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Torpedo shop heater adjustments
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I burned kerosene in mine until I started making home brew, and necessity being the mother of invention, tried a little brew in mine to heat the shop after it ran out of fuel.

So far I've not had any problems. However my shop usually doesn't get cooler than 45F or so.

What I've experienced is that even with a little bio mixed with the kerosene the "kerosene smell" is virtually eliminated, and it doesn't smell like french fries either, just clean heat!

Anyone had any problems with the bio destroying anything or is there any rubber type products in the fuel system?
 
Location: Spartanburg County, SC, USA | Registered: June 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For you guys looking for a way to heat up the biod, you might try a oil pan heater. You can get them from lots of places such as JC Whitney, etc. They stick onto the bottom of a oil pan and plug into 120VAC.

JC Whitney Oil Pan
Heater



Moroso Oil Pan heater

Chris
 
Location: Mechanicsville, VA | Registered: May 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you want one that you can move around (say to the side or bottom of a 55 gallon barrel of oil that is too thick to pump...) there are magnetic mounted heaters available.

http://www.irvansmith.com/catalog2/parts/magnetic_oil_heater.shtml

I paid $55 for the one they sell for $40. Frown But I needed it right then and it was in stock at the auto block store (Auto Zone I think.)

You would need to put the heater up on two blocks to give you an open spot on the bottom of the tank, but it allows you to move and use the heater where ever you need it.

-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, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just got a SIP fireball 550 diesel/kero space heater spark plug type,still playing with it, currently running approx 70/30 bio/kero mix but having to block 3/4 of air intake off to get it to run without cutting out and spewing big palls of smoke,not got round to altering the inlet adjustment screw,but from what ive read so far i dont think this is gonna be as effective as manually restricting air flow so i can run it on as high a percentag of bio as possible?? any thoughts??
 
Location: uk | Registered: July 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I use one of those oilpan heaters for running wvo thru my reddy-heater. works good. 150 watt, picked it up for under $20 at fleet farm, on sale.

I just had to pull out my nozzle and clean it up, after about 30 gallons of 70/30 mix, wvo/kero.it stopped lighting properly, so I pulled the unit apart, cleaned the plug, and took a old toothbrush and some brake cleaner to the nozzle.

while it did clean it up well, that didn't make the heater work, so after removing it again, I noticed that the air passage on the outside part of the nozzle was actually what clogged. A blast from the aircompressor, and she works great once again.

I just hate putting something away for the season without getting it working proper.

I did pick up another nozzle, but havent tried it yet. it is for a 100k btu unit, and mine is a 65k. maybe it will work better- more fuel= less air? dont know till I try it, and that prolly wont be until this nozzle clogs again.


Be the change you hope to find in this world.-Gandhi

 
Location: location, location... | Registered: November 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A good way to clean the nozzles is soak in 100% Lye for 30 min, rinse in hot water then blow with compressed air.
 
Registered: May 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Hi...I just became the proud owner of a 170000btu brand new torpedo heater. I just spent over 8 bucks for one gallon of K1 kerosene. I'm wanting to try out biodiesel and see what happens.

The heater a is a bit stinky when I use it in my garage.

Will the smell change if I use biodiesel instead of the K1 kerosene?

Will people think I work at McDonalds if they smell me?
 
Registered: November 13, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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yes, it will smell way better.

$8/gal is ridiculous- are you in the US?

It should work fine with bio or wvo, if you make adjustments noted here..,

I blend (70/30)wvo and k-1 from the pump- not the stuuf the big box stores sell in the 2 gal jugs- in mine with air blocked off, nozzle pressure bumped up, and a 150watt heat pad on the tank.


Be the change you hope to find in this world.-Gandhi

 
Location: location, location... | Registered: November 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hey guys (and girls maybe?),
Anyways so basically what ive gotten off of this subject is to either try 5% kero or try and block off some of the air flow. Im trying to start a bio-diesel business in Va and NC where my Dad lives, I got a reddy heater and that will be the first thing ill try my diesel on. Ive made a couple of good batches so with me luck. (not that anyone here cares about anything I just said lol)

Your friendly neighbor the US Marine
 
Location: Lynchburg VA | Registered: December 02, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This has been a very interesting thread and I'm wondering how many of you have burned your garages or houses down while trying some of your ideas. Big Grin

Seems to me your time would be better spent looking for a place that sells kerosene at a reasonable price. I paid $3.53 a gallon for kerosene this morning ($19.02 for five gallons including California sales tax). I go to Interstate Oil where they have regular gas type pumps which dispense kerosene and solvent. By pumping my own kerosene into my own 5 gallon cans I save a bundle. I don't know what biodiesel goes for around here, but I'm betting it's more expensive than my kerosene.

I've seen 5 gallon cans of kerosene going for $39.95+ tax at a couple of the local farm supply stores but I don't need any more cans, so I just go pump my own.

By the way, I have a 110,000 btu Reddy heater with a thermostat hanging on the wall. If I were to let this heater run non-stop in my insulated garage it would be 100 degrees in here during the coldest days of winter.


To some it's a six pack, to me it's a support group.
 
Location: Woodland, CA | Registered: January 21, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Seems to me your time would be better spent looking for a place that sells kerosene at a reasonable price. I paid $3.53 a gallon for kerosene this morning ($19.02 for five gallons including California sales tax).


Most people posting here make their own fuel I think and like to find uses for it. Some do it for the environment, some for other reasons. Regardless, seeing your heater fire up and run on your own "home brew" is in fact quite rewarding. Making your daily transportation run on your own home brew? Now that's priceless!
 
Location: Spartanburg County, SC, USA | Registered: June 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I can understand people wanting to make biodiesel for their daily transportation but some of the guys on this forum are doing some really strange things to their torpedo shop heaters. A few of the posts give me the impression there are some rednecks on the forum who are competing for the Darwin Awards. Big Grin Big Grin

I came to this forum with hopes of finding a cheaper fuel (biodiesel) for my shop heater but I think I'm gonna stick with kerosene.

For those who have had some success in running biodiesel in their heaters I get the impression that once they get the heater going they can't shut if off and on with a thermostat. It kinda sounds like they have to leave it on once they get it started. That wouldn't work for me because my garage is fully insulted and when I run my heater without a thermostat it only takes about 20 minutes for temps to reach 90+ degrees. Of course, I live in the Sacramento Valley of California where winter temps usually run in the 40s and 50s so I don't need the heat output that some of you probably need in areas where you get a lot of snow. I've lived here since 1953 and have only seen snow on the ground 3 times.


To some it's a six pack, to me it's a support group.
 
Location: Woodland, CA | Registered: January 21, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Hi all, new here, & wished i'd found this forum a few years ago. I have a 110btu kero reddy heater, older model w/spark plug. Currently burning 45%rug 65%waste motor oil. Yes it does require a little ventilation.My redneck mod to make it light when cold, is a 3/8 hole drilled in the cover in line with the spark plug. I turn the switch on & spray a small shot of carb cleaner into the spark, instant ignition & it stays lit even in cold weather. SW Michigan temps can get well below freezing in my shop. The only issue i've had is with the air/lint filter for the pump, & I assume that would get dirty over time regardless of fuel type. I set the t-stat @ 55* & it lites back up fine. Burns clean once the temp is above 35* or so.I'm planning on going to wvo mix once i've gotten rid of the drain oil. Regards: dirtydog
 
Registered: January 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I posted about this igniter replacement awhile back.

http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/85410782...771078422#4771078422

http://www.comfortgurus.com/product_info.php/products_id/586

I thought for fun I would try to fire up the multi fuel Reddy torpedo heater. It was a brisk 36 degrees F outside. I fully expected it not to light without helping it with the propane torch or heating the fuel. I did cover up part of the intake.

It took about 8-9 tries but it fired up and ran fine. That little igniter is much hotter than the original.

Directly wiring in 110 volts using a double throw switch would allow the igniter to glow for a longer period before the timer shuts it off. This should shorten the number of times it takes to light the heater.
 
Location: Central Texas | Registered: May 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Most all of the torpedo heaters are made by Desa. They use either the hot-bar ignitor or a spark ignition. The hot-bar ignition is better for igniting B100 but the spark ignition systems can also be made to reliably ignite biodiesel. I've taken the entire nozzle assembly off with the spark plug still installed. The spark plug electrodes can now be bent, twisted and adjusted in relation to the nozzle. A little closer to the nozzle helps. Visualize the electric arc being blown from the electrode points by the intake air.

A couple of issues when using B100 -

First, you need good atomization of your spray for reliable ignition. The best way to do this is warm your fuel. I use a seperate pail for fuel next to my heater with an extended pick-up tube going down into it. Since the fuel is pulled up by a venturi try to keep the pail about level with the original tank - if its lower it can't pull the fuel up as well. In the bottom of the pail I have a cheap Wal-Mart aquarium heater which keeps the fuel warmed to 60-80 degrees. A heater in the original tank should work too but the pail lets me keep an eye on the fuel level a lot easier - not as portable though.

Second, B100 causes the flame to burn too blue, causing the flame sensor (which doesn't see blue-only yellow) to shut everything down. You need to cut back on the intake air to "yellow" out the flame. This can be done either by blocking off the air intake, or leaving the top cover off. I elevate the rear of my top cover so that some of the air from the primary fan "spills-out" and is not forced into the combustion chamber. This does not cause as much stress on the fan motor as blocking off the intake does.

The heater will require cleaning more often. The spark igniter gets gummy and won't ignite reliably - it can be cleaned by applying a propane torch to the electrodes until they are red hot, then wire brush. The nozzle's spray pattern also gets wierd after a while. Disassemble and clean the nozzle with carburator cleaner and plan on replacing the nozzle more often.

I have used these modifications on my Reddy Heater 155,000 BTU heater with good success. I use an electric heat thermostat with a plug and cord wired to it to turn the heater on and off. This keeps the room where I make my biodiesel (old uninsulated farm milkhouse) around 55 degrees through the past 2 winters.
 
Registered: April 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bought a Reddy Heater yesterday, the glow bar type. It was marked down from $229.00 to $99.00 and was the last one.

Today I popped it open to do something about the CAD and broke the igniter in the process. Looks like I'll be ordering one of those guru deals (or two).

The work around for the CAD is to line the inside of the hood with aluminium foil so that it will reflect light better and that way "trick" the CAD into seeing a brighter flame. It works fine with the boiler we just set up for the greenhouse. It cycles perfectly on B100 now.



** Biodiesel Glycerine Soap - The Guide
- on 5 continents helping people make & sell soap from the Biodiesel Glycerine.


 
Location: :-) Great White North eh ? | Registered: December 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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live in middle tennessee looking to heat with wvo have some left jim d if ur interested and are willing to talk shop ? i have a fresh bottle of elderberry wine and several hundred gallons off wvo .. talk trade and info.. work in alcan in shelbyville ...
 
Registered: March 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Unclewilson,

I sent you a PM.

-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, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I have one of those magnetic heaters and it works AMAZING with my torpedo heater. I can use b100 with NO MODIFICATION if I leave it plugged in overnight. I usually set the heater up on two blocks and I try to get it to face downward, so to speak, and put my magnetic heater on the bottom of the tank on the front, so that the warm fuel can rise up in the tank and circulate the fuel to get everything evenly warm. Works wonders so far. I have an older sears 55,000 BTU heater with spark plug. Haven't tried WVO in it yet. Kerosene is far too high and Petro Diesel gives me an insane headache in no time. B100 it is for me!


2001 Dodge Cummins
2006 VW Jetta TDI
both on B100
 
Location: Ripley, WV | Registered: February 22, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So I've been experimenting with my torpedo heater alot lately, mainly because I don't have any BD made to put in it and because it's super cold, the heater was super cheap, and I have a super amount of WVO laying around.

So here's what I've done lately to keep my work garage warm. I googled WVO in a toredo heater and came across a guy who has done some fooling with the idea also. He used a propane torch to "Heat" the chamber when the nozzle is fogging the WVO out. I took my heat shroud off and did just that and after a few trial and errors it worked. Left my garage in a haze of smoke from all the failed attempts, but I think I am going to stick with it! Free wvo Burning in my torpedo heater!

Step 1:
Take heat shroud off and drill a hole in the heat chamber close to the nozzle, but not directly over it. More like on the side, 4 inches or so away from it. Then you can stick your torch in there and light it that way to get the chamber hot

Step 2:

Find a way to keep the WVO at least warm in the tank. I used my "ZEROSTART" Magnetic Heater. I stuck it onto the bottom of the tank by lifting the heater up on some bricks enough to stick the heater under there. Works great for me!?!?!?


Comments? Suggestions?


2001 Dodge Cummins
2006 VW Jetta TDI
both on B100
 
Location: Ripley, WV | Registered: February 22, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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