Burn Baby Burn – Candle “heaters”


BURN BABY BURN       –   Candle Heaters  

A few tea-lite candles, a metal pan and some flower pots – emergency, supplemental, or off-grid heating or something else entirely?

 This is a link to a YouTube Video that was sent to a family member. They were impressed with it but I know the science is wrong and the safety risks are huge.


 Videos like this have been circulating on line for about 10 to 12 months now. If you do a search for candle heaters you will get dozens of videos, all variations of the same idea.

Some claim that these contraptions create heat. That claim is not true, but they do concentrate it to a point where you can sense it, or feel it. This sense-able heat is what you value if you are chilled.

They are more properly described as heat concentrators.

People are interested because it promises heating that is cheap, off grid and easily made from common materials. Useful for emergencies and power outages, etc..


All this is true….,

HOWEVER tea-lite candles liquefy when they are overheated.

They overheat when they are concentrated in close proximity.

The thin metal cups the candles sit in can then collapse, spilling flaming hot paraffin into the tray or onto a broader surface.

This creates a larger flame, and it can get hotter, and flame reaches out, several feet up and out from the ‘heater’. The metal ‘bread box’ container will get hot enough to burn and eventually ignite anything it is in contact with.


The cold temperatures and rolling electrical blackouts can make impromptu ‘heaters’ like this seem like a great idea.


So, if you must, use it for emergencies, but prepare yourself with a fire extinguisher or other means to effectively put out a fire (Not water – it’s the same as a grease fire).

And DO NOT LEAVE ANY BURNING CANDLE UNATTENDED, not even in a neighbouring room.


Remember candles burn fuel and fuel burning heaters use oxygen and release gases into the home, including carbon monoxide.

It may seem counter intuitive to open a window (a crack), but it is the smart thing to do.

 Burnt table

This is a burn mark on a work table from one of these ‘heaters’.

Think about it.




You can also see my posting about this on https://www.facebook.com/thehouseinspector 

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You can also ‘like’ the article, leave comments (please do) and share the information with your friends and contacts. I will reciprocate. Send me links to your business pages.


Robert Butler




Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

You’ve got to be bad to be good!

Another slant on ‘deal killer’. It’s not the inspector, it’s the facts, the condition of the building was other than expected. “Deal killer” really describes only one view. This well written article takes the right view, service to the client.

I find the whole discussion about inspectors being “deal killers” interesting.  I have come to embrace the notion that not all deal killers are created equal.  What one person considers a “deal killer” is another person’s “ass saver.”

PoppyThe key is coming to an understanding of what is important as well as what the difference is.

Once one figures out what is important, then it is easy to understand why one might even want an inspector that is known as a deal killer on one’s team.

If all a person is interested in is “closing the deal,” then one is likely to have a very narrow and negative connotation of “deal killer.”  If one is solely focused on seeing that their client is “taken care of” to to highest possible standard, the term “deal killer” can merely mean that the inspector is on the same page as the agent in seeing the client taken care of.

Obviously this does not account for the fact that some inspectors and some agents do nothing to help themselves out with how they are perceived.  These few agents and inspectors should not reflect badly on the rest of the barrel that are actually trying to provide good service to their clients.

I am pretty sure that I have never had a client think of me as a “deal killer” but probably frequently as an “ass saver.”  Most, while perhaps disappointed that the house did not work out, are generally grateful for being saved from something they were not willing to take on.

Agents on the other hand fall into two camps.  The first camp of agents are the few that most likely think I killed the deal—for a host of reasons.  Although, quantifying what exactly I should have “left out” in order for the deal to have not gone South would have been very difficult.  And, figuring out what should be “left out” is no place any inspector should ever have to go.  Of course these agents will sometimes argue that it is the “way” the information was conveyed that is the problem, not the information itself.  I find, with rare exception, that this miight be a smoke screen for them merely being bummed that they are back to square one finding a home for the client.  There is sometimes simply no “euphemistic” way to say there are two many rats in the attic, that the crawl space would make a better swimming pool or that the foundation has a 6” crack in it behind the furnace where nobody looked (that accounts for the living room being a bowling alley).

The second camp of agents are those that know that I have protected both the buyer and the agent from problems that neither the buyer or the agent would have wanted “left out” of the report.  Because these agents recommend me because I am a “deal killer” I have already passed the test of “how” I impart the information to the client.  These agents have already shifted gears and are on to exploring other options for the client even before they get the report back.  It is all merely part of the “process”—-otherwise why bother with inspections at all?

You have to be bad to be good.


Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post