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post #1 of 19 Old 06-13-2012 Thread Starter
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Diesel cook stoves and heaters - teach me the basics!

I recently posted questions about kerosene stoves and was reminded about the possibility of diesel stoves. I assume a kerosene cooker can run on diesel in a pinch. Any thoughts? I imagine they will clog up eventually but what should I expect if I ran a kero on diesel when the kero tank ran dry? Is diesel that foul?
Please don't post about Propane... I am not going in that direction.

Thanks in advance for your reply.

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post #2 of 19 Old 06-13-2012
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Re: Diesel cook stoves and heaters - teach me the basics!

All the kero, home, marine, truck and aviation oils, are going to burn about the same rate,140,000 btuh Most stoves, heaters and even kerosene lanterns use a generation type burner. You've seen the same type of thing thing in coleman laterns. yes it works on gasoline too.. (scary also! ) The fuel has to be super heated to become a gas, If you have ever used a kerosene heater you are familiar with the glow the burner cage makes. That is what super heats the fuel so it burns so clean. kind of like an afterburner. You may see combination pressure and super heater type things in newer stoves. Soot will be common until your very able to start the burner with preheating per the mfg's directions.

problems surface very quickly as fuel oils are heated .. they leave residue in the generator, wicks turn to glass and loose the wicking ability, Diesel "smell" is a tip off somethings not burning right.

Diesel and kero stoves just because of the fuel, have to be cleaned often and properly.

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post #3 of 19 Old 06-13-2012
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Re: Diesel cook stoves and heaters - teach me the basics!

We have a diesel heater in our boat that also heats the water in our hot water tank when it's running. We love it. The gal who owned the boat before us live aboard and I think she ran it 24/7 when it was cold. We've run it days at a time. The two problems we have are every now and then when we're underway and it's windy, we get a back draft now and then that stinks it up down below and when it's really cold and we've got it turned up, the water in the hot water tank gets so hot that we actually drain hot water down the sink to get rid of it. I worry about it coming to a boil in the hot water tank and tripping the pressure relief valve. I might be a little paranoid about that issue.

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Re: Diesel cook stoves and heaters - teach me the basics!

Ray is that a reflects? simple old and reliable feeder type burner. uses a "metering valve" back in the day they were called carburetors, same valve was used in your dad's hunting cabin heater most likely just sayin

"perfection" was an old mfg of non electric diesel heaters.

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post #5 of 19 Old 06-13-2012
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Re: Diesel cook stoves and heaters - teach me the basics!

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uses a "metering valve" back in the day they were called carburetors, same valve was used in your dad's hunting cabin heater most likely just sayin
It's a Dickenson Antarctic, but you described it perfectly. Matter of fact, our first home was a one room apartment in Germany and we had a similar diesel stove to heat it. Oma and Opa used to sell us five liters of diesel at a time that went in a little fuel tank and was gravity fed into the burning pot. The heater in the boat runs off our main tanks with a low pressure pump. It ticks at one second intervals. It's the boat's heartbeat in the winter time and we find it pretty soothing along with the flickering light of the fire at night.

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post #6 of 19 Old 06-13-2012
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Re: Diesel cook stoves and heaters - teach me the basics!

While I am not at all in favour of a diesel stove for cooking I must say I love diesel heaters. We've got one of the built in jobbies though I confess I'd probably prefer a Dickenson for that bit of a glow plus no need for a fan. OK, so fan is pretty quiet but it is still there. Diesel is also a nice dry heat, condensation is simply not an issue.

OTOH, I guess I'm happy to live without the occasional blow back.

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post #7 of 19 Old 06-14-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Diesel cook stoves and heaters - teach me the basics!

Fascinating reading your posts. Thank you.

I am clearly falling in favor of the diesel heaters, especially when coupled with hot water! I have learned from you about the virtues of DRY air in the cabin as well... not having h20 as a burning by product is nice for drying out.

Can you teach me more about the heating elements for diesel cook stoves? or link me to more information? A criteria I focus on is to keep it simple... I want to be able to repair nearly every part on my own if needed.

I burned a kero stove for years in my 38'er without venting and it always seemed ok - prior to CO meters being available. Do you think diesel is much worse, or should it always be vented?

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Re: Diesel cook stoves and heaters - teach me the basics!

I have the Sigmarine 170 bulkhead mounted diesel heater in my Bene 390 and really like it. Been using it most weekends for the past year and a half and it is still shinny clean inside. If it is a porper install with enough chimney length and a Barometric damper installed as the first section close to the heater. Mine can handle about 15 knots of wind before i have to worry about any down drafting. Down drafting can be eliminate if you want by installing a balanced draft but i couldn't stand the idea of putting two 5 inch holes in the cabin top
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post #9 of 19 Old 06-14-2012
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Re: Diesel cook stoves and heaters - teach me the basics!

I'm probably mixing terminology that may lead to some confusion. Our diesel appliance is a cabin heater, not a cooking stove. We've just always called it a stove, sorry about that.

For cooking, I've used alcohol, kerosene and propane stoves. I converted both my alcohol stoves to propane and we suffered the kerosene stove until I swapped it out with one of the converted alcohol to propane stoves. The kerosene stove we had scared the crap out of us a couple of times with big flare ups and we often had to clean soot off the headliner. It cooked faster than the alcohol stoves, but the wife went on strike after one particular flareup. They guys in the commercial fishing industry around here typically have diesel stove/ovens in their boats for cooking and for heating their boats. You can tell, they're the ones with the windows open during late fall fisheries.

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post #10 of 19 Old 06-14-2012
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Re: Diesel cook stoves and heaters - teach me the basics!

As diesel stoves require venting, I do not believe that they can be gimballed. As such they cannot be used when heeled.

Diesel heaters are great. The only downside is the vent on the deck.

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