Author Topic: Diesel in your torpedo heater  (Read 482 times)

Offline jabberwoki

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Diesel in your torpedo heater
« on: February 12, 2018, 10:32:46 PM »
I was at the gas station today and I saw this guy pull up and open up his rear hatch to expose 2 torpedo heaters.
I thought this guys nuts , thinking he was going to fill them up with gas , but he grabbed the green handle and poured the diesel in.
I thought, wow I wonder if that does work .So when I got home I got Google certified on the facts cause Google never lies right.
I had 5 Gallons of diesel left from a bobcat rental a couple of months ago so in it went in my very empty heater.
Plugged her in and off she went, works like a charm and does not smell at all, way cleaner that kero. thumbsup2
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Offline skfarmer

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 10:35:45 PM »
really? i have burned plenty of diesel in that type of heater. they run just fine but they seem to smell a little more and leave a little more visible haze in the air.


they will run on jet fuel as well.     flameon
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Offline jabberwoki

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 11:05:46 PM »
What about used cooking oil?
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Offline skfarmer

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 11:26:09 PM »
What about used cooking oil?

properly filtered it may work. i think viscosity would be an issue. that stuff sets up pretty thick in cold weather.
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Offline Matt_T

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 04:02:44 AM »
Diesel works fine in kero torpedo heaters though I agree with SK on the stink. It also works in furnaces that take #2 heating oil. Had to do that a few times when the snow was too deep to get the oil truck in.

What about used cooking oil?

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Offline brslk

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 07:18:07 AM »
Welcome to 1970 Jabber!

You can also burn jet fuel in them.  Burns super clean and hot.  I have a friend who works at the base near here and it has a shelf life, once it's past its best before date, they call in a company that hauls it away,  he grabs a 55 gallon drum now and then and his superiors do as well.
The company that picks it up doesn't pay them, they have to pay the company.
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Offline fatfillup

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 09:11:55 AM »
I burn heating oil in my portable furnace and infrared heaters I sell.  They will also burn diesel, both on and off road and kero.  Heating oil is essentially off road fuel. 

Some facts I think are true lolx

Kerosene will burn cleaner but does not have the btu's diesel does, so won't burn as hot. 

Diesel has more lubricity then Kerosene so it lubes fuel pumps better.

Jet fuel is super clean kerosene AFAIK so it should burn great.

Any heater where the exhaust is not vented to the outside atmosphere has the potential to leave harmful fumes in a building.  A door or window should always be open a bit to allow make up air into the room.   If you are smelling the exhaust, or it is burning your eyes, your heater is not tuned properly and should be repaired and not used till it is repaired. 


I have been in a lot of shops over the years and can normally tell as soon as I walk in a door if they are using a torpedo heater.  That is the typical torpedo heater from the $200 to $450 range.  They are often neglected, get crap fuel run through them and get no love.  They are often run in dirty environments which multiplies the problem.

The typical torpedoes are hard to tune, they are designed for a price, not to be serviceable.  There purpose is quick, cheap heat and really are not designed to be the primary heater for a shop, though many if not most get used for that purpose. 

To keep them running well, keep fuel clean.  Most contaminants come from the buckets used to fill the heater, not the fuel supplier.   Change the filter often.  Replace, never clean the fuel nozzle.  Yes they come apart and can be cleaned but the orifice is critical to spray pattern and when you clean it, you can damage it and affect the burn.  Also, always replace the nozzle with a nozzle of the same GPH, Degree of pattern, and Cone pattern (A,B,H etc).  No, they are not all the SAME!!!  When you buy a nozzle, buy 2, you will need a spare at the most inopportune time.
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Offline Uncle Buck

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 09:18:35 AM »
Holy bat crap, diesel in a torpedo! HELL NO! Years ago when I bought a couple torpedoes from a buddy they had diesel in them. I fired them off and damn near died! Eyes and nose both running, gagging till I thought I would puke! And that was with something like 10-15 minutes of use! I dumped them out and refilled with K1 kerosene (not dyed, clear) Costs $5 a gallon in my parts these days. No fumes, no need for ventilation in a 2 car garage, runs great and clean. No fouled igniters or ever any sort of issue.

HELL NO to diesel for me!  myopinion
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Offline bonneyman

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 09:49:23 AM »
Don't use such heaters in my locale (maybe people with cabins up in the mountains?) so I may just be blowing hot air here. But I thought that kerosene was more of a solvent, while diesel fuel was thicker and more "oily"? (Someone mentioned diesel is a better lubricant for pumps and such, so, maybe I'm on the right track). So - aside from temperature ranges and such - I'd think they're entirely different fuels.

Then again, I can run my Coleman stove off of white gas (a liquid) or propane (a gas), so what do I know?

Offline fatfillup

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 12:02:53 PM »
I think, with think being the operative word here, kerosene is just diesel fuel refined a little further.

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Offline Uncle Buck

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2018, 05:50:02 PM »
I think, with think being the operative word here, kerosene is just diesel fuel refined a little further.

I agree with this. I will say that K1 burns so clean that odors are very low and it is not an obnoxious fuel at all. The noise is the only bad part of running a torpedo heater for me. Kerosene is still oily like diesel, but it is not dirty like diesel. It is a lot like Coleman fuel (white gas)
You boys better hold on cause i'm gonna have to stand on it!

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Online strik9

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2018, 06:05:57 PM »
I suspect that what makes diesel bad for heaters is what makes it better for pistons and crankshafts.    A burningspray needs not lube moving parts and protect from wear.

   Also the diesel in CA isn't exactly the same as Iowa or Kentucky.  By law additives can or cannot be used.   How much and whst type for reasons of emissions.   You guys in 4 season areas buy different gas in the summer and winter.   Winter blend is stable in cold and god only knows why summer blend is different. 
   
      There is a whole branch of science in just fuel.

Offline krusty the clown

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2018, 07:34:10 PM »
I think, with think being the operative word here, kerosene is just diesel fuel refined a little further.

I agree with this. I will say that K1 burns so clean that odors are very low and it is not an obnoxious fuel at all. The noise is the only bad part of running a torpedo heater for me. Kerosene is still oily like diesel, but it is not dirty like diesel. It is a lot like Coleman fuel (white gas)
are you sure of the comparison between kero and white gas? Seems i remember white gas being more volatile.

Offline Muddy

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2018, 08:45:50 PM »
I think, with think being the operative word here, kerosene is just diesel fuel refined a little further.

I agree with this. I will say that K1 burns so clean that odors are very low and it is not an obnoxious fuel at all. The noise is the only bad part of running a torpedo heater for me. Kerosene is still oily like diesel, but it is not dirty like diesel. It is a lot like Coleman fuel (white gas)
are you sure of the comparison between kero and white gas? Seems i remember white gas being more volatile.
Ok I'm with everyone so far..... but what's white gas?

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Offline bonneyman

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2018, 09:18:29 PM »
I think, with think being the operative word here, kerosene is just diesel fuel refined a little further.

I agree with this. I will say that K1 burns so clean that odors are very low and it is not an obnoxious fuel at all. The noise is the only bad part of running a torpedo heater for me. Kerosene is still oily like diesel, but it is not dirty like diesel. It is a lot like Coleman fuel (white gas)
are you sure of the comparison between kero and white gas? Seems i remember white gas being more volatile.
Ok I'm with everyone so far..... but what's white gas?

Sent from the twisted mind of the Mudman.

White gas is what Coleman lantern and gas stoves use (i.e. Coleman Camp Fuel). I think it used to be car gas, way way back - that's how it got the name white gas. Now I think it's just refined naphtha.

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Re: Diesel in your torpedo heater
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2018, 09:18:29 PM »

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