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Author Topic: Burning Used Motor Oil In A Superfex Gravity-Fed Oil Burning Heater  (Read 5900 times)

Todd W. White

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Hi Guys!

I have searched the forum archives as thoroughly as I know how, and cannot find the answer to my question.

As I understand it, most of you are heating used motor oil, then pressurizing it, then sending it to the actual burner itself.

My oil burner is different - it's a gravity feed, and I am wondering if it's possible to burn waste motor oil in it. I'm going to describe it in the hopes that it will help someone out there understand it better and know what advice to give me, so please forgive the long post.

I have a Model 1137 Superfex gravity-fed oil burner. It was made in the 1930's by the Perfection Company. I've cleaned it up, and am running it right now in my garage on K-1 Kerosene for a second season. Last year, I used K-1 for most of the season, but tried straight used motor oil late last winter with little success - it was too thick, even though I filtered it. I had to wash it clean with K-1 and burn the mixture. The ID plate on it says to use range oil, heating oil, or kerosene. However - the patent for the earlier version I have is specifically designed to burn waste oil, so it may be possible to use various types of oil, not just the ones mentioned.

This one has no wick. Now I know why - after reading the patents listed on the ID plate, it turns out that it is waste/heating oil or kerosene burning heater.

Here's how it works:

1. You pour the fuel into a special tank. This tank is fitted with a cap that has a metering plunger in it.

2. Secure the cap and place it upside down in the carrier on the rear of the Superfex.

3. Clean the filter cup in the tray that the cap will rest in when the carrier is placed in the upright position. Put it back in it's place.

4. Lift the back of the carrier - which is hinged - and place the carrier/reservoir tank in the upright position.

5. The valve is controlled by a handle (or knob). Rotate it fully clockwise for OFF, fully counter-clockwise for FULL-SUPER-HIGH-ON. Suggested setting is about 1/8-1/4 open.

6. The fuel flow is gravity-fed. I goes through the valve, down through a tube, whereupon the tube opens up into a bowl inside the heater.

7. The bowl is tapered and surrounded on the perimeter of the rim by air holes.

8. As the fuel flows into the bowl, gravity and the laws of physics cause the tank and the bowl to equalize in fluidic pressure, and the flow is prevented from continuing until some of the fuel is burned off.

9. You open the front, clean out any ashes, then light the fuel. Close the access, replace the cover.

10. Adjust the damper that came with it, as necessary.

11. The amount of heat is regulated, primarily, by the flow of fuel into the bowl.

12. My valve is slightly damaged or has debris in it, so I can't turn it all the way off. Therefore, I remove the carrier/tank assembly from the upright position, turn the valve as much to OFF as I can, then let it burn out. This takes some time, as the burning process is quite efficient.

13. The vertical rod has a flexible rod attached to it down inside the tube. To clean the fuel line going from the tank to the bowl, raise it up and down several times. It will clear, the debris will flow into the burner bowl and be burned. This is usually where the ashes come from, as best I can tell.

Here is a pdf of the patent drawing of this device, Mine is like the first one depicted:

http://www.chamberstoves.net/HEATING_APPARATUS_F.pdf

Quite interesting, efficient, and IT WORKS!

NOW - here's MY QUESTION:

Is it possible to burn filtered, used motor oil in this type of heater? As I mentioned, I have tried burning it straight, but it is so much thicker than the K-1 that it doesn't flow well. Can it be cut with K-1?

What do you folks suggest?

THANKS for your time and your help!

Todd W. White
Sapulpa, Oklahoma

Patriot1

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Re: Burning Used Motor Oil In A Superfex Gravity-Fed Oil Burning Heater
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2010, 01:35:10 am »
yes you can! i would use a propane cylinder and weld in fittings to it and a fill port. This way you can pressureize it with air and at the same time filter it with a car filter and heat it at the same time. The trick to burning wmo is to heat it between 160 and 200 degrees. Then at the high temps it becomes like match light. You can even use a needle valve to have it flow into your exsisting set up so it could be a small drip so it won't run away when it gets too hot. ::)

Todd W. White

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Re: Burning Used Motor Oil In A Superfex Gravity-Fed Oil Burning Heater
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010, 06:49:12 pm »
That sounds really interesting - I've never messed with Waste Oil Heaters, so I'm kind of leery about tackling this without proper research.

Are there articles online you would recommend?

THANKS!-

- Todd

jbander

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Re: Burning Used Motor Oil In A Superfex Gravity-Fed Oil Burning Heater
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2012, 12:10:25 am »
 Mine is also a gravity feed, but it has a built in tank and it is metered by what they call a carburetor, which is simply a float arrangement that lets in oil or not lets in oil. It has been running on up to 2/3 waste oil and 1/3 fuel oil, But I have recently changed to 1/2 and 1/2, I can light that with a piece of burning paper. Mine has a damper on it , I would like to know what is the most efficient setting is for the damper? I'm setting it so it just barely opens when it is running on my normal setting, which is about 2/3 open. Has anyone Done any research on the waste oil ash, I clean it with my hand and a paint scraper. That might not be the best Idea, any thoughts on this.