Paraffin Heater Fixes

Paraffin Heater Fixes

Paraffin Heater Fixes

Paraffin Heaters are simple to use. They are however, often misunderstood as being complicated b the user (i.e. you, ye big eejit). Today we’ll look at the most common issues people have with the heaters and show you how to get them back up and running again (if possible).

We already have a guide on Inverter Error Codes, so this post will focus only on the Glow Wick range of heaters. i.e., the ones that look like this:

A Glow Wick 290 paraffin heater on a gold pedestal, surrounded by green and gold wrapped presents


The Heater won’t light

Probably the most common issue that people raise with us is that their heater won’t light. There are four main reasons for this:

1. The batteries are dead

Glow Wick heaters take batteries, but they only use them so that they can be automatically started. If your batteries are dead, the fire-starter inside it won’t have any power to work, and as such, it may appear that the unit isn’t working. It most likely is still working. To get around this, just manually lift the glass globe up, turn the dial so that it’s in the ‘ignition position’, and light the wick with a long neck lighter or one of our USB lighters.

FIX: Get new batteries! Fairly obvious, really.

2. The wick is burnt out

If you’ve let your heater run out of fuel and continue to let it burn, your wick will burn out. If you keep your heater topped up on fuel, this’ll never be an issue.

You’ll be able to easily see if the wick is burned out; just lift the glass globe and turn the dial to the ‘ignition position’. If you see a short, black, ‘crispy’ stump, you’ve burned out your wick.

FIX: Get a new wick.

3. There’s no fuel

Sssshhh. I won’t tell anyone, but like, scarlet for yeh.
But it’s like thinking yer car is broken because you didn’t get any petrol that week.

FIX: Get some Tozane and fill the tank up, there. 

4. You used the wrong fuel. 

If you don’t use Tozane or another appropriate C1 Grade paraffin fuel, your heater will most likely break down. It may take a year, it might happen after one use, but using the wrong fuel means your machine is already on borrowed time. Below is an example from an Inverter heater, but the same applied for wick heaters. Kerosene, the most common substitute for stubborn eejits, is a dirty fuel; it’s full of plastic and dirt and grit. This will clump in the machine, blocking off parts of it and preventing it from working.

FIX: There’s no fix for this, ye eejit. We’ve warnings all over the shop, all over the heater, all over our website and social media posts. You can’t say you weren’t warned. The grit and gunk has gone through the system here and it’d cost more to fix it that it would to get a new heater – and obviously, this isn’t covered under your warranty. I mean, look at it:

A mans hand is visibile, holding a black mass up. It's like a dark mucus and it's shimmery looking.

4.a BONUS: You didn’t read the instructions

If you didn’t read the instructions, you might not be correctly lighting the wick at all. You can see our YouTube Short video on how to do this.

FIX: Watch the video above. 


The dial won’t turn

If the dial doesn’t turn, the chances are that your wick is the issue – this would be the case in 99% of these instances.

1. The wick is burnt out / completely dried out

If your fuel runs out and you allow your heater to continue running, it will burn out the wick. Or, if you don’t let the fuel sit in the heater for the 3-5 hours as recommended, the wick will burn up before it gets soaked in fuel.
Either way, a wick like these will burn down to the end, at which point the mechanism inside will not allow the wick to move.

FIX: You’ll need a new wick


There’s lots of black smoke

Black smoke should not be coming out of your heater. Again, there are several reasons why this may be happening.

Thick Black Smoke

1. The wick is burning out

Like we mentioned above, your wick will burn out if you’ve no fuel in the tank. Sometimes this can lead to black fumes coming out of your machine. The black smoke is essentially the wick burning out.

FIX: You’ll need a new wick (and make sure not to let your heater run out of fuel in the future)

2. The wrong fuel again

Ah, lads. I don’t know how many times we can say it. Don’t put kerosene in a paraffin heater.
Kerosene is full of all sorts of shite. Plastics, grit, dirt. These additions to the fuel burn up in a different way to the fuel itself and if the fuel is particularly dirty, it’ll build up into a mass. The mass will then begin to burn out causing a lot  of black smoke and dangerous fumes to fill the air.

FIX: Again, there is no fix for this, really.


It’s leaking

Okay, before we say anything else – these heaters kind of have to leak. The cap on the end of the fuel tank ‘leaks’, so to speak, to allow the fuel into the body of the heater. However, if you’re flinging your heater around like you’re dancing with Leonardo Di Caprio on the Titanic, the chances are that some of this fuel will escape from the body and slosh about. So the two main reasons for leaking are:

Bubbles and a leak

1. You’re being a bit abrupt when you’re moving. 

Calm down, there. You’re moving a heater, not a rugby ball. If you must move your heater, move it slowly, maintaining a consistent level and not making too many abrupt movements.

FIX: Go easy, there. 

2. Keep it upright

Another common one is having the heater at an angle or storing it sideways (I know, I know.) If the heater isn’t level, the fuel may not be drawn through the heater properly and it may leak out the sides.

FIX: Keep it on a level surface

2. Damage

I mean, an obvious one again, but if you’ve damaged your heater through heavy handed use, some of the mechanisms may break and the fuel may pour out of anywhere in this instance. They’re not easy to break, so if you’ve got this problem, you should know about it already.

FIX: Damage like this most likely isn’t fixable. That said, this is a very uncommon occurrence. 


Still need some help?

Get in touch with us. We can answer any question you may have about Paraffin Heaters. If we can’t get an answer straight away, we’ll find the answer out for you and get back in touch, then! You can also get in touch with us on Facebook or if you’d prefer, over on Instagram.

The wick of a wick heater glowing red with head

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