Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

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radek
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Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby radek » 9 Feb 2019, 9:49pm

Hello,

I just got a Primus Omnifuel Stove. We want to take for a two week long family cycle tour of Scottish Islands.

Does any one know how easy it is to get fuel over there ? We really do not want to use gas canisters due to environmental reasons.

I am wondering, will they allow us to fill-up our fuel bottle at petrol stations? Or are there any other places where we can get fuel?

Today I went to B&Q and I got 5l of white spirits. I was hoping to test the stove... Well, it did not work... Then I found out that white spirits in UK are a paint thinner! I am such a noob :)

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby PDQ Mobile » 9 Feb 2019, 10:20pm

Paraffin used to be available in the small shops dotted sparsely around the Highlands.
Often from a bulk supply, but I may he behind the times. Others will know.

You may be allowed to fill with petrol at garages but 2litres is usually the minimum delivery.
Of course you could either donate surplus or pay for 2l anyway, if someone was difficult.
Fill first ask questions later?

Petrol has issues as a fuel.
As an explosion risk, and because of nasty additives when burned.

Paraffin is far better IMHO.
Take one gas canister as a back up?

radek
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Re: Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby radek » 9 Feb 2019, 11:22pm

For paraffin, I would need to prime with for example methylated spirits first ? I have an oil lamp and it seems that paraffin does not burn well on its own.

This makes sense, fill the bottle first and then see what happens :) I cannot see them making much problems. if I had to pay for 2l, it would not be the end of the world. What a stupid rule. They should make exceptions for cycle tourist.

Is there really explosion risk from using petrol in Omnifuel? How could this happen?

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Re: Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby PDQ Mobile » 9 Feb 2019, 11:55pm

radek wrote:For paraffin, I would need to prime with for example methylated spirits first ? I have an oil lamp and it seems that paraffin does not burn well on its own.

This makes sense, fill the bottle first and then see what happens :) I cannot see them making much problems. if I had to pay for 2l, it would not be the end of the world. What a stupid rule. They should make exceptions for cycle tourist.

Is there really explosion risk from using petrol in Omnifuel? How could this happen?


Yes you need to preheat the burner.
Meths or alcohol is best for this - clean. One doesn't need a lot though.a small bottle with last a week or so depending on how many time you light it of course!

Preheating can be achieved at a push with a small strip of newspaer as a wick for the same paraffin. But it makes a lot of sooty smoke and deposit.

The explosion risk of petrol comes from the vapour. It is very volatile.
Spilled fuel or unburnt fuel will evaporate.
Unsuitable inside a tent.IMV.
Any small spark is sufficient.

Others use it ok, but caution and experience help a lot.

Paraffin stinks if you spill it (and will burn fast on clothing) but won't explode.and a spark won't ignite it.
It's calorific value is high and it has less nasty additives.

rualexander
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Re: Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby rualexander » 10 Feb 2019, 12:50am

PDQ Mobile wrote:
You may be allowed to fill with petrol at garages but 2litres is usually the minimum delivery.


I haven't a used petrol stove for a few years, but never had a problem with just taking a litre or less from a pump.
I've seen signs stating minimum delivery but in reality you can surely take any amount, its not like the pump will keep pumping out two litres if you release the trigger after 500ml, the pump will stop.
Whether they still charge you for two litres is another matter I suppose.

paragonman
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Re: Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby paragonman » 10 Feb 2019, 1:48am

Aspen 4 would be the cleanest petrol to use in your stove, to find out more on how to use your stove check out the Classic Camp Stove website.
I won't go in to details but I prefer liquid fuel over gas anytime even standard petrol.

climo
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Re: Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby climo » 10 Feb 2019, 10:29am

I've the same stove and petrol is ok but smokes and carbons up the stove a bit. Just get the stove really hot and it'll burn the carbon off. Once done I just turn the stove off - I know that's wrong but letting it burn out as per the instructions risks carboning the stove up. I do that every so often. Petrol will leave soot on your pans so bring a bag.
Take a nozzle cleaning thingy, spare nozzle and importantly a spare flame spreader as they detach easily and without one the stove is useless - don't ask how I know but lets say I'm the owner of a French Camping Gaz Bluet stove.

The more modern petrol station pumps won't work unless the nozzle is in a petrol tank. Think it's the ones with a ring about 2/3 up the nozzle. Sounds weird but it's true - at least it is in France. My American wife says the same is true in the US. Solution is to find an older pump.
Don't ask the cashier about the 2lt rule or ask if you can use the pump as they may say no, just do it.

Carry a small gas canister as a backup.

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Re: Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby PDQ Mobile » 10 Feb 2019, 10:31am

rualexander wrote:
PDQ Mobile wrote:
You may be allowed to fill with petrol at garages but 2litres is usually the minimum delivery.


I haven't a used petrol stove for a few years, but never had a problem with just taking a litre or less from a pump.
I've seen signs stating minimum delivery but in reality you can surely take any amount, its not like the pump will keep pumping out two litres if you release the trigger after 500ml, the pump will stop.
Whether they still charge you for two litres is another matter I suppose.


There is always a sign, it's to do with weights and measures legislation.
So the owner would be within his rights to charge for two.
There is the nasty additives question too.

Aspen is very expensive and won't normally be available in small Highland shops, though bigger climbing centres like Fort William will have it.

Paraffin used to be very widely available from small village shops in the Highlands often from bulk tanks. Most useful for small quantities.
But my experience is dated.
One of the Highland cyclists will know.

radek
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Re: Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby radek » 10 Feb 2019, 11:11am

The explosion risk of petrol comes from the vapour. It is very volatile.
Spilled fuel or unburnt fuel will evaporate.
Unsuitable inside a tent.IMV.


This makes sense. Deficiently any type of open fire in tent is a big no no for us, especially because we are travelling with a 4 year old that tends to knock things over all the time.

Aspen 4 would be the cleanest petrol to use in your stove


I read about Aspen 4, but I do not have an idea where to buy it. It can be ordered from Amazon, but we would need to take enough fuel for 2 weeks.I anticipate that we will need a lot of fuel because we really like cooking, which is also one of the reasons why we got the omnifuel :)

The more modern petrol station pumps won't work unless the nozzle is in a petrol tank.

Great, an another thing to make live more difficult....

There is also the issue of toxic fumes when burning petrol. However, if we are careful to stay behind the wind this should be OK. I also think that food should be covered while cooking.


I also read that panel wipe can be used as fuel? I am also wondering if there is a way to burn meths in omnifuel, Or is it bad for the stove's components?

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pjclinch
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Re: Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby pjclinch » 10 Feb 2019, 1:45pm

radek wrote: I am also wondering if there is a way to burn meths in omnifuel, Or is it bad for the stove's components?


Very. Notably the seals. They're looking, but have yet to find a seal that is good with both spirit based and petroleum based fuels, and that's why multifuel stoves shouldn't be run on meths.

On our cycle tours round Scottish islands we stuck with gas and it wasn't a problem. I did use parafin on a kayak trip round Shetland, but the Western Isles, Inner Hebs etc. should be okay: you don't need to carry enough for a fortnight.
Using gas, note that a pure gas stove works better than a multifuel in gas mode as it has a purpose built spreader rose. Lighter as well.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

radek
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Re: Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby radek » 10 Feb 2019, 4:36pm

On our cycle tours round Scottish islands we stuck with gas and it wasn't a problem. I did use parafin on a kayak trip round Shetland, but the Western Isles, Inner Hebs etc. should be okay: you don't need to carry enough for a fortnight.


We would prefer not to use gas. We want to be as much as possible zero waste. Fumes are also waste... However, pollution from our cooking will be nothing compared to what cars are doing to our planet,

Test:
I found some paraffin today. I used to burn it in our old oil lamp and then I totally forgot about it. So the 4 year old jumped into her weehoo and off we went to the nearby woodland where we did some testing. I have used methylated spirit as a primer. The whole process of staring the flame was very easy. Then, what a beauty ! The flame was so nice. Just a little bit blue in the middle and mostly white outer. It will deficiently look great at nigh time. There was very little residue left on the pot. I flipped over the bottle to empty the fuel line. This resulted in some smoke being emitted when the flame died out, However, only the inner ring got dirty and it was easy to clean it with a cloth. I am thinking that at the end I could drop a little bit of methylated spirits to burn the leftovers of paraffin.

Yesterday, I have used Coleman Gas. The flame was very strong and I can imagine that this stove would eat through the canister in no time. The stove was also quite loud. On paraffin the stove was quieter and it did not bother us.

The best thing about this stove is its ability to simmer. Absolutely amazing, I was able to turn the flame down to the size of candle light ! The other great thing is that the flame is quite wide and spreads nicely under the pot. The support legs are also great. I was able to put a normal size pot on it. I can imagine that we can cook on it the same foods that we are making at home, and we love our cooking!

I already have two normal gas stoves. One is a spider type and the other goes on the top of canister. Each of them has a centre focused flame which would lead to burning the bottom of the pot. The support legs were OK for a smaller pot, but would not work with a bigger size. In order to cook for three of us we had to use two stoves at the same time which was a pain.

hufty
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Re: Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby hufty » 10 Feb 2019, 5:27pm

Ignore all the people that say you'll die in a fireball if you as much as unscrew the top of your Sigg bottle, or that your food will be contaminated by the fumes and you will die (due to... :shock: The Additives :shock: ). The subject of petrol as a cooking fuel often inflames people on this forum. I'm still here to post and I use my petrol stove loads.

The easiest way to fill up is from an unattended pump where you put your card in first, but these aren't so common in the UK. So the thing I do is go up to someone filling their car, fuel bottle in one hand, two £1 coins in the other, and ask them to slop a bit of fuel in my bottle as part of their fill. Never had a refusal. This gets round the 2 litre minimum thing and the attendant-refusing-to-start-the-pump-for-someone-without-a-car thing. A Sigg bottle is an approved container for petrol storage, but to avoid the need for discussion I wouldn't wave it around where the attendant can see it and don't choose the pump nearest the window!

Re primer, whilst you're at the petrol station, I suggest a tin of lighter fuel eg Zippo or Swan as it comes in a convenient tin with squirty nozzle. Have also been told that alcohol hand sanitiser gel can be used but I've never tried this.
Please do not use this post in Cycle magazine

radek
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Re: Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby radek » 10 Feb 2019, 6:16pm

Thanks Hufty. It sounds that you have good experience with this. Same as you, I am not too concerned about using petrol. What about people who live next to a busy road, they do not have a choice... I will just make sure that the wind takes fumes away from us and that food is covered. This way the exposure will be near zero.

Are you using a funnel or will the petrol pump nozzle fit inside the bottle? I am not a car driver so I do not have experience with petrol pumps :roll:

BTW. great idea with lighter fuel as a primer. I also read that people use BBQ oil as fuel. Some are also using panel wipe.

radek
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Re: Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby radek » 10 Feb 2019, 6:19pm

I just came up with another advantage of using liquid fuel. With gas canisters I always struggle to tell how much is left inside. With fuel bottle this is not a problem.

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Re: Buying petrol for multifuel stove in UK

Postby PDQ Mobile » 10 Feb 2019, 6:48pm

^^
No one has said "you will die in a fireball by simply unscrewing" etc.

It's just that any spilt or not lit petrol vaporizes fast and that same heavy vapour is highly flammable, a spark is sufficient.
So great care is needed- always.
Paraffin is safer.IMHO

I thought unleaded petrol was ok but others have commented on the additives. I am not an expert on that and I don't use petrol if I can avoid it.

IMHO lighter fuel is a smoky preheater.
Meths or alcohol barbeque lighter much better cleaner with no residue.

Surely the one advantage of petrol over paraffin (apart from availability) is that it needs no preheating fluid?

Paraffin has the highest calorific valuecweight for weight, I think.
.........

As an aside to the OP.
With practice it is possible to use gas to preheat for paraffin!
After lighting the stove on gas and getting it hot, turn the gas bottle upside down to fill the delivery tubes with liquid gas.
Turn off the gas firmly at the tap and quickly substitute for a pressurized paraffin bottle and gently open the supply.
The liquid gas continues to evaporate, pressurise the jet and burn for a short while and the transition, with practice, is usually flare free. Clearly to be done at safe distance from anything because there is a small escape of gas somtimes at the point of unscrewing.
Meths preheating is safer for sure.
However It is a method I have often used if meths is getting short and a quick fast brew is made with gas initially. The switch is made for prolonged cooking. ((thought it might be worth mentioning))
Nominally jet sizes are different for paraffin and gas and one should change them but gas through the parafin jet does work ok for quick brews and the above dodge. The flame is not quite perfect but gas is very clean.