Waste Oil Heater Forum - Your definitive source for burning waste oil for heat.

Waste Oil Heater => User Projects & Pictures => Topic started by: Russ on January 15, 2009, 10:40:21 pm

Title: Drip system project
Post by: Russ on January 15, 2009, 10:40:21 pm
Here is a copy of "TestDriver's" post from over on frybird:  (copied with his permission)


I just found this thread by accident and thought I'd share.

I finished building a waste oil heater for my 20x24 shop this past winter. The original plans I used were the MEN design. However, I used a cast iron bell trap drain as the burner. I flipped the bell upside down and spaced it off the drain cap with a 2" section of iron pipe. Of course, the cap no longer pivots on it's hinge. The assembled cap/bell sits on the p-trap part of the drain.

The tank is a former electric water heater (40 gal?) with a 4" downpipe and 7" flue. The reason for the dimensions were strictly based on availability. I cut a door on the side of the tank and used a couple of stainless door hinges to mount it back. The clasps use a couple of more hinges to close the door with some tension. The clasps themselves use off-axis washers as the cams and work quite well and can be adjusted as things wear in.

After fiddling with the burner height, I found the oil splattered off the burn plate too much coating the entire lower section in used motor oil. This stuff never burnt off and eventually leaked past the cancerous seams of the heater tank. I solved this by installing a 3/4" pipe all the way down the middle of the vent onto the burner plate. The pipe has four notches cut onto the bottom where the oil flows onto the burn plate. There must be some cool fluid dynamics going on since the oil is still dropped from the top of the heater, directed down the 3/4" pipe I installed and it never touches the sides of the small pipe. Whatever small air amount that is drafted down the small pipe helps to keep the drops of oil off the pipe and I can hear the oil drops hit the plate bottom.

I put the tank in my shop next to a large vertical bandsaw. The saw had an unused lubricant tank which I adapted to feed the heater. It's about 3/4 of a gallon with a sight glass and a convenient npt fitting. The fitting is hooked up to a needel valve which then runs to the heater with a total drop of about 2 feet. Everything is connected using 1/8" copper tube.

The combination of short drop, small tube and cold temperatures make for a slow feed. I can't build up enough flow to get the heater very hot and it barely makes my shop area comfortable though it's well insulated. This is something I aim to address for this coming winter.

To light it, I pour some kerosene on the trap basin and close the door. The draft is immediate and I start the oil flow as soon as the door is closed. The burn is fairly clean and the resulting deposits fairly easy to clean off.

Another possible upgrade for this winter will be a sort of heat reclamation device for the flue. I'm loosing way too much heat up the exhaust but some of this might be lack of experimentation since I have'nt gotten to run it often.

If my descriptions are lacking, I can further describe or maybe put up some pictures.

Title: Re: Drip system project
Post by: Russ on January 15, 2009, 10:41:03 pm
And an update:


No problem. You can use my writeup. I still have not had a chance to take pictures of my contraption though but when I do, I'll be sure to post here.

I did modify the feed tube recently. With the spell of severe cold we've had recently, the flow got so slow as to be almost unusable. So, I ended up replacing the 1/8" line and needle valve with a 1/4" line and a ball valve. I thought it might be overkill at first but it turns out it's not. Well, at least not when the temp is 20 or so degrees below freezing. Once the shop temperature gets comfortable though, the flow is a bit hard to accurately control so I might end up putting the needle valve back on in parallel with the ball valve.

Also, I no longer believe I'm loosing so much heat up the flue. The last time I had the heater going, there was about 8 inches of snow on the ground and on top of my flue cap. Hours after I started the heater, the snow on the cap was still there! However, I did start controlling the air going into the combustion chamber with a damper and since doing that, the flue heat seems less severe.

Good luck with your new forum. I'll be sure to visit sometime.
Title: Re: Drip system project
Post by: Kyle on January 17, 2009, 08:55:15 pm
well guys I did build one last year, also with a dampener on the air intake, and have had good heating results- you can't stand to be closer than 4 feet away hot, glowing red.  the unfortunate part is when it is turned up look out black...I mean bad, at a low feed rate and hardly heating, it also doesn't smoke much but produces next to nothing for heat.  I have also recently melted my alum chonical, I have resorted back to my stainless one and a cast one I had built, still burns the same , just takes longer to get up and running.