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Tech week: Build your own waste oil burning Garage heater

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rayj53, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Pretty cool design, and even more useful in the colder climates. Heavy metals would have been my concern. Come cleaning time for the vaporizer unit you might want to take precautions, and dispose of the ash/clinker as hazardous waste.

    All in all a cool solution and invention, though.

  2. Thanks.
    No problems with the holes in the Secondary burner. I used smaller hole on the bottom for a higher air velocity for kind of a blow torch effect. But the holes on top I wanted more air volume to make the flame rise higher in the tank for more heat exchange. I did however have to modify one air inlet hole on the primary burner. I made the air inlet hole opposite the drip feed hole larger to 3/4". It makes it easier to start and after its heated up, I adjust the air flow thru the 3/4" hole with a piece of scrap metal . Because you want the primary burner to be oxygen deprived to create vapors that burst into flames when they get to the secondary burner with all the holes.
  3. Thanks.
    It does, you can feel the heat radiating from it 8 ft. away.
  4. Just a 5" piece of angle iron with a 6 deg. slope to the center. The oil drips into it and heats up as it runs to the center and vaporizes.

  5. Thanks,
    I plan to do a couple of redesigns to it over the summer, and that may be one of them.
  6. Subscribed.

    I really like the whole no pump, no filter, no electricity at all concept. If it is not there it cannot cause you any trouble. :D

    How much clinker accumulates in the primary burner after burning say 10 gal of oil?

    Please post your updates. Thanks.
  7. Thanks,
    Not much clinker at all, maybe a cup full.
    The key is to get it burning hot enough to vaporize the oil so it doesn't puddle in the bottom and burn.
  8. mustangsix
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,296


    Reminds me of the oil heaters we had in the troop barracks in Hohenfels 40 years ago! Every time we used them, we had to clean the soot off the ceiling to clear the installation when we left.

    And those pot-belly diesel burners in the field......And immersion heaters....

    Thanks for bringing back a bunch of memories!
  9. Never thought of that.
    I'll give it a try.
  10. falconsprint63
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,348

    from Mayberry

    any chance you can reload your pics?
  11. krazee
    Joined: Nov 3, 2011
    Posts: 52


    Rayj are you able to post photos, this looks to be the best setup I have seen.
    Nothing comes up in the images in your post
  12. mr.chevrolet
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 6,297


    yes, I too would like to see the pics. I made a waste oil heater similar to Mother Earths, but I neglected to add forced air to the combustion chamber. it worked well for about 3 years then the smoke pipe filled with soot and it won't draw. incomplete combustion = soot. I used an ELECTRIC hot water tank for my chamber. any suggestions for removing the soot without taking the pipe apart and getting soot everywhere?
  13. I know this is an old thread that has resurrected so I hope the OP is still able to refresh the pictures. The You Tube shows a pretty sanitary, well engineered burner. One word of caution to all us folks in cold climates. Remember your "fuel" changes viscosity with temperature. Many years ago I heated my old shop with waste oil out of a 5 gallon bucket on the wall about 4 feet from the burner I had built. You only light these when the shop is just too cold to do anything, and the old oil was moving real slow one day so I had to open my feed valve almost all the way to get it to light. I got busy and 30 or 40 minutes later I realize my stove is chugging like an old steam engine and was glowing orange. The oil warmed up, started running much better and filled the burn chamber and the bottom of the fire box (different design than this one). I got the oil valve closed but I was sweating bullets for two hours until it finally burned itself out.
  14. g-man-75
    Joined: Mar 23, 2014
    Posts: 1


    Bump! It's freezing outside, literally, and I need to heat my 3000' shop. Been looking around and this sounds like the best set up but can't see any pics. Can you re post your pics?
  15. King ford
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,191

    King ford
    from 08302

    My dad and I built a drip waste oil burner out of Mother Earth magazine plans many years would run cold for about half an hour then "run away" turn cherry red, literally huf and puff.....we turned that bitch into a wood burner so we didn't burn the garage down....if you build one be careful!
  16. nailhead terry
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,449

    nailhead terry

    Man wish I could upload the images
  17. doinbad
    Joined: Sep 17, 2012
    Posts: 320

    from celina tn

    re post the pics please
  18. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 5,790

    seb fontana
    from ct

  19. napalmv8
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 39


    I use waste oil burner too.
    Would like to add some comments:
    IMHO, this type of heater is quite dangerous, because it has a hudge amount of oil boiling at a time. In case of this is clear oil - it is OK. But in case it gets mixed with water / engine coolant /etc it becomes a bomb with timer :))
    The mechanism looks something like this:
    you fill heater with waste oil. It is quite hard to see if it is mixed with water. Due to higher density water goes down to the bottom. You fire up heater and seems all goes OK. Oil at the top starts boiling and temperature goes higher and higher until water at the bottom starts boiling. BANG! You have your garage full of boiling and burning oil ! ;))
    So instead of using this type i recommend to use internal combustion type with supercharger.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2014
  20. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,347

    from New York

    About 40 years ago I had a friend who heated his gas station with a waste oil heater. I worked for a company they has several laminating presses that raised the platens hydraulically. Every year we changed the oil on one of the presses. When we disposed of the oil we had to pay to have it taken away. My friend asked me how it would work in his heater and I told him that "I have no idea". I asked my boss if we could have the 55 gal drum and he said "take it". My friend called me and said "that stuff burned clean, hot and left zero soot". If I remember correctly it was a Texaco product. Not that I'm recommending burning something other than what's recommended but it sure worked for him.
  21. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,204


    I considered, for a very long time, installing a commercial built waste oil burner in my 4600sf shop. The biggest issue was finding a constant/reliable source of oil which, in this state of liberal-environmental whack jobs, proved questionable so I went to propane. Propane has several advantages: very clean burning, high BTU per dollar, and the unit heaters are not terribly high priced. I fill my tank in the summer when the price is down.
    Considering the initial cost of the waster burners I am still ahead of the game three years later.
    For the 'home-built' crowd, you need to read the fine print on your insurance policy to see if they will cover your building if the heater does not have a U.L. label. just sayin'.................

    Last edited: Dec 25, 2014
  22. napalmv8
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 39


    btw, for those who are not able to see pics - check topic starter's albums ;)
  23. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    we used to use a larger version of this when I worked at the shipyard , and we would burn all the oil from the tugs and equipment on site plus waste veg oil from a company that made fast food . the design works very well and the hotter you get the primary vaporizor the cleaner it burned ( no soot) , I had to make a shutter to throttle the air flow to make it work more efficently .
  24. Ray, have you done any other changes?
    I am building one right now. Not sure if I should use 5" pipe or go with 6"
    I am going to put a qater catch dealio in line too... cant wait to get it done. I am using a 30 gallon compressor tank.
    Thanls for the write up!


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