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Old 11-26-2012
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Diesel Fireplace

I posted in the past problems regarding my diesel heater, which was factory installed by Bristol. I have no idea who else may have been involved in the construction, but do know that it was not Dickinson. I haven't been able to get it to stay lit as the fuel line appeared to be blocked. After disassembling the entire fuel line, I noted that there was a clog at the base of the heater, (illustrated below), at the elbow on the bottom, where the fuel line enters. I took this apart and cleaned it yesterday. I also disconnected the entire bottom third of the unit also illustrated with the red arrows, (just above the air intake). The inside was filled with charcoal dust and what appeared to be a hard charcoal surface of some sort. I cleaned everything out and diesel fuel now flows freely. However, the diesel fuel goes into the base and just lies there and ignites and burns up within seconds. It just seems that I prime the unit, fuel flows, it ignites and burns up within 30 seconds and I have to prime more fuel in again. Also, the unit emits little in the way of heat. Is it possible that the charcoal that I scraped out was part of a wick system of some sort? Is the diesel supposed to just flow into the base for ignition? Isn't the primer supposed to drip fuel every few seconds so you don't have to keep priming it? Does anyone have a similar heater on their boat and can share some insight?

Again, I really appreciate any suggestions or consideration which any of you can make.

Again, I really appreciate any suggestions or consideration which you can make.

(I removed this picture as it was too large and re-formated the window)

For some reason I cant upload the picture. Any suggestions for that? I tried making it smaller than the 97kb requirement.
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Last edited by Dcneuro; 11-26-2012 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Diesel Fireplace

Diesel furnaces usually have an air compressor that sprays the fuel mixture through a nozzle into the combustion chamber. The ignition is electronic in the form of a sparker.

Not sure what that unit is but better photos that are properly sized would greatly help.
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Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Diesel Fireplace

Most non electric Diesel heaters are gravity feed burners fed with a diesel carburetor which is not like a gas engine engine carb at all. it's more like a container with a needle valve that meters the right amount of fuel to the burner. The burner can be a cage type. with or without a wick. The fuel "cokes" when it's super heated to make blue flame. That could be the "charcoal" your finding. Hard to tell by your photo. So I'm just speculating


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Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Diesel Fireplace

Your reply sounds accurate. This is a gravity feed fuel line, it enters in the bottom at that elbow. It apparently just spills into the base of the unit. You ignite it with a manual lighter. I have been using ethanol gel to get it started. I tried posting more pictures. I keep getting error messages but that happened with the first one and they posted.
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Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Diesel Fireplace

For some reason these pics are not posting correctly. Here is my blog:

Bristol Factory Installed Fireplace Diesel Heater « S/v Black Magic
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Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Diesel Fireplace

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Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Diesel Fireplace

Oh my that thing looks homemade! I can't make out the valve thingy.. is it a "drip" set up? What does the burner look like? I some kind of paste to fire the burner that burns longer might work.
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Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Diesel Fireplace

That push button is a primer and when you press it diesel fuel flows down and enters the combustion chamber freely from gravity. I thought that it would continue to drip every few seconds, but it does not. I have to keep pressing the button. The fuel burns up within a minute. I cleaned out the bottom of the combustion chamber as the entrance for the fuel was blocked just beyond that elbow. In doing so I cleaned out what appeared to be a coal like substance, which did not appear to be part of the unit, but in retrospect, I think I am missing a wick of some sort.
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Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Diesel Fireplace

without seeing the actual burner I don't know. wicks do turn into a glass like mess.
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Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Diesel Fireplace

It's hard to tell from you pics, but it looks like there is some sort of thermocouple unit wired into the valve assembly. Its function is to stop the fuel from flowing if the flame goes out for some reason. If it does have a thermocouple, the symptoms you describe sound like that is you problem. The thermocouple has to be hot for the valve to stay open. Your priming button over-rides the thermocouple interlock and lets enough fuel into the combustion chamber to get things going. Once it's hot the interlock should let the fuel flow at whatever rate the meter is set. But, if the thermocouple is bad, once you stop pushing the button the valve closes and that's that. If it still won't work even if the thermocouple tip is good and hot then you can change the thermocouple you'll probably be golden. Finding the right thermocouple might be a problem, however.
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