View Full Version : Used Motor Oil Furnace?
09-27-2011, 02:35 PM
Before it gets cold, I was considering building one. I thought I had downloaded plans for one but darned if I can find them. The one I was thinking about had a drip tube for the oil, and it dripped into a pan being used as a burner. Burns clean, no stinky burned oil exhaust. Sound familiar to anyone?
09-27-2011, 03:26 PM
i have one in my shop that i built out of 2" thick oil refinery type of pipes.
you have to start it off on wood, when you get it down to coals you can turn the oil drip on.
the thing gets super hot -- they do make plenty of heat cheap but they can be fire hazard as hot as mine can get. not something to be left unattended at all.
since the economy turned to shit i don't have near as much used oil to burn as i did. it is mostly a wood burner these days.
You're probably thinking of the "Mother Earth News" heater.
I designed a better one; I put some pictures in the general section in the "miscellaneous pictures" thread.
The keys are the heat regenerator and the air jacket around the burner pan. If you don't keep the incoming air very hot the flame temperature is too low for a clean burn.
My mistake was using a 5" flue pipe. I need to scale it down to 2-1/2" muffler pipe.
09-27-2011, 06:39 PM
Yep, MOM's waste oil heater.
Mother' s Waste Oil Heater (http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/1978-09-01/Mothers-Waste-Oil-Heater.aspx)
09-28-2011, 01:10 AM
Also check YouTube, there's one on there that uses a 55 gal drum with a pipe in it as the burner, and the guy says he sells the plans on ebay.
09-28-2011, 05:46 PM
A neighbor had a drip system setup in a regular barrell furnace. He just had a steel can suspended above it with a copper pipe running into the bbl, with a brass valve to adjust. He just got the wood going, then turned on the oil which dripped on the logs. Once he got it set properly, he said one load would burn for about a day or so with the oil, they acted like a wick.
10-01-2011, 09:56 PM
Wouldn't you know it - I got rid of my old water heater just a few months ago :(
10-09-2011, 10:15 PM
Here's the saga of making and improving one.
Roger Sanders' Waste Oil Heater (http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_library/ethanol_motherearth/me11.html)
10-13-2011, 06:27 PM
We had a commercially built waste oil heater in a shop that we sold a few years ago. It was great, BUT you had to run it more or less all the time for it to keep working right, which meant we were always scrounging for old waste oil, even though we did oil changes in our shop. If you let it sit without running for a while, it would clog up and you'd have to work on it before it would run right again, which meant that it was fine in the winter, but not so good during the summer months when it didn't need to run as much. Also, you really had to keep up on things like filter changes and cleaning out the exhaust.
Be careful in soliciting supplies of waste oil. Most people who just want to get rid of their used oil from their car are okay, but beware of people who run heavy equipment, etc, and want to get rid of a lot of it. There will probably be SOME waste oil in that 55 gallon drum they want to give you, along with antifreeze, diesel fuel, and whatever else they dumped in it. Now their waste disposal problem is yours. The guys who bring you waste oil in the jugs that their new motor oil came in are usually pretty reliable, as are guys bringing 5 gallon buckets. They've probably got a boat with twin engines, but again, beware of people operating commercially (fishermen, tour operators, etc) because some of them will fuck you.
10-14-2011, 06:48 AM
My buddy put a commercially made waste oil heater in his shop a few years ago. (He's a mechanic) The first year he had it was a slow business/ cold winter. He figured that it just about saved him from bankruptcy. I'll talk to him and ask if he's still in love with it or if he has any input/gripes/advice now that he's been using it a few years.
10-14-2011, 06:53 PM
We have 3 waste oil heaters in the shop, they are the commercial type that are similar to a fuel oil fired furnace. The difference is in the "gun" assembly, the used oil is preheated and injected along with compressed air to atomize it to the point it will ignite easily. Other than a huge pile of unburned crap that accumulates in the burner chamber, they are pretty much trouble free if you keep the filters cleaned every couple weeks or so. Diesel and other fuels just thin out the oil, they burn fine. Antifreeze and water are the big problems, luckily we have several 200 gallon storage tanks, we can let the new oil "settle" in a single tank for a few weeks before pumping it into the long term stoarage tanks. This gives the oil time to settle out the water and AF, which are then easily drained offf the bottom. Once purchased for about $3K each (we bought 2 used for less than $1K) you only have the cost of electricity to run the pumps and blower for heating costs. Once a year you put a new spin on oil filter ($10) and maybe every 5 years or so a control unit or transformer will go, normal maintenance items on any fuel oil fired furnace. We used to heat the shop with natural gas, averaged $400 or so a month in winter, now it's probably $30 for electricity, if that.
Home units exist, basically an external boiler housed in a small shed, with insulated pipes going to essentially a radiator and blower in the house. You need a ready supply of used oil though, they do use a bit.