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Strobing / Flashing Wicks - Please Help!


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Hello Everyone,

 

So glad to have found this forum - really hope someone can help!

 

I’m trying to single wick a 3.15 inch / 80mm (inner diameter) ceramic candle jar - the issues I’m having is whichever wick series I use, the wick is creating a strobing/blinking effect which is very different from the odd flicker - this can happen continuously for hours and there’s no choice but to blow the candle out. I don’t think this is the result of using oversized wicks because it’s happening with various sizes - and there’s no mushrooming or sooting either. This is happening with fragrance oil and also without fragrance, so I can rule that out. I’ve tried a plethora of waxes and this is still happening. Therefore, I am led to believe this must be something I’m doing wrong in the candle making process that I’m unaware of, having exhausted all other avenues of where this problem could be coming from. No sink holes, air bubbles or anything like that. It really is a mystery. I’ve tried the same wicks from different suppliers, same wax from different suppliers, but this is still happening. Wicks I’ve tried are TCR, ECO, LX and Stabilo - various sizes. Waxes I’ve tried - Kerasoy, Kerax Coco, 464 Soy, Ecococo, C6 and C3. A lot!

 

Here is a short video condensed into a reel of what I’m trying to describe, again it’s different from the odd flickering and natural sway of a flame - it’s a strobing effect, it’s enough to trigger a migraine - weirdly if you walk up close to the candle, the flame will stop strobing and calms down  - but as soon as you walk away, it all starts again. I do realise how absolutely nuts that sounds, but it’s true! You can see by looking at the wall how bad it is - when it’s night the whole room flashes.

 

Please let me know if you can offer any advice - and apologies for this massive email! I’m about the verge of giving up, but I thought I’d ask the experts first!

 

Best wishes,

 

Andrew

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A bouncing flame can be a sign of over-wicking, among other things. You may need to re-evaluate what you are looking for in a successful candle. If you are striving for a full melt pool in the initial burns, you may be unintentionally over-wicking trying to achieve that goal.  

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Thanks bftoberts - I totally get what you’re saying, but I’m not overwicked and I’m not striving for a full meltpool until about the 4th or so burn - I don’t mind hang up on the sides as I know it’ll catch up later as the candle gets hotter. This strobing can happen as early as 30 mins into the first burn - really is very odd to me! 

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It sounds like a draft. Try moving your candle to different spots and test. If not then you maybe overwicking. Why don’t you try two small wicks in that jar. What wax are you using? Parasoy try cd 3, cd 4. Lx 8, 10

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Thanks NightLight - I’m using Ecococo but have previously tried Kerasoy - I really love the aesthetics with both of these waxes, so I’m keen to make one of them work.

 

Re. 2 smaller wicks, I’ve tried this - the flames tend to die out just over half way towards the end of candle - go higher in size with 2 wicks and there’s far too much heat - however I have not tried double wicking with the CD series, so I could k give it a go. Just really wanting to single wick this vessel!

 

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When that happens in my various wax and container combos it usually means the flame is choking for air circulation. It doesn’t have enough energy to melt wax, draw it up and throw the air around in that combo.
 

Since the strobing type of flicker settles when you walk near (creating a draft) that kind of makes me think the same is happening in your candle. It just can draw enough air to create its own current.
 

I usually can solve the problem with a different wick series. CDN (kst in other countries), premier, bleached square or rigid curl by filtec often solve it.  Sometimes I just am forced to double wick with very small sizes close together  of CDN or premier  to help the flames create their own air current.
 

If the wick series are the curling type, I aim them in opposite directions to create their own vortex if that makes sense. 

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Hi TallTayl - this makes so much sense! I believe this is what’s happening, it’s got to be an air circulation issue. 
 

I need to search for different wick series outside of the UK, or possibly give the double wicking another shot - do you know if there’s much difference in terms of performance and sizing between Stabilo (CD) and CDN? I.E - is a CD 2 the same as a CDN 2?

 

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Sizing for cd to cdn is completely wax dependent. In my different soy blends cdn was about half to one size smaller than the cd sizing. 
 

in all of my coconut primary blends cdn burns more efficiently by almost a full size, sometimes two sizes. 
 

of course fragrance makes a difference too. 
 

if you can gather a collection of all series you will find it takes a while but the right wick awaits. 😊

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Try the small cds and or CDN. You can get 2, 3, 4. You could try the lx but your choice will be 8, 10 for double wicking in that wax and diameter.

Now let’s say you are close with double wicking but still a little ho, just adjust your wax formula with some soy to make it harder. Sometimes you gotta do what you have to.

Some of those jars at three inches and little more can be a pain in tooshy to wick.

If getting wicks an issue but you can get soy, I wold adjust your wax.

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