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Paraffin
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# 1
gbloon
Old 02-02-2009, 12:35 PM
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Default Paraffin

I am now using paraffin for my main source of heat, for the first time since the 1970's! There is a lot of prejudice against paraffin, but most of it is unjustified.

I live in a mobile home park. Electricity, I have to buy from the park. Between September and December last year they almost doubled the price. I was using electric heating, until I received the bill, which came as a total shock, since there was no warning of the price increase. The park also has a contract with a bunch of thieves called Flogas; there is one big propane tank for the whole park, and pipes are laid to every home. Flogas almost doubled their price, even after the price of oil had fallen by 70% from the summer high. The price is outrageous; far above regular domestic gas, and there is no alternative. It would be cheaper to use LPG bought in cylinders, but that is prohibited under park rules, as are all forms of solid fuel heat -- like wood-burning stoves.

Not a whole lot of options are left, but fortunately there is nothing in the rules about paraffin. I have bought a Corona RX-23 radiant/convection paraffin heater, with rated output of 2.3 Kw. They are usually easily found on EBay; that's where I bought mine, brand new, for 70 + shipping. I like it. Very little odour, barely noticeable condensation, just lots of heat, and I have already paid for the fuel before I burn it.

But the price of paraffin is now a big issue for me; the best I have found is a hardware store in a city not too far away thats sells it loose for 1 per litre -- bring your own container. I go there and buy 25 litres at a time. But I know I could get it much cheaper, if I only knew where to go. I have tried oil fuel suppliers in the area, and they don't sell it. I cannot find a filling station that has it. All pre-packaged fuel is much more expensive than what I am paying now.

Surely it should cost less than petrol. More than 60p of the petrol price is tax, so the actual fuel costs 30p a litre or less. Obviously there is far more competition in petrol prices, but even doubling it gives 60p per litre, and that is much as I would have expected to pay.
Does anyone else use paraffin? If so, what price do you pay? Any ideas where to try to get it cheaper?
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# 2
Cardew
Old 02-02-2009, 5:00 PM
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Oil CH systems essentially use the same thing - kerosene - called paraffin and that costs around 35p a litre if you buy in large enough quantities.

As far as I am aware you can use that as a straight substitute - but check first.

You might be able to source it from somewhere.
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# 3
Barneysmom
Old 02-02-2009, 5:03 PM
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My hubby won't have it in the house unfortunately. I wish he would as I'm sure properly sourced it would be cheaper than our gas central heating?
Barney is my border collie.
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# 4
gbloon
Old 02-02-2009, 6:19 PM
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Cardew,

Thanks - but...
Unfortunately kerosene is not the same thing as paraffin. The heater manufacturer specifically warns against using it. I asked a fuel supply company about it and was told that paraffin is refined to a higher state of purity. I believe it is quite similar and in a pinch might perhaps be used, but do not want to risk ruining the heater, and also would be concerned about bad odor and possibly dangerous fumes. Kerosene (heating oil) is always burned in a closed container and fumes are vented outdoors. Paraffin is burned as an open flame right in the room with me, and venting is only by natural room ventilation. I would love to pay 1/3 of the price I am paying now, but I don't think the risk is worth it.

I think Barneysmom's hubby is an example of the prejudice I was talking about. Properly handled, paraffin is as safe as any heating fuel. I keep the big container of fuel outside in a shed, and take the tank from the heater out there to fill it. There is a tip-over device to instantly kill the flame, and and an air sensor to shut it down if oxygen is depleted. Lighting is electrical (battery), no matches are needed.
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# 5
Cardew
Old 02-02-2009, 7:30 PM
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Kerosene is the same as paraffin. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerosene

However whilst I don't think there is any danger in burning heating oil(28 Sec oil) or kerosene, as you say you will get the 'traditional' paraffin smell.

I believe people use it in a greenhouse heater.

However I agree if the manufacturer warns against it - then it is not worth the risk.

Your manufacturer insists on Premium grade paraffin. Have you seen this - might be worth a ring?

http://www.caldo.co.uk/paraffin/index.htm
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# 6
gbloon
Old 02-02-2009, 7:53 PM
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I wasn't going to go there, but now I guess I have to.
Wikipedia is an American site, and most of it is written by Americans I used to live (for almost 20 years) in the US. There, paraffin is a kind of wax. The stuff you burn in lamps or heaters is kerosene. I had an Aladdin blue-flame kerosene heater on a boat once in the US; in the UK, the same thing is called a paraffin heater.
But American kerosene is nothing like American heating oil; it is a much lower viscosity, for one thing. Yes, it is very confusing! There is a specific British Standard for paraffin. It says right on my heater that I have to use that, or something called Tozane which is double the price (supposed to burn cleaner).

Yes, I have seen the Caldo website. They sell pre-packaged paraffin to retailers, like the 4-litre can I bought for 6.99 at the local hardware store before I found a better deal.

What I need is a bulk fuel or chemical dealer who will sell small quantities. I guess the Sikh who owns the hardware store in Swindon where I buy the stuff for 1 a litre gets it for something like 60p. I want to buy it where he buys it...
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# 7
Cardew
Old 02-02-2009, 8:26 PM
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Likewise I have a place in the USA and spend a lot of time on that side of the Atlantic.

Perhaps here is not the place to discuss the differences(or not) between paraffin and kerosene(paraffin wax is something different again - Vaseline contains paraffin wax)

Also, as you say, American heating oil is not like kerosene -it is more akin to diesel oil - because their CH boilers are not the same as UK boilers which use 28 sec oil which is kerosene.

Anyway interesting discussion, but I am afraid it hasn't helped you find a cheaper source for your premium kerosene paraffin

Good luck in your efforts!
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# 8
DrJohn
Old 29-06-2009, 9:34 AM
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Default Paraffin Rocks!

Hey I had to reply to this thread since paraffin is the fuel for the 21st century!

Well OK maybe not, but it really should be used by any moneysaving expert!

Its portable, clean, economical and trouble free. Also its VERY safe to use in modern heaters, its the 21st century and technology has caught up! the main beauty of paraffin is that is is not very flammable, unlike calor gas. which you cannot use to heat bedrooms, plus I hate the idea of a gas bottle being connected all the time indoors.

The worse thing that an happen with paraffin is it leaks and makes a mess, but its not easy to ignite if it does leak (youd have to drop a flame on it) rather than leaking gas which can be ignited by even a light switch.

But reading this thread shows the confusion between kerosene and paraffin.

In the USA they are the same thing, in the UK they are the same oil, but refined to different levels.

Paraffin is the stuff you burn indoors, however in the UK kerosene normally refers to 28 second home heating oil, the same stuff as people run there boilers with in remote areas.

The difference is that kerosene has a much higher sulphur level, so while you could prolly burn it, I dont think that the fumes would be nice.

As for supply, I know about the cost issue! I went ot the petrol station near me and they wanted nearly 10 for 4 litres!!!!

I googled "Oil Merchants Derby" and found a local oil merchant that sells it from a pump for a very god price, I think i pay about 60p a litre now and fill up my big jerry can once a month. Its burns with a lovely light scent.

RE heaters, I got mine from discountedheating an online shop.

Its an electronic one with a fan, so the ony power used is to the fan, the hating is all done by paraffin.

Its amazing, VERY hot and economic and the best thing is its all containd, you just press a button and it lights itself and turns itself off too.

My parents warned me against heating with paraffin, they said it stank, gave out water, dangerous etc

When they saw my heater they were amazed, so much so that they are buying one now for this winter!!!
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# 9
Steve17
Old 30-06-2009, 7:05 PM
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You say that you buy your electricity from the park!
I think it may be worth your while to check if that is legal.
I am a member of the caravan club and a few years ago the club charged a nightly fee for electric but then the law changed that electricity couldn't be resold. The club got around this by increasing the pitch fee and saying the electric is free.
Sorry I can't help with the parafin issue but I might look into that one as I am with Calor for my heating and I am refusing to pay their currant rip off charge as you say it is cheaper using cylinders also electric is cheaper.
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# 10
gbloon
Old 01-07-2009, 1:40 PM
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DrJohn,
As the original poster of this thread, I am happy to see some action here, after a long time. Congratulations on finding a supply of paraffin at 60p per litre. I paid 1 per litre last winter, but I am pretty sure that the stuff I was buying was in fact the central heating oil sometimes called kerosene in this country. There is some odour with it, most noticeably after lighting and after extinguishing the flame, and much more so than with the pre-packed stuff at nearly 2 per litre from the local hardware store. I believe that the store owner is buying the stuff in bulk for about 30p and reselling at 100p. I called all the fuel merchants I could find in my area and asked if they would sell me some kerosene. None would do so, unless I wanted a minimum of 500 litres and had a tank into which they could pump it from their truck. Walking in with my own can and getting it filled was out of the question. But with a store which is the only place for miles around that sells loose paraffin, selling that 500 litres at 200% mark-up sounds like easy money.

I know the kind of heater you say you have; I considered one, but rejected it because they need electricity as well as paraffin to produce heat. The electric supply in my park is quite unreliable, fails often, and can stay off for hours. One memorable evening it was off for about 4 hours as the temperature plummeted and I froze! That was when I was reliant on electric heat. No more. As long as I have paraffin, I have heat. It's a good feeling!

Steve17,
I have no idea if reselling electricity in a mobile home park is legal, but if it isn't, and I make them stop doing it, then I will not have electricity at all. The park owns all the wires. If I don't want to pay them for electricity they will turn off the supply. Nobody else is going to come along and offer to run their own wires to my home and sell me electricity, and anyway the park would not allow them to do that even if they did want to. The park owns all the wires and all the gas pipes. This gives them total control of both of those energy sources. They do not allow gas in tanks, nor do they allow oil central heat; only gas, and that has to be the gas sold by Flogas, which is monopoly supplier to the park. But I could not find anything in the rules about paraffin. Wood stoves are banned, but I guess "nobody" uses paraffin any more so why bother banning it? Well, I guess I'm that nobody who does still use it! Or rather, uses it again after not doing so for 30 years. I just wish I could find a place to buy it at a more reasonable price...
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# 11
episoderacer
Old 27-04-2010, 5:22 PM
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Where in Derby do you get your paraffin from m8?
Regards
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# 12
w50nky
Old 27-04-2010, 7:09 PM
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I have been using heating oil (kerosene) from my bulk tank in my greenhouse heater over winter after calling into a major diy store and finding the cost of "proper" fuel.

There is a smell from the burner when you blow out the flame, you get the same smell if you do not adjust the flame to the correct burn rate too - (to high).
The other side effect seems to be that you have to trim your wick more often as it gets contaminated after several nights use. No great hardship & the cost of wicks will easily be covered by the savings on running costs.

This is money saving after all so I will continue to use next winter/spring unless I can find a bulk source of paraffin.
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# 13
Owain Moneysaver
Old 27-04-2010, 8:22 PM
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Reselling electricity is not illegal, but there are restrictions on how much can be charged for it.

Quote:
Ofgem produced the ‘Maximum Resale Price Provisions' document during 2002. It deals primarily with the resale of electricity and standing charges by landlords and others such as park owners. In essence the reseller simply cannot charge the consumer any more than he himself pays the main supplier.
http://www.phhc.co.uk/advice/legalhe...ty-resale.html

Also see http://www.stephenpwales.co.uk/servi...lder/ofgem.htm for a lot of info. Basically, whether units or charges are metered or apportioned by any other means, the landlord cannot charge more than his direct cost, and his scheme of charging must be made available to tenants.

Also note
Quote:
All electricity meters used for either domestic or commercial applications must conform to current European regulations. These standards for meters manufactured in the UK are governed by Ofgem (The Office of Gas & Electricity Markets).
ALL meters used for billing MUST conform to the European standard BS EN61036 and backed up with formal Approval Documentation.
http://universalmeterservices.co.uk/...in_page=page_3

So if the landlord is metering using uncertified/uncalibrated meters he is breaking the law.
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# 14
Owain Moneysaver
Old 27-04-2010, 8:23 PM
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And disconnection of your supply by the landlord would almost certainly be harassment.
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# 15
bobhawke
Old 27-04-2010, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owain Moneysaver View Post
Reselling electricity is not illegal, but there are restrictions on how much can be charged for it.

http://www.phhc.co.uk/advice/legalhe...ty-resale.html

Also see http://www.stephenpwales.co.uk/servi...lder/ofgem.htm for a lot of info. Basically, whether units or charges are metered or apportioned by any other means, the landlord cannot charge more than his direct cost, and his scheme of charging must be made available to tenants.

Also note

http://universalmeterservices.co.uk/...in_page=page_3

So if the landlord is metering using uncertified/uncalibrated meters he is breaking the law.
It's a shame that doesn't apply to gas cylinders. Caravan parks make a killing on them
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# 16
Owain Moneysaver
Old 28-04-2010, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobhawke View Post
It's a shame that doesn't apply to gas cylinders. Caravan parks make a killing on them
But you don't have to buy cylinders from the park. Wired in electric you do.
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# 17
gbloon
Old 29-10-2010, 11:37 AM
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Oh well, it's almost winter again, and I went to the same store where I bought paraffin last winter for 1.10p per litre (up from the 1.00 the previous year), and now the price is 1.30. So I thought I would try to resurrect this old thread just in case any new reader might know where I can buy 25 litres of the stuff for a more reasonable price. Anyone?
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# 18
oysterman
Old 30-10-2010, 8:24 AM
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You should be able to buy paraffin from a local oil supplier, but the mininmum they will deliver is 500 litres. I deliver in east anglia & we deliver it quite often.
if i had known then what i know now
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# 19
meouldchina
Old 11-11-2010, 11:35 AM
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Just a quick query.
I have an outside tank that holds kerosene to supply heating and hot water to my home.
Is the kerosene that is used, (kerosene 28, I believe) the same as paraffin?
Can I use paraffin to top up the tank?

The reason I ask, is that sometimes I only want to order 300 - 400 litres of kerosene, (tend to use the company Bolierjuice) but it seems there is nowhere that has this flexibility...it always has to be minimum 500 litres.

Any advice appreciated.
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# 20
suki1964
Old 11-11-2010, 1:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meouldchina View Post
Just a quick query.
I have an outside tank that holds kerosene to supply heating and hot water to my home.
Is the kerosene that is used, (kerosene 28, I believe) the same as paraffin?
Can I use paraffin to top up the tank?

The reason I ask, is that sometimes I only want to order 300 - 400 litres of kerosene, (tend to use the company Bolierjuice) but it seems there is nowhere that has this flexibility...it always has to be minimum 500 litres.

Any advice appreciated.
As far as I know then paraffin is a more refined ( and therefore costly)version of plain old 28 kerosene

Heating oil ( kerosene 28) is around 44p litre
According to gbloon paraffin is 110p a litre

Its kind of a no brainer really
if you lend someone 20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it

Norn iron no 314
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