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I Need Some Help With My Fuel Oil Furance
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I just bought a used fuel oil furnace/space heater. I can't seem to make it work.

I don't know all that much about fuel oil furnaces to begin with so I'm not all that surprised that I don't know what I'm looking at.

On my fuel oil furnace in the garage it has a motor which drives a fan which drives the pump, all on the same shaft.

This unit is different. This one has a small electric motor which obviously drives a blower. But what perplexes me is that there is no visable pump.

Is it possible that there is no pump and that this unit is actually gravity fed?

There is a valve, the fuel line hooks to a fitting and there is a pipe that goes into the heater. I haven't taken it apart yet so I don't know exactly where the pipe goes or what it connects to.

On the valve there is an electric solenoid. I would assume that this opens a valve inside the valve and allows the oil to flow through. So far I have not been able to actuate this solenoid.

There are two seperate power cords, one to the electric motor, one to the box containing the solenoid on the fuel valve.

There is a switch on the back of the heater that says manual/therm. Evidently this allows you to run it with a thermostat or without.

When I select manual on the switch the electric motor runs but nothing happens at the valve.

Thinking this may be a gravity fed unit I forced some fuel into the valve with my 12 volt pump. I only ran the pump for about a second or so, until I was sure there was fuel being pushed into the valve. Again, I flipped the switch, the electric fan motor came on but nothing else.

On the valve there is a knob that evidently meters the fuel flow and a little lever thing that appears to manually "make" the solenoid contact. On the other end of the valve there is a lever that apparently manually opens the valve because it says to push it down to start fuel flow, lift up to stop.

I push down on the lever and flipped the other lever and switched the switch to the manual position while force feeding it some fuel with the pump and the heater never lit. I didn't try this for very long in fear of flooding the combustion chamber causing an explosion if it ever does light.

On the front of the heater there is a round access door.

I'm begining to wonder if this thing has to be lit manually with a match or something. Thinking about it now, I don't remember seeing anything that looked like an ignition system. My furnace in the garage has a large square battery looking thing that creates sparks to light the fuel while being pumped in.

Does it sound like there is a possibility that this thing needs to be lit manually?

It's rather old looking. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find out this heater was built in the 50s.

Here is all the data I can find on the heater.

It was apparently built for Montgomery Ward's by Signature.

Patent number 2452924-2452925
Model number LN5984A-66X
36 cc per minute 60,500 btu

I don't know what this number is but it was on the tag. It just says:
No. K771470

I took a few snapshots but I don't know how much help they'll be. I wish I were able to past pics to the body of the letter, but since I can't I'll have to do it one at a time and use 3 or 4 posts. The first pic shows the front of the heater.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Wayne


Very funny Scottie, now beam down my clothes.


ImageFuel_Oil_Heater_004.jpg (22 Kb, 170 downloads) Front View of Heater
 
Location: Dansville Michigan Near Lansing | Registered: September 17, 2005Report This Post
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Here's a shot of the back of the heater which shows the valve and the electric motor and stuff.

Wayne


Very funny Scottie, now beam down my clothes.


ImageFuel_Oil_Heater_001.jpg (26 Kb, 180 downloads) Back View of Heater
 
Location: Dansville Michigan Near Lansing | Registered: September 17, 2005Report This Post
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Here's a shot of the information tag but I highly doubt it'll be readable. Here it is anyway.

Wayne


Very funny Scottie, now beam down my clothes.


ImageFuel_Oil_Heater_002.jpg (28 Kb, 120 downloads) Tag
 
Location: Dansville Michigan Near Lansing | Registered: September 17, 2005Report This Post
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Sort of what I expected when you said "space heater" in the other thread. I suspect this is a "pot burner" style heater similar to the "mother earth" style heater. You feed fuel into or onto a hot metal plate where it boils into vapor and burns and keeps the plate hot to vaporize more fuel. These will need to be lighted manualy, probably a sheet of newspaper crumpled into the burner and light with a match, turk burners are similar and a sheet of paper towl with a dash of alcahol works for them. I am not familiar with this specific heater so no exact instructions, a web search may help. there is discussions about the "mother earth" style burners on the "otherpower.com" discussion board (here) click around there or do a search for pot burner, oil burner etc. Montgomery ward burner didn't get anything ? these folks probably have the most experiance with this style unit, post a question there. Good luck.
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Report This Post
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Wayne ..we have a simular heater out here that runs on kero I have convered many of them to wood burning when kero got so dere the ones here for kero have a wick system ..I doubt yours will have that more like a power driven nozzle and the reason the soliniod wont move it ..it is a themo controlled solinoid and without the sensor there is nothing to tell it to open the sensor could be in the cabinet or a completely seperate on to go on a wall ..the two systems are ..one for the fuel and its supply the other is for the thermo side wich will control the fan as well as the solinoid ... this is just a basic idea of how it works and may not even be the same as yours ..but might have given you some ideas as to what to look for ..hope it helps ..
Regards
Kev
 
Location: Queensland Australia | Registered: November 20, 2005Report This Post
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Dad used to have one of those things years ago. It's gravity/pot style burner, and needs a little coaxing to get it going. He eventually gave up and sold it for an oil fired furnace with a normal pressure burner. It's been at least 30 years since I saw him use it. You might contact the manufacturer for instructions.


In search of wvo.....
 
Location: Albion, Mi | Registered: April 10, 2003Report This Post



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Tim, Kev and 86, thanks for the response.

Tim, I'll check out that link and see if I can get some more help there but I think between what you guys said and what I think I now know about it I'll be able to figure it out.

It's likely that it just needs to be manually lit. I just mistakenly assumed it had some sort of onboard ignition system. But it looks like there is nothing of the sort on this heater.

I'll fiddle around with it some more when I get a chance and let you guys know how it worked out.

Thanks again for the reply and the suggestions.

Wayne


Very funny Scottie, now beam down my clothes.
 
Location: Dansville Michigan Near Lansing | Registered: September 17, 2005Report This Post
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Ok, I tore it all appart and here's what I found. After cleaning the pot of carbon build up I found there was nothing at the end of the pipe leading into the pot. It kinda looked like were use to be something there, maybe some sort of nozzle or maybe just a cover.

I took a piece of wire and with the valve off, the pipe leads directly into this open pot/combustion chamber. No nozzle, no pump, no nothing.

Is it possible that this thing is suppose to dribble fuel into the pot while it's on fire?

It seems like that would allow the flame to travel back up the pipe, into the valve and ultimatly to the fuel tank. Doesn't sound like a very smart or safe system to me.

Anyone familliar with these old pot type fuel oil space heaters?

Is there suppose to be some sort of nozzle, or pilot light or no?

Thanks,

Wayne


Very funny Scottie, now beam down my clothes.
 
Location: Dansville Michigan Near Lansing | Registered: September 17, 2005Report This Post
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Wayne: I've got one, nearly identical to yours, keeping my shop warm at the moment using B-100. I've used them in years past fueled by diesel/heating oil and really liked their economy. I'll try to answer all your questions:
"Is it possible that this thing is suppose to dribble fuel into the pot while it's on fire?"

Yes, that's exactly how it works.

"It seems like that would allow the flame to travel back up the pipe, into the valve and ultimatly to the fuel tank. Doesn't sound like a very smart or safe system to me."

Without air and preheating there's no way for fuel in the pipe to ignite. It's below the flash point. With biodiesel and its higher flash point it's even safer than with kerosene or heating oil.

"Anyone familliar with these old pot type fuel oil space heaters?"

Besides me, Dualfuel also has one. Probably others as well.

"Is there suppose to be some sort of nozzle, or pilot light or no?"

Yes it requires manual ignition. No there's no pilot light. The control on the back must be at exactly the correct height to flow properly. Your picture looks like it's loose, but I hope I'm wrong. There should be a line cast on the side of the control, equal to the liquid level inside. That line/level precisely equals the level inside the burner, but you shouldn't need to worry about that - it's set at the factory. The knob has a bunch of markings (0-8 or 10?) corresponding to more or less fuel flowing into the burner. The little push button right next to the knob will depress the float valve, allowing extra fuel to flow into the burner for esier starts. The funny shaped lever sticking out the side shuts off the fuel flow when lifted up (it should click), and turns it back on when pushed down. It overrides the float to do that.
Yes it's gravity feed, but the tank can be at least 5 feet above the float chamber/control. Use a filter - the mechanism must be kept very clean. Failure to keep the fuel really clean can result in an overflow, burning the house down (that's the reason I've been told that these heaters aren't made any more). Mine has a steel tray underneath it, draining to the outside, and a good filter, and just a 5-gallon tank. At a low setting, 5 gallons keeps my well insulated shop warm for about 2 weeks. If company stay over, I'll leave it set a bit higher and it'll burn about 1/2 gallon/night. I suspect that the highest setting will burn over a gallon per day, but that's way too hot.
Mine doesn't have a fan or solenoid. I don't know how that works. I'd suggest checking the "solenoid" with a meter - it may be a switch to turn power to the fan off when the fuel is shut off.
To light it - open the valve by pushing down and feeling it click. That activates the float valve. Turn the knob to anything between half and full open. Open the door - you should see fuel drooling into the burner "pot". It has a slightly recessed cavity for the fuel to pool. Wad up some toilet paper (2-squares is enough) to make a disposable wick, light it and drop it into the recessed cavity, and close the door. In about 10 minutes it should be burning steadily. In the very top center of the chamber is a small hole, about 1/4 inch diameter that lets you peek in to see the flame. When the door is opened, the draft stops and the flame quits burning pale blue, turning yellow and a little smokey.
To shut down, lift the shutoff lever until it clicks. Yours may have an "off" knob position that requires lifting up or pushing down to rotate. For that matter, the knob may lock off, and require lifting or pushing to turn on.
The preferred filter is one of the little cast iron ones that take a felt filter. The fuel line (commonly 1/4 or 5/16 inch copper tubing) must have a shutoff valve before the filter. The float chamber also has a filter, under a cover opposite the fuel inlet, but I've had to replace mine, nor remember my great Aunt and Uncle ever replacing theirs. The felt filter element should be replaced with a new one at the start of each heating season, and the tank drained a little to remove condensation that accumulated over summer.
The mechanism inside the float chamber is amazingly complex. My recomendation is DON'T MESS WITH IT. You're unlikely to improve any settings, assuming it's working and isn't full of corrosion.

ImageSears_heater_(WinCE).jpg (11 Kb, 121 downloads) Sears pot furnace
 
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA | Registered: August 15, 2001Report This Post
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Wow, your's is surprisingly similar. Your's is taller and narrower than mine.

Tell me again where the filter is in the valve?


I didn't make any adjustments to the valve, just took the cover off to make sure everything was operating. It seems to be but I didn't really know what was suppose to be happening in there.

You have helped me a lot.

Thank you,

Wayne


Very funny Scottie, now beam down my clothes.
 
Location: Dansville Michigan Near Lansing | Registered: September 17, 2005Report This Post
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quote:
Tell me again where the filter is in the valve?

The fuel inlet is near the bottom on one end of the float chamber/control housing. Coaxial and directly in line is a filter, accessible from the opposite end of the housing by removing a cap held on with two screws. The gasket is probably cork, and may be damaged by removal. I seem to recall seeing one with a screw-on cap, so there's the possibility yours is like that. The filter itself is a skinny cylinder about 4-5cm long by 13-15mm diameter, probably hollow, and with a spring holding it compressed against one end. It's possible yours doesn't have this "hidden" filter - I'm certainly no expert on these heaters, having only dealt with perhaps 6 of them, 2 of which I owned.
The filter mounting cavity looks like it was machined at the same time as the fuel inlet - so if they're both removed you could look through a single hole where they both lived, drilled through from one end to the other. Does that help visualize where to find it?
BTW: I wasn't able to make them run on svo, and don't recommend thinning with any low-vapor pressure additives (gasoline, methanol, etc) because of the obvious fire danger, but also the less obvious problem that the solvent will flash out of the oil quicker than the oil burns, slowly depleting it of the necessary flammable agent and concentrating the "cooking oil" without burning it completely. This could produce a gooey mess, very difficult to clean out.
The heat produced is a steady warmth and very pleasant, partly due to the near total silence (except for your fan).
Cheers,
JohnO
 
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA | Registered: August 15, 2001Report This Post
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IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS!

Did I mention that it works? He He He!

I'm so happy!

Ok, now that that's over...

I did like you said and hooked it up to a small fuel tank with a shut off valve.

I found the filter in the valve. Fortunatly it's a washable style so I cleaned it with methanol, blew it out with compressed air, (it came out like brand new) replaced it and put the valve back on. It took a few minutes to get the fuel to start flowing into the valve but eventually it did. It stopped when the fuel reached the level line on the side of the valve so apparently I won't need to do any adjusting of the float.

I turned on the valve, put a little fuel oil on a paper towel, tossed it in. It eventually lit and kept going. I immediately shut it all down because I didn't have any chimney venting hooked up yet. But it appears that it'll work so I'm headed out to Lowe's for some stove pipe.

I only planned on running the pipe up just above the gutter. So in other words it won't be above the peak.

Do you think I'll have any problem with draft doing it this way?

Or is draft only an issue with wood stoves?

The house furnace's exhaust pipe doesn't go above the peak either so I think I'll be ok.

Thanks,

Wayne


Very funny Scottie, now beam down my clothes.
 
Location: Dansville Michigan Near Lansing | Registered: September 17, 2005Report This Post



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If your chimney is below the peak, and wind is blowing the wrong way (from chimney towards peak), there's the possibility smoke will be pushed down the chimney. OTOH, my chimneys barely reach above the peak, but they're at the corners of the barn.

Image100_9973_(Small).JPG (55 Kb, 86 downloads)
 
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA | Registered: August 15, 2001Report This Post
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Update...

I finally got the time, energy and a helper together and installed the smoke stack.

The stove seems to work pretty well. I had about a quart in the fuel tank. It ran from 5:30pm till about 11pm with the valve set at wide open throttle.

I'm really looking forward to do some experiments with BD.

My plan is to run it pretty well continously at about half throttle.

I think that since the fuel tank is inside and will be getting warmed from the heater I should be able to get away with some fairly high percentages of bio diesel. Maybe even B-100. Fingers crosses.

I've got some water leaks in the basement where I process nad I'm planning on doing some patching and sealing next week.

Then shortly after I plan to insulate the cinder block walls with a foam board product available at Lowe's.

Thanks,

Wayne


Very funny Scottie, now beam down my clothes.
 
Location: Dansville Michigan Near Lansing | Registered: September 17, 2005Report This Post
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WT,
As a 'rule of thumb'; if your chimney is within 2 feet of the peak - it should stick up past the peak by 2 feet. Other than that - you should be alright. I'm a chimney sweep on the side.
Senior
 
Registered: November 15, 2004Report This Post
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quote:
'rule of thumb'


Every time I see that phrase I think of the movie Boondock Saints..."Maybe it should have been 'rule of wrist!'"

-Jim
 
Location: Middle Tennessee, Jack Daniel's country | Registered: August 10, 2005Report This Post
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Wayne: I run mine on B100. At low fire settings it builds up a lot of "carbon" deposits. They don't clean-out when the fire is turned up, so I clean them out periodically by chipping them loose with a bent steel rod and shop-vacc'ing the chips.
 
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA | Registered: August 15, 2001Report This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by johno:
Wayne: I run mine on B100. At low fire settings it builds up a lot of "carbon" deposits. They don't clean-out when the fire is turned up, so I clean them out periodically by chipping them loose with a bent steel rod and shop-vacc'ing the chips.


Has anyone tried running on filtered, heated wvo? I just bought a similar heater on ebay. Military Surplus Heater
I am excited about getting it here. I need to figure out a way to use it to heat water as a suppliment to the solar water heating set up I am trying to get finished. (Do you know how hard it is to find someone to install 5 panels on a roof in Tennessee. It's like no one has ever seen a solar water heating panel before.)

The manual for this thing is linked in the auction. It is probably 90% applicable to the stove you have. They have the same basic systems and theory of operation.

-Jim


www dot FryerPower dot com
1987 300DT (The sedan, not the wagon.) Some modifications to the fuel system.
1995 S350D Unmodified fuel system.
I plead the 5th.
 
Location: Middle Tennessee, Jack Daniel's country | Registered: August 10, 2005Report This Post



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If the vaporizer works really well, it might burn svo. The Sears "pot burners" like mine won't, because they can't vaporize heavier oils. Biodiesel is about their limit, and judging by the accumulations of carbon in mine, even B100 is arguably too heavy for general populace use. I don't mind cleaning it out periodically. When I tried adding a little svo to a hot combustion chamber, it immediately cooled it down too much and the flame nearly went out.
 
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA | Registered: August 15, 2001Report This Post
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I didn't have very good luck trying to run B-100 in mine. It almost went out.

It seems to need at least 20-25% fuel oil or PD or kerosine.

I use a 5 gallon laquer thinner can for my fuel tank. I'm thinking about putting a hot plate under it and tryint to run B-100 again.

What do you think about that? Do you think heating the BD will help to thin it out?

Wayne


Very funny Scottie, now beam down my clothes.
 
Location: Dansville Michigan Near Lansing | Registered: September 17, 2005Report This Post
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