Drip-fed waste oil heat

Blaine- The artist formerly known as Plumber Crack "(OFMC)" /

I've been experimenting with burning waste oil in my garage. Most commercial waste oil heaters use a pump fed nozzle and compressed air. I wanted try something much simpler.

Waste oil contains about the same BTU's as heating oil and when burned correctly it burns just as clean. I've been reading about drip-fed waste oil burners over the years and decided to give it a try.

There's a popular drip-fed design on youtube by ozzirt that has been widely copied by many others with varying degrees of success. His design uses a frying pan and a brake rotor for the combustion area and two tractor/trailer brake drums which basically act as a heat exchanger. It seems to work fine but there's not enough heat output for what i need.

I've seen people using old hot water heaters and propane bottles and such to make their waste oil stoves. I have a small potbelly stove that i've been experimenting with. I drilled a 1/4" hole in the lid for the drip tube that has a small valve to regulate oil flow and is gravity fed from 1/4" soft copper tubing that makes a few wraps around the flue pipe to pre-heat the oil. Pre-heating is key. I placed a 6" cast iron pan with the handle cut off in the center of the grate.

Since the grate is about 8" in diameter, this gave a 1" gap around the pan for air flow. I sat a large socket in the center of the pan that stands about 2" tall and placed a heavy gauge 5" steel lid on top of the socket making sure to get it perfectly level. The oil drips on to the center of the lid and quickly disperses to the entire surface of the lid with a bit of overflow into the pan below, forming two seperate rings of fire.

Starting it is done with a few ounces of kerosene and a piece of paper, then opening the oil to a slow drip. After 10-15 minutes there is enough heat in it to then open the oil to a fine steady stream. At this point, the velocity of the air being pulled in the bottom of the stove sounds very similar to a air fed commercial unit, resulting in a massive amount of fire and heat. But sadly without a heat exchanger, the majority of heat was going straight up the pipe.

I'm currently using a 4" pvc end cap as my supply tank that i've been filling with a cup of oil at a time that i place near the stove to pre-heat it before pouring it into the tank, mainly to aid in flow from the "supply tank" to the stove. Flow sucks when it's 10 degrees outside.

A cup of oil lasts about 10 minutes at full burn.I've got an old crock pot that i need to place i fitting in the bottom to use it as a heated tank that'll hold about 2 gallons.

This setup burned great, but after several hours of burning, deposits would build up on the edges of the lid and would wick the oil and drip off, missing the cast iron pan below and end up in the ash pan.

There's a down-draft version that i think would cure many of the ills of a waste oil burner but would require too much modification to my potbelly that i'd rather not do to it, so...

I've gone hybrid. I removed everything from inside the stove, start a regular small coal fire, and turn the oil on. TA-DA...Perfection. I add a small shovel of coal about every 30 minutes to keep the coals going. This thing kicks big ass now.

Now i've got the heat in the stove instead of the pipe. Because of the pre-heat wraps around the pipe, the oil actually exits the drip tube like a gas, squirting fire. Any oil that does actually drip into the hot coals is instantly vaporized into highly flammable gas. It's that intense that when i open the door, i can only hold my phone at it for a few seconds to take a picture before my hands are burning :)

First pic is straight coal.

Second pic is straight waste oil

Last pic is both together.

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Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

that looks pretty damn hot!!!

please be careful

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

a friend has one of those really old wik fed space heaters using stove oil ...just a idea...

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

still too complicated when i lived in mass i used to just soak rags in oil and burn them

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

/\ haha

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that looks incredibly dangerous, which isn't to say not awesome, just dangerous

i built a metal melting furnace and i was trying to use waste oil in it. I had one of those pump up garden sprayers i was using to deliver the oil at high pressure. it worked ok when i cut the oil down with gasoline.

pretty cool either way the tough part is doing it in such a way that you can control the heat and run efficiently.

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

at what temp does cast iron melt?

what temp do you think that thing is reaching?

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

We used to have a waste oil heater at work, there was a pan in the bottom of the furnace and a tube would drip onto the pan from the side.

As I recall there was a pump that metered the amount the tube dripped onto the pan.

Your design obviously works, but how about the danger of a vapor explosion somehow?

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/waste-oil-heater-zmaz78sozraw.aspx

I remember I had a gravity one in missouri and just a adjustment on it to regulate the oil flow once it got warm. Look up a old jungers funace it had a piece in the middle that rotated and threw the fuel oil against the side of the furnace. looked like a barrel that it threw it against.

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Blaine- The artist formerly known as Plumber Crack "(OFMC)" /

^ yes. The mother earth news heater is the downdraft version i had mentioned in my original post. It brings pre-heated air and oil down onto the burner. This would cure an issue i've had of the drip tube becoming clogged with carbon from the extreme heat. It's basically cooking the oil inside the last few inches of the tube, which is understandable. It's fucking hot.

Here's the plans for one. Most i've seen on the web people don't bother with the air pre-heater and elbow around the flue pipe and just have a straight pipe down to the fire which gives an easy view as well as it makes it easy to give it a shot of kerosene to kick start it.

I know it looks dangerously hot like it's going to collapse into a puddle of molten iron but there's no need to fear of a meltdown. I've run that little thing full bore filled up to the bottom of the door on coal for years. No worry of built up vapors and explosion because the oil vapor is instantly ignited when it enters the fire. It comes out of the tube on fire like a gas.

No more dangerous than those crazy russians building home-made orchard smudge heaters with a flue and burning them in the house. This video is a good example of oil in a shop and i think he's burning wvo.

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

moped man Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> at what temp does cast iron melt?

>

> what temp do you think that thing is reaching?

cast iron melts at like 2300F and glows red at 700F, probably 8-900 in the picture there.

i wouldn't be worried about the thing melting, i'd be worried about oil leaking and catching fire outside of the furnace. if that tube clogs it could blow hot oil vapor back into and out of the reservoir.

probably not super dangerous, but i'd keep a fire extinguisher around either way.

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Blaine- The artist formerly known as Plumber Crack "(OFMC)" /

^ Yeah, i had that thought in mind when i started playing with this thing and that's why i decided to start with a small reservoir and placed a large cast iron skillet in the bottom of the stove to catch any oil that may have made it through. The reservoir only holds a little over a cup at a time and is about 5ft from the stove, nothing within a 4ft radius of the stove, and i've got two fire extinguishers.

This guy is a little braver than me.

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

NB0tt aholetechbro /

Do you stare at the warm glow for hours on end?

I would

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Graham Motzing Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> moped man Wrote:

> --------------------------------------------------

> -----

> > at what temp does cast iron melt?

> >

> > what temp do you think that thing is reaching?

>

>

> cast iron melts at like 2300F and glows red at

> 700F, probably 8-900 in the picture there.

>

> i wouldn't be worried about the thing melting, i'd

> be worried about oil leaking and catching fire

> outside of the furnace. if that tube clogs it

> could blow hot oil vapor back into and out of the

> reservoir.

>

> probably not super dangerous, but i'd keep a fire

> extinguisher around either way.

meh non-return valve

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Blaine- The artist formerly known as Plumber Crack "(OFMC)" /

I'm back at it. I was burning wood for the last 2yrs in a large wood stove. Tending it sucked though, so i'm giving this another try. I cut the center out of a brake rotor to use in the top of the potbelly and used a piece of 2-1/2" exhaust tubing for the air intake.

I like this design. The incoming air spreads the flame out towards the body of the stove for better heat transfer, and the oil feed line is protected from the flame so it doesn't burn shut and it makes it easy to have a peek to see whats going on.

I hooked up the crock pot to pre-heat the oil and i've relocated the flow valve away from the stove so it doesn't become too hot to touch or melt the o-rings in it. So far the results have been good. Much easier to regulate things.

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Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Blaine- The artist formerly known as Plumber Crack "(OFMC)" /

With the lights out i could see a nice even glow of heat where it should be this time, instead of in the pipe.

1/2 turn open on the valve maintained a steady low setting, and 3/4 turn really pumps out the heat.

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New valve location.

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(edited)

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Doesn't look safe............the stove should not need to glow, copper line has a much lower melting temp.

`Playing with fire' is the old saying that comes to mind. don-ohio

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Cast iron melts around 2190°F and copper at about 1900°F...

No way he's gonna reach that temp. You're over thinking it Don.

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

My friend has one he made out of an oxygen tank. heats like a mofo. His glows. Heats his barn daily for years. You don't know what you are talking about Don.

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Overpriced Parts /

Red hot iron about is 1100°F

White hot is what you have to worry about!

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Blaine- The artist formerly known as Plumber Crack "(OFMC)" /

Don has obviously never heated with coal in a cast iron stove before.

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Don has obviously never looked in a furnace when it is running. or cooked on an electric stove.

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Blaine- The artist formerly known as Plumber Crack "(OFMC)" /

This time, the 1/4" tubing that is wrapped around the pipe and feeds in to the fire is actually Ni-Copp brake line.

Before i was using 1/4" copper for the wrap and steel brake line going into the fire.

With this setup i really don't see an issue with soot-clogging at the tip of the line, since it's protected by the exhaust tubing and the incoming air keeps it cool. After the first burn last night for about 3 hours, i could still see the paper label that was on the end of the tubing.

After shutting it down and a brief cool, i had a look inside. A good bit of ash and soot had collected on the burner. During the burn i could see the oil coming out of the tube in a constant stream.

I think i'm going to try adding another wrap or two to see if i can get the oil to vaporize as it comes out of the tube. I think it would improve the burn and leave less soot and ash.

I want to experiment with the depth of the exhaust tubing to find an ideal distance above the burner.

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Just get a old siegler oil furnace

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Keep it up boys.........I see a red hot future for you! LOL!

Hope no one gets hurt,really.

Danger at those temps are vapor-explosion. Once it happens,it's too late to run. don-ohio

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

You are an idiot. dumb-ohio

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Blaine- The artist formerly known as Plumber Crack "(OFMC)" /
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Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Blaine- The artist formerly known as Plumber Crack "(OFMC)" /

Regulating this thing has been a challenge. It has been burning much more consistant since i added a flap over the air intake to adjust air flow. But as fuel pressure drops from the oil level in the crock pot, and as ash builds up and wicks the oil, i still need to tend to it every 20 minutes or so.

I have an idea that would fix the fuel pressure issue, but after some searching i found a video of a totally different feed system that i might try to do.

Instead of a drip feed, dude set his up to feed on the same principle as an automatic water bowl for your pets. I wouldn't be using glass wine bottles like he did though. I'm thinking like a small tank with an adjustable float that closes a needle and seat. Maybe a carb i have laying around will work.

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He explains it with good detail. Claims to be safer than drip feed, which i tend to agree. He has another video where he has plumbed it into an oil furnace to take advantage of the heat exchanger and thermostatically controlled fan.

Re: Drip-fed waste oil heat

Sometimes the camera will often show metal glowing brighter than it looks to the human eye. I wouldn't mind building one to burn waste vegetable oil rather than used motor oil,(which is supposedly terrible for the environment to burn due to all the shit it picks up inside an engine.

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