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Old 11-08-2019, 09:52 AM
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merlinfire merlinfire is online now
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I've been kicking around different backup sources of heat for a few years. In our house there's some issues relating to wood heat that would cost us probably a couple grand to fix, and it's just not a near-term problem to solve, as we may not even be staying in the home more than a few more years.

after doing some research i settled on kerosene: burns clean enough to be used indoors, energy-dense and compact, long-burning and hot.

1. How long have you stored kerosene without negative effects, aka, what's the shelf-life of kerosene?

2. Can you recommend an efficient kerosene heater?

3. Do they make kerosene stoves? or heaters with a convenient top you can sit a pot on?

4. general tips for kerosene, do's and don'ts, looking for the wisdom of your experience here
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:50 AM
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I think kerosene stinks. Propane burns way cleaner. I think K will store many years with out treatment. Propane stores forever as long as you can keep it in the can. There were K heaters, stoves, lanterns and even refrigerators/freezers.

Light your K heater outside and let run for 5 or 10 minutes before you bring it inside. Take it outside to turn it off. If it runs out fuel inside it will stink up the place bad.

Propane can start having issues at 30 below, a lot sooner without preheat - it doesn't want to vaporize. K will solidify at 40 below.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:52 AM
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My wife did not like when we used as it does leave an oil residue/buildup on ceiling/walls. Fueling safely means NOT in your living quarters. Have to let heater cool down, move to outside/wherever you're filling. Then relight and move inside. A hazardous feel to it as heavy and not egonomically comfortable as large. My wife could not handle it.

The wire safety guards on the units we have are rather light weight wire. Can carefully put a small light weight pot of water on it. Not great around kids in my opinion. They will do great job making toast.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:14 PM
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Light and shut them down outdoors. They produce tons of smoke at startup an shut down. Once up to heat and running they produce little to no smell.

Keep extra wicks on hand. Get one with a fiberglass wick so you can burn it clean.

Just a couple drops of water in a gallon of fuel will cause you trouble.

They are high maintance. I have to fiddle with the wick weekly to keep it running clean. Propane is almost no maintance. But propane can be more expensive to set up and isnt nearly as portable. I have both a propane heater and kerosene heater. I use the kerosene heater because I can move it from room to room throughout the day to where the heat is wanted depending on what we are doing.

We keep our thermostat at 50 and use the kerosene to heat the area we are using. We also us it to heat the ice shack, hunting stands, and a large tent we set up on the beach for smelt fishing. Its portability comes in handy.

Our most used one is a temp right 15. It can safely be put right up against the wall instead of having to be put in the center of the room like the bigger round ones require.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:32 PM
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My men heat the garage and shop with Kerosene when they're working out there in winter. I can't breathe the fumes. Like there's too little oxygen in the air when the heater is on. We've recently swapped out for propane heaters for a couple of them. Much better, and easier to come by anyway.

But yes, they make kerosene stoves you can cook on, and I believe it keeps for years.
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Old 11-08-2019, 02:59 PM
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You can’t fire up a kerosene anything immediately. You start on low and slowly work up until at high output. If you crank it up right away you get the door and smoke. I have run kerosene heaters for days. You aren’t “suppose” to refuel them while lit but you can. The vapors won’t flash like propane or gasoline. You can take a torch right to the liquid and it won’t light. It need a wick or a way to vaporize the heavier fuel. For pressurized kerosene lanterns you need to preheat, usually with denatured alcohol but a small torch can work, or else the raw fuel will send soot and smoke everywhere.

If you want a directional heater you could look at a tilly r-55. They will make you uncomfortably hot at 10’ away and 6’ left and right can’t even feel the heat. A whole room/house would be a round kerosun or similar.

For long life light an old wick style kerosene lantern works well. Otherwise there are some coleman kerosene but better an more expensive are the euro style kerosene pressurized lanterns.

There are some gravity fed kerosene stoves with wicks. Also some kerosene coleman stoves. Our marines used a coleman 550b single burner stove with a kerosene generator. Again preheat is necessary for pressurized kerosene appliances.

For me personally I put one 35,000btu kerosene heater on the stone around the fireplace. The stone soaks up some of the heat and releases or after the heater is off. Also please don’t sleep with anything burning and crack a window.
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Old 11-08-2019, 03:15 PM
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The Toyostove DC-90 or DC-100 Double Clean (The WC-105 White Clean is a close second!) by TOYOTOMI is likely the cleanest burning heater ever imported to the USA! It hasnít been imported for a few years, but EBay generally has a couple!

Toyostove is made in Japan to a much higher standard than the Chinese made heaters that are commonly available!

Kerosene stores well with a few precautions. Store it in airtight preferably metal drum or other container with a preservative like PRI-D in it. Keep the container full to limit the amount of air around your fuel.

After a few years the kerosene will many time turn darker and will smell more. It generally smells when the heater isnít at operational temperatures like during start up and shut down.

Iíve burned fuel more than a decade old with no problem! The above heaters when burning clean new fuel and when properly maintained donít really smell!

Best heater storage would be to burn the heater dry per maintenance manual then cover with a contractors trash bag after youíve removed the batteries from the igniter and store in a clean dry place!

I heater exclusively with kerosene for several years and appreciate that heat source a lot! Itís now a backup for me which is why my fuel is pretty old now!

SD
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Old 11-08-2019, 03:22 PM
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Oh kerosene stoves use to be very common! Toyostove made one, but theyíre not common. Iíve used one of the Alpaca stove a few times and they seem to work well! Should be lots of options available with some looking!

That being said day to day I use a butane stove https://www.amazon.com/Iwatani-Corpo...02916815&psc=1 daily and find it to be a much better option for most things!

SD
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Old 11-08-2019, 03:51 PM
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I'm saving up for a new heating system and so I've been using kerosene as my main source of heat in the winter until then. I use electric space heaters when I'm not home and during the early/late winter.

I use a simple heater I got from Tractor Supply for $100. DuraHeat 100 I think it's called? There's one company that makes a ton of them for different stores - so they are different brands but are really all the same model.

I try to keep all my kerosene cans full at all times. So at this time I'm using Kerosene from last year. I've never had a problem with that before, though I thick it may cause me to have to change the wick sooner. Note: replacement wicks can be purchased on eBay significantly cheaper than in the stores.

The heater I use has a small metal frame around it, and I often will put a tea kettle on it and it keeps me with hot water for tea or hot cocoa. It's not meant for that, and over time the frame does start to bend a little, but it bends back easy peasy. I wouldn't use it for cooking though.

The one heater is plenty to heat my house, at least the downstairs. It will easily raise the temperature from 55 (what I have the space heaters set to) to 75-80, and it will keep it there all day.

Do make sure you have some fresh air when using it. My house is old and drafty, and it is right by the front door, so I don't have any problem with fumes. But if your house is pretty well sealed, you might want to crack a window or the door. My best friend used to help his dad as contractors, and he told me once about one customer they had who's son died from CO2 poisoning from a kerosene heater. So don't take that lightly.

I also have CO2 detectors in every room in the house. Both my bedroom and the room I use the heater in have two (I got them on sale and I bought a bunch). While you should have CO2 detectors anyway, but even more so if you are using a kerosene heater. No one should ever use a kerosene heater if they don't have a CO2 detector.

NEVER EVER GO TO SLEEP/TAKE A NAP WHEN THE HEATER IS GOING That is one of the most stupidest things you can do. You might not wake up.

When putting out the heater for the night, make sure it actually did go out. Sometimes it takes a while. More than once I was certain it was out, and then got up out of bed to check again and behold, a very low flame. I am much more careful now. I put it out a good half hour before I plan to go to bed, and then I can be certain it did indeed go out (you can see if there's any light or heat emanating from it). Sometimes I'll just put it outside. You sleep better that way, though it's not fun going out there in the morning to bring it back inside when it's -10 outside!

Also, may I recommend this? https://www.ebay.com/itm/Portable-Ca...cAAOSwpXpZyMc7

Get a few of them, especially if you have cats :-) Sometimes one lasts a whole season, and sometimes, thanks to the cats, I go through 2 or 3 of them.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:37 PM
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If the building you want to heat isn't too big and you also have a diesel vehicle, then a diesel heater could be an option (you'll have fuel available easily). How about a chinese no-name clone of a russian planar that is a clone of German Webasto... sounds both promising and cheap at the same time

One example: https://www.ebay.com/itm/8KW-12V-Die...r/362805868058

This one can be installed outside the building, just need a hole for hot air duct in and 12V line out to the device itself. Power consumption 8-9 amps while glowplug heats and when heater is running, it needs less than 1 amp to operate. All the nasty fumes and noise stay outside unless one happens to run air intake next to exhaust pipe...

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Old 11-08-2019, 05:50 PM
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Also, I'd recommend getting something like this for your kerosene containers. ps://www.amazon.com/Ottomanson-TRY400-30X15-Multi-Purpose-Outdoor-Waterproof/dp/B01LBL9XKE/ If you have a Dollar General near you, they've got them for $4.

It will easily hold two 5 gallon containers plus the hand pump. Most of mine are stored outside, and so often the containers are icy and dirty, and when you bring them in then it starts to melt and makes a mess. This confines the mess to the tray, plus gives me a place where the pump can leak a few drops after I'm done using it without making a mess.

If you have pets, these also work great for putting the food and water dishes in - so when they make a mess it doesn't go all over and is easy to clean.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:07 PM
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Propane makes a lot more sense than any type of fuel oil.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snyper708 View Post
Propane makes a lot more sense than any type of fuel oil.
Except for when it is very cold and the propane donít vaporize to burn.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:38 PM
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Can't simply pour propane from a big container to smaller ones for distribution. Unless it is damn cold... :P
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:41 PM
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My Dyna-Glo RMC-95C6 is used in the house and garage and really pours out the BTUs. For heating one large room, it's probably too much heat, but for several rooms or a garage it works fine.
Like all kero heaters, you have to know how to adjust it so it works well and how to maintain the wick and burner assy. Once you know how to do that, it's hard to beat them cost wise.
Since some folks complain about the odor when you first light them and other "problems" with them, you can find them at thrift stores and yard sales, maybe used once or twice, for a few bucks. Hard to beat as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:23 PM
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The small ones we used had a triangular removable tank and it wasn't heavy or very bulky (easy to handle). As noted above, not supposed to refuel during operation, but we did. The heaters had a tank inside the heater the removable tank drained into, so the heater didn't go out during the run to the garage for refueling.

The front of the heaters had horizontal safety bars, but hands/fingers can go through. Also the tails of cats, so the ends get singed. For households with small children, elderly, and cats, added vertical safety bars/screen/grid that prevents anything from going inside and getting burned. The screen will get very hot, so supervision/attentiveness is still needed.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:17 PM
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I have about a half dozen or more, and I always liked kerosene heat for auxiliary heating. Kerosene, unlike gasoline store for a long time (up to 10 years). I have mine stored in 5 gal. kerosene fuel cans, and have a half dozen cans right now (although not all of them are full at the moment).
I keep at least 3-4 siphons on hand to aid in refueling them, because eventually things wear out. Besides, it's easier to siphon fuel from a fuel can into one of the heaters, than it is to try and pour it directly from the fuel can.
Kerosene heat is safer to use in sleeping areas as opposed to propane, because of the carbon monoxide emissions from the propane heaters, so I got no worries, because I've slept many a night in past tough times using kerosene heat.
Right now I'm going to be getting ready to use old, blue food grade 55 gal. barrels for kerosene fuel storage. Since a full 55 gal. barrel weighs too much to readily move, I'll get it set in its final resting place, and then fill it 5 gal. at a time till it's full. And since the end of the siphon won't reach the bottom of the barrel, I'll have to see about adding a section of tubing to get the desired length to allow me to get the whole barrel emptied if needed. Like all preparedness and survival gear, these are simply tools to help you in times of need, and as tos, they must be used properly.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:50 AM
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You can also take the housing off the top of a kerosene heater and use it to cook with, and since it's mostly portable at around thirty pounds full of fuel, you can take it camping with you if you're staying in a cabin or cabin tent. Most have a safety system that turns them off by retracting the wick if they turn over. The British used paraffin or kerosene stoves for general home use for years.
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Old 11-09-2019, 04:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinfire View Post
I've been kicking around different backup sources of heat for a few years. In our house there's some issues relating to wood heat that would cost us probably a couple grand to fix, and it's just not a near-term problem to solve, as we may not even be staying in the home more than a few more years.



after doing some research i settled on kerosene: burns clean enough to be used indoors, energy-dense and compact, long-burning and hot.



1. How long have you stored kerosene without negative effects, aka, what's the shelf-life of kerosene?



2. Can you recommend an efficient kerosene heater?



3. Do they make kerosene stoves? or heaters with a convenient top you can sit a pot on?



4. general tips for kerosene, do's and don'ts, looking for the wisdom of your experience here
Auxiliary or emergency heat are high on my priority list. I believe we humans can much better handle adversity and stress if we have a warm hearth and home. With that in mind, I have a multi-layered plan to ensure that at any given time I have a minimum of one full heating season supply of reliable heat. It consists of wood (our primary), coal, propane and kerosene.
I store up to 80gal of kerosene using four 5gal cans and a couple 30gal drums. All are treated with Pri-D when originally filled and retreated annually. I get the drums from the local carwash very cheap and sometimes free. They are great for gasoline storage as well.
The oldest I have right now is at least four, maybe five years old. I haven't noted the dates lately. As of last winter it burned fine with no noticeable increase in smell. IMO, you always get some odor with kero heat. I don't find it a problem since I will put up with a little smell over the alternative of freezing my butt off.
I have my original round style fixed tank heater that is probably getting to be 25 years old. Through proper cleaning and maintenance, it works as well as the day I got it. I think it is like 23,000btu.
I also have the smaller rectangular, removable tank model which is, I think, 12,000btu.
The bigger one can actually keep the house at a livable temp (65į-70į) in the coldest part of winter. The smaller one is usually used as auxiliary to the woodstove in the room farthest from the stove when it's really cold out, though propane is my first choice for that if I have it since it doesn't smell at all. It would also be ideal for a sick (quarantine) room that might be closed off from the stove heat.
I have a "brand new in box" backup of each of those heaters since I lucked out a few years ago and got them both at a yard sale for $30 each. Also, I keep several spare wicks for both models. They get changed every couple years.
As others have said, start and extinguish outdoors to keep them from stinking up the house. A covered porch makes that much easier on rainy or snowy days.
I am not ashamed to admit that I am guilty of refueling the big unit while it is burning. As others have said, kero is not volatile so if you are careful it's no big deal. Just never let your attention be drawn away while refueling. If you overfill and spill kero, you are going to have a smelly mess on your hands. You could still shut it down and would not really be in danger of blowing anything up or burning your house down if it was running. Kero is just strong smelling and a mess to clean up if it gets anywhere other than in the can or the tank.
I know that there have been kero cook stoves in the past but am not aware of any current models. There is a guy online, whose name and web address I can't recall naturally, who knows everything kerosene and sells wicks and parts and stuff. He has a lot of info on his site and I understand he is very responsive to questions. He shouldn't be hard to find if he is still around.
One other great benefit to kerosene is....Light! I have several kerosene lanterns, some old and some new. I've been using them for years during power outages or sometimes just hanging out on the porch at night.
Flea markets and yard sales can turn up some old ones. If all else fails, the ones at Walmart work fine. You can burn kero in most glass "Hurricane" lanterns as well. In those (of which i also have several) I keep and use clear lamp oil (paraffin, I think) since it has less odor. Once i run out of lamp oil I can just switch over to kero since I keep more than the average bear. SHTF I would probably reserve some from the heat supply for that.


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Old 11-09-2019, 07:01 AM
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Miles Stair maybe? Lots of kerosene facts.
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