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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Landis North Carolina
    Posts
    528

    Question One for the old guy's

    Got a call today to fix an old kerosene room heater and had to decline because as I told her its too much liability to even try because I had no experiance with them.Offered to install a furnace even offered a used one at reduced price but she declined. Now im not talking about a "kerosun" wick type heaters but a piped in vented 1930-40 model im guessing with the old carborators on them. Ive seen 1 in my life and it has a float that controlls the flow of fuel and gravity feeds it to the burner or whatever.What im asking does anyone here know what im talking about and have you ever worked on them? I really would like to have it to learn about it and have for the history buff in me. So chime in if youve seen them and maybe give us a kinda broad description of how it works exactly.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Baltimore MD and Ridgebury PA
    Posts
    542
    My grandparents had one. This was well before I got into the field. I was still in high school actually when it was finally replaced with an oil furnace finally in the late 90s. It's a shame I never learned any HVAC stuff from my grandfather who actually was a refrigeration and heating professional. My father learned the electrical and plumbing trades from him but never the refrigeration. My grandfather passed away my first year of high school back in '94.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    5,464
    I used to run in to them off and on in the 70's. They need a good cleaning at the bottom and the oil line. When adjusted correctly they will burn a pretty blue and almost look like plasma.
    They are probably the simplest burner made.

    Although I don't think your argument about you can't work on them due to lack of experience holds. Anything we work on started with out experience.
    Tracers work both ways.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    1,482

    Hmm Free standing Oil-kerosene stoves

    Back when I was about 11 or 12, Mom and my little brother and sister were living in a rental house, that had one. It was fairly cold, and we had the oil company deliver a drop of oil. After filling the tank, the proper procedure was to shut the heater down for an hour or so to allow the oil to "settle." In other words, let all the sludge and water drop back to the bottom of the tank. Mom was working, and I was home with my siblings when the oil company made the delivery. The driver never told us about the shutting down thing, and about an hour after the delivery, the heater went out. I read the instructions on lighting it and soon found that here was no oil getting to the burner pot. I took the carburator off the stove, cleaned all the gunk out of the screen, played with the float and needle valves and restarted the stove. I don't remember what the tool situation was, but I'll bet my screwdriver was a kitchen knife. Mom came home from work that night and I was still awake watching the stove, She had "the man" come the next day and check it out. He told her I did a good job.
    Now if you want to really get technical, I can tell you my experiences with the old stoker coal furnace that was in the previous house. I still cuss "Klinkers."
    One way to outthink people is to make them think you think. They'll think you're not really thinking what you're trying to get them to think you think...........

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Landis North Carolina
    Posts
    528
    Quote Originally Posted by hvacker View Post
    I used to run in to them off and on in the 70's. They need a good cleaning at the bottom and the oil line. When adjusted correctly they will burn a pretty blue and almost look like plasma.
    They are probably the simplest burner made.

    Although I don't think your argument about you can't work on them due to lack of experience holds. Anything we work on started with out experience.
    I disagee! Thats alot of the problems I see daily, people working on equipment that they have no experiance on! I am not going to put myself in that situation.Im not familliar at all on them and more techs in my opinion should exercise this caution.Its not about just getting the money or an ago thing where I wont admit I dont know, but all about the customers safety and comfort which I could gaurantee either so Someone else can take the liability. Im not that proud.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    17,853
    In the time period when that thing was made, you could take on a liability like that for your learning. In today's litigious society, I would not.

    Good call.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    974
    At least back in those days: It either worked or did not. No in between and need for codes etc.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    181
    You didnt happen to get a pic ? Dont recall ever seeing one...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    100
    I have one of those I use to heat my shop. My son took it out of a house on the coast of N.C. and gave it to me. The biggest maintenance is to shut the carb off and clean the pipe that runs into the fire pot. But I was told (emphatically) by my Dad and an Uncle who remember servicing these units, to only burn Kerosene, as No. 2 will soot and plug them in a heartbeat. John

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,172
    All the "old guys" on HTALK and only 9 responces.LOL. Good call on not working on it, its what you dont know is what gets you into trouble. Just dont let a logical reason become a poor excuse. Seen it too many times.
    Saddle Up!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    115

    i am NOT old

    Quote Originally Posted by stickinit2thman View Post
    Got a call today to fix an old kerosene room heater and had to decline because as I told her its too much liability to even try because I had no experiance with them.Offered to install a furnace even offered a used one at reduced price but she declined. Now im not talking about a "kerosun" wick type heaters but a piped in vented 1930-40 model im guessing with the old carborators on them. Ive seen 1 in my life and it has a float that controlls the flow of fuel and gravity feeds it to the burner or whatever.What im asking does anyone here know what im talking about and have you ever worked on them? I really would like to have it to learn about it and have for the history buff in me. So chime in if youve seen them and maybe give us a kinda broad description of how it works exactly.
    OK 1st of all i am not OLD!!!!!.....31....LMAO what you have there is an oil stove !!!! yes gravity feed, and yes that is a carborator.......it is just an open pot type burner, with a bunch of holes in pot....looks kinda like a the drum inside a washing machine, just smaller.......the oil runs in the pot, lite it with a match, oil keeps running in, when the flames get going, turn the blower on if it has one, and it blows combustion air into firing chamber, making a very nice clean burn. pretty much it...have seen a few......have also seen where people have tried to burn wood in them and destroy them

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    115
    It is very easy to work on guys...the holes in the pot have to stay clean and open for a clean flame... very cool looking flames when burning.... burns in a circlular shape.........as AlWAYS with any oil heat, it has to be cleaned as least EVERY season.....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Landis North Carolina
    Posts
    528
    Quote Originally Posted by -80guru View Post
    All the "old guys" on HTALK and only 9 responces.LOL. Good call on not working on it, its what you dont know is what gets you into trouble. Just dont let a logical reason become a poor excuse. Seen it too many times.
    Thank you. I didnt start this thread for critisizim! I started it to try and learn something and to ge people talking about someting different.I planned it being a constructive fun conversation of technology gone by. But it seems to have turned into some kind of bowe your chest and try and make myself feel above someone conversation.So thanks to the constructive responses and as far as old guy's I kina consider myself in that demographic im 41 and feel every year. As I stated ive only seen 1 in a service inviroment and Im not about to let my pride or ego damage someones home or life. Yes I more likely than not would have gottten it going but and thats a BIG but if I miss 1 thing or dont know some critical detail its all over! So keep the posts comming from those sharing info and experiances with this type of heater.Still am curious about them as I just learned the other day while talking to my mom that the house I was raised in and live in now had one when my family first moved into the house in the 70's and it clogged up and and they never used it again, so I would like to hear as much about them as possible.

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