drip fed waste oil heating

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Hi Jim

I spend a bit of time on my heater today and sparked it up for the first time. Wow what a beast. Took me a while to get the flow and airflow right but she was pumping out the heat and smokeless. I'm really impressed. I need to paint it and fit it into the hangar with the fireproofing, but it will be awesome. How do you guys light them?? I ended up using turps and a piece of rag, let a bit of oil in and lit the rag, threw it in and boom she was off. Do you guys run full fan speed or do you regulate it for a clean burn. I also added 1 liter of avgas to the oil to thin it as it was aircraft oil which is quite thick in viscosity. I'm thinking of adding the old 180litre hot water cylinder I have to heat water for the hangar. Would one of your copper coils work to heat it. I'd plumb it all properly and pump it to the sink in the hangar. Also how would I auto start the thing?? And would I benefit from the pump system verses just a gravity feed. 

Any other secrets I should know?? Thanks for all your help. I'll get you a video and a review for you website once I get it installed properly. 


Hi Jim, I put in the fuel pump two weekends ago and it solved all the flow problems! 

No more variable flow rates as the sun heats the oil tank, and good flow into the burner bowl all the time now - I used a timer and have found that a rate of "on for one second, off for two" is best 

It works so well I can turn it on in the morning and leave it all day with no adjustment at all - brilliant!

Here's the setup:

Got the burner up to 330 degrees (temp on outside of door) and had the spa at 35 degrees from 10 degree water in around 8 hours - wife very happy!

Last weekend we had another hot spa, it's only the fourth since I brought the heater off you a year or so back, it's taken a long time to get the combination of fan, pump and shed together to make it work well.

Yesterday the noisy squirrel cage fan I have been using finally died so I installed your thick black pc fan - that thing pumps out a shitload of air, the burner was roaring and the door was glowing! The new fan ran for about 6 hours then stopped working - are yours still working ok? What warranty do you get with these?

I have 10m of 8mm cooper tube lying around so thought about winding it around the outside of the base of the chimney - or perhaps adding it inside alongside yours - there are currently 6 winds of copper inside.

Where would you put it.

                         Thanks Brendon. New Fan on it's way when back in stock. 

Wrap the copper tubing around the flue.                 

The next email arrived today. 

Hi Jim, just figured out that my mate killed the fan putting 48v into it by accident when it was meant to be 12 volt, he was "helping" so forget the feedback re the failed unit it was 100% user error! 

How much is a new one please?

I replied, I was amazed it lasted 6 hours on 48volt. 

If you have any feedback good or bad mail us to let us know we would love to hear back from you.

We will put it up for all to see.


Name : Jayson
Email Address : ruston@live.co..au
Message : Well done on this simple design , about 12 years ago i had built 3 or four using similar design but rolling bodies from 253ma steel as its a bit more heat resistant .Slightly different why of firing the system but still drip feed.
Used standard diesel burner controller , this was to fit within Erma's and HSNO policy here in NZ for combustion equipment.
This was then coupled up to a standard chemical dose pump with 4 to 20mA feed back fom a thermo couple in the burn chamber .This modulated heat out put rather well because of different grades of waste oil Because the units I built were going in glass houses we required control both to keep the client happy and the clients insurers ..
Some form of flame monitoring would be good , here in NZ it is a requirement if used within or near building could be adpated easily to loop into your time. I meantion this because back in the 2005 period there was a trend with the glass house growers to use Kroll and there had been a few fires caused by over fuelling ,.
looks like your on the right path well done. I never continued as we started battling the boffens and all the rules and reg's .
Even did exhaust gas analysis which turned out really good however because of the ash in the gas it was recomended if you have rain water for drinking not to use one within 100m of the collection area as some waste oils ash is very toxic , contains high levels of chrome copper ziinc and a few other surprizes when we had it tested . Your burning the worn bits of someones engine .
Well done.

Been trying to get in contact with you Jayson but the email address you gave isn't correct.