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Aaron
01-30-2008, 10:58 PM
Hi all,
Found a great yahoo group focusing on upgrading, modifying, etc... oil furnaces to burn veggie oil, biodiesel, etc... !
altfuelfurnace : Alternative fuels furnace (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/altfuelfurnace)
I scanned all 9000+ message headers in this forum last night and read quite a few of the messages.

I posted this message in that forum but if anyone here has experience and knowledge on this, any help is appreciated.

I recently bought a house that has an oil forced air heating system.

This is my furnace: Oil Furance (http://www.feelthevibe.com/oilfurnace/)

http://www.feelthevibe.com/oilfurnace/oil1.jpg

http://www.feelthevibe.com/oilfurnace/oil2.jpg

I had no idea what kind of burner I had until I saw references to a Beckett AFG R.W. Beckett Corporation - Products (http://www.beckettcorp.com/product.htm) and this looks like the kind of oil pump/motor setup I have...at least the style of oil burner system.

Mine says it is a Montag Quite Automatic Oil Burner. I can find no info online at all about this burner.

Does anyone here have any idea about this, the efficiency, any other info you can tell me?

From this forum and elsewhere, I found 3 oil burners:

Beckett R.W. Beckett Corporation - Products (http://www.beckettcorp.com/product.htm)
Adams Adams Manufacturing (http://www.adamsmanufacturing.com/oilburners.html)
Riello RIELLO-BURNERS (http://www.rielloburners.com)

Based on the info in my picture, any recommendation of which one I should use, which has an easily replaceable oil pump compatible with biodiesel (because of seal failure with biodiesel), highest efficiency, etc...?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Peter Lindemann
01-31-2008, 06:06 PM
Aaron,

You should talk to the folks at Bartlett. They may know how to convert the furnace and source you the vegie oil to burn in it.

Peter

Bartlett Greasecar - Bartlett Greasecar Home - Experts in Diesel To Vegetable Oil Conversions (http://www.bartlettgreasecar.com/)

Aaron
01-31-2008, 07:59 PM
Thanks Peter!

It is nice that they are right here in town...I see them at almost all the festivals and other community get-togethers. I talked to someone from Bartlett this past summer and they do deliver filtered and de-watered cooking grease...and it was cheap too! As far as modifications to the furnace that they know of, I'll have to ask them.

I did find this for anyone that may be interested in using any time of vegetable oil product (filtered grease, biodiesel, etc...)... the problem seems to be the seals...IF they are a problem. Of about 1/4-1/5 of all messages I've seen of people using 100% biodiesel (B100)...have oil pump leaks. The reason is this type of fuel is a strong solvent and can eat normal seals. The seals need to be VITON.

There is 1 oil pump maker that uses VITON seals and is intended for any bio fuel all the way up to B100. Bio Fuel Pump (http://www.websterfuelpumps.com/biopump.htm)
http://www.websterfuelpumps.com/ln4756.pdf

"The new Webster Bio Fuel Pump is now available. This Bio fuel pump is compatible with all Bio blends of B100 - B5, (soybean or animal fat) This unit can easily replace your standard M34D or A2VA residential pump.
General specifications are as follows...M34DM-3 Bio Pump, 3450 rpm., CW rotation, right hand nozzle port, 3 gph. @ 3450 rpm., 75-190 psi. range, internal cut-off. All components are specially designed to be compatible with Biodiesel. The M34DM-3 is able to maintain its 3 gallon fire size throughout the 100 to 150 psi pressure range."

Suntec, a very popular pump maker if not the most popular was supposed to be working on a pump with different types of seals for bio fuels but I'm not sure if you can get the pumps or viton seals for older pumps.

Also, use only copper tubing from the storage tank to the fuel pump and NOT any type of rubber tubing...the fuel will eat the lines.

Also, you need an oil filter coming right off the storage tank to have viton seals as well or it could leak there as well. I believe you can find them at one of the two parts dealers below.

Here are two great sources for oil furnace parts and both have some bio fuel parts:
Beckwith Heating Miller Furnace Nordyne furnace parts Riello Bock Williamson Beckett Burner Oil Boiler Parts Homeowner (http://beckwithheating.beckwith.net/)
Patriot Supply - (http://www.patriot-supply.com/)

Once the seals are the type you need on the pump and filter and you only have copper tubing from the storage tank to the fuel pump, there are a few variables that need to be tuned together.

Nozzle flow rating, primary air pressure, oil pump pressure, high voltage ignition electrode spacing to the atomized spray, etc... for this info, you're going to have to search the net, look at this yahoo group:
altfuelfurnace : Alternative fuels furnace (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/altfuelfurnace)

Also the moderator of that group has this group, which is for builders building an oil burner for veggie oil:
AFFBuilders : AFFBuilders (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AFFBuilders/)
"The Altfuelfurnace Builders group is strictly for members of altfuelfurnace who currently are building the altfuelfurnace siphon nozzle wvo/wmo gun-style oil burner along the same lines as my build_03 burner. This is the only topic allowed. If you are interested in wvo/wmo gun-style oil burners and the wide range of topics about burning waste veg oil/waste motor oil/ biodiesel in your current residential gun-style burner, then check out the Yahoo group altfuelfurnace: anyone can join."

With my old dinosaur burner...with what seems to be an upgraded oil pump and motor, the service tech guy who changed my nozzles and oil filter said that it is one of the best running ones he has seen and I have no doubt that it is partly because I added 7.5 ounces of RXP Generation II to 150 gallons of #2 fuel oil at first. I just filled up 200 gallons (220 gallon tank) and added 10 ounces...so far no crud has clogged the oil filter.

With some of the newer gun type oil burners like the Adams Interburner, Beckett ones, etc... you can save up to about 1/3rd on your oil usage compared to using an old burner.

Another thing for bio fuels is that they are a little thicker than petro diesel products so having them warmed helps to atomize them better. I have 2 thoughts to do this for my particular setup and anyone can probably do the same.

My exhaust for the furnace is only a few feet above the oil pump, so I could take some heat from that pipe and preheat the oil going to the pump by warming the lines coming out of the floor. Also, my hot water tank is right next to the oil filter coming from the oil storage tank. I could use some hot water heat to warm the tubing coming from the oil filter into the ground. Or I could do both. I have a very good infrared thermometer so I can see if there is a difference.

I have seen one person with good results and a lot of experience with using bio fuels in an oil furnace and he used a hot glue gun element on the tubing going to the nozzle to warm the oil before it is atomized..about a 15 watt unit. Anyway, this is very crucial expecially if using just cooking grease because it gels at the lowest temps of any bio fuel...of course depends on what kind of plant source it comes from.

Anyway...more to come!

jason
02-13-2008, 06:08 AM
Hi Aaron,
I don’t know about biodiesel but it should not be hard conversion. I do know a little about oil furnaces though, since I have one. Mine has a Beckett as well.

A short story. Oil burners have problems, I grew up with one. My brother is in heating and AC. My brother convinced me to convert to propane (I live in the country) because I complained I always had to hit the reset, seamed unreliable, big oil tank in the basement, etc. I purchased a 500 gallon propane tank, new propane furnace. All the lines etc. We did the conversion the fall of 05. I had a brand new propane furnace, tank and I was excited.

Well, know one told me that you get far more BTUs per gallon of fuel with oil then gas. Also, oil puts out a much warmer “heat” (forced air) then gas. Instead of nice, warm air, my home felt drafty and cold when the gas furnace was on. The house stayed warm (72 degrees or so) but every time the blower kicked on it felt cold.

Where I live (Central MN) you have to call when you need fuel. When a propane tank runs out, they have to re-test the system ($50 a shot). Not a problem until you run out because you thought 400 gallons of propane would last at least as long as 250 gallons of fuel oil. Not so. 400 gallons of propane is about equal to 250 gallons of fuel oil. Here in MN, that gets spendy (oil now is at 3.05 a gallon, propane about 2.80)

Anyhow, I ran out of propane for the second time my first winter with propane in January at about -10F in the middle of the night (I know I should have checked). I switched the furnace back to my oil furnace that night and it is purring like a kitten as I write this. Warm and toasty. Plus, if I run out, I can just take a stroll up to the gas station and pick up a few gallons of diesel until the truck comes. I got a good deal on some jet fuel last year, works great.

Anyhow, I’ll save you some money and a few headaches from my learning by doing.

1. Change your filters every fall. The one by the tank is about $5 and ten minuets.
There is a screen filter on the inlet of the pump, where the fuel line connects. There should be four screws. Remove the fuel line, take out the four bolts, clean (carb cleaner and an air compressor) or replace the screen every year. You may need a new (or make) a new cork gasket. You will have to bleed the system.

2. If you run out of fuel or change/clean filters. There is a bleed screw under the fuel input. Just like a bleeder on a car brake. Should be 3/8” wrench. Put a baby food jar under is, flip your furnace on, crack open the bleeder until the fuel runs full. You may have to hit the reset once or twice. You may go through one or more jars of fuel. Just dump the jars back in the tank.

3. Clean your nozzle every year, or replace (about $8), replace every two-three years. Shut the fuel valve off. Remove fuel line from pump. There are three bolts (nuts) holding the whole assembly onto the furnace. Just loosen the nuts (make sure power is off) twist and pull the whole pump out. At the end off the burner ther is a flame cap held on with two screws, remove them and tap the cover off. You can see the nozzle right there, Just remove it and replace/clean it. I blow mine backwards with an air compressor. There are numbers on the sides. You need to replace it with same. 1st number is gallons per hour. They range from like .5 GPH to 3.0 GPH (mine is .75gph). Next is the degree of spray. Then a letter designating the spray pattern. Letter does not seam to matter much.

Be careful of the gasket between burner and furnace. You may need to replace it.

4. Igniters. You will see when you are messing with the nozzle there are two probes by the end of the nozzle. Clean and adjust them while you are at the nozzle. You have to open the secondary transformer to adjust them. That is the big 4”x4”squar thing on top of the burner. One or two screws loosened on the furnace side and it flips open. On the underside there will be two contacts (usually springs), make sure they are clean, use some emery cloth. You can see the two electrodes inside held in place by a clamp on the two ceramic tubes. Loosen the one bolt on the clamp and they slide right out. Clean them with carb cleaner and lightly sand if needed (ceramic as well.) File or sand the ends down to a nice shiny flat surface. Make sure ceramic is not cracked. If too worn or cracked, replace them. Clean and sand the transformer contact shaft as well. Reinstall. Make sure position of electrodes is close to spec. Specs (found on the net, don’t recall website) are according to nozzle. Usually it is 9/16” from center of nozzle to tips of electrodes, electrode tips 1/8” apart and 1/8” in front of nozzle.

5. Al little more research on the net (I haven’t gotten this far yet) and you can adjust for maxim efficiency with a co2 meter etc.

If your furnace fails to start.

1. Make sure you have fuel, don’t just check the gage, drop a line in and see.

2. Make sure there is fuel at the pump. Turn on furnace, crack the bleeder open, fuel should stream out, no bubbles. If not, check filters and lines.

3. If fuel, open transformer and use a really well insulated screw driver and hold on one spring and about 1/8”-¼” above the other, hit the reset and check spark. If there is spark, check nozzle and electrodes, if not, I don’t know.

Anyhow, that’s all I know. I love my oil furnace and can’t wait to replace it with my geothermal system (I’ll start a new thread).

Good luck,

Jason

Aaron
02-14-2008, 12:29 AM
Thanks Jason!

This is a lot of great info. Yeah, all the info I have seen is that the oil gives more btu's of heat than anything else.

What I'm going to do is put on a new Beckett AFG burner and will change out the stock Suntec oil pump for a Weber biofuel pump that has VITON seals...good for any bio fuel and also change the oil filter to have viton seals as well.

I brewed a small 12oz batch of biodiesel from some old rancid cooking oil and it turned out great. I want to build at minimum a 55 gallon processor and preferably a 250gallon processor.

The old burner on my unit is very obsolete...no flame retention head, etc... but, I'll use the motor and pump to pump methanol/lye mix into the vegi oil and and from the final tank to my oil tank inlet...if it even has decent capacity for pumping that much volume in a short time.

Just found out one of the pioneers of vegi oil burners - Kagi oil burners is right here in Spokane Washington. kinda trippy!
http://www.kagiburner.com/
Waste Oil Burner & Furnace Bio-Diesel Waste Vegetable Oil W.V.O. Alternative Heating Heatwave Burning Waste Oil Boiler Bio-Diesel Waste Vegetable Oil W.V.O. (http://kagiheat.com/)
But theirs is only for non-residential use..still great resource and technology.

I printed this document last week:

For the Professional Serviceman - Guide to Oilheat (http://www.beckettcorp.com/protect/techsuppt/product-manuals/RWB_Oilheat_Guide.pdf)
About 60 pages and lots of info about oil heat.

Aaron
02-14-2008, 12:29 AM
Thanks Jason!

This is a lot of great info. Yeah, all the info I have seen is that the oil gives more btu's of heat than anything else.

What I'm going to do is put on a new Beckett AFG burner and will change out the stock Suntec oil pump for a Weber biofuel pump that has VITON seals...good for any bio fuel and also change the oil filter to have viton seals as well.

I brewed a small 12oz batch of biodiesel from some old rancid cooking oil and it turned out great. I want to build at minimum a 55 gallon processor and preferably a 250gallon processor.

The old burner on my unit is very obsolete...no flame retention head, etc... but, I'll use the motor and pump to pump methanol/lye mix into the vegi oil and and from the final tank to my oil tank inlet...if it even has decent capacity for pumping that much volume in a short time.

Just found out one of the pioneers of vegi oil burners - Kagi oil burners is right here in Spokane Washington. kinda trippy!
Home page (http://www.kagiburner.com/)
Waste Oil Burner & Furnace Bio-Diesel Waste Vegetable Oil W.V.O. Alternative Heating Heatwave Burning Waste Oil Boiler Bio-Diesel Waste Vegetable Oil W.V.O. (http://kagiheat.com/)
But theirs is only for non-residential use..still great resource and technology.

I printed this document last week:

For the Professional Serviceman - Guide to Oilheat (http://www.beckettcorp.com/protect/techsuppt/product-manuals/RWB_Oilheat_Guide.pdf)
About 60 pages and lots of info about oil heat. It is 35.7mb