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Author Topic: Got a Drip?  (Read 6300 times)

Cmdr. Ron

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Got a Drip?
« on: October 04, 2013, 11:49:41 am »
Howdy folk,

If you have or had a drip system, please share that experience & knowledge of
the Good & the bad, likes & dislikes, symptoms & remedies, changes, temperatures, fuel consumption - EVERYTHING.
(Inquiring minds & all that)
Thanks
Shalom!
Cmdr. Ron

Wrench

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Re: Got a Drip?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2015, 09:10:44 am »
Looks like my first post to this thread will also be my first post to this forum.  8)

I'm a mechanic - I'll fix anything with an engine, but mainly work on small engines. Been wanting to build a waste oil burner for YEARS, and just last month I FINALLY got around to doing so. I've had a Beckett powered #2 oil furnace heating my barn, up until '08 when the prices went crazy. Been freezing out there & just toughing it out the past 5 years, and only using what was left in the oil tank for emergencies.

I remember as a kid, my grandfather had built a Beckett powered waste oil burner out of a 55 gallon drum he lined with firebrick. I remember something about a "low pressure nozzle" ... but never got the details of how he made this thing work. NO compressed air, and NO electricity except to run the burner. I do remember him lighting it off using #2, and having the waste oil line wrapped beside the barrel to heat it up. Once burning, there wasn't even a wisp of smoke. Thing was amazing!! Been trying to copy that for years, and have failed at every turn. Sadly grandpa's knowledge is gone.  :-[

After a recent failed attempt, I decided my only option was to go drip. After watching a few Youtube videos on the subject, that gave me the motivation to get started. I built it using junk I had laying around, with the exception of the squirrel-cage convection blower I bought off Amazon for about $100. Did this on a restricted budget, but I made it work. I also bought a drip-sight-glass/shutoff valve, which turned out to be JUNK, and I have since scrapped (flow was severely restricted - $35 down the toilet ... >:( )

The stove I had built myself out of parts from a retired HVAC tech who was building coal-fired stoves & offering them for sale. I was going through some tough times, and he tried to help me out by having me build these stoves. Well, I discovered that I am a FAR better mechanic than a fabricator - the stove came out TERRIBLE. I could never sell it and be able to sleep at night, so this unit became my waste oil burner.

I took a spare Beckett burner that I've been experimenting with, and totally gutted it, leaving only the fan and the 3-point support inside the air tube. I ran my oil line inside the burner the way it normally goes in a Beckett, except it goes straight through to my stepped down exhaust pipe (about 2.5" in diameter). I used a plastic funnel to make the transition, and duct taped it to the pipe. The pipe was cut at 45° and welded together to make a 90° bend into the burn pot.

Burn pot is a '07 Silverado front brake rotor, with 2 Toyota Camry brake disc/drums that I cut and welded together like a spool. Added some height and mass to the burn chamber, since I had scrapped all my good brake drums. Cobbled together an exhaust (chimney) pipe out of 5" galvy I had laying around.

For a tank I was using a soup can with an air fitting attached to the bottom, just for testing. I've since graduated to a 6 gallon bucket with a fitting sealed in place, but the constant moving of the Beckett that is just laying on my loft stairs in my barn has caused it to leak a bit. Need to rig up a 55 gallon drum I have next ...

The moment of truth had arrived! There was a steep learning curve in getting this thing to light. I had way too much air with the Beckett, and had to figure out that I need to leave it OFF for several minutes and let the chamber heat up. Then, when I first plug it in, I needed to stuff a rag in the inlet (where the oil pump would be normally) to restrict the airflow. Once up to temp I remove the rag, and let her rip!

This is the BEST thing I have EVER built! Had my uninsulated 36'x26' barn with a loft up to 58° on a 17° night! More than happy with the setup!! My 500° engine paint I had kicking around from 20 years ago has burned completely off the front. It regularly sees glass temps of close to 900° when warming the place up. Takes a couple hours to heat from 35° to 60° - longer if it's colder out there. MUCH more tolerable working out there in the warmth! I've found that firing the unit at anything above 40° outside temps ends up being way too hot, no matter how much I throttle it back. I'll only run it a couple hours to take the chill off in that case.

I've been using a 12" funnel with a fine mesh screen only 1.5" in diameter to filter the oil. Been working fine unless I get into some real dirty crap. For example I burned about 20 gallons of fryer oil from a local business, and it was LOADED with bread crumbs and other trash that I had to filter using my larger, fine-mesh screen reusable coffee filters I had found in the trash, back when I worked in that industry. Still had to clean them constantly. Much easier burning used motor oil!

LOVE this setup! Only cleaning I have to do is scraping the brake rotor every morning. It runs almost 100% on synthetic oils, and burns ANYTHING you throw in there - even a little antifreeze that inadvertently gets mixed in sometimes. Highly recommend a simple drip system to anyone, as long as you don't mind the occasional fiddling as it's warming up, and as the oil level in the tank drops. I've got used to it, and can make simple adjustments to my feed valve as needed. Finally getting space back that has been taken up by years of used motor oil buckets! Plus I'm taking oil from anyone and everyone to boot.  8)

The only mod I've made since I took the pics was the addition of an old stainless chimney cap I had - I laid it in back of the stove to block the direct route of the flame to the chimney exit, forcing it to go up and over the cap to heat the stove instead. Lowered the stack temp by about 50°. Next up is making a more permanent (and larger) oil tank out of a 55 gallon drum. I'm thinking of laying it on it's side, and using the small vent bung to deliver the oil to the line.

Also just to edit here, the duct tape on top of the Beckett has been removed (way too much air, but will take it when it's burning hot - but, it forces smoke out all of the gaps in the ash door), and the chimney pipe has since been sealed with RTV. Also just realized I don't have any pics of my bucket setup. I'll get those and post them up eventually ...

To be continued!  :D
     
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 09:20:30 am by Wrench »

Russ

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Re: Got a Drip?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2015, 09:45:20 am »
Thanks so much for sharing!  Great detail and glad to hear your hard work paid off.  Enjoy the heat!

Wrench

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Re: Got a Drip?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2015, 09:10:47 pm »
Thanks Russ!

Was out there today basking in the warmth while I repaired collision damage to our winter beater. Wifey had a guardrail jump out in front of her after the snow last night. She's ok - could've been alot worse. All bolt-on stuff, so not a real big deal ... although I wasn't planning on spending any money this soon after Christmas ....  >:(

I let the bucket run dry today so I could fix that leak that was driving me nuts. I ended up removing the brass shutoff valve I had mounted there (never used anyway. because it was so close to the bucket that I had to cut the thin bar used as leverage to turn the valve on or off, and that made it too stiff to turn by hand), stuffed a 3/8" 30R7 rated fuel line in there, and covered the mating surfaces with Permatex Right Stuff, just as an added precaution. That line fit real tight in there, so that leak should be fixed once and for all.  8) 

Here's a pic of the bucket, my funnel support board I lay on top, and the funnel with the fine mesh screen to filter the oil. As you can see, not alot of cash went into this project.  ;D

Russ

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Re: Got a Drip?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2015, 10:05:35 pm »
Thats a bummer on the guard rail.  Glad everyone is alright. 

Mating hoses with plastic containers if familiar.  Had a real bad spill one time when I mated a plastic fitting to a 15 gallon barrel.  Put a few gallons in it one evening and came out to the garage the next morning to find it all over the garage floor.  Wow, talk about a mess!  Research revealed that JB weld doesnt bond with HDPE plastic.  Hopefully the right stuff hangs in there for you. 

Keep up the good work and hope the car parts dont break the bank too bad.

Wrench

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Re: Got a Drip?
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2015, 08:46:39 am »
Thanks Russ. Yeah things definitely could have been alot worse. It's our winter-beater too, so not a real big deal. I've found that new parts will be pricey, but if I can find used parts I'll be golden. It's 26 years old now, so not alot of parts around here for it, as they've all rotted away to nothing.

WOW that must've been one hell of a mess! I can imagine. I've spilled my share of oil, but usually out in the driveway. What a pain cleaning all that up! As I scramble around looking for rags and paper towels, the river grows wider and longer with every second ...  ;D

I've had excellent results with Permatex Right Stuff. It will bond to anything - and I mean BOND! Even that brass valve I had mounted to the plastic bucket took a bit of force to remove, even though it was seeping a bit. This stuff is where it's at for oil resistance.

My first time using the stuff, I used it on an old Ford 5.0 plenum as a gasket. When I finished, I realized the next day that I had forgotten some vacuum lines. When I took the bolts out, I couldn't get the plenum off the lower intake manifold! I ended up having to use my cherry picker (engine hoist) to break the bond - and this was a mid 80's Mercury Grand Marquis -  not a small car by any stretch - and it nearly had both front wheels off the ground before it broke free! The stuff is unbelievable. 8)

It's also currently holding back quarts of oil in the vehicle my wife crashed. I did a pan gasket on it (in a hurry) a few years back, and botched one section - it leaked oil like a sieve. Put a layer of Right Stuff  on the outside of it, and no more leak! I was sold after that. It's a little expensive, and very thick stuff to work with, but it can't be beat for holding back oil, so long as the surface is CLEAN.

Russ

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Re: Got a Drip?
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2015, 05:46:41 pm »
Sounds like some good stuff.  Might have to get some just to have in the tool box.

Oilburner

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Re: Got a Drip?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2015, 06:36:33 am »

Drip Systems are my burners of choice although I prefer to call them Blown fuel because the units I built have a damn good flow, nothing like a drip.  I have built the Draft systems and they have their place but the forced air types with the oil fed into the air intake are by far my preferred system.

I have found and everything I have read with the draft types is that they need cleaning. The forced air types are self cleaning and to me, deliver more USEABLE heat than the draft types even for the same fuel consumption.  Forced air types are also easy to build and run totally clean unlike the draft types which need to be tuned pretty carefully. Getting a forced air or blown fuel type to run perfectly clean is pretty easy I find whether you are at high outputs or low.

With the forced air types I can control the fuel with a pump on a timer.  This allows a specific heat output and doesn't need re ajusting  to allow for the level in the fuel tank dropping or the oil becoming thinner and warmer etc.  It will do the same output all day long ( Ive tested it!) and no matter what the tank level or temp changes are.

I spose you could control a draft type burner like this but it would be tricky.

The biggest mistake I see people make with drip or vaporising type burners is they don't keep the principal of making sure the things stay hot in mid. Oil needs to change state from a Liquid to a gas in order to combust. To do that you want at least 300oC in the burner.   People seem to confuse the lack of retained heat for a lot of other things and then go off chasing the wrong problem, often compounding the difficulties they have.

I see in some interest groups like metal casting and Ceramics, Nozzle burners are very popular and thought to be the ducks guts. Always amazed me why this is. Some people are using a compressor, a blower and a fuel pump to make their spray burners work at a lower output than mine  but with far greater wear and tear on more support equipment and at way higher running cost.  I regularly run my Burners with a 12V fan from a car which means I can run them with that a fuel tank and a battery in the middle of a paddock with nothing else around for 10 miles.

I also notice that people that use nozzle burners have to go to a lot of work setting them up. It's easy to knock up a powerful forced air type burner in 15 Min out of scrap you have lying around and just by eyeballing it.  No expensive nozzles and endless fittings and you can carry what you need to run the thing in gym bag if need be.



Aww Geez! Do I have to take the forum entrance exam again every time I post???
that's going to get old very quick!