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Overview

This blog article will give you some insight as to what might be required on changing your gas light mantles to your outdoor lamp. While the make and model of this outdoor gas light might be different than yours, it might give you some insight as to how the procedure might be accomplished and what part(s) and tools might be needed. This outdoor gas lamp example is a popular classic one used in subdivisions such as in Lake Carolina in Columbia, SC.

Terms and Conditions

This document is for initial information purposes only.  The reader and person working on this have/has the responsibility of conducting any appropriate safety procedures that might not be mentioned and working with a licensed professional in this topic’s subject area.

Ordering Replacement Mantles

  • You can start at the site of https://www.americanmantle.us. This will give you more info and you can search for mantles there. You can order there or get mantles at the big box stores or local hardware stores. Getting them locally while looking for mantles might be recommended (for easier returns, if needed) until you can determine exactly what kind your lamp uses. You’ll also be in a position to take an old mantle in with you for comparison or showing a store employee for assistance. Moving forward after that, you can then search online for better prices and keep a pair in stock.
  • From the American Mantle’s site, this blog’s example uses a common, yet specific, mantle to order. Click on “Order Online | Outdoor Gaslights”. Then, Mantles”.
  • Look for a description that would represent your particular mantle size and type. In my example for this blog, I’m using this: “Hard Inverted Preformed Mantle #2 / 179B Ring”. This is a long term mantle; not a cheap one that won’t last.
  • While there are cheaper mantles available, they might last only 1-3 months. These typically last close to a year if installed properly and if not touched directly by skin. Also, if the gas light has to be turned off (in the future) and then re-lit, the mantles might not be able to handle it and will need to be replaced again.
  • Important: If you have more than one mantle in your outdoor gas lamp, you’ll need to know that all of them should be replaced each time you replace any of them. A common example is a pair of mantles so, in that scenario, you’ll want to order a pair at a time.

How to Determine the Need to Replace a Mantle

When either mantle is no longer its full shape, i.e., the lower part of the mantle has burned away, it’s time to replace both mantles. Always change all mantles at one time in a gas lamp.

mantle needing replacement

Here is an example image of a mantle that is needing replacement.

How To Replace The Mantles

Turn off the gas

Remember that it’s important to understand that your steps might differ from this blog article. Regardless, it’s important you or your installer knows how to turn off the gas leading to the gas light before proceeding and follow all safety precautions regarding working with gas. These steps in this article are all based on a single example at a single location.

In this example, insert a flat head screwdriver into the front entrance hole of the gas lamp and turn rightward to turn off the gas to the mantles.  If yours turns off differently, take note of that for using when it’s time to turn the gas back ON. The glass panes are hot; consider waiting at least about 10 minutes before removal.

Using a screwdriver to turn off the gas

Using a screw driver to turn off the gas

Remove a Glass Pane

If the glass panes are still hot, take that into consideration, and wait until cooled.  To remove a glass pane, lift the bottom up and then outward.  Consider removing all glass panes and cleaning them at this time, if not too hot, and set aside.

Lifting UP the glass pane to give access to your gas light mantles.
Step 1: Lifting UP the glass pane

<< Left image (step 1) shows to lift UP on the glass pane and then the Right image >> (step 2) shows to lift OUT to remove the glass pane.

Lifting OUT to remove glass pane
Step 2: Lifting OUT to remove glass pane

Remove The OLD Gas Light Mantles

Important: No tool is used on this step. Also, no forceful hand turning is to be used, as well.

Remove the old mantles by slightly lifting a mantle ring and turning it so the grooves align and it can drop down for removing.  During this process, it’s significantly important to observe how the mantle’s “ring” was resting in place. Understanding this will enable you to get a feel of how to install the new ones.

Clean out the interior of the lamp area’s base platform at this time as well.  Discard the old mantles.

Remove the old mantles
Remove the old mantles

The Left image << shows a glass pane removed so you can now lift up slightly and turn the support ring of the burnt out mantle. Then, twist it a little (left or right) until you can drop it down the remove it. All that comes out is a free floating ring with some small pieces of a crumbled mantle remaining. To understand what part is the mantle, you can look at the new mantle in its container and see what the ring of a mantle looks like. Do NOT attempt to use a tool or to remove any of the mantle’s supporting structure.

The Right image >> shows after both mantles are removed. After they’re both removed, you can then clean up the bottom to remove any old or fallen pieces or residue. Sometimes, blowing it out is feasible but ensure you protect your eyes.

after the old mantles are removed
After the old mantles are removed

Prepare To Install The New Gas Light Mantles

Do not touch the new gas light mantles.  Human skin contact will shorten the life of the mantle significantly.  Use thin rubber gloves to prevent direct contact.  Remove a mantle from its protective container.  Then, raise the mantle upward, aligning it to clear the protruding slots. Then, turn the mantle ring slightly and lower it downward to rest it in place.  Ensure it’s level and won’t slip off.  It will be very loose but resting in place.

Step1.  Removing the mantle's storage protective cap
Step1. Removing the mantle’s storage protective cap
Step 2.  Wearing protective gloves, remove the mantle from its storage container.
Step 2. Wearing protective gloves, remove the mantle from its storage container.
Step 3.  Lift up the mantle's ring and turn it to loosely rest on it's support edges.
Step 3. Lift up the mantle’s ring and turn it to loosely rest on it’s support edges.
Step 4.  This is how the first mantle appears.  Repeat with other mantle.
Step 4. This is how the first mantle appears. Repeat with other mantle.

Note If Not Using Protective Gloves

With experience, after having done this, you’ll find that you could forego wearing protective gloves if you only make physical contact with the cylindrical shaped container that stores the delicate mantle. Using this idea, after removing the protective cap, you grasp the mantle’s cylindrical storage container and raise it up to turn it until you feel that the mantle’s ring has moved into place. You would then turn it (left or rightward) about 20-30 degrees and slowly pull downward the mantle’s storage container, to see if the mantle remains in place. If it doesn’t work, then you try again. If it still doesn’t, then you need to use the gloves method to visually handle it yourself without the use of the protective cylindrical storage container.

Burning Off The Mantle Factory Coatings

Important: Do NOT turn on the gas yet!

Gas is NOT on yet.  This is just to burn off the factory coatings.
Gas is NOT on yet. This is just to burn off the factory coatings.

Before turning on the gas, and after the mantles are replaced, activate a handheld lighter and position the flame to reach an installed mantle so it will catch fire.  It will burn for just a few short seconds and will burn off the factory coatings. Repeat with any other remaining newly installed mantles. You’ll now see some partially blackened mantles.

Turning The Gas On and Lighting Mantles

Important: As referenced in the beginning of this blog article, continue to follow extreme safety precautions and note that your procedures for turning on your gas or lighting your gas lamp may differ.

First, have a lighter ready to use before turning the gas on.

Then, in this example, using the inserted flat head screwdriver, you can turn it leftward to turn on the gas and immediately light the mantles.  If you take longer than a few short seconds to light the mantles (with the gas ON), stop and turn off the gas, and then wait one or more minutes to try again. Only proceed if you’re certain you’re resuming to try again from the gas being OFF. You should be absolutely clear of which direction to turn your own gas ON and OFF.

With both gas light mantles burning, reinsert the glass pane cover(s), using extreme caution not to burn yourself. I hope this helps others.

Good mantles shown
Completed Gas Light Mantles Replacement