Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Cave canem
Joined
·
5,391 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have used kerosene heaters for about 5 years. They have actually been the primary daytime winter heat source for the last 2 years or so.

Never heard of using diesel but just came across it and plan to try it. It is about half the price of kerosene ($2.35 vs $4.98 in my area). From what I have seen it works very well BUT additives must be used or the wicks on the heater will clog up after a short time. Even with additives it is still about half the cost of kerosene. It is also supposed to burn longer and produce more heat, and the man in the video below said it has no odor whatsoever (whereas the kerosene did have an odor). The quality of your wick matters, so if you have a cheap junky wick you may have problems.

They say using a diesel additive and/or one part 90% isopropyl alcohol is a must. Research the exact amounts for yourself, it doesn't take much.

There are also youtube videos of guys testing the CO output and it is coming up at basically zero. Apparently years back diesel had a high amount of sulfur which meant it didn't burn as cleanly, but modern diesel has had most all of the sulfur taken out of it.

Here is one video to get you started if you use kero heaters and are interested:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,167 Posts
I use a kerosene heater in my not so well insulated garage. DONT PUT DIESEL IN IT. Its not for the heaters sake, not the wick, not the soot or even the smell. Its how you feel like complete crap after burning diesel in it.
I tryed one tank of diesel in my wick style heater after 10gal of red died kerosene...never will i put diesel in it again.
Just try it before you go filling up a 55gal drum for use in your heater. For me il spend the few extra bucks and live longer.

Kerosene at the pump around here is about $3.25 at the moment. I buy about 20gal in the early fall.
 

·
Cave canem
Joined
·
5,391 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The typical clean burn additive marketed to kerosene is methanol. You can get that in auto stores as Heet.
Thanks. I use Heet for my small ghb alcohol stove, it rates similar but a bit better than 90% isopropyl alcohol.

Looking at diesel fuel additives, it appears the lower end additives are mostly alcohol with naptha (whatever that is), the higher end ones have lubricants.
 

·
Cave canem
Joined
·
5,391 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I use a kerosene heater in my not so well insulated garage. DONT PUT DIESEL IN IT. Its not for the heaters sake, not the wick, not the soot or even the smell. Its how you feel like complete crap after burning diesel in it.
I tryed one tank of diesel in my wick style heater after 10gal of red died kerosene...never will i put diesel in it again.
Just try it before you go filling up a 55gal drum for use in your heater. For me il spend the few extra bucks and live longer.

Kerosene at the pump around here is about $3.25 at the moment. I buy about 20gal in the early fall.
Hmmm. Will take your advice and try a half gal before buying more. I assume you tried diesel in the last few years (since the sulfur level has been reduced).

Wonder if it also affects people differently. The guy that did the video says he used to get a slight headache from kerosene but doesn't from diesel. I used to get a slight headache from a natural gas fireplace (even with good ventilation, in that case a dog door right next to the hearth) but I don't from kerosene.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,902 Posts
Wow, Interesting Possibility and Good Posts

So try it (once) and get back to us, will you. I had no idea this was even a possibility and would have been too chicken to try it. But the chance of making a kerosene heater into a dual-fuel device is pretty interesting.

Curious minds want to know.
 

·
Cave canem
Joined
·
5,391 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
So try it (once) and get back to us, will you. I had no idea this was even a possibility and would have been too chicken to try it. But the chance of making a kerosene heater into a dual-fuel device is pretty interesting.

Curious minds want to know.
If you are curious also check out the youtube videos. There are a handful of them some of which also use CO meters, they provide better reviews than I will.

But when it gets cold I will try it and let you know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,065 Posts
Ditto the alcohol, in measure,
in every batch, to assimilate trace water.

Any water uptake by a Kero. wick will degrade it;
any more than a little, will wreck it.

Find the amount of Alc. per unit of Kerosene, on line;

Too much Methyl will toast the wick.
 

·
Super Gassy Moderator
Joined
·
66,261 Posts
Thanks. I use Heet for my small ghb alcohol stove, it rates similar but a bit better than 90% isopropyl alcohol.

Looking at diesel fuel additives, it appears the lower end additives are mostly alcohol with naptha (whatever that is), the higher end ones have lubricants.
Naptha is basically Coleman fuel. But if you're looking to burn diesel in a kerosene heater, you need to be looking at kerosene clean burn additives rather than diesel ones. Their intended purposes are different.
 

·
MyPrepperLife
Joined
·
3,974 Posts
I have two kerosene heaters. I have been burning Jet A fuel in them. It works great.

(Around here, K1 clear kerosene is like $9.00 per gallon, which is outrageous.)

I buy the Jet A fuel at the local airport. I haven't purchased any in awhile, but I think I was paying $3.00+ per gallon.

If you are going to buy Jet A fuel, be sure you buy it WITHOUT the additives the airports put into the fuel when fueling aircraft.

As woodzman said, the Miles Stair Web site is a great resource. I have spent quite a lot of time on that site.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,065 Posts
A bit different an animal, but my vented, Toyotomi Laser 56 mini furnaces have no issues with the ultra-low sulfur Diesel fuel.
I service my own stuff and have seen no ill effects in the burn pot or exhaust parts.

Diesel's just cheaper and easier to find around here.

I'll be looking for Jet-A for the un-vented units:
(Toyo moonlighter, omni-105, alladin patriot.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
I bought a protemp heater from northern tool for my garage specifically because the manufacturer says it can burn diesel. Around my area, there is only one gas station that sells kerosene and it is ridiculously expensive. I'll admit, I didn't get to use it as much as I wanted last winter but the few hours that I did use it was great. I noticed a slight hint of diesel smell when it first fired up, but after it ran for a minute or so, there was no smell at all. I didn't feel odd after using it either and haven't heard of that before. Hopefully I'll get to use it a little more this winter
 

·
Cave canem
Joined
·
5,391 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Search:
'Miles Stair's Wick Shop'
(among the Kero. gurus.)
Yeah Miles Stair's website is great. When I ordered my kerosene heaters off amazon someone suggested buying wicks from Miles Stairs to replace the cheap wicks that came with the unit and I did. Also read 100% cotton wicks are NOT supposed to be dry burned, I have dry burned mine a few times and it still works, now I wonder what sort of wicks I bought.

I didn't know about water degrading the wicks and have used kerosene from the winter before, will be sure to add some alcohol next time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,306 Posts
I have used kerosene heaters for about 5 years. They have actually been the primary daytime winter heat source for the last 2 years or so.

Never heard of using diesel but just came across it and plan to try it. It is about half the price of kerosene ($2.35 vs $4.98 in my area). From what I have seen it works very well BUT additives must be used or the wicks on the heater will clog up after a short time. Even with additives it is still about half the cost of kerosene. It is also supposed to burn longer and produce more heat, and the man in the video below said it has no odor whatsoever (whereas the kerosene did have an odor). The quality of your wick matters, so if you have a cheap junky wick you may have problems.

They say using a diesel additive and/or one part 90% isopropyl alcohol is a must. Research the exact amounts for yourself, it doesn't take much.

There are also youtube videos of guys testing the CO output and it is coming up at basically zero. Apparently years back diesel had a high amount of sulfur which meant it didn't burn as cleanly, but modern diesel has had most all of the sulfur taken out of it.

Here is one video to get you started if you use kero heaters and are interested:

The key is to use Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel, with isopropyl alcohol added to keep the wick from clogging up. Using diesel meant for agricultural tractors (dyed diesel) is pretty much guaranteed to cause problems!

Sent from my SM-G930R6 using Tapatalk
 

·
Cave canem
Joined
·
5,391 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
The key is to use Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel, with isopropyl alcohol added to keep the wick from clogging up. Using diesel meant for agricultural tractors (dyed diesel) is pretty much guaranteed to cause problems!

Sent from my SM-G930R6 using Tapatalk
That is just the regular diesel sold for cars, right? I googled "ultra low sulfur diesel" and it said it was "Premium Diesel" but I don't think I have ever seen different grades at the gas stations, just one type (not that i ever paid much attention).

Is the stuff sold for cars pretty much all the same?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,007 Posts
ULSD is just pump diesel now days. Didn't used to be the case. Even offroad diesel is ULSD... only difference now days it the dye and tax. The pump will have a label that clearly says ULSD or "ultra low sulfur diesel". Most every newer diesel requires ULSD to meet emission standards.

In vented applications... I'd look into using waste oils. Ive seen quite a few guys converting forced air kero or multi fuel heaters to waste oil. Venting is required.
 

·
Cave canem
Joined
·
5,391 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
ULSD is just pump diesel now days. Didn't used to be the case. Even offroad diesel is ULSD... only difference now days it the dye and tax. The pump will have a label that clearly says ULSD or "ultra low sulfur diesel". Most every newer diesel requires ULSD to meet emission standards.

In vented applications... I'd look into using waste oils. Ive seen quite a few guys converting forced air kero or multi fuel heaters to waste oil. Venting is required.
Since you seem to know about this stuff, is there a good site to look up the alcohol to kerosene ratio? The video suggests something like 1 pint bottle per 5 gallons but I think the guy is just guesstimating.

Also is it easy to find 90% isopropyl alcohol at Walgreens or CVS? Or is that something that is more likely to be found at a home improvement store? Though I know Heet is easy to find so if I can't find 90% alcohol I can just buy that (but it is more expensive).
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top