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waste oil burner retrofitted to downdraft gasser - possible

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by 700renegade, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. 700renegade

    700renegade Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    NE Wisconsin
    Since we are in the off-season, it's time to think of more projects we could add to the list. I assume most guys here tend to have a number of vehicles such as tractors and skidsteers, and like myself, generate copious amounts of waste oil every year.

    A number of the OWB manufacturers offer a fuel oil gun (or LP) as backup and a starting aid. My wheels got turning thinking why not fabricate a new door for a wood gasser, bolt a burner modified to run waste oil onto it, and use the contraption to burn up the 50+ gallons of waste oil I have every year? I could probably scrounge up a lot more by taking a short drive around the farm neighborhood. Used fuel oil furnaces are a dime a dozen.

    Here is a decent forum on modifying a standard Beckett gun to run waste oil:
    http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24280

    One wonders if you'd have to mount the burner to the upper chamber, or the lower and customize the area that the refractory sits. My guess is the lower chamber, as there may not be enough surface area in the upper to absorb the BTU's? I guess there isn't that much more area in a small furnace, and the heat flux into a water jacketed area would have to be significantly higher per square foot.

    It would be easier to just install the modified gun into the original furnace if you were starting from scratch, but many of us are heating multiple buildings with in-floor, and no one relishes the idea of another chimney.

    Controls, flue condensation, and a host of other unkowns would need to be tackled.

    Thoughts?

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  2. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,211
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    I set up my home beckett to run on straight biodiesel I produced myself. I didn't like being told "it can't be done"

    In reality.. you CAN accomplish a lot. But the time invested, and the efficiency of the final product is what matters. In the end. I had to do cleanings and nozzle changes about every 5 weeks in the dead of winter. Not horrible, but the PITA factor has to be included.

    I don't think you have anywhere NEAR the amount of gallons that make it worth it. They make nice, whole unit, garage heaters that have filters, pumps, burner, and fans that run on waste oil. Waste oil stinks!! You'll be changing a lot of filters, and it won't be a reliable heater.

    My dad's in the car business, has been for years. Many of the dealerships now collect the waste oil from thousands of oil changes, then they have it hauled off. It gets cleaned and processed and they buy it back as "spec oil" and they run that. Cleaner, more reliable.

    I have probably 30 to 50 gallons a year. I found a neighbor who has a dedicated waste oil burner, and a crew of employees who takes care of the loading and upkeep of the boiler. I give him the oil. I get a deal on his strawberries that he grows. Fair enough.

    JP
  3. Karl_northwind

    Karl_northwind Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
    194
    Loc:
    Central Wi.
    Just FYI, the boilers with a pellet burner option run the burner gun into the upper chamber.
    karl
  4. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,605
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    I've often wondered how waste oil would fare is simply dumped into the fuel oil tank. As long as there is a good amount of fuel oil to dillute it. This is, of course, if one still burns $$$$ (fuel oil) at all.
    Personally, I have two fuel oil filters, one regular polyester element, and one spin on from Sid Harvey's. I was told that they have had "some bad batches, and quality problems" and the extra filter capacity is worth keeping the nozzle clean. The spin-on filter has a smaller micron rating. Anyhow, I don't dump my waste oil in there, as I don't burn enough fuel oil to make the savings worth the risk and it's a PITA to clean a Toyotomi boiler.

    TS
  5. 700renegade

    700renegade Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    NE Wisconsin
    For years I poured in about 20 gal right before the delivery guy arrived. it ended up a 10:1 dilution and stirred up well when the tank got filled. Never had issues with the furnace. Learned that trick from my frugal father. It was either that, or it got splashed out behind the machine shed to "keep down the weeds". Every one of those old farmers had the same habits.

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