‘‘ Jet A is nothing but kerosene,’’ was a statement that we received over and over again from pump jockeys on our Alaska trip. On the web all the sites I found before we left concurred, JET-A is nothing but kerosene.
However, all three burners on the stove had pretty much stopped working by the time we returned to Lake Union. John Gardner, from whom I bought the stove, had suggested that we not clean the burners as suggested at the websites, and we did not. I came to believe that was the problem.
John offered to rebuild the burners for free, because they were giving us problems.
When I pulled burners out to send them to John, I found that bottoms of each burner were clogged with carbon, they had ‘‘coked.*’’
Finally, some time around Christmas I sent the burners off to John in the UK. This week I received an email telling me that the burners had run at too high a temperature and they all must be discarded.
This brings us to three questions:
- Why were the burners running too hot?
- Why should it matter?
- Should I replace the stove?
Number three first: Unless something changes, yep, it’s time to replace the stove. Properly renovated, it may get close to what I paid for it. But not in calendar 2017. A Wallas replacement stove would be $6000 dollars. Even if I got the $3400 I paid for the Taylor, I would still need another $2600 plus installation parts, so $3000 total. That’s not in this year’s budget.
John Gardner tells me parts of the burners ‘‘ruptured’’ from the heat. I can’t figure this out. There is very little inside the burner. John and I will speak on Monday.
The burners are actually made in Germany (and are referred to by Taylors users as the ‘‘German Burners’’) by Hanse and are about 120€ each, plus shipping. Not cheap, so we’re talking about $400 in parts to repair the stove… A seriously unexpected cost.
Talyors wants £135 per burner.
The Euro is seriously down, it seems. (The Euro was originally supposed to be par with the dollar.) 120€ is only about $127 dollars. Not too bad.
£135 is $167 dollars, however. Quite a difference. An extra burner for free, when I buy three.
Why were the burners running so hot and what is the difference between Jet-A and Kerosene (which is, actually, #1 diesel)?
Jet-A is Kerosene with additives: Tolulene and other very high surface pressure solvents. They make the fuel burn hotter and reduce build up. So, yeah, we can run #1 diesel, but not Jet-A.
One purpose of the trip was to have a shakedown cruise and learn. We continue to do learn.
I must admit, I do like cooking on this stove. It is one of the few stoves I have ever cooked on that could actually sauté. But then, perhaps that was because I was running Jet-A rather then Kerosene/#1 Diesel/paraffin.
It still remains, what ruptured because of the high heat?
Looking at the exploded parts replacement parts at the left, the bottom most piece is the coiled gunked-up piece we could see from the bottom of the burner. Above it is, I think the balancing jet assembly, but I’m really not certain.
What could the higher heat have reasonably done? The burner is made of brass. Brass melts at roughly 1700º F, over 900ºC. I would have thought that the burner couldn’t get that hot, but if it was actually coking the fuel, perhaps it has.
I don’t believe any of the unit is soldered, but if it is, the solder might not hold. When I speak with John on Monday, I’ll learn what I can.
Toplicht is the German company the sells the Hanse burners. However, for the US, the reseller is Sea Sure in the UK. As is very common, the parts are the roughly same price in the UK as in Germany, but in Pounds Sterling, rather than Euros. £115 or $147 versus $127 from Germany.
I’ve also started looking at the Swiss stove Bertschi. The technology is newer and the prices are much less. Selling the Taylors might yield a Bertschi for free.
*Coking is the process of heating coal to very high heat without oxygen. The impurities will vaporize leaving pure carbon, called coke.