My Tilley lamp is going out

Discussion in 'Pressure Lamp Discussion Forum' started by Fiona Farrell, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

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    Hello all,
    I am a new member here from Ireland.
    I have been given a very warm welcome,thank you all so much.
    I was lighting my Tillry lamp every day but the last few days,the light in the mantle would go dim and I would still see the vapours fuel burning as a blue flame and hear a loud air sound.
    I haven't checked the lamp for any leaks yet.
    What should I check for please?
    Kind regards,
    Fiona
     
  2. Anthony

    Anthony Australia Subscriber

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    Could be time for a service.
    It sounds like you are getting fire inside the burner.
    This can make the burner very red hot and cause damage to the burner.
    It could be something as simple as the mixing dome come loose or the little piece inside the mixing dome come loose.
    Check there are no wasp nests or other blockages in the air intakes and carefully take the wire out of the vapouriser to see if it is carboned up.
    Keep the pressure up only use good fresh kerosene.

    Most of all, dont use it like that.
     
  3. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

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    Thanks Anthony.
    I have not taken it apart or checked these yet.All I know how to do so far is replace the mantle and put vaseline on the threads of the pump threads and valve/screw/knob to keep it from losing pressure.
    Any diagrams or notes on how to service a Tilley X246B storm lantern?
    It was doing this a few times over the last few days.
    Have a good day.
    Thanks so much,
    Fiona
     
  4. Anthony

    Anthony Australia Subscriber

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    Being a subscriber you will be able to access the reference library.
    THIS one is in there and so are many others.
    You will be able to work out and work around the differences between the 246 and the 246B easily enough.

    THIS is from a CPL member X246
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
  5. Norman

    Norman United States Subscriber

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    Hi Fiona,

    If you plan on dismantling your Tilley burner be very careful because it is very easy to damage the burner or domed part of the burner.
    Pretty much most parts on the burner will unscrew but the domed part of the burner will need a bit of heat to loosen the thread sealer so I hope you have a torch.
    Once you have dismantled the burner assembly you can heat and quench the parts. In other words heat the parts to a dull red and put the parts into a tin of water.
    This will remove most if not all of the carbon in the burner.

    Cheers,
    Norman
     
  6. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

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    Thanks Norman.I don't have a burner.But I will get one now in the hardware shop when getting spammers.
    Thank you.Is that a blow torch or gun?
    Kind regards,
    Fiona
     
  7. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

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    Hello Norman
    I have a weed wand(burner)Would that do ok?
    I screw a small bottle of gas into it.
    I will try and get a bottle of gas for that now.
    Thanks so much.
    I must look at Broadlander's videos and also all the names of all the parts of the Tilley lamp.
    Thanks again,
    Fiona
     
  8. Norman

    Norman United States Subscriber

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    Hi Fiona,

    I'm not sure if a weed burner would work very well.
    You would need to keep a close eye on the project in other words you would have to be close to see when the brass turns a dull red.
    I use 3 different torches I use when working on my lanterns and stoves.

    These 2 get hot enough to do silver soldering and for getting difficult or stubborn lantern and stove parts to loosen up. These 2 torches use Propane or LPG which in the UK is a very expensive fuel canister to use. Here in the USA Propane/LPG is the cheapest fuel canister to buy. Also these torches tend to be expensive.

    DSC00182.JPG

    I did pickup a Butane torch which works very well and is quite easy to use. The butane canister this torch uses is quite cheap or inexpensive in the UK. My new favorite Butane torch is fully adjustable from a soft flame to a hard flame. I use this Butane torch almost every day. I found mine on Amazon and there is one very similar to mine on Amazon UK.
    I purchased 2 of these torches mostly because they are made in China and will stop functioning but for now the one I use is working very well indeed.

    DSC00183.JPG DSC00184.JPG DSC00185.JPG DSC00186.JPG

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Docooler-R...rds=Butane+blow+torch&qid=1605903854&sr=8-220

    I hope this information will serve your needs.

    Cheers,
    Norman
     
  9. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

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    Thanks so much Norman.You are very kind and helpful.
    I will try to find out what is wrong with my Tilley lamp firstly,then see what I need to do.
    Hugs,
    Fiona
     
  10. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Before you start faffing about with blowtorches and dismantling the burner etc., have you checked the basics first? This sounds like a pressure issue to me - vaseline on its own isn't going to stop any air leaks and isn't normally part of a lampie's tool-kit.

    How many pump-strokes are you using? Have you done a dunk test?
     
  11. Norman

    Norman United States Subscriber

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    I decided to read through your post again to get myself up to speed.

    It sounds like your Tilley is going into what we call and under burn which can damage the burner.

    Do you have to use the pricker to get your lantern to run properly? Does the light fluctuate when your lantern is running? If one or both are happening your vaporizer may be the problem. Over the years of usage the vaporizer slowly gets plugged up with carbon. Some have used heating an quenching to dislodge most of the carbon inside the vaporizer with mixed results. As for my experience with Tilley vaporizers when they start going bad it is best just to replace them. The vaporizers are getting hard to find and the new vaporizers come from China and these don't work very well. You can start looking on eBay for a 5 inch 606 New Old Stock, NOS, vaporizers.
    It is still a very good idea to check the burner but in most circumstances the burners are clean inside. If you do find some spiderwebs inside the burner tubes this is easy to clean but using Hydrogen Peroxide and then rinse is out with water.

    I don't think you are losing pressure but it is a very good idea to get a service kit for your Tilley lantern. The Fettle Box does offer some very good service kits.

    Tilley Washer Kit - The Fettlebox

    Tilley Deluxe Washer & Seal Kit (std) or Refill - The Fettlebox


    Cheers,
    Norman
     
  12. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Surely low pressure is one of the main causes of under-burn, especially in simple lanterns like Tilley.

    This could be something as simple as insufficient pump-strokes (especially combined with low fuel level), worn pump washer or pump-cup. My line of thought is to eliminate these simple things first. If it's not those, my next port of call would be the vapouriser which could be nearing the end of its service life. If the cleaning needle has carbon build-up then the vapouriser tube will also be clogged...
     
  13. James

    James Subscriber

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    I always thought that underburn was caused by a worn-out burner. That the holes where the flame emerges from have enlarged through erosion and are allowing the flame to pass through and ignite the gases inside the burner.
     
  14. MYN

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    I've had an underburn on my X246B too, at least a couple of years ago.
    The burner was glowing red. There was the characteristic 'growl' too:). The only way to stop that was to shut the lantern down.
    It could well be partly due to a worn jet. There were flames outside the seriously dimmed mantle. And they were rising all the way up to the mixer dome and air tubes. I believe the underburn on mine was initiated when the burner, air tubes and mixer dome assembly became overheated by the flames licking them for too long.
    I eventually tore the assembly down for an inspection. I couldn't find any tell-tale signs of a worn burner as they appeared clean and almost new on the insides. I did not replace the vaporizer because I don't have any spares around.
    It simply couldn't work well with kerosene.
    After that, I took my chances and tested it with petrol instead(seriously not recommended). To my delight, it lighted up brightly and worked like a charm.
    Since it was not designed to safely operate with petrol as the fuel, I only lighted it a couple of times ever since.
     
  15. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Enlarged burner holes certainly won't help. However, they're quite large even when the burner is brand new and it's highly unlikely they'll have worn sufficiently "over the last few days" as Fiona reports to the point that underburn will result.

    What really keeps the flamelets in the correct place (i.e. inside the mantle) is the fact that the pressure inside the burner is significantly higher than the pressure outside it. Thus the fuel air mixture flows from the burner into the mantle. Once that pressure differential/gradient reduces, the flames are more likely to burn back. Anything that reduces the pressure gradient from the tank to the burner outlets will contribute to the probability of underburn. Think back to the first lesson on how the good old bunsen burner works - the teacher probably demonstrated underburn by reducing the pressure from the gas tap. Well, I did for the best part of 25 years.

    Let's keep it simple and establish there's enough pressure in the tank first - about 70 pump-strokes with a full tank of fuel. Then make sure those pump-strokes are generating enough pressure i.e. the pump-leather is in good condition. Then, make sure that pressure isn't being lost by a hardened or worn-out pump washer.

    After those causes have been eliminated, then you might want to look at other possibilities...
     
  16. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

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    Thanks David,sorry for the delay in replying.
    I haven't tried to fix my Tilley lamp yet.
    What should I do firstly?
    It was doing this a few times,the last few times I lit it.
    I won't light it again until I look at a youtube video by Broadlander or get advice here as to what to do.
    I am busy with farm,hen clocking ..hopefully she will hatch out some eggs in another week approximately.
    The problem was that the mantle light would go dim and I would hear a louder air sound and still see a blue flame.
    The sound was kind of like that sound you get from a gas hob when the gas doesn't light.
    Kind regards,
    Fiona
     
  17. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

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    Thanks very much Norman.
    Busy with farm and christmas baking and was hoping I would get my Petromax going.
    I am very new to the Tilley lamp and have as yet not tried to figure out what is wrong with it.
    When I get time I will reread all the advice from everyone and watch Broadlanders videos and take it from there.
    I will then see what parts etc and tools etc that I need to fix it.
    Thanks so much.
    Hugs,
    Fiona
     
  18. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

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    Thanks David.I was pumping about 100 times or more.
    I think I better order a new pump leather and pump washer firstly and see if that makes a difference.I noticed that the pump didn't seem to be working as well.Could be just low pressure for sure.
    What do I need do you think and will I order from the fettlebox?
    Kind regards,
    Fiona
     
  19. Henry Plews

    Henry Plews Subscriber

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    Some things to check / try:
    Is the pump leather in good order i.e. free from splits and tears ?
    If the leather is dry and / or hard, use a little light oil to moisten it and keep it supple - olive oil or something like 3-in-1 will do.
    Assuming the pump is working, you can find out where the pressure is leaking from by doing a "dunk test". Some people recommend emptying the tank of fuel first but it's not really necessary. Pump some air into the tank - 50 or more pump strokes, take out the pump plunger with leather washer and immerse the tank part in a bucket of water, bubbles of escaping air will indicate which seals have failed.

    I'd recommend you get a full set of washers (seals),
    Tilley Washer Kit if one has failed, it's only a matter of time before others follow suite.
    Tilley lamps were designed so they could be serviced without the need of any tools, though in practice, you may need a pair of pliers to undo some of the parts. With new seals, finger tight will be sufficient to prevent leaks.
     
  20. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Thanks, Henry - exactly what I was going to say! :thumbup:

    The only extra point I'd make is that The Fettlebox seal kit is the 'old' 498 with Part No.155 washers for the NRV. These won't do for the X246B, of course. Does anyone know of a reliable source (i.e. not the existing Tilley company) for the shaped NRV pips?
     
  21. Henry Plews

    Henry Plews Subscriber

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    @David Shouksmith

    Correct but they are perfect for @Fiona Farrell 's lamp here
    Help needed please in Ireland

    Not individually but they are available as part of a full set from the likes of hootflipflopandfly and arty_pharty. Personally, I'd be tempted to buy the brass pip holder and use the plain flat pips.
     
  22. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

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    Oh Dear David,
    I just ordered the Tilley deluxe service kit from the Fettlebox.
    My lamp I bought from Roger and Pat,is a Tilley Hendon X246B storm lamp(vintage) as far as I know.
    Hungry now..need to eat..
    Roger mentioned that flip flop ebay person I think.
    Thank you,
    Fiona
     
  23. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

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    You are so kind,thank you Henry
     
  24. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

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  25. Henry Plews

    Henry Plews Subscriber

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    Hello Fiona, you have no need to worry, your lantern is an X246 and the seals from The Fettlebox will work a treat.


    Have a look in The Lamp Reference Gallery for differences between X246, X246A and X246B. Storm Lanterns The main differences are the tank shape and the way in which the cage (frame) with handle is attached to the tank. As for the seals (washers), the only one that's different is #155 i.e. the one that fits the N.R.V. & control cock.
     
  26. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

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    Thank you Henry.Hoping to get some time to get my lamps serviced...very busy with Christmas prep and hoping to have baby chicks next week,fingers crossed.
    Thanks very much.
    Hugs,
    Fiona
     
  27. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    No wonder I'm confused - we seem to be talking about two different lanterns in the same thread - X246 and X246B.

    The 'old' 498 with the plain No. 155 NRV seals is correct for the X246 whereas the 'new' 498 with the shaped NRV seals is correct for the X246B...
     
  28. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

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  29. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

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    Hello Henry,
    I would like to thank you for all your help.
    I am very busy with christmas preparation at the moment and I haven't had time to look at my lamps.I am also waiting for the kit to come.
    If you would like me to send you a christmas card,please send me your postal address.
    Kind regards,
    Fiona
     
  30. MYN

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    Perhaps pictures of the newly hatched chicks:).
     

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