my petromax arrived, but I cant make it work! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

filled it with oil, tried to pump it upto the red mark, but it wont go up there. tried roughing up the gasket, but still wont go! any sugestions appreciated!

-- ed (, February 26, 1999


call their customer service, the nicest people ive ever done business with... once you get it to work you will be very pleased...

-- jim bern (, February 26, 1999.


When mine arrived I thought something was wrong with it. I oiled the plunger per instructions, added fuel and pumped it, nothing happened. Reread the instructions and the trouble shooting tips. Pumped it some more, cursed it, pumped it some more, cursed it again, hey wait a minute is that line moved, maybe just a smidge. Pumped somemore - yep it had moved. So I pumped some more. When I finally had the sucker fired up and running (even pumped it while it was preheating to keep the pressure up...) Anyway when all was said and done I understood Diana's comment in her instructions about being tired. I had to work to get that thing going. Mine took a lot more pumping than I ever expected. If you still have problems, give Diane a call. I'm sure they'll help.

On the bright side the light (and the heat) are worth it.


-- john hebert (, February 26, 1999.

There is a knack required. The pump really does make a sort of "pfft" sound when you're doing it right. Ironically, worked great for me first time, then I "forgot" to look at instructions and flooded the stupid thing the next time with kero. My take: perfect for what we got it for (the barn) but I'll stick with our Aladdins for most stuff inside. That said, if I could only get one, I would get the Petromax, not the Aladdin, both because of wattage, heat and fuel flexibility. So don't give up.

-- BigDog (, February 26, 1999.

Yes, it takes a lot of pumping, and I'd hate to be in a hurry. It seems to get a bit easier the more it is used. I never have been able to get it up to 3 though. I'm now leaving it under pressure when I'm finished. The pressure drops only _very slightly over several days, so I know all the valves and seals are working.

In the spirit of grooving in all the y2k gear I took the lantern out into the rain late at night. Got it pumped up and going, then went for a mile walk. Used the reflector. The walk was a considerably different experience using the lantern instead of a flashlight.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, February 26, 1999.

Mitchell --- cool idea about leaving the pressure on, though seems like one shouldn't have to. We've never gotten it to 3 either (let me put it this way, I could but would probably break the lantern from it flopping around so much while I did it). Jesse Ventura maybe.

Consumer Reports: this is not a lantern for your aged mother.

-- BigDog (, February 26, 1999.

You folks are as handy as pockets in an apron. Now I know what I'm in for when I actually try to set up the Petromax that arrived yesterday. Any advice for one who has the upper-arm strength of a nematode? Thanks!

-- FM (, February 26, 1999.

Levers, maybe?

-- FM (, February 26, 1999.

The pumping issue is one of many reasons why I'd never trade my Coleman kerosene pressure lantern for a Petromax. Just as bright, and parts like globes, generators, pumps and, most important, mantles, are readily available at most outdoor/camping stores. If you're really worried about running out of kero (you should've stored enough by now to run it for years) and having to use gasoline or camping fuel, you could still but both a kerosene and dual-fuel Coleman for the price of the Petromax alone. Of course, if you plan on using a lantern inside, gas is out of the question anyway. It releases large amounts of CO, and the fire hazard is obvious.

-- scooter (light@kero.bright), February 26, 1999.

wish I hadnt a bought it now.

-- ed (, February 26, 1999.

I'm glad I have all my oil lamps and supply of oil. Hardly any working parts involved. Called Aladdin Lamp today to find out where my parts were to my lamp. Before I could get the words out of my mouth, the man said, we're 6 months behind you won't get your order until then. I told him all I wanted was a wick, a collar and cap. Oh he said, I thought you were ordering a lamp, I'll ship that out today priority mail. I guess that puts Alladin lamp orders that need to be filled into August.

-- bardou (, February 26, 1999.

Like to get more thoughts on comparison between petromax & alladin, which is brighter & warmer for indoor use? Would these be brighter than a battery-run lantern? (8 rechargeable D size batteries).

-- Ray (, February 27, 1999.

Petromax much hotter and much brighter (about 3X, IMO) than Aladdin.

-- BigDog (, February 27, 1999.

Hey Ray,

Go check out a thread from a few days ago called "Coleman Fuel".

Scooter and I pretty well bashed each other apart there on most of the issues relating to the Petromax vs Coleman match.

Trying to start that match here again would be like listening to the Blue Zone / White Zone battle in Airport.

-- Greybear, who prefers a machine that probably won't even need any parts for the next oh, say 20-30 years. We suspect it may not be all that convienient to run down to one of those numerous stores.

- Got Mantles?

ps, OK, I promise to stop now if you will scotty.

-- Greybear (, February 27, 1999.

My Petro arrived. Pumped it like I pump iron for many minutes. Flooded and flamed foot high.

Next day checked needle valve. Pumped iron for many minutes. Flooded and flamed foot high.

Called Petro (not Diane's). Said, send it back to them to fix. Did. Hope they fix it and send it back.

-- fly .:. (.@...), February 27, 1999.

Ok, ok, but it was a good fight :)

-- scooter (itwas@fun.too), February 27, 1999.

still cant make it work! guess Im just stupid! I have two aladdins, and didnt have any trouble making those suckers work! about ten year years ago, I went fishing with a guy that had a coleman lantern, which also had mantles and had to be pumped up. before that night was over, he had went through six mantles, and was cussing pretty good before he threw the thing into the lake! I came away from that experience with the knowledge of never buying a coleman! now, I can say, "dont only not buy a coleman, but dont buy a petromax, as well!

-- ed (, February 28, 1999.

Ed, would you like to sell you Petromax cheap?

-- I. B. Broke (broke@trying.anyway), February 28, 1999.

hey, fm, you having any luck with that thing?

-- ed (, February 28, 1999.

I have roughed up the washer with sandpaper as well as a knife. I do not get a pfft sound when I pump the damn thing! dammit, diana!

-- ed (, February 28, 1999.


DON'T GIVE UP! Pressurized lanterns are a wonderful tool. Colemans are nice, and the Petromax is a 'Cadillac'.

This is a very good illustration, for the participants of this forum, for the need to be proficient in the use and care of *ALL* our volatile tools. Don't wait until the need for the tool(firearm, lantern, cookstove, heater, etc.) is at hand to learn proficiency. That is the recipe for disaster. Familarizing yourself with the correct use and maintenance of these tools will not guarantee success, but it will eliminate unnecessary pitfalls.

Good luck and --- Keep on...Keeping on


-- c (c@c.c), February 28, 1999.

For all who would like easy fuel storage... Call your local bulk fuel distributor and ask them to deliver a 55 gal. drum of "#1 clear" kerosine. The current price from my supplier is $1.81 per gal + $25.00 drum deposit(your mileage may vary).

-- c (c@c.c), February 28, 1999.

Agree with c wholeheartedly about exercising all our Y2K preps and more than once. We are very happy with the Petromax though, yes, it is a bit of a bear. Er, maybe this is different strokes for different folks?

-- BigDog (, February 28, 1999.

Wait a minute BD. Was that some kind of veiled derogatory reference?

Now that I think about it, most of the Bear friends have said he's stubborn and hard to get along with.


-- Greybear, hummph

- Got Experience?

-- Gerybear (, February 28, 1999.

Ordered and just received two Petromax lanterns. Got one for myself and one for my friend, Mr. Widget Wizard. I just spoke with him on the phone and learned that he got his going with absolutely no problem, and had it up to a "3" in very little time. I asked him if he had any tips for people having trouble with theirs. He said he used a bit of grease on the pump rather than oil. He said probably the best tip is to pump s-l-o-w, like about 1 pump every 2 seconds, using the palm of the hand rather than forefinger and thumb. He said his was at "2" before he lit it, and went to a "3" after the 1 minute wait and about 30 more pumps. He thought my own lack of upper arm strength should present no problem at all. I'm getting him to help me start mine on Friday. If anyone's still having problems, I'll report back with whatever tricks he teaches me. Also, he's used about every type and brand of lantern and is extremely impressed with the Petromax.

Good luck :)

-- Wanda (, March 01, 1999.


Just a followup of the 'pffft'. I get the 'pffft' at the very end of the pump stroke - just about the time the knob bumps the lantern. If I don't go all the way to the lantern when pumping it up,I don't get the 'pffft'.

If you don't want it, I'll start the bidding at $35.

Good Luck, jh

-- john hebert (, March 01, 1999.


-- I.B. Broke (busted@trying.anyway), March 01, 1999.


-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, March 01, 1999.

$50, 2 ea 1lb bags of pintos, 3 lbs of rice, a can of Spam and I'll throw in a qt. of bottled water.

L&B offer

-- I.B.Broke (busted@trying.anyway), March 01, 1999.

$50, plus Troll Maria and Chris will mudwrestle you.

-- King of Spain (, March 01, 1999.

$51 and three of my very best survival books. "How to Adjust Kerosene Lamps in 10 Easy Lessons", "Boiling Water over Sterno", and the best "Home Defense with a BB Gun"

-- I.B.Broke (busted@trying.anyway), March 01, 1999.

$55, then after the mudwrestling, the ladies will treat you like a Petromax. (Ya can't top this, I.B.! Pfffffttt!!!!)

-- King of Spain (, March 01, 1999.

Their gonna tie a mantle on me, pour me full of kerosene, and set me on fire?

I.B. withdraws from the bidding.

-- I.B.Broke (busted@trying.anyway), March 01, 1999.

to ib broke an king of spain: fuck you both ! I finally got it to work, and now I wouldnt sell it for a thousand bux!

-- ed (, March 01, 1999.


My, my, working on the ol Petromax seems to have made you a little touchy.

I think those guys were just having a little fun waiting around for you to get it started, we all knew you would.

Ain't it a great machine?

-- Greybear (, March 01, 1999.


-- ed (, March 01, 1999.

The post from the person who ordered alladin parts got me thinking: does the list of replacement parts you can order include EVERY part of the lamp?

Can you enlighten us?


-- c. p. frost (, March 01, 1999.


Congrats. Just out of curiosity what did it take/how did you get it going. As I indicated, mine takes work to get going, if the grease trick did it or something else makes it easier I'd sure like to know. Thanks. Glad to see you can now see.

Good Luck. jh

-- john hebert (, March 01, 1999.

called eddie, and he said to soak the leather plunger in kerosene to make it swell! also to maybe only try a half stoke on the pump, rather than taking it all the way to the top.

-- ed (, March 01, 1999.

There ya go, ed, THATS what I was talking about back during the bidding war. (IB missed it completely!)

-- King of Spain (, March 01, 1999.

Troll Maria might treat him like a Petromax, she seems the type that has the full leather gear. I completely lack the upper body strength, my only exercise is from pumping the mouse all day.

King of Spain and Ed, you've been hanging in the AOL gutters too much.

-- Chris (, March 01, 1999.

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