How to Replace the Wick on a Kerosene Heater

How to Replace the Wick on a Kerosene Heater
Kerosene heaters are an efficient and popular tool for warming rustic cabins, barns and even large wall tents. While simple and easy to operate, these machines still require periodic replacement of their wicks. That procedure requires disassembling most of the heater. While a daunting task, after you have done it a few times you will have the process mastered and can tackle it like an old pro.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Siphon hose
  • Screwdriver
Step 1
Empty the fuel tank with a siphon hose. Turn off the heater as directed by the manufacturer.
Step 2
Remove the heater's grill. Unscrew the heater's cabinet and remove it. On some models it may be necessary to remove other components, such as the chimney, as well.
Step 3
Unscrew and remove the ignition assembly and the wick adjuster assembly.
Step 4
Pull out the safety shutoff lever. Unscrew and remove the extinguisher assembly.
Step 5
Mark where the old wick meets the assembly sleeve's rim of the old wick. Fold the old wick down to free it from the retaining teeth in the assembly. Pull the old wick out.
Step 6
Compare the mark you made old wick to the black line on the new wick. If these are not the same point from the top, make a new mark on the new wick corresponding to the mark on the old wick.
Step 7
Insert the new wick in the wick assembly's sleeve, aligning the mark or line with the sleeve's rim. Press it against the teeth to fasten it into place.
Step 8
Realign the fuel tank gasket if it is not in place. Screw the wick assembly back on and reassemble the kerosene heater, taking care that the bottom of the wick is properly inserted into the fuel tank.
Step 9
Test the wick with the wick adjustment knob. If it does not work, you either made a mistake in installing the wick or in putting the wick assembly back on the heater. Remove the assembly and recheck your work.
Step 10
Reassemble the rest of the heater. Wait 20-30 minutes before lighting the heater, to allow the wick to soak up the necessary kerosene.

Tips & Warnings

Never perform maintenance work on a kerosene heater with fuel in the tank, and always allow the old wick to dry out before attempting to replace it.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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