Author Topic: Forced Air Torpedo Heater Running On Waste Motor Oil  (Read 17637 times)


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Forced Air Torpedo Heater Running On Waste Motor Oil
« on: January 26, 2016, 11:39:12 pm »
Hello everyone!  8)

     I just got approved to join up. I had searched for a long time to see if anyone had ever run a torpedo heater on waste motor oil. I have seen TONS of other setups online. Lots of awesome custom builds. Some out of hot water tanks, some out of wood burning stoves, and some were just repurposed fuel oil systems.
I bought a forced air Dyna-Glo Workhorse 65,000 BTU brand torpedo heater off my friend. It needed all new fuel and air pump hoses. I tore it down and cleaned a crap ton of sawdust out of every single nook and cranny of this thing. To be dead honest i am surprised it didn't burn my buddies mom's horse barn to the ground.  She was using it and another one to heat it in the winter.  It was even packed around the stainless fire tube in between it and the outer shell.
It is rated to run on Kerosene or No1 fuel. Although some people on different forums argue about Kerosene and No1 being the same they are not according to fuel corporations. They even have different BTU ratings. So i figured i would give some good ol diesel fuel a go after paying out the nose for some k1. I'll tell you what.... no real difference IMHO. I had to dial back the pressure setting on the pump a little just because i felt the output heat may be a little too high.

Anyway...  i am wandering from my subject. I figured what the hell...  this thing has a siphon setup. Why not try mixing fuel with solom old oil i have. I dont have a filter system i filtered some oil through a few shirts a few times just to try it out. I pulled my fuel hose out and stuck it in a container and fired it up....  great success. No real stinky stankiness.

Well then i figured hell with it. I'd go 100% waste oil. However i needed to preheat it. I've seen that much from reading all the build threads on siphon setups. Well...  i am 35, have 3 kids, and am on disability due to a golf ball sized cyst IN my spinal cord nerves (one of my nerve roots literally ballooned uo like a insulation bubble on a piece of wire.
Oh... plus as my nickname suggests i just finished a small engine swap on the old family toter after my wife (whom has bad luck with cars) had the stock engine implode on her (and just today her 02 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0L started making a gid aweful noise). SO what do you do when the 3.8L v6 costs almost $5k? Well you stuff a damn LSx 6.0L and 6 speed auto transmission from a 09 Silverado 2500HD into it. All said and done i am right around the same cost as the stock 3.8L would have been. Even after buying brand new parts that i could have gotten used for way cheaper.
RAMBLING! Damn it. Haha
Well, i didn't want to try to prove my concept and spend a bunch of money just to see it fail SO I found an radiant oil space heater in the atic we hadn't used (it blows the breaker because the livingroom and 1 bedroom share a circuit, we use our sweet tv stand/electric fireplace in the living room a lot and it was in the bedroom )
So i drilled a hole in top and bottom of it after i pulled the heating element out. Ran some fittings into the holes, then attached tubing and a needle valve.
Well, fingers crossed i fired up the heater and tada....   It got that oil hot as hell and it did it FAST.  So i ran some into a container after preheating the heater on diesel fuel for a bit.  Then dropped the fuel pick up hose into the container and damn it if it didn't run wothout a hitch. I had to turn the air pump up some because the oil container was rather low and it was over to the side a bunch. It also draws out of a MUCH smaller hose.  The way it is setup temporarily is that the fuel pick up hose actually slides over the top of the short one zip tied to my oil container.
It runs awesome!  I ran it for a while too. I have some plans going forward though. I dont think its a good idea to breath in that burnt oil.
I am getting a couple 55 gallon drums from my buddy. I am going to cut a hole in it so i can but the heater tight up to it. Then i am going to lay it on its side and baffle the inside of it retains more heat. I am going to then either run some exhaust tubing sections through the drum so i can blow air through the tubes with a fan or bilge blower from a boat. That should make great heat. A stack out of the drum will take the spent fumes outside.  The other option was to run pipes through it for water or stuff an couple old radiators i have inside it. Then pump the water through those then to another outside the drum with a fan on it.
Well...  let me know what you think.
Here is a video i took of it running. I also comentated whats going on in the video as well.


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Re: Forced Air Torpedo Heater Running On Waste Motor Oil
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2016, 12:31:52 pm »
Greetings LSxPoweredSorento!

Cool story you have there.  I cant believe you haven’t gotten any replies yet.  Interesting project you have.  Thanks for sharing with us!  I dont have any experience with that type of heater, but check the site out and hopefully you can gather some tips from the existing posts.

Good luck with your project and keep us updated!


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Re: Forced Air Torpedo Heater Running On Waste Motor Oil
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2016, 10:43:21 pm »

I got the drum vessel built to contain the heat so I wasn't pumping the waste oil fumes into the garage.  It worked, however, I can not repeat my success from my video.  For some reason I have to have the air supply pressure MAXED with a finger covering the pressure vent just to get it to push enough oil to keep burning hot enough for the flame sensor to not shut it down.  I did some maintenance on the heater to see what was going on.  I had some crap in the back of the nozzle from not properly filtering my oil.  However it still is running with the same problem.
For some background the torpedo heater works inside similar to a Beckett Siphon nozzle setup but with a fan rather then a squirrel cage blower.  The fan motor's rear housing has a gear rotor air pump built into it to provide air pressure for the nozzle.  There is a T screwed into the air pump housing.  One side goes to the pressure gauge the other to the nozzle.  I just had an epiphany actually....  I wonder if the air line from that T to the nozzle is kinked or clogged.  That would explain the gauge being maxed out but the nozzle still not moving the fuel like it was.  I had taken the air pump rear cover off.  It has an air filter for post pump air filtering under the cover.  The pre pump filter is accessible from the back without removing anything.  Maybe something got into the line.  I didn't actually replace the filter, I just blew it out....  yes failure... I know.
I will have to check that out tomorrow.  Otherwise the drum build went ok.  I didn't know how much air CFM the heater moved and I undersized the holes in my baffles so flame stability was very poor.  It was pulsating at lower power.  I had to cut most of the baffles out.  Venting from the drum is through 3x 3" exhaust pipes.  They only go about 3 feet up then turn out my garage window through a sheet metal plate.
I will post some pics as soon as I can!