain at least some asbestos and probably still do if you buy replacements from China. As did the mantle used in tilley lamps, plus some lamps also had an asbestos "sponge" to hold paraffin around the vaporization tube in order to heat it up when you light it. (edited)
  34. meowdchina's avatar
    Essential item for the outside loo in the winter, also kept the newspaper dry. Those were the days
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