Why Build a FreeBurn Waste Oil Heater Kit instead of buying a commercial one?
Advantages Compared to Commercial Units
• Low initial cost - 1/3 to 1/2 the price of commercial heaters
• Simple design • fewer components • fewer problems
• Easy to troubleshoot - does not require a trained serviceman
• No filtering needed - just strain the oil!
• Larger range of oil viscosities
• Simple means to get rid of antifreeze and used oil filters (PapaBurn)
• No nozzle to plug
• Synthetic oil can be burned when mixed with regular oils
• Variable heat output
• No air compressor required
• Very high heat efficiency with our heater kits
• Much lower yearly maintenance cost
• Build and install it yourself
• Commercial units usually require the shop and oil to be at least 50° or they will not fire up. We
started ours once with it 7° above zero (oil has to be warm enough to flow).
• Commercial units normally require the burner to be serviced yearly at $300.00 and up.
Disadvantages Compared to Commercial Units
• Does not operate off a thermostat
• Cannot be mounted from ceiling or wall
• Combustion chamber should be cleaned every 12 to 24 hours of operation (takes just a few minutes)
• Must be started manually
• Because they are kits, they are not UL approved, but they use UL approved electrical components.
How heavy (weight-viscosity) of oil can I use?
• Normally, up to 90 wt or heavier can be used, especially if it is mixed with lighter weight oils.
Do I have to preheat the oil?
• No, but if the temperature is near zero outside, it helps to keep the oil warm enough to flow.
Can I use synthetic oil?
• Yes, if it is mixed with other non-synthetic oils.
How much filtering is required?
• None! A 80-mesh screen on top of the oil reservoir and an intake screen are all the straining needed.
Does the nozzle plug?
• There is no nozzle to plug!
Do I need to separate water and antifreeze from the oil?
• Yes, because it is very hard to keep the water and antifreeze mixed with the oil so it will burn as it goes through.
What do I do with the water and antifreeze that I separate from the oil?
• We put the water and antifreeze in 1 gallon coffee cans in front of the combustion chamber. The water vaporizes off and the rest of the vapors burn.
What can I do with my used oil filter?
• Set it in front of the combustion chamber - the heat will cause the oil to vaporize and burn off. For the H-8012A-Use welding gloves or other heat protection for your hands and arms when handling the hot cans.
Can I burn diesel or solvents?
• Solvents and other liquids must be mixed with 3 or 4 parts of regular waste oil. Your local codes may not allow the burning of solvents. Diesel can be mixed in with the used oil, but not run straight. DO NOT attempt to burn gasoline or alcohol or any other highly flammable liquids or materials in this heater!!!!
Can I burn vegetable, peanut oil, or biodiesel?
• Yes, but some are harder to start, so may require more paper or wood chips during startup. The oil flow and combustion air settings will be different. The heat output will also be different from fossil fuels.
Can I gravity-feed waste oil to the heater?
• No, gravity feeding removes your control of fuel flow, affecting the mixture and cleaness of burning.
How long do the combustion chambers and barrels last?
• 8 to 10 years or longer. The combustion chamber is made out of very high quality cast iron. The very high heat is confined to the combustion chamber and the area right above it. The barrel and controls are protected with a high temperature insulation blanket. The heat exchanger tubes in the H-8012 kit we have been testing have shown little degradation in five years of very heavy use. The heat exchanger tubes are easy to replace when necessary.
How often do I need to clean out the combustion chamber?
• Frequency of cleaning depends on how dirty the oil is. Generally, once every 12 to 24 hours of use. This is simple, and takes only a few minutes after the combustion chamber has cooled down.
Is there any smoke?
• There will usually be some smoke during preheat, which takes about 5 minutes. There should be none after preheat.
Can I burn wood, too?
• No, we do not recommend it, and then only if you have a single barrel stove without a heat exchanger assembly (creosote in the heat exchanger from the wood would create a very dangerous fire hazard). A metal shield should be placed over the insulation blanket to protect it from the wood. Remove the burner controls and pipes, and cover the hole in the barrel with metal.
What do I need to change if I use something besides a 55 gallon barrel?
• The lengths of the combustion air tube and the fuel line would need to be adjusted.
How often do I need to clean the barrels?
• In order to maintain high efficiency in the heat exchanger, we suggest the heater should be cleaned 1-2 times each heating season.
Is this Used Oil Heater EPA approved?
• The EPA allows the use of used oil heaters through a regulatory exemption regarding hazardous waste. The exemption allows the use of such heaters under 500,000 Btu per hour. So Used Oil Heaters are EPA exempted, not approved.