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Would you burn a t-light in this?

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Hi everyone. A while ago, I had a t-light catch fire while it was burning in a wine/sherry glass. That freaked me out so you can imagine my horror when yesterday a girl told me that one of my scented t-lights that she was burning, caught on fire! My first question was 'what sort of holder where was it in?'' She described it as a 't-light holder with a lid and holes around the sides. I ask her to bring it in to show me. She said that the place where she bought it had a t-light displayed in it {not burning}. Now, Im no expert on t-light holders but in my novice opinion, this vessel should not be used for t-lights? It stands 3 inches tall {to the base of lid} and is 3 1/2 inches either side. The holes are tiny. The t-light she was burning in it when it caught fire, was a 9 hour scented t-light which is 1 inch tall by 1 1/2 inches wide.

Would you expect that this vessel is safe to burn t-lights in because if it is an acceptable holder, then I will have to stop selling t-lights because Im obviously doing something wrong.

To me it looks as if its a pot-pourrie holder.

The lid was on while being used, hence the black from the fire. It is made from unglazed {inside and outside} ceramic/terra cotta. The t-light was soy wax.



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Absolutely not, it's way too small and the cut-outs aren't sufficient enough to get good air movement which is needed for teas. I definately would expect the tea light to get way too hot and catch fire.

I agree it looks more like a potpourri holder. :cool2:

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I would have some doubts about burning a tealight in there with the cover on. Without the cover I think it would work fine and make a nice light pattern.

I think you have to look at the candle design and see what is wrong. People might do inappropriate stuff, but in the vast majority of cases things don't burst into flames. You've had it happen twice already.

You should look at the FO and the wicking. Last time you mentioned that you were using 10% fragrance and that is a lot. You should also make sure it's wicked for a flame that's proportional to the candle and that the tealight can be lit and allowed to burn until all the wax is consumed without the flame growing large.

Edited by topofmurrayhill
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Thank you both.

Top, Ive always thought my t-lights burned fine. Maybe my 'fine' isnt right after all. Tonight I did some testing and pic taking and would value your {or anyone else's} opinion. I took temp measurements along the way using an infrared thermometer.

I tested two {creme brulee/vanilla and coconut & lime} in an open ceramic bowl holder.

I tested two more of the same combo only I had them in a salt rock. I wanted to see if there was any difference in burn/temp when the t-light was more 'confined'. The t-lights fit fairly snug in the salt rock cavity, the base of which is 2 inches deep.

At no time was the tip of the flame more than half an inch above the tip of the wick {maybe a tiny fraction bigger sometimes as its hard to measure}

The first pic shows the size of flame when first lit in the bowl.

Pic 2 shows the flame at the half way mark.

The temp of the wax at that stage was:

Creme/vanilla 150 deg F

Coconut lime 145 deg F

Pic 3 is the flame as it was close to the end of the t-light

The temp was:

Creme/vanilla 210 deg F

Coconut lime 170 deg F

Pic 4 & 5 shows the t-light in the rock close to the end of t-light

The temp of the wax in rock t-light was:

Creme/vanilla at half way mark : 180 deg and near end 215 deg

Coconut lime at half way mark: 160 deg and near end 175 deg

The wax is Ecosoya pillar blend and the FO % in all of them {dont have a heart attack!} 12%

The wicks are CDN 4

Your opinions on my methods would be much appreciated. I first and foremost want to be sure my t-lights are safe!

I have been thinking about the fire in the pot and am wondering about the following scenario and would love to hear if you think its feasable:

ASSUMING that the fumes/vapours from FO have the same ability to 'flash' as the FO itself, could the fumes/vapours have accumulated under the lid {the top pointy part of the lid is about an inch high, its hollow with no holes in the top for the vapour to escape} and heated to beyond their flash point of 200 deg, flashed and caused the wax to ignite. I'm quite sure the heat inside that container would have reached {and most likely exceeded 200 deg.}

Could this happen or am I barking up the wrong tree?

Thanks for your insight.

The t-lights are the larger 8 hour ones. 1inch tall x 1 1/2 inch wide.

P.S. The coconut/lime burnt for longer than the creme/vanilla.






Edited by KoalaGirl
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The temps you took may be right or they may not be. There are circumstances under which an infrared thermometer isn't accurate.

However, the flame looks fine, from what I can see. In that case, 12% FO is certainly the thing to consider.

If you want to really, really, definitely confirm what causes it and know for a fact that you've solved it, you'll need to find a way to replicate the problem. Use one of the fragrances it happened with and find conditions under which you can get one to catch fire, preferably every time. That way you can make a change and see that it stops.

Remember that the manufacturer is making a vague generalization about how much fragrance their wax will hold. However, they say nothing about how much you should use or can use in any particular candle design. I'm sure the tealights are holding the fragrance just fine. Doesn't mean they can't go pooft.

Edited by topofmurrayhill
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Thanks for your help Top. Ive been testing several t-lights in the salt rock today and am finding that anything 'vanilla' seems to burn hotter. I will wick down on those to a cdn 3. I have read on here that vanilla's often need wicking up! I will also drop the FO percentage but if I cant get a decent throw in the t-light {lower FO % works great in tarts} I'll have to ditch those ones. I think the taller t-light cups exaserbate any problems.

At least I'm happy to report that my jar candles are coming along beautifully:yay:

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