OT Question on Forced Air "torpedo" heater - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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OT Question on Forced Air "torpedo" heater

Background
I have a torpedo heater that was giving me problems until today. It would spit fuel, shoot flames at start-up and sometimes flame out spewing vapor. I run diesel - I know, but we used to run it in the rental yard when I work them in college about 25 yrs ago

Today
I cleaned the internal pump filter - the outside one was clean. I also set the pressure. Heater tag says pressure should be 3.9 psi. At that pressure the heater stinks and one time actually flamed out. I set it up to 5 psi and eveything is working great, more heat and smells better.

Question. Does diesel take more air pressure than kerosene to burn clean? Viscosity maybe???

I figure one of ya'll up north would be an expert on heaters
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 06:09 PM
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Diesel has more oil in it than kerosene does, that may be the reason for the increased need for pressure.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2010, 09:05 AM
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i live in a freezer, minnesota....my favorite saying this time of year. actually i run on road low sulfur fuel in mine. run it everyday all day. i fix garage doors for a living.
// anyway i do the same. jack up the pressure till the face of the diffusser(the cone at the end) is bright red. i also poor a bottle of alky in it when it is really cold out....bobn
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 12:22 AM
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I know one guy that runs a mix of mostly diesel & a small amount of pump gas instead of kerosene. I did try his mix on my oldest "torpedo/jet engine" heater, but never could get the mix right.

The small amount of gas mixed in did seem to cut way down on the straight diesel's oily/sooty/smokey nature, but the increased gas fumes & smell was not an acceptable tradeoff in my opinion.

I have been thinking about getting a propane fueled torpedo heater hoping it might cost less to run, plus both my kerosene units are getting kinda old. But It would be no surprise to me that all things factored in they all probably pretty much cost about the same money to run in the long run.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 08:50 AM
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the propane ones are noisier and make your eyes water and give off tons of water vapor. also the tanks freeze up when really cold out. instead of gas mix just dump in some of the alky (heat) or other tank additive for moisture in winter. ran mine all day again yesterday while refuburshing a 16x8 door. fwiw, bobn
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 09:30 AM
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Bob when you refer to "alky" are you talking about normal alcohol, if so which type (methanol, ethanol, rubbing alcohol, etc, etc)? Or a store bought fuel product/additive referred to as alky?

And of course it figures that the price of diesel is on it's way up again.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Dave,
I'm staying away from the propane. I have enough problems with humidy/condensation in the shop during the temperature swings here west of Houston. It's to the point I don't even open the bay doors unless it is cold and dry in the fall, winter, or spring. I just let the shop insulation slow the temperature swings so there is no condensation.

Bob,
I appreciate the info. Sounds like you set the pressure similar to a mixture screw. I will check the tank for condensation/water - I didn't think about that possibility.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D.I.L.L.I.G.A.S. View Post
Bob when you refer to "alky" are you talking about normal alcohol, if so which type (methanol, ethanol, rubbing alcohol, etc, etc)? Or a store bought fuel product/additive referred to as alky?

And of course it figures that the price of diesel is on it's way up again.
On the kerosene torpedo we use outside, it runs "heating oil", mainly because we already have it here as our building is oil heated, which is a mixture of #1 and #2 diesel; it's also less expensive with NO road taxes, than "winter blend" diesel fuel from the stations. Agricultural "diesel fuel" would be less expensive yet.
We mix it a little less than 20/1 with denatured alcohol we buy from the parts store, using 5 gallon cans. (1 qt. alcohol / about 19 qts. heating oil = 5 gallons).

Slightly increasing the fuel pressure makes it atomize better and doesn't stink so much.

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Last edited by rmcomprandy; 01-18-2010 at 01:36 PM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmcomprandy View Post
Slightly increasing the fuel pressure makes it atomize better and doesn't stink so much.
Now there is the answer to my original question. Why didn't I think of that!!!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 05:19 PM
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i use the fuel line antifreeze that comes in a red one pint bottle called heat. i was using alky as a slang for that stuff. here in minn winterized on road fuel for pickups is cheaper than any other fuel it also has less sulfur and stinks lots less. bobn
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 09:31 PM
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I can tell a different in mine when using off road diesel and road deisel the road deisel does not give off the smell the off road does did as bob said turned the pressure up tell I got a good red glow and it runs fine until it get low or try to refire it hot when low on fuel I might need to up the pressure alittle mine is a 165000 btu and uses about 5 gals for every 6 hours of run time.
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