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  #1  
Old 12-20-2003
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Force 10 Cabin Heater

Anyone out there with experience with this unit? When I light it up I get a large yellow flame with black sooty smoke..only once did I momentarily get the small, tight blue flame, then it got yellow with black smoke again.

I have preheated it with a full bowl of denatured alcohol. With unit depressured I''ve turned the knob to the cleaning setting and noted a clean needle with no residue. When pressurized, and without lighting I get a steady stream of fuel from the nozzle, no sputtering.

Yesterday I replaced the fuel in the tank (no idea how old it was) with clean kerosene--same results, although I''m unsure if the old fuel has been purged from the line yet.

Are there any tricks to this that I might be missing? Haven''t tried shielding the burner with a can during preheating...guess this is the last resort before I start spending money rebuilding things. Any and all comments appreciated.

Mike
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Old 12-20-2003
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Force 10 Cabin Heater

try taking a portable propane torch and heat the burner with it before lighting it off. My experience with kerocene burners is that they smoke when they aren''t hot enough and they are difficult to get hot enough. If this works toss the stinky alcohol and keep the propane burner handy.
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Old 12-20-2003
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Force 10 Cabin Heater

First off if it hase a cleanning neadle and you pre heat with alcohol it sounds like an alcohol heater not karosine or diesel. You can not substitut karasean for alcohol. But if it is a karacean heater, I had one and if the cone was not in it in the center of the burner and in the right position it would put out black smoke. It was a littal cone that getts verry hot and helps with the combustion. I do not know if any of this will help.
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Old 12-20-2003
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Force 10 Cabin Heater

The Force 10 cabin heater uses kerosene with a bowl under the burner which is filled with alcohol as a preheat. When heating with kerosene, the burner has a cleaning needle which enters the nozzle when the burner is turned full on. When cleaning, the flame will go out.
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Old 12-20-2003
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Force 10 Cabin Heater

Mike, you''ve got the classic case of not heating the burner sufficiently to vaporize the kerosene fuel. I''m doubtful the issue is old fuel in the tank altho'' it would be good to let the fuel line from the tank to the burner dump its remaining old fuel onto a paper towel or two, wrapped around the burner, before proceeding with the following.

A couple of suggestions:
1. You may not be preheating with the right ''alcohol''. There are many different ''alcohols'' and you want denatured. My hunch is that this is your problem as e.g. the local hardware store ("Ironmonger" here in London) sells 4 types and none of them are really what I''m looking for. Try a new preheat fuel.
2. A propane torch such as was mentioned above can get the tubes under the burner sufficiently hot BUT it''s surprising how often this turns out not to be an option due to proximity of bulkhead joinerwork, cushions, etc. If you try this (to verify the burner and new fuel work as advertised), be sure you can apply the torch for a long enough time.
3. You do have the tank pressure up enough, right? (25 psi or so?)
4. You may have a newer (aka: cheaper) style burner. The ''tubes'' I''m mentioning, on the burners sold by Force 10, are four in number and run up under the burner bowl and flame spreader. Cheaper units now made in Portugal and elsewhere only have two tubes, which means that there''s less mass to preheat and less chance of the fuel actually vaporizing properly. If you have this 2-tube type burner, consider replacing it (Defender sells a replacement burner straight from Force 10).

As was mentioned, it''s not really possible to benefit from the ''pricker'' that cleans the orifice without inadvertently stopping the fuel flow and therefore putting out the fire. While I will routinely ''*****'' the burner insofar as possible without losing the flame, every once in a while I need to depresurrize the fuel tank, then fully ***** the burner, in order to get a blast-furnace, robust flame back. Frustrating but necessary.

Good luck and let us know what seemed to work for you, in the end.

Jack
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Old 12-21-2003
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Force 10 Cabin Heater

Sounds to me like you’re doing everything right. If you burn these puppies too low, the patria burner will loose its heat and it will burn yellow and sooty. You should hear a momentary hiss come from the burner as it pre-heats. After that, you can slowly open the fuel valve slightly and get the burner to catch off the remaining alcohol, then gradually open it further until it is running strong and the alcohol is gone.

How old is the burner? It could be clogged. If you don’t have a ready source for a new burner, you may have to field strip the one you have and clean the carbon out. A propane torch works well but be careful to not over heat the burner and loosen the braising holding it together.

After living aboard in New England waters for two years with one of those heaters, I went to a sporting goods store, bought a propane burner that screwed onto a short bottle and mounted that into my Force 10. An adapter, hose and a 5 gallon tank, stored out on deck finished the change over and I was a “happy camper” afterwards.
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Old 12-21-2003
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Force 10 Cabin Heater

Thanks to all for the input. I will try turning it on before the alcohol burns out...previously I allowed the alcohol to extinguish first but I thought I was being quick enough.

Failing that I guess I''ll try the propane torch method. Specifically what is the critical component that I need to preheat? The tubes? The nozzle? The burner? Or all of the above?

Has anyone experienced any mishaps with the Force 10? I do get a bit nervous every time I try to light it...something about raw fuel and an open flame in the cabin just doesn''t seem right. But I''m sure that''s nothing compared to the first mate''s reaction the first time she witnesses this! Thanks again.

Mike
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Old 12-21-2003
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Force 10 Cabin Heater

Mishaps? Oh boy, I could tell you some horror stories! Just don''t ever walk away from your boat while the patent thing is running.

Raw fuel enters the bottom of the burner and travels up the tube(s) to an evaporation chamber then it travels back down to the needle valve and orifice chamber through another tube. Once the burner is hot and running, the evaporation takes place in the “up” tube(s). It is also here that most of the carboning will take place. So it is the tubes and evaporation chamber that you want to get hot with your torch.
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Old 12-24-2003
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Force 10 Cabin Heater

I had a similar problem drove me crazy. It sounds to me like not pre heated enough. On my heater it alway''s take two pre heats with the alcohol just wait about a minute before adding more alcohol so it does not vaporize sometimes it even takes a third time. good luck
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Old 12-25-2003
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Force 10 Cabin Heater

Mike, I just discovered a simple technique you might find helpful. After using this heater for 8 months, off and on, I feel like a dummy for not thinking of it sooner.

Once you get the burner going like a small forge (tight, blue flame; strong ''hissss''; no surging and no significant odor), your orifice will slowly clog over time and will need to be ''pricked'' by turning the valve counterclockwise fully, driving a small needle up thru the orifice. The snag is that the needle blocks the fuel flow, puts out the fire, and then as the needle is withdrawn you have vaporized but unburning fuel jetting onto the burner, causing a stench. AND you still need to relight the little bugger.

In the past, I''d shut down the heater, depressurize the tank (to avoid raw fuel flowing out the orifice when opening the valve to ***** it) and then pump up the tank again. A real nuisance. I''ve since learned a simple dodge: hold a wooden match into the burner''s flame until it''s burning, then clear the burner by driving the needle thru the orifice (flame out), and then turning the valve back clockwise to allow fuel flow again (flame relit by match). I find I need to ***** the orifice once every 2-3 hours to maintain the max burner flame; perhaps other sources of kerosene/parafin are cleaner than mine but it was purchased in a sealed 5 gal can from True Value and is absolutely clear.

BTW there is no reason you should need to preheat your burner multiple times. If this is necessary, the alcohol being used isn''t generating enough heat. And you were right: You were getting a ''cold start'' because you preheated until the alcohol expired and only then tried to light a dead burner.

Jack
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