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Thread: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

  1. #1
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    Default Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    Anyone have a BriteLyt Petromax? I got one with the top reflector for $71. I'm disappointed with their quality control.

    The fuel tank has a lot of crud in it. I fear it will cause problems by plugging up the orifices. It looks like rust. BriteLyt says it isn't rust because all the parts are brass. I believe that. BriteLyt says they tell everyone to clean out the tank good. Well they forgot to mention that to me, and they don't explain how to clean the tank good. The only access is via a few small holes.

    BriteLyt says it's the fuel additives that remain when the lanterns are tested overseas. I don't believe that. It would have to be the world's dirtiest fuel. I think it's from the manufacturing process. Maybe solder flux or something that results from brazing.

    I can't get it all out of the tank. I rinsed the tank 20 times with gasoline and I blew it out with compressed air 8 times. That got most of it, but some remains. It won't dissolve in methanol or isopropanol.

    This really angers me. I thought the orifices would never plug because I intend to use pure Klean Heat kerosene which leaves no residue.

    Anyone else have this problem, or a solution?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    I've got a Petromax like yours. Yes, the quality is awful. The fill cap on mine doesn't seal in the threads, and it just doesn't hold pressure. Never did. No satisfaction from the company, either. It's just a fancy paperweight. I hope you have better luck.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    The BriteLyt people seem to be making up the rules as they go along. Well I guess it's good they are staying in business. It seems now that they distinguish between the Petromax and the BriteLyt, but you wouldn't know that from their website.

    Diana at BriteLyt admits the Petromax isn't made in Germany now and the quality isn't the best. They say the BriteLyt is the best. Well okay, but I thought they were the same. They are apparently made in the same factory because my Petromax has the o-ring pump that BriteLyt says only their lantern has, and my "Original Rapid Petromax" factory booklet mentions the protection plate otherwise known as the heat shield that BriteLyt says my "old fashioned" Petromax doesn't have. Well my lantern doesn't have it but my booklet shows it.

    My filler cap leaked at first. Actually it was the pressure release valve. The thumbscrew didn't seat well in the valve seat. They don't line up correctly and when tightened, the thumbscrew is cockeyed. I found after tightening with my fingers, that a little more twist with pliers would cause the valve to seal air-tight.

    When I mentioned this to BriteLyt, they suggested I should tighten even more with the pliers as this should seat the ball at the end of the screw into the copper cup that acts as the valve seat. After loosening I then should be able to tighten it with my fingers and it wouldn't leak. If not, they said they would exchange it with another one.

    I just tried this and it seems to work. The pressure has held constant for the last eight hours.

    If your cap leaks where it screws on to the tank, then that's another story. It should have a rubber gasket, and the end of the filler tube should be square enough to get a good seal.

    As you probably know, you can check for leaks by submerging it in a bucket of water.

    Well maybe I've cleaned the tank enough. Hopefully the remaining particles, that seem to be stuck in the crack around the periphery of the bottom plate, where it's soldered to the sides, won't get picked up in the kerosene.

    I will light it up this weekend.

    Don't give up on your Petromax. It seems there should be an easy fix, even if it means buying another filler cap.

    Just to make myself clear, the threads don't seal anything. In the case of the thumbscrew, it's the "ball" on the end of the screw that seals in the copper cup. In the case of the filler cap, it's the rubber gasket that seals against the filler tube.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    I think in my case the fine threads just 'skip' when tightened, preventing a good seal. Almost like the cap is a hair too big. It's the schrader valve cap used in place of the pump. I could never get the pump to pressurize the tank enough to light it off. Let me know how you make out, because it's a cool looking lantern and I bet a good, dependable one would be worth the $$$. Mine is not.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    That's unfortunate. I wonder if your schrader has bad or non-standard threads, or if your Petromax does. Did BriteLyt indicate it was the lantern that was bad?

    BriteLyt brags that the parts for their new lanterns will fit Petromax lanterns made 100 years ago.

    But they do say the current Petromax has quality problems.

    I haven't yet purchased the schrader valve cap. My pump is the new style with a rubber o-ring instead of the leather seal. I'm thinking of ordering one though, and if it won't fit, I'll be angry all over again.

    If you have the pump with the leather seal, you should get the o-ring upgrade. Just make sure you remove any grease from the o-ring and lubricate it with a light oil. The guy in the video mentioned WD40. I used pure kerosene (Klean Heat). It takes an enormous number of strokes of the pump, but it's good exercise. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] I managed to get the pressure gauge to the red line last night and I'm sure it took over 500 strokes.

    There are other things you can try to get the schrader to work. The seal doesn't have to be absolutely perfect because there is a check valve at the bottom of the pump tube that should keep air from exiting the tank once you get it in there. I suppose the check valve could be leaking because of dirt in it. Mine doesn't leak, but maybe I'm lucky. I did remove the check valve to aid in blowing out the tank. You need to find a screwdriver with a wide but thin blade at least 6 inches long.

    You could use a gasket sealer on the threads. The only problem is, this is pretty much a permanent thing. If you wanted to remove it in the future, it could be difficult. Maybe heat would help, and there are various kinds of sealer, some more permanent than others. Note that in this case, it wouldn't necessarily be the rubber gasket (if there is one) in the schrader cap that does the sealing, but rather the threads themselves.

    I would try a reversible fix first. I would get a roll of teflon tape and wrap a few turns around the threads before screwing it together. This teflon tape is the preferred method for making threaded pipe seal tightly and you can get it at any hardware store. Note that I don't know if this would work, but it might be worth a try. The main purpose of this tape for ordinary threaded pipe connections isn't to seal the threads but to lubricate the threads so you can screw it together more tightly. This isn't what you want, but just maybe it will work.


    Lastly I suppose you could buy a new tank. BriteLyt sells the various parts, but for whatever reason, I don't see the tank listed on their website.

    There are several places where the thing could be leaking. And when you can't get air into the tank, it would make testing for leaks difficult. Don't forget to turn the big knob to the 12 o'clock position to shut off air flow from the vaporizer tube. You don't need much pressure to check for leaks under water. If you can't get any pressure with the built-in pump, even without the o-ring upgrade, then something else is seriously wrong. Maybe the check valve at the bottom of the pump tube. By the way, if you have the leather pump, I think the leather needs lubricating too. And maybe some stretching.

    Last but not least, the gauge may not be working until you tinker with it. Mine was permanently stuck in the 1/4 position when I got it. I removed the cover and touched the needle with my finger and it started working. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    P.S. If you have no way to see the video tape, there may be other ways. Like a DVD or if you have access to wide-band internet, how about a couple of 1 GB mpeg files?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    man I had some major problems/issues with brightlight and dianna.

    I will write a post about it tommorrow

  7. #7

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    Good thread going here. I thought about soldering the schrader cap on, or using a good sealant - permanent, I know. It is the right fitting bought directly from britelyt. The gauge works fine, and comes up to redline using one of those rechargeable air compressors, but it won't hold the pressure for more than a couple of minutes. I know what's going on with it, so no need to reinvent the wheel, but I got frustrated after spending the $$$ on the lantern only to find the leather diaphram pump basically useless, then getting stiffed on the schrader valve. I guess I more or less gave up. This thread has rekindled my interest though and maybe I'll dig 'er out this weekend.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    evtide
    there is a one way valve in the bottom of the air pump bore.
    yours might be bad.

    with out a doubt petromax lanterns are the best made.
    but brightlight as a company is not.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    I have to say this for BriteLyt. I've sent them 4 e-mails in the last week and they responded to each one within a couple of hours. They mentioned several times they would exchange the lantern. I'm still trying to figure out the situation, so I haven't exchanged it yet.

    It seems the crud in the tank is practically unavoidable. They say almost all available fuels will react with the brass and make that stuff. If Klean Heat kerosene substitute causes this problem, I may try coating the inside of the tank with epoxy gas tank sealer.

    Here's an excerpt from a BriteLyt e-mail on the subject:

    but if you leave fuel in it no matter what type.. for more then a month at a time this can happen i leave all lanterns with no fuel in them when not used, all oil base fuels have animal fat in the fuel and does this unless man made but a lot of man amde has some add to it.


    I mentioned the EZ-pump problem you have. I'm not trying to start an argument, but for the record here's BriteLyt's reply:

    The EZ-Pump will work with the "Petromax" lantern (as long as it's a BriteLyt EZ-Pump). Actually...it works with all generations. The fella may have had a bad one.......that can happen on occasion. However, if he didn't purchase it from BriteLyt (there are copies being sold out there...against patent laws)....then he probably didn't get the proper EZ-Pump. If he purchased it from us, then he should have sent it back for a swap-out, with proof of purchase. No problem!!


    I lit my Petromax today. Actually I lit it 4 different times. One of these days I'll learn how to light it without so much smoke and flames shooting out the top. I guess I haven't yet run the blow torch long enough.

    Well, if they made it easy, anyone could do it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    Hello all, I just got my first Britelyt/petromax CP500 lantern. I love it it puts out more light than any other lantern I have seen or used, and makes fueling it easy and cheap esp. with the price of fuel these days.... I just go to my county waste collection place where people take fuels and chemicals they don't need, and they just give me what ever they have that I can used in it for free.... I have used kerosene, diesel, and other petroleum products and gasoline.....

    I personly have had good luck with the customer service and tech help, they have always been friendly and in no rush to get you off the phone that in my opinion is vary rare these days with most company's.

    Looks like I will be selling some of my coleman lanterns.....

    Mark
    Orlando, FL
    Last edited by camper1970; 04-22-2008 at 05:28 PM.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic Morepower!'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    I don't know if you have already tried this or not but you could syphon/vacuum out the tank. If you half fill it with fuel, or whatever, tilt the tank so all the crap is in one place and start the syphon. If you've got a long enough fall it should vac it out no problem. Just a thought.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    Looks like I will be selling some of my coleman lanterns.....

    Mark
    Orlando, FL[/quote]


    Here we go again, the old BriteLyt vs. coleman vs. the butterfly vs. whatever.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    Please don't take it the wrong way.... I still like my colemans and will keep a few of my variable out put lanterns. I do like the simplicity of the Britelyt/petromax and that the generators don't clog and can be cleaned and reused

    Mark

  14. #14

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    for power ,get a colman north star.. for econamy...a good old tilly lantern..about 12 hours on a pint and a bit of parafin(keroseen)not as bright but my tilly was made in 1958 and my father left it to me.
    Fenix L2T Mag 6d Streamlite lite box with custom 16 amp 7.2 Nimh racing pack(oldskool but foolproof)UK lite cannon HID UK SL 4 mini q 40 with LED modual,brightstar Dipper 11 24watt hid,fenix TK30

  15. #15

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    The britelyt/petromax CP500 puts out at least 3-4 times the light of a north star, I know I have both....

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    I was thinking about getting the britelyt for use in emergencys to provide light and some heat. From reading their website I thought that they were of suberb quality..guess they're not.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    I think the britelyt products are great and well built, they are made of brass not steel so they won't rust and take the heat much better..... Give them a call and give them a try.....

  18. #18
    Flashaholic dilbert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    Quote Originally Posted by eluminator View Post
    ...and they don't explain how to clean the tank good. The only access is via a few small holes.
    To clean out the fuel tank on an old kerosene heater I added a box of BBs through the filler hole and swirled them around. When you are done they pour right out of the same opening and you can rinse out the chunks that they loosened up. This took a little while, but it left a very nice clean interior.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    LOL, not sure what this is doing in the 'Spotlights and HID' section, but one clue is that it is a 2-year-old thread, so it probably just got left behind in the move.

    I'm moving it to Beyond Flashlights > General Discussions > Lanterns.
    Resistance is futile...

  20. #20

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    You folks should look at the Q&A (forum) page on Lampguild.org - those people are to fuel powered lighting what CPF is to flashlights. Make sure to search the archives for answers first, Fil and Neil don't suffer fools. Threads of interest:

    Coleman or Petromax

    Petromax Explosion

    Petromax Quality New vs. Old

    Petromax Design Pros and Cons


    Petromax vs. Others from Diana

    That's just a start, the archives are full of Petromax information.

    For those of you that skipped over the links above, the Petromax and it's various copies aren't safe to use with gasoline. They lack even the most basic precautions necessary when burning such a volatile fuel. You risk blowing your thumbs off every time you vent pressure to shut down the lantern when burning gasoline. Britelyt claims they are suitable for use with gasoline and in this over-lawyered society that's just begging to be sued out of existence. There is a LARGE difference between having the ability to use gasoline as a fuel and being safe to use gasoline as a fuel. Talk of their quality control issues makes me think the safety problem is even more serious than the basic design problems.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Diesel_Bomber; 04-27-2008 at 11:40 AM.
    Got Biodiesel?

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    Well I am happy to see this thread alive again. I have two Britelyte 150cp. One in shiny nickel, one now in dull brass.

    After reading about the problems of fuel, ohh nooo I think I had forgot to empty one before putting away. The nickel lantern had fuel in it emptied rinsed refuel and relight, start up was cranky but both are running right now. When I frist got them I used'em a lot in the back yard.

    One was a table light with kerosine, one citrenola oil they worked great. I ran one empty an the second one is still lite. For the all brass one, one thing I did was to have the underside of the reflector nickel plated. I also have the frosted glass chimney. It stands on a brass pedistal (upturned plant stand) on the back yard lexan top table. It casts very nice soft light for eating around.

    I see there is a stainless steel nozzle which I need to get AND I forgot how fragile the mantles are. I broke two tonight.

    I bought mine ~10 years ago.

    =D~~ Kilted

  22. #22

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    well im glad i saw this thread. i started to read about this latern on the web. and was thinking 500 watt output and the same fuel consumption. i was so mad i bought a coleman.still impressed with the output though but i guess ill read more about it
    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    which coleman?
    <bunch 'O flashlights>

  24. #24

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    i have the 2 mantle Coleman that uses propane .and the dual fuel dual mantle that uses Coleman or unleaded.Coleman is good but not 500 cp
    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    Right on Diesel Bomber! I have probably the only European lantern that's safe to burn gasoline. That's an Optimus 1200B "B for BENZINE. It has a cone shaped brass valve disc that seals to a brass seat. A "cam follower" connected to an upper rod to actuate the pricker that cleans the nipple.

    NO LANTERN WITHOUT POSITIVE SHUT OFF IS SAFE TO BURN GASOLINE.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    If there was one Coleman lantern to buy that would cover all the bases. It would be the 237. That lantern will burn kerosene as well as Coleman fuel. It just has to be preheated with alcohol before lighting. Fill the preheater cup, light it, when it's just about burned out, open the valve. They burn with much longer generator life with "Amish Blend". That's a 75/25 mix of K-1 kerosene/Coleman fuel. 500 CP will blind you!! A great emergency heat source as well.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    Well, I'm looking for a bigger lantern than what I have and have been looking at the Britelyt's for a while now. After much debate and reading I understand that the Britelyt/Petromax should NOT be used with anything other than K-1, so I understand that point and won't be using the Britelyt with anything other than K-1.

    With that being said, which would be the better choice. The Britelyt CP150 with a 20 hour burn time on a pint or the Coleman Northstar dual fuel, which only gets 14 hours on low on 2 pints. The CP550 would be nice but is way to big for my needs.

    I don't have a problem using the intended fuels for either lantern; I prefer white gas for camp stoves anyway which would be a plus for the Northstar, but I don't mind carrying along a little K-1 either. I did read a post by someone that said they had to pump up the Northstar every 10-15 minutes to get constant output and I'd read that the Britelyt only required pumping every few hours.

    Any input is appreciated, thanks!

    EDIT::

    Okay, I've done yet more reading and everything I can seem to dig up about a Petromax is the fact that it's not a true multifuel due to design issues with positive fuel shut-off. I can't find anything comparing the more apples to apples of a Coleman vs. a Petromax on issues such as efficiency, ease of use, quality, serviceability, etc.

    Limiting the discussion to efficiency (output vs. consumption), overall output (lumens, candlepower, etc, as well as color temp.), operating maintenance (how often it needs to be pumped up during extended operation), ease of maintenance (changing mantels, replacing parts, etc) and overall build quality, while operating on the INTENDED fuel, which would be a better lantern to own?

    I've tenatively narrowed my choices to a Coleman NorthStar (2000A750) or a Britelyt 150.

    I'm not beating a dead horse, my question is more centered on the merits of either lantern running on it's intended fuel source rather than digging up the multifuel debate of the Britelyt/Petromax. I fully understand the issue of the Britelyt and will not be running the lantern on anything other than K-1, Lamp Oil, or Citronella based lamp oils, even in an "emergency" situation; I usually have on hand several gallons of K-1 and have stocked up on lamp oil.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by ODatsBright; 10-18-2010 at 06:47 AM. Reason: Added more to the question due to research.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    Britelyt are a joke, they are not multi-fuel, burn anything other than Kero/Paraffin and youre asking for trouble.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    Follow up questions regarding upgrade parts, are they worth it or merely bling

  30. #30

    Default Re: Petromax kerosene lantern from BriteLyt?

    Secondly I have ordered a petromax which I await to be delivered, It does concern me my local camping place slated them for quality-hopefully the current batch won't be rubbish.

    I find the fact that font protector (broken mantle) is an upgrade in the brochure-is this for ones not supplied or are you expected to pay extra for safety?

    The two hole mantle, upgraded support and stainless nozzle are recommended-- since the previous posts has this improved the lamp or is it still best left as is with one hol;e ceramic nozzle and mantle?

    The reason I ask is the lamp will get at least 30 consecutive days use and while care will be taken will be transported daily.

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