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What is wrong with using Charcoal lighter fluid to help light fire in woodstove/

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by sandie, Jan 1, 2014.

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  1. sandie

    sandie Feeling the Heat

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    that is the question, is there something wrong with using Lighter fluid in woodstove other than danger of having the fire jump out of the woodstove. I am wondering if it can hurt the stove?

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    smiley_popcorn.gif
  3. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Good dry kindling and maybe some Super Cedars and you would be good to go!
  4. Charles1981

    Charles1981 Minister of Fire

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    Is using lighter fluid something you are considering?
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The vapor pressure of charcoal lighter is formulated for an open air environment. Inside of a closed wood stove the fluid vaporizes faster than it can burn. The formula for a bomb. You can get away with it a hundred times. Same with kerosene. Then comes time 101 when that one or two hot coals are hiding under the ash and vaporize the fluid and you ain't gonna believe what happens next.

    If you are lucky the glass in the door just ends up on the coffee table.
  6. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    You need more reason than that? The stove will be just fine, it's made of steel & stuff. You're not.
  7. tekguy

    tekguy Feeling the Heat

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    Dry seasoned wood might help too
    Backwoods Savage and Kevin Dolan like this.
  8. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Hey Mike! Yep,that might help..lol.
  9. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Thanks to BB I am now hungry for popcorn.
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Watch the flue temps on that popcorn popper. ;lol
  11. Phoenix Hatchling

    Phoenix Hatchling Minister of Fire

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    Haven't laughed like that in a while!! Almost chit me knickers! Thank you much!
  12. Fins59

    Fins59 Member

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    Back in the late '50's my grandma attempted to start her kitchen wood stove by using what probably was kerosene. She probably did this a zillion times. This time it flared up in her face. She didn't make it out. Her house burned down.

    I make my own fire starters by recycling. I use small containers filled with wood chips from splitting, dried yard debris, dryer lint, sawdust. No wax...some guys use wax. Not needed, too much of a hassle.

    Containers are the paper/wax milk, orange juice cartons, cut in half lengthwise, paper egg cartons cut in half so you get 2 out of 1, any other cardboard containers about that size. You could call them a "tray". Sometimes I'll throw a few pellets in the mix.
    Add paper and a small (very small) amount of kindling with some bigger splits and toss in a match and walk away. A few minutes later and the blower fan kicks in. 100% success so far this year..
  13. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    Other than creating a fuel/air bomb in your living room, no danger.
    gyrfalcon likes this.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Following the stove manual is rule #1 for safe burning.
    Capture.JPG
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  15. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    flammable liquids will gasify quickly. now if there are coals in the ash bed and they heat this gas up and you toss in a match you loose all the hair on your arm or worse. there are gel type starter mediums specially made for lighting pellet stoves which could be used on a woodstove , being a gel they don't gasify quite as fast, but they will still do it. ive seen pellet stoves in second attempts where the fire didn't catch the first time gasify this stuff and bow flames a pretty good ways out past the door opening.

    dry kindling, fat wood , paper knots , even pine cones (which I always favored and have in abundance out back of the house) work great. purpose made firestarters such as the Supercedars we all love do wonderfully and are actually quite inexpensive and very safe by comparison
    fossil likes this.
  16. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Spent twenty years finding out what people in oil refineries do for a living and developing computer systems to help them do it. Never forget the session with five chemical engineers in Beaumont Texas when I said I burn wood and use a pet food can half full of kerosene under splits to start the stove.

    "You do what?!!" and three people at a white board went on for thirty minutes about vapor pressure and combustion. And called me an idiot and convinced me that I was.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  17. Dustin92

    Dustin92 Member

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    I make my own firestarters- stuff dryer lint in a mini cupcake pan, pour melted wax (used candles or wax melts) over, let harden, pop out and store in a basket (scented candles/wax make the room smell nice). No explosive vapors, put one in a pile of kindling, light with a match, and then add some larger splits after the kindling catches. Most will burn for about 5 minutes.
  18. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    yep, doesn't outgas rapidly like fluid does , much more stable. i played with it back in the day with some wax and the chips from the chainsaw, worked pretty well when I was done bucking rounds i'd gather up most of the shavings from the cutting and keep em in the house next to the stove in a couple sheet pans to dry out for a few days, then mix em with melted wax making little cookies with them.
  19. Charles1981

    Charles1981 Minister of Fire

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  20. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Starting a wood fire with flammable fuels is for amateurs . . . and for folks who have always wanted to know what a 3rd degree burn feels like.

    Don't do it. Seems like every year some person up this way tries to light their woodstove with some sort of flammable fuel . . . and usually ends up on a field trip to the local hospital ER . . . or the Burn Unit in Boston . . . if they're "lucky."
  21. Kevin Dolan

    Kevin Dolan Burning Hunk

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    Sort of reminds me of hand grenade training, pull pin, count to ten and hope you have a dud!!lol
    Scary, scary.
  22. Burner

    Burner New Member

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    Is this something you've done already? If so, was it from a cold start? If so, that's a huge difference than starting with a few coals in the box. If they warm up the fluid and begin to vaporize it, you'll definitely never do it again. Use super cedars instead. Not much more costly.
  23. Paul L

    Paul L Member

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    Those with the Heavy Stamp of Closure, please use it. There is nothing helpful that can be added to this thread.
  24. Gboutdoors

    Gboutdoors Member

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    All I can say is WOW ! A box of fat wood at Benny's is $19.00 and last me a season. So let's see fat wood for $19.00 or lighter fluid for a life time of painful burns if you live. I will take the fat wood or cedar starters.
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Done. Be safe folks.
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