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Greenbuggy 10-19-2006 10:06 AM

Converting a fuel oil furnace to burn waste oil? Possible?
Curious about this, I've been offered a huge, ~150,000 BTU fuel oil furnace that works fine, the shop just switched over to waste oil & LP to save money. It's mine if I cut a few brackets and take it out of the ceiling, obviously I don't want to heat my shop with fuel oil either, but I'm curious if it's possible to convert this unit to run on waste oils - used oil, ATF, etc. Anybody tried this?

sbi1 10-19-2006 10:48 AM

Well, anything is possible, the question probably is whether or not it's practical. The waste oil heater in our truck shop (350,000Btu Reznor) does not share that much in common with a regular oil burner. It takes compressed air to make the thicker oil atomize properly, and it has several more safety and limit switches than a fuel oil unit. My main concern would be if the heat exchanger in the regular unit would stand up to the higher Btu/gallon of the waste oil. That being said, if all of the waste oil heaters give as much trouble as the one we bought, I'd probably just as soon wear a coat.

SMTatham 10-19-2006 11:57 AM

Maybe the newer units are better; but I had one about 10 years back that was a huge PITA. It required constant attention and my big problem was getting GOOD waste oil. Lots of people will be your pal because you are getting rid of their oil; but they try to sneak in all kinds of crap. It's not as easy or economical as it appears unless YOU generate a huge volume of oil for yourself.

LW Hiway 10-19-2006 01:00 PM

I agree with the negatives you can come up against, but it can be done at a huge cost savings if you can get the cleaner less contaminated waste oils. Just make a point to stay away from those that add their waste coolants and floor sweepings. lol

Do some searches on the web and you'll find more information on the home brew and home do-it-your-selfer retro's than you'll have time to read.

It will work, but as said, it may take a little piddling to get something that is safe and cost effective.


teufel 10-19-2006 01:26 PM

made one out of an old gas can and a 12" piece of pipe. need to add forced air, but i originally built it for disposal. smokes a bit without the air. if i'm doing it indoors i add a small air stream from compressor. burns clean. large airstream get very hot 1000* or more and 15 foot flame. :evil:

fun_4_now 10-21-2006 10:13 AM

thats a pretty cool idea. i never herd of using old oil for heat, shore wish i could convert my house. paid over $3,000. last winter :mad: and not shore if i can even aford to heat this winter, might just light the couch on fire for heat. :eek:

rickairmedic 10-21-2006 10:45 AM

Fun for now I do heating and air for a living and I am about to give you my secret for heating my house in the winter :D. I use the oil filled radiant heaters that look like the old steam radiators that most peaple had in their homes before forced air became popular . You can get them at Wally world for around $35.00 bucks and Lowes has em on sale for about $26.00 right now . There now I will tell you the secret I set the blower switch on my thermostat to on durring the winter and it circulates the heat from the radiant heaters through the house . They cost about $10.00 bucks a month to run here each which beats the Heck out of a $250.00 gas bill or worse each month :D.


fun_4_now 10-21-2006 10:49 AM

ll have to give that a try, we have cieling fans in all the rooms so i dont think i would need the heater to circulate the air. thanks for the tip, i'll give them a try.
are tey hot enough i have to worry about the babby getting burned ???

Shade Tree Welder 10-21-2006 11:47 AM

You have to make sure you filter the used oil well before sending to the burner. Water and anything chlorinated will kill you on BTU value. If you can preheat the oil prior to sending to the burner the better atomization you will get. Boilerman can fill you on the details of that. ;) BT's are useful at times... :rolleyes:

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