How To Replace Wick In Kerosene Heater

As a responsible homeowner, you should know how to replace the wick in your kerosene heater. 

If your old one has finally worn out or if you have just purchased a new model, knowing how to install one can significantly save you from all the struggles that newbies go through.

The good news is that this post will provide you with in-depth information on how to replace wick in kerosene heater. 

What’s more, we’ll offer you more information about this topic to help you through the entire process.

What is Kerosene Heater Wick?

A kerosene heater wick is a piece of cotton or hemp rope that draws fuel from the tank and up into the generator, where it’s burned for heat. They can be used to draw diesel or oil instead.

The wick’s material needs to be durable, porous (to allow for transfer), and non-combustible. This prevents it from getting destroyed when in use.

The advantage of a kerosene heater wick is that it doesn’t need to be replaced very often, unlike some other wick materials, which you must change every few days. Therefore, it’s more economical and significantly helps you save money in the long run.

How to Tell if Your Kerosene Heater Wick is Bad?

If your kerosene heater is not running correctly, if you notice any signs of smoke when starting the unit, or it has trouble lighting, then this could mean that your wick needs to be replaced. 

The best indicator that your kerosene heater wick is in bad shape may be how much fuel you are using. And where the flame level sits on the burner. 

If there isn’t a strong blue flame coming off of it but instead yellow flames, the mixture ratio between air and gas is out of balance, causing low heat production. When this happens, your heater will burn more fuel than usual.

Another indicator is that the flame on your kerosene heater keeps going out. If you find yourself having to relight it every few minutes or keep adjusting its height because of an unstable flame. 

Then the chances are good that there’s something wrong with the wick and/or nozzle assembly. What’s happening here is not enough oxygen gets mixed in with the gas. 

So, when you try to reignite it after it goes out for some time, there isn’t any heat being produced by the newly added lighter fluid fumes coming off from whatever remains of unburned kerosene inside of what used to be a hot burner head assembly. This means you need to clean the wick and replace it.

Another way to tell if your kerosene heater wick bad is if you notice smoke coming from the unit when it starts up or is at its highest heat output setting. 

When this happens, it means that too much fuel is being used to produce enough heat for your space. So, increasing airflow by opening windows will help decrease how much-unburned fuel goes out through them. 

Along with any black carbon residue in the form of soot produced during combustion, which makes you breathe cleaner air while also saving on heating costs.

When Should I Replace My Kerosene Heater Wick?

The wick should be replaced when it is too dirty to burn well. Also, if you are not getting the maximum heat out of your heater, it might need a new wick. 

You can also tell if your wick needs replacement by how much soot collects around the flame area and inside the oil reservoir above it. 

It may simply be that dirt or dust has fallen into this pool of fuel that built up over time in between burns. 

But changing out the old cotton fiber with a new one will help eliminate all these problems. 

It’s also highly recommended that you change your kerosene heater wick annually.

As always, ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get the best results. 

How Much Does a Kerosene Heater Wick Cost?

A kerosene heater wick is very cheap. Depending on the size of your heater or the size of wick you want to buy, it tends to range from $6 up to over $20. 

This cost estimation is based on checking from some popular online sellers like Amazon, eBay, and the likes. 

Therefore, you shouldn’t expect to spend too much money on a kerosene heater wick, depending on where you buy.

How Long Does It Take to Replace a Kerosene Heater Wick?

Replacing a kerosene heater wick takes an average of 15 minutes. This is mainly because you need to remove the old, dirty wick and replace it with a new one. 

However, some heater wicks are designed so that you must light it on fire before putting the new one. You can also use wick cleaner to clean out your heater and eliminate any clogs or residue so it burns appropriately again.

Another thing that may be an issue is the design of your heater. For example, some heaters have a system where you pull out the old wick and immediately put in a new one. 

This is because the wick may not fit right if it sits for too long before replacing it with another one. So, there are some things to consider when removing your heater’s wick.

You should always use caution when dealing with fire or other heating systems, though, so keep that in mind as well while doing this process.

If something goes wrong during the replacement of your kerosene heater wick, don’t worry. 

Just refer back to these instructions again until you feel confident enough to try it again. 

You can also ask an expert about doing this process appropriately to ensure you don’t mess up anything.

It’s highly recommended to know how to replace a kerosene heater wick before attempting to do it. This helps to alleviate any possible mistakes you might make and then end up in losses.

How to Replace a Kerosene Heater Wick – Step-by-Step

Kerosene heaters wick replacement is inevitable. While this might feel like a complex procedure, you’ll be able to do it efficiently with this guide.

The wick on your kerosene heater is vital in determining how effectively your heater works.

Your wick draws the kerosene from your tank, depending on the material used. Cotton or fiberglass are commonly used in the manufacturing of wicks.

When your wick is lit, the kerosene in your fuel becomes a gas. When this gas is burned, heat is released, which will warm a space. During power outages, these heaters are particularly popular.

The procedure for changing a kerosene heater wick varies by model. And you will be instructed precisely regarding your new wick.

You’ll also want to be sure that the wick you select is appropriate for your kerosene heater.

Nevertheless, this guide will give you a general idea of the processes involved.

Step 1: Burn the Heater Dry

The first thing you need to do before you attempt to change the wick in your heater is to remove all the current fuel in your tank. 

Removing the fuel is done by dry burning your heater. The best way to conduct this process is outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. 

That’s because harmful gases and unpleasant smells are typically given off during the dry burning process. 

When you’re doing it outside, allow the heater to burn away. This process is also helpful for cleaning kerosene heater wicks. Once your wick is dry, you need to cool down the heater entirely before working with it.

Step 2: Disassemble the Heater

Once the heater tank has completely cooled down, it’s safe to remove the fuel tank. You also need to remove the wick adjuster and your batteries at this stage. The process is simple since they will pull straight out. After that, look for the grill at the front of your heater and then open it.

This is where you’ll find the catalytic converter, and it will need to be removed. You need to be cautious when removing the converter. First, you’ll need to take off the screws that hold the base of the heater in place.

Next, take off the windshield and put it to one side. Thirdly, remove the wick assembly by unscrewing the nuts holding them in place.

You should now be able to remove the old wick. But before you do that, draw a mark showing where you positioned the old wick. This will help to make your work easier.

Step 3: Install the New Wick

Before installing the new wick, compare it to the mark you made on the holder. The mark should match your new wick, but if it doesn’t, don’t worry. 

You can add a mark or line to your new wick that matches the mark of your old wick.

This will help you insert the wick to the correct level in the holder. Fold the wick in half to attach it and insert it to the container matching the depth to the mark you made. After you’re satisfied with the depth, release the wick for it to return to shape. 

This will cause the wick to attach itself to the teeth that hold it in place within the holder. You can then reattach this holder to the heater.

Step 4: Reassemble the Heater

After attaching your new wick, you can now start reassembling the heater. Start with the wick adjuster knob because you’ll need the wick to move correctly.

You can test by moving the wick entirely up and down. Once you’re satisfied, you can now add and tighten the nuts for the wick assembly unit.

After doing all that, all you’ll have remaining is to reattach everything that you removed from the above steps. Once you complete the reassembly, your heater will now be ready to use again.