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Old 10-19-2006, 10:06 AM
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Greenbuggy Greenbuggy is offline
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Default 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?
Don't try this at home - UNLESS you live in a HOSPITAL!
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:48 AM
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sbi1 sbi1 is offline
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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.
Good judgement comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgement.
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:57 AM
SMTatham SMTatham is offline
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Location: Weld County, Colorado
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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.
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:00 PM
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LW Hiway LW Hiway is offline
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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.

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Last edited by LW Hiway; 10-19-2006 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:26 PM
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teufel teufel is offline
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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:
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Old 10-21-2006, 10:13 AM
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fun_4_now fun_4_now is offline
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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 and not shore if i can even aford to heat this winter, might just light the couch on fire for heat.
i like the new :evil:
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feel free to PM or e-mail me directly , i have lots of time to chat.
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