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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 02, 2019 1:33 pm 
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Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
What about heating oil, like the kind that they use in oil burners? I had one for years until Natural Gas became available. Nozzle cleaning was something that I learned how to do and what a difference it made. Much was said in oil burner books that I got from the library about NEVER clean the nozzle. But a little Berkebile 2+2 Gum Cutter made quick work of it. The nozzles were made to be disassembled.

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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 02, 2019 1:37 pm 
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
Check with the manufacturer of your heater. Perhaps it WILL burn diesel.

Then check with your local fuel oil suppliers, or even at truck stops. Not all Diesel is created equal. Around here, back when I had an oil furnace before they brought nat gas down the road, I was able to use diesel in a pinch as long as it was the "proper" diesel. Too long ago for me to remember all the details, but a call to my fuel oil supplier confirmed that they were actually delivering the same stuff that trucks would use.... had switched away from the cheaper stuff long ago. Even at that it was still pretty reasonable, if memory serves a little over $4/gal.

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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 02, 2019 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 8732
Location: Litchfield Minnesota USA
Even I don't use heating oil of any sort of stripe to heat me house, or my shop. My shop is propane exclusively, but in the house we heat with primarily wood. Plenty of it around here for free, and good wood at that being ash and oak and maple. Important to dry it before burning if you don't want to clog up the chimney. Ash is my favorite.
We use propane during the times, like now, 25 to 40 we use propane in the house too because it's difficult to keep the temperature down to reasonable levels with wood. Once it gets cold it's all wood unless we aren't home and the fire goes out; That's when the furnace kicks in when the temp gets below 50.
In my shop I hung a unit heater from the ceiling. I turn it down to 40 degrees when I'm not in there. Can't let it get cold because too many chemicals of various types including paint, that I don't want to freeze.
This is off the topic of where to find kerosene and how much money it costs, but since that stuff is so costly I hope the O.P. finds a way to change fuels. Heck, use off-road diesel fuel in his burner until it clogs up. At that point you 1) clean or replace the wick 2) find another source for heat.

Mark D.


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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 05, 2019 10:26 pm 
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Location: 44035 (Near Cleveland Ohio)
Propane would be my first choice if natural gas wasn't available. My daughter just had her 500 gallon tank filled to 80% = 400 gallons @$1.50/gallon. Running an un-vented kerosene heater is not only dangerous, but stinky. Nothing like an oily film on everything, which is what will eventually happen. Not to mention what it's doing to your lungs . . . phew. As far as wood - - we heated our home exclusively with wood for 30+ years. As long as you have a cheap/free wood supply and a strong back, it's nice heat. But once we crossed over the 65 year threshold, we got rid of it, and installed a b-vent Empire console heater where the woodstove stood. No power required, and thermostatically controlled temperature. Excellent heater.

You mentioned there is a chimney in the shop. If it happens to be a triple-wall - - which used to be popular with wood stoves - - they're a fire hazard, and the cause of thousands of chimney fires which consumed the house. And they won't work with vented gas appliances; the inner vent pipe gets too cold to induce a draft necessary with a gas burner.

For the ultimate in comfort, Rinnai makes both unvented and direct-vent gas and propane heaters. They are the cream of the crop. Not the cheapest, but incredibly well built and supported.

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Wed 06, 2019 1:09 am 
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Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Kerosene is ridiculous price here, too. I think pretty much only contractors use it in construction heaters - no one else could afford it for regular, general use.

Coal is still dirt cheap, but I don't know that anyone sells coal furnaces here anymore.

We got a small natural gas furnace in the shop and it's excellent - surely a propane variant is available. Almost free to run compared to the old electric shop heater (5000W).

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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Wed 06, 2019 8:34 pm 
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Location: Chicago IL
So I had bitten the bullet and decided to try diesel in my heater since the cheapest kerosene I could possibly find was 8 dollars a gallon at a walmart.

This talk about whether or not to use diesel is a lot more confusing than you might think if you only research it at surface level. For one there are many guys on youtube demonstrating that it does work and not only that but there are videos of guys holding carbon monoxide monitors up to their heaters and showing that no (or very little) carbon monoxide is being produced. They also claim that they are burning hotter than before and that the fuel lasts a bit longer than kerosene. The way they are doing this is by adding diesel additives and alcohol to the mix. Which additives to use and how much to use of each is where another ball of conflicting opinions come in. Whether or not you have to have a 100% cotton wick is another thing where mixed opinions come in. Whether or not you have to use the "new" type of diesel with very low sulfur content is another issue. All in all everyone seems to have their own formula but there seems to be a lot of guys out there who seem to have figured it out (or so they claim) and swear by the results. Others claim it's been nothing but a crap shoot for them. Others say that mixing kerosene with diesel is the way to go.

So yeah, lots of people saying its a disastrous idea others showing the contrary but never a consensus. I decided to try it as a last ditch effort.

I went to the closest gas station that was selling diesel and I bought 1 gallon of diesel. It's the yellowy/green tinge stuff that I'm used to seeing and not this supposedly clear or red dyed stuff that the guys on youtube are talking about, not being sure of whether the color is a real indicator I kept pouring in the diesel. As i was putting the cap on the jug I filled up, my mom who was waiting in the car said "what's that" and pointed to a pump that said "kerosene" on it. Well...

5 dollars a gallon there, half the price of the stores I'd been buying from. In my defense I had called this very gas station to ask about kerosene and was told they didn't have any by some clueless person. The fun's not over though. I noticed that with this kerosene the flame on the heater is now too low to be adjusted to the recommended half inch height above the flame spreader. I guess it's not K1? It's clear. Don't recall if the pump said anything about K1 on it. I also now have a gallon of diesel I don't know what to do with and am curious about experimenting with mixing the two fuels together as a way of getting a bit more bang for my buck. I don't know if there's anything about doing this that is inherently bad other than causing wick clogs.

Really I think propane is still better. I did however hear that propane introduces a lot of moisture into the air which is something I hate. Does anyone here who has used propane to heat a garage notice a significant amount of humidity in the air? Humidity is a major turn off for me if it's bad enough to be felt on the skin like having a stew cooking in the kitchen. This kerosene crap is getting on my nerves though.

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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Wed 06, 2019 8:58 pm 
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Location: Georgia, 30236
My introduction to Kerosene heat was finding an Aladdin heater at a thrift store and gave it a good cleaning as it had obviously been kept id a barn environment, one step above a chicken coop. I cleaned it and repainted the base/catch pan and changed out the fuel. I haven't a clue on how to remove/replace the wick, so it remained. I poured enough Klean Strip Klean Heat in it to reguster on the gauge. I put batteries in the appropriate box. I then pressed the push to light and it lifted the glass housing and touched a white hot igniter to the wick. I released the light button and that thing went straight to town! it was as hot as a respectable pot bellied stove in moments. I keep the $5 heater for emergencies with more fuel. It's not lit and that isn't it's fuel in the container behind it. :D


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Last edited by 19&41 on Nov Wed 06, 2019 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Wed 06, 2019 9:08 pm 
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Location: 44035 (Near Cleveland Ohio)
Playing amateur chemist with combustible fuel is a good way to find out first-hand how a burn ward functions. You have no idea what's actually in the fuel you're playing with. What if there was some gasoline mixed with the diesel where you bought it? It's not unheard of; the old-timers would add it to their farm diesel to prevent gelling in cold weather. Won't hurt the diesel engine (probably), but the kerosene heater wouldn't take kindly to volatile fuel, especially since it's not in an airtight tank. Remember, gasoline fumes can puddle on the floor until they find a source of ignition, then BOOM.

A properly adjusted, efficient propane heater won't raise the humidity significantly - unlike gas logs, which burn propane very inefficiently. Those "Mr. Heater" units that mount on top of a propane tank are relatively inexpensive, and produce a lot of radiant heat as well. That would be my choice if economy is your motivator.

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Wed 06, 2019 10:22 pm 
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Location: Chicago IL
I stuck a 2:1 kerosene diesel fuel mix in the heater. Seems to work fine but seems to smell a lot more. Alright that's about it for me and my chemistry experiment. Only kerosene from now on.

That said I'm going to play with the heater a little more and if I'm still unhappy I'll go and pick up a propane one at the home depot.

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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Wed 06, 2019 10:46 pm 
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tube42 wrote:

That said I'm going to play with the heater a little more and if I'm still unhappy I'll go and pick up a propane one at the home depot.


I've experimented with pretty much the same thing 40+ years ago, which is why I now recommend against it! FWIW, if you go with propane, the tank should be located outside, in the event of regulator leakage/failure. You can get a 6' hose pretty cheap, and run it through a short piece of PVC through the wall. One of those "blue flame" wall mount heaters will run great with a 20# tank.

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Thu 07, 2019 12:29 am 
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SparkyDan wrote:
A properly adjusted, efficient propane heater won't raise the humidity significantly - unlike gas logs, which burn propane very inefficiently. Those "Mr. Heater" units that mount on top of a propane tank are relatively inexpensive, and produce a lot of radiant heat as well. That would be my choice if economy is your motivator.Dan

Whenever you use an unvented heater you are introducing about one gallon of water into the atmosphere for every gallon of fuel burned. You will soon find your tools and any metal starting to rust in the damp humid air.

DM


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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Thu 07, 2019 1:16 am 
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Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Yes, burning any hydrocarbon without a flue / exhaust all results in moisture.

The flame breaks the hydrocarbon , combines it with oxygen giving you CO2 and H2O as the combustion products. Also CO if the combustion is poor, but you dont want that.

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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Thu 07, 2019 1:34 am 
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Location: Stone Mountain, GA
I have a 20K BTU ventless NG heater in my garage.

Moisture is not a real issue as when it is real cold, it is very dry and the moisture from the heater is not enough to cause condensation.

Now, if i used it when it was above freezing, then I'd probably have issues.

I use it with a small electric heater to get up to comfortable temp. Then run both on low.

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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Thu 07, 2019 2:04 am 
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Posts: 327
Location: Riverside Ca. 92504
What ever you install propane, kerosene, wood burning, or natural gas... I highly recommend you install a CO2 and smoke detector. I keep two smoke detectors in my garage for safety. Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Thu 07, 2019 2:54 am 
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tomb123 wrote:
What ever you install propane, kerosene, wood burning, or natural gas... I highly recommend you install a CO2 and smoke detector. I keep two smoke detectors in my garage for safety. Tom


+100. Just make sure the smoke & CO detectors are OK for cold weather use. Some aren't reliable below 32F .

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 12:36 am 
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Joined: Feb Fri 01, 2019 11:35 pm
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Location: Riverside Ca. 92504
I purchased an Aladdin lamp that uses K1 kerosene for power outages. It arrived today and I went to my local ACE store to purchase some kerosene. They had none. Manager informed me in California that it has been banned and pulled from the shelf along with denatured alcohol, and acetone six weeks ago. They are still selling kerosene heaters but no fuel. Welcome to California. I ordered some on Amazon and will see if it is delivered. Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 12:53 am 
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tomb123 wrote:
I purchased an Aladdin lamp that uses K1 kerosene for power outages. It arrived today and I went to my local ACE store to purchase some kerosene. They had none. Manager informed me in California that it has been banned and pulled from the shelf along with denatured alcohol, and acetone six weeks ago. They are still selling kerosene heaters but no fuel. Welcome to California. I ordered some on Amazon and will see if it is delivered. Tom


Ahh, the benefits of living in California never cease to amaze me. Makes Ohio seem like paradise; at least for the moment . . . 8) As an alternative for your Aladdin lamp, I used to burn the old-fashioned copier dispersant in ours. (Not the "ditto" fluid, which is denatured alcohol.) In the days of "wet" copiers (which I used to service), the dispersant is paraffin oil, which is basically highly-refined kerosene. Very little odor, and no sulfur. If you could find some of that, it would make perfect fuel. And, it doesn't go bad or turn rancid either. I have a few cases of 30-year-old stuff that's as good as new. But I'm hoarding it. Good luck!

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 5:42 am 
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Joined: Feb Fri 01, 2019 11:35 pm
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Location: Riverside Ca. 92504
SparkyDan wrote:
tomb123 wrote:
I purchased an Aladdin lamp that uses K1 kerosene for power outages. It arrived today and I went to my local ACE store to purchase some kerosene. They had none. Manager informed me in California that it has been banned and pulled from the shelf along with denatured alcohol, and acetone six weeks ago. They are still selling kerosene heaters but no fuel. Welcome to California. I ordered some on Amazon and will see if it is delivered. Tom


Ahh, the benefits of living in California never cease to amaze me. Makes Ohio seem like paradise; at least for the moment . . . 8) As an alternative for your Aladdin lamp, I used to burn the old-fashioned copier dispersant in ours. (Not the "ditto" fluid, which is denatured alcohol.) In the days of "wet" copiers (which I used to service), the dispersant is paraffin oil, which is basically highly-refined kerosene. Very little odor, and no sulfur. If you could find some of that, it would make perfect fuel. And, it doesn't go bad or turn rancid either. I have a few cases of 30-year-old stuff that's as good as new. But I'm hoarding it. Good luck!

Dan

I ordered two gallons of K1 on Amazon and it will get delivered next week. It has been pulled out of Home Depot. I read an article and it said not to use paraffin oil in the lamp but when I unpacked it ,the wick and operating instructions said I could use K1 or paraffin oil. The paraffin oil is available and I will price that. I WAS excited as a new Tractor supply is being built about a mile from my house and it sales K1 much cheaper but with the new stupid air quality rules it may not be able to carry it. How long will paraffin oil store if I buy five gallons. ?? I was looking at a small kerosene stove too for emergencies . Next will be a small portable still for emergencies too. :lol: Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 12:45 pm 
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"How long will paraffin oil store if I buy five gallons. ?? I was looking at a small kerosene stove too for emergencies . Next will be a small portable still for emergencies too. :lol: Tom"

Hi, Tom. I have some that's at least 20 years old; still clear, odorless, and burns great. Because it's highly refined, there's little in it to go bad or grow crud (yes, that's a high-tech term!). The copier dispersant I have is in quarts, and the bottles have foil seals. I would imagine keeping air out has something to do with it.

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Has kerosene always been this expensive?
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 2:28 pm 
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Be careful what you buy! I bought paraffin oil in an emergency to use in a flat wick kerosene lamp. It was liquified paraffin. it was only for the small round wick decorative oil lamps. The flat wick lamp would only smolder and not light. I had to empty the lamp and rinse out the wick in naptha and dry it out to get it to work again.

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