Lighting with heating fuel or propane? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

During last winter9s ice storm here in Maine, most of the state lost power for anywhere from two days to four weeks. Store shelves were stripped of lamp oil and candles within the first 36 hours in most towns. But just about every homeowner had 200+ gallons of fuel sitting uselessly in a big tank down in the basement. My question is, can heating fuel be used safely in oil lamps? Aladdin lamps? Camping stoves? I've seen references to it in several books ("Alas Babylon," for example), but I'm looking for real-life experience rather than literary allusions. Also, I've seen deck lights powered off the propane tanks used in gas grills. Is it possible to run a line off a large, home-sized propane tank or an underground supply line ( for those who have natural gas piped into their homes) for interior gas lamps and what are the dangers or drawbacks?

-- J.D. Clark (, August 21, 1998


A lot of the southwest uses Propane as a replacement for natural gas. Wherever the ground is too hard to lay natural gas lines, you'll see homes with propane tanks. You can buy furnaces, stovetop ranges and refridgerators that run off of propane. I wouldn't suggest having any kind of built in gas lights in your home as it can be dangerous if there's a leak, although it's feasible to have a home tank that you can use to fill smaller bottles and run coleman lanterns, etc.. with. If you use propane at all, remember to open a window for ventilation.

-- Renaldo W. (, August 24, 1998.

Each year I camp in the Colorado mountains in the fall with some friends in a trailer at a remote location - no power available, etc. We use propane coleman lamps and a propane powered radiant heater. One problem is that a product of the propane combustion is a lot of water vapor - typically the windows are streaming with water after a couple of hours of running the propane appliances inside on a frosty night. We open the windows a little for fresh air, but if you open them too wide, you lose all the heat you generated. ...

-- Dan Hunt (, August 25, 1998.

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