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Torpedo Heaters: Propane or Kerosene?

Discussion in 'Off the Topic Forum' started by PB, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. PB

    PB Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Are there any advantages to one over the other? I was thinking kerosene would be easier to get, but I can get a 20lb propane cylinder just about anywhere. I am looking at 30-50K BTU torpedo heaters, leaning to propane for the accesibility and lower cost. Any obvious drawback when compared to kerosene besides the tank getting in the way? Have some BIG diesel heaters back at the farm, but don't need/want anything that big. I just remember the smell of those things, probably better now though.
     
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  2. luckycutter

    luckycutter Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The propane will burn cleaner and will not have the aroma of kerosene. A natural gas one could work in some situations But I have not seen one as of yet. I have seen indoor/outdoor units where the flame unit is outside and a heat exchanger/fan is on the inside. Kind of spendy though and you need electricity to run a pump and a fan. However that kind is much quieter and safer in enclosed places. You may want to research the availability and cost of either fuel type before making the purchase.
     
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  3. wigglesworth

    wigglesworth Booned

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    Propane all the way. I have a propane and have used the kero a bunch. The propane is much easier to mess with, and you can get propane anywhere, kero not so much, at least here. And no smell either. That kero gave me a headache.
     
  4. RVALUE

    RVALUE Arboristsite.com Sponsor

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    I 've burned Thousands of gallons of DIESEL through mine over 20 years. Just adjust them correctly and go. CHEAP

    Propane adds water sometimes???


    Just don't get too big of a heater. We have migrated to 50 - 55K units. Effecient and not too hot too close.

    What is your exact application?
     
  5. Torin

    Torin AboristSite Guru

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    I've got a kero one, 115,000 btu. I don't really notice odor, though my barn is drafty. As long as I have two places to get kero locally, and I do, it works for me. Diesel will burn as well & I always have that for my tractor.
     
  6. mga

    mga Tree Freak

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    does the deisel burn cleaner than number 1 heating oil?
     
  7. RVALUE

    RVALUE Arboristsite.com Sponsor

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    Maybe not cleaner, but clean enough.. You have to have it adjusted correctly. This was more important in the older ones.


    In the lower 90's in Idaho I had to adjust the heaters (20) to allow them to burn in a new construction house without fumes. When I started, you couldn't stand them, even with kerosene. We had a carpenter so picky if a heavy smoker came into the job, he would go home. And he didn't complain.


    A smudge pot will burn pure used engine oil all day, (it is a vent less heater) in a modererately closed area, without noticable fume accumulation. You have to get it started fast, and let it run correctly. It re-burns the smoke for its efficientcy. about 200k BTU.


    I burned 5 gal of year old diesel, (it was green, but that shouldn't matter) yesterday in a 20x20 office and never smelled anything.


    Just my experiences.

    But, all my kids were born naked????? Do you think this is related?
     
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  8. mga

    mga Tree Freak

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    i use an old Champion heater...150k btu...can't even buy parts for it any more.

    the label says i can burn 1 heating oil, but it burns smokey, no matter what i do. changed filters, made adjustments, cleaned the plug.

    i may just go back to kero when the oil is done.
     
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  9. Haywire Haywood

    Haywire Haywood Fiscal Conservative Social Retard

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    I have a 115K Reddi Heater. It's the newer type multi-fuel with the glowbar igniter and t-stat. I can run anything from #1 fuel oil to kerosene to JP-4 Jet fuel. I've been running diesel. No noticeable fumes in my semi-sealed barn. The company filed for bankruptcy last year but parts are still available which is a good thing. It's broke. I think the motor is out. $150.

    Ian
     
  10. RVALUE

    RVALUE Arboristsite.com Sponsor

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    I have had alot of problems keeping mine running. They are POS's. But when they work, they work well. Some types have the air pumps go out annually.

    The old ones ran and ran and ran.
     
  11. RVALUE

    RVALUE Arboristsite.com Sponsor

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    I'll bet it will adjust to burn clean.
     
  12. Haywire Haywood

    Haywire Haywood Fiscal Conservative Social Retard

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    The motor on this one tries to run backwards. If I take the top off and spin it in the right direction just as I turn it on, it sometimes fires up. I am wondering if I could find an equivalent by Fasco or Rotom that would be cheaper. Then I would have to buy a pressure gauge to set the air pressure again. I doubt the one I use on chainsaws will reliably/accurately measure 5.5lbs.

    Ian
     
  13. RVALUE

    RVALUE Arboristsite.com Sponsor

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    Just a thought, does it have a capicitor?
     
  14. RVALUE

    RVALUE Arboristsite.com Sponsor

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    I'm sure you will hear, "turn the plug over"
     
  15. RVALUE

    RVALUE Arboristsite.com Sponsor

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    Is that the venturi air pressure? I doubt it is super sensitive . 50 to 100 rpms. shouldn't matter much.
     
  16. Haywire Haywood

    Haywire Haywood Fiscal Conservative Social Retard

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    Yes, the guy at reddyparts.com said that there was one but you couldn't service or replace it. Maybe inside the motor casing? If it's on the heater control board, replacing it wouldn't be a problem.

    He also said that as little as 1/2 lb difference will cause it not to run. The "eye" monitors flame color and if it is even a little off, it will shut the heater off.

    The motor is a GE 106290-01 1/5hp 3.8a. no mention of rpm.

    Ian
     
  17. indiansprings

    indiansprings Firewood Purveyor

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    Get a multi fuel, mine will burn diesel, kerosene, coleman fuel etc, I run diesel in mine all the time with no issue, it smells a little.
     
  18. mga

    mga Tree Freak

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    when i get it running great, about an hour later, it sends flames out the end. not real huge, but now and then flames come out and it smokes.

    once in a blue moon, it'll begin puffing smoke, then flame off. until the sensor kicks in and stops it, that smoke is like tear gas. lol
     
  19. mga

    mga Tree Freak

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    not sure if you can use it, but i have a motor off a sears 75k unit.

    it's a koehring 71062-0182

    1/8 hp 3400 rpm

    p/n- m50882-01
     
  20. PB

    PB Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Thanks for all the info guys. Bought a 30K Reddy Heater LP unit this morning. Only have to heat about 450sq ft so it is perfect. Best part, it's made in the USA!

    Just a FYI, the NAPA up here has the new Chinese made Reddy Heater LP units at half off. They said it was a special buy, so it might be chain wide.
     

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