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

Waste Oil Heater => User Projects & Pictures => Topic started by: smichaelR22 on December 14, 2019, 08:18:22 pm

Title: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: smichaelR22 on December 14, 2019, 08:18:22 pm
Just bought a house this year in Scottsville NY and i have a 36x160 all metal barn (2 story actually)  I have been building the shop this year and working on the house also.  we seem to go right from summer to winter with no fall.  i had scored about 3200 sq feet of 3" foam board insulation for the roof of the shop side and almost have it all up.

in the mean time, i have been working on my version of a waste oil shop heater.  i have watched a bunch of youtube and decided to go the barrel stove version and gave it a go! 

working excellent tonight with 58 degrees in the shop with outside temp at 32 tonight.  i am super happy.  i still have more insulation to put up and could probably make some burn chamber improvements.  i have put up a tarp wall to make the heated portion 36x60.  14 foot walls at edge and open beam construction 21' at peak.  she is a big girl. 

Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: smichaelR22 on December 14, 2019, 08:20:23 pm


Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: smichaelR22 on December 14, 2019, 08:33:04 pm
air pump: 


burn chamber is a stainless steel wine bottle ciller tin i got for 4$ at dollar store something like this:


3/8 steel fuel/brake line for oil line inside a 2" tube that reduces down to 1" before it goes into the burn chamber side for a swirl flowing burn
use a router speed control to adjust air flow.  hose bib on 5 gallon bucket to adjust oil flow.

i like the 5 gallon bucket because it keeps you checking on it about every two hours or so.  and keeps any mess down to 5 gals or less. 
Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: smichaelR22 on December 14, 2019, 08:38:59 pm
my floor is wood so the whole setup is sitting on a 1/2" plate of steel and some cinder blocks.   

so far it has been working great and no issues.  i went a little over kill on the heat exchange tubes so there is def room to make more fire and pull more heat out. 

running at about a gallon per hour with minimal flew smoke.  any more it starts going rich and not clean, without really any more heat.  i assume i need a bigger Pot to get more fuel to burn. 

have close to unlimited supply of WMO or freyer oil so thats not a problem.   
Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: Russ on December 15, 2019, 11:30:20 am
Nice shop you have there!  Looks like you have a very nice space to work and will most certainly be more comfortable with some heat and even better, nearly free heat!

That is a very interesting design.  You mentioned that the heat exchanger might be a little over kill.  What temp is your flu running at?  I'd imagine if you are pulling most of the heat out, it is fairly low.

Great job on your heater and thanks for posting for others to see.  Good luck and stay warm!

Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: smichaelR22 on December 15, 2019, 07:07:11 pm
flew temp runs right about 180-200 after everything has settled and the exchanger fan on HI

id like to get it a bit hotter so the out going air is hotter with the same flow.  im thinking a larger burn pot to maintain a clean burn with larger oil flow for more heat.  its really working well though, so im probably going to finish up some insulation work and make improvements there before i go for more heat.  only have about 15 more 4x4 pannels of 3" foam to go and the roof will be done finally.     
Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: smichaelR22 on December 15, 2019, 07:13:59 pm
oh, also after about an 8hr burn at full tilt, this is what i had left this morning when i went to clean out and start for the day.  pretty good pile!  was 9-10 gallons of WMO 

Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: Russ on December 17, 2019, 09:09:26 pm
Sounds like you are pulling most all of the heat that you can out with that exchanger.  Burn pot certainly has a lot of junk in there.  Looks different form my boiler.  Just white fine powder ash left.  Must be the way it is burning.  Hope your insulation keeps the shop nice and warm.  Good luck with your project!
Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: smichaelR22 on December 19, 2019, 06:36:53 am
8 degrees F  today in wonderful NY.  should be a good run on the burner tonight.  got another 25 gals of oil dropped off to my barn from a friend for free!
Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: Oilburner on December 19, 2019, 07:05:23 am
Great setup with the stove and  HE.
The amount of carbon you have left over is a Problem however. With a forced air burner you could have nothing but some white ash powder.
The residue indicated incomplete combustion. I could see that in the Vid as well. The flame tips appear to be smoking  but the flame shape is wrong in any case.  I would bet you HE tubes are caked with carbon as well. That would greatly reduce the amount of heat transfer you will get and become a cascading problem..... Or the carbon will light up and pretty much melt the stove and set everything around it alight.

You need to either increase the amount of air you are putting in if you want to keep the same output or reduce the oil flow which will reduce the output. Maybe not much if you burn all the fuel to completion.
I would also very strongly suggest a change in actual burner design.

Having swirl or turbulence in teh burn chamber is highly desirable for getting all the fuel and air to mic for a complete and clean combustion.
I would suggest entering the burn chamber from the top at an angle to spin it round in a whirlpool or to fire it straight down on itself. This will give some pre heat to the fuel and have the ligher fractions burning off as soon as it leaves the air pipe.  It will be turbulent and blow back on itself a bit anyway which is good.

What you are doing now is also lacking retained heat in the burn pot. Might be a bit too light material but I suspect poor mixing or a too  rich mixture is at work here.  Again, You should have NO buildup at all, just a pinch of white ash. These heaters are best run oxygen rich for complete combustion. In this case you are clearly Fuel rich and getting incomplete Combustion which is not a good thing from a bunch of Viewpoints.  You really want all the heat you can get  with a shed that jealousy inspiring size and you want to get the most out the fuel you burn as well.

You might want to give your top drum HE a good few belts with a hammer on the tubes as well. Guarantee  if you do you'll hear the carbon build-up falling off into the drum. You can run this with very cold flue Temps because if you get the combustion right, the temp won't matter because all You'll be exhausting is talcum powder.  Wood fire flues get creosote because of Incomplete combustion and  material condensing in the flue through Incomplete combustion. Not a problem you should have with oil properly burnt.

I strongly suggest you refine the actual burner a bit and then turn the thing right up and run it a bit oxygen rich to remove the built up carbon. The heat and efficiency potential of that stove and all the hard work you put in making it is being let down atm but fortunately it's an easy fix with a bit of tweaking.
Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: smichaelR22 on December 19, 2019, 04:02:54 pm
i have found its super hard to take a good video.  as soon as i open the door, the flame goes super rich from extra secondary air.  cant get phone to focus on good burn though the small drum hole.   when its going good it really does have a nice vortex swirl flame with nice even bright yellow/ white fire.   

i have played with cranking air and cranking oil, it seems to be the best with about a gallon per hour and my air pump at 1/2 speed (whatever that means with a router controller)    i had a larger bounce play house blower but it fried in 2hrs from too low speed from the router controller.  i read of warnings on the internet some AC motors over heat from the cheap speed controllers not being frequency based.   the 10$ amazon air pump is still running like a champ at any speed for a few weeks now, and i have a new spare one on the shelf. 

my main problem with increasing the air, is it starts to over pressure my system faster than it can run though the flew, then smoke or fumes comes out through the barrel stove secondary air ports below the main door- no good. 

air tube and oil tube into the side with slightly down ward angle was really my first attempt and experiment.  i know there is much room for improvement.  i guess if the next change i get less soot with same heat i am improving.  looking for a larger stainless steel bucket while Christmas shopping for sure this year.

i have about 200$ into the stove and a 2-3 nights of fabrication.  not really a big deal for the metal work on hotrods / races cars / offroad trucks i usually get into.  i am way past expectations so if i had to start over completely tomorrow i would not be devastated. 
Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: smichaelR22 on January 08, 2020, 07:18:50 pm
i have burned about 150 gals though this unit so far this winter.  working great. up to an easy 25 degrees over outside temp in my 36x60 shop after about an hour running.   i have found that if i run it with a bit less oil flow i get much less black and more white deposit left in the burn pot, with out less heat or stack temp.   

i did puncture through my burn pot a little bit when cleaning a few days, so i guess i need a new 4$ bucket. 

wondering if stainless really is necessary or i can just weld something up out of regular shop steel.   

i need to hit up our local thrift store i hear they have lots of pots and pans! 
Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: Russ on January 08, 2020, 09:12:48 pm
I think you are probably getting a cleaner burn when you have white ash left.  I have never experienced it, but I hear the fire can take a toll on steel.  Not sure if stainless is really that much better.  Give one of the thrift store pans a try and let us know!
Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: smichaelR22 on February 03, 2020, 05:27:15 pm
burned through second wine chiller bucket from amazon. 

finally welded up my own out of 1/16 stainless.

made it as big as i could to get it to wedge into the barrel stove door. thicker and 10"x10" 

thing rips.   first burn inspection tomorrow.  it glows orange nicely.  and cooled down way faster once oil was shut off.  not sure what that means.  im thinking it was a much cleaner burn. 

im still holding 30 degrees above outside temp in my 36x60 shop area with only the roof insulated in 3" foam.  couple more weeks and should be past the worst of the winter her in good old NY. 

just had another 100 gallons dropped off for free from buddies wednesday.  loving it. 

Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: smichaelR22 on February 27, 2020, 05:23:53 pm
300+gals burned this winter thus far.   i filled in some insulation holes and I'm at about 35F degrees over outside temp in 2 hours in a 36x60x14-21' height shop, only the roof insulated with 3" foam board- the rest metal walls, wood floor 11' over earth foundation.   

still super happy and i think i wont change much for next year.  way better than a propane bill! 

all free oil delivered to me from 4x4 buddies and work people.  winning. 

Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: Russ on February 27, 2020, 08:51:09 pm
It sounds like you found a winning combination.  Cheap heat! 
Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: smichaelR22 on October 20, 2020, 07:20:34 pm
Back at it.  fired up the furnace after some upgrades and flew seemed plugged / restricted. 

inspected / replaced flew today after getting materials, found completely blocked with huge birds nest.

all good now and put about 5 gallons through it tonight with no issues. 

Title: Re: waste oil heat for my shop
Post by: Russ on October 23, 2020, 10:46:23 pm
Nice!  Cold weather rolled in here in a hurry.  14 degrees F here in MN tonight.  Not supposed to be this cold in October!  Glad to hear you got things burning well.  Stay warm, stay safe!