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View Full Version : Kerosene heat (please don't move from General)


Jared
01-17-2009, 01:01 AM
I bought a kerosene heater for my garage. It's rated for a 20x40 room. It leaves this strong kerosene smell when it burns and afterward. Is this normal? Will it ever stop smelling? Will it hurt my dogs who sleep in the garage at night during the winter? I'm seriously thinking about shelving the heater in favor of one of those types that look like flood lights and mount on top of a propane bottle.
I'd really rather this not be moved from General, because I need as much help as possible. I don't want to wake up to find my dogs dead. Thanks.
Jared

sbemt456
01-17-2009, 02:59 AM
Jared it sounds like ya need to take a look at the wick. Is it even all the way around? Sometimes if the wick is dirty or too high it will smell. When kerosene heaters were a kinda new item my parents heated with two in the house one winter. They did complain with frequent headaches if the house stayed closed up for long periods of time. If the garage is not air tight and near the size recommended by heater manufacture then they would probably be ok. On the other hand if it is attached to the house that could be a concern, you own safety. Just my thoughts. Hope it helps some.

Stay safe and warm.

stella

Deberosa
01-17-2009, 03:59 AM
I don't like those heaters that attach to the propane bottles any better. We have one - turned it on and it turned red hot in the back of the burner part. Looked like it was going to actually melt so I shut it off and won't use it.

I had a Kerosine heater like you describe and it did the same thing - quit using it also.

Do you have electricity there? I did find one dish shaped electric heater that didn't use alot of electricity, was cheap and worked really well. Wouldn't heat that entire area though. Maybe a propane wall heater kind of deal would be best?

Good luck and be careful!

Debbie

GREEN_ALIEN
01-17-2009, 05:42 AM
Carbon Based Fuel + Combustion = Carbonmonoxide
Good old math does not leave alot of wiggle room!

Jared
01-17-2009, 06:24 AM
I let the dogs sleep inside tonight, and I think tomorrow I'll go buy an electric heater and keep the kerosene in case of a power outage. I hate it when I make uninformed decisions. >:(
Jared

12vman
01-17-2009, 11:09 AM
I heated with kerosene for years..

Check the wick! When it's turned all of the way up, it should be even all around the holder. If not, replace it..

Sometimes the wick will get built up with carbon. Light it and let it burn out totally. Let it sit for a while and light it again without adding kerosene. This will burn the carbon from the wick. (Most of the time) You might wanna do this procedure in a well vented area because it will smell.

Another issue may be water in your kerosene. Get a can of dry gas and add a couple of tablespoons per gallon. This seems to help.

To Add..

Don't try to adjust the flame to your needs! After letting it run for a half an hour or so, adjust the flame until the tips of the flame are running blue with a slight part of yellow and let it be. Trying to turn it down to either save fuel or to turn the temperature down won't work!

kawalekm
01-17-2009, 12:18 PM
When I got my Corona heater the first thing I had to do was replace the wick, because it wouldn't even burn with the one in place. One piece of advice I use that works is to alway light the heater outside, and carry it in after it gets hot. A lot of the fumes get produced at startup because the burner is still cold. Once it's hot, the flame should be uniform around the burner and mostly blue in color. If the flame ragged, or yellow all over, you've got wick problems.

Headaches during the night are a clear sign of CO poisoning! Don't operate this kind of heater unless you can provide it with a flow of fresh air! Again, I think the least CO gets produced when it's running at max temperature, so run your heater on high with lots of fresh air. Then things will be OK.
Michael

Jared
01-17-2009, 01:04 PM
I watched my flame last night and it was all yellow. No matter how high or low I made the flame, it was yellow. Should I really have to replace the wick on a brand new heater?? Also, if I replace the wick like you say, will it stop stinking?
Jared

Terri
01-17-2009, 02:00 PM
We used a kerosene heater during a power failure, and it said to use it next to a cracked window.

I do not believe I would use it to heat the garage. And for my potting shed, I got an electric heater.

DM
01-17-2009, 02:01 PM
I watched my flame last night and it was all yellow. No matter how high or low I made the flame, it was yellow. Should I really have to replace the wick on a brand new heater?? Also, if I replace the wick like you say, will it stop stinking?
Jared

It really sounds like your useing #1 or #2 diesel in it, INSTEAD of kerosene?? Is the little cap that goes over the wick properly in place?

How does the wick look when the heater is off and cold enough to touch? Is the wick even all around? Does it have a crusty ridge on it? If it's crusty, you may need to trim it off, or trim the wick even with sissors...


Deberosa,

My friend in NY heats his house with two coal stoves, one in the basement the other on the main floor... For the last two winters he has been running the coal stove in the basement, and useing a couple of those propane heaters for the upstairs... I was at his house for a week over T. Giving, and they worked very good and put out a lot of heat. Both of his have a hi-lo setting and he would turn them down durning the day and back up in the evening untill bed time...

They worked VERY good, but of course you HAVE to be carefull to keep them away from anything that could catch fire!!!

DM

Jared
01-17-2009, 02:37 PM
I just lit it again, and took a picture but I don't think I'll post it here unless someone asks. I turned the wick up all the way, opened the garage door and lit it. All yellow. And, no, I'm not using diesel. I'm using kerosene that came in little jugs at wal mart. It even said 1-K kerosene and it's clear, like water. And it stunk. The wick was a little black and crusty at the top, but shouldn't it be from being burned? It looks pretty even, but I'm new to this so I may not be able to tell. I think I'll just set it aside and go get an electric space heater. Thanks for all your help.
Jared

DM
01-17-2009, 03:03 PM
I just wanted to add, ALL kero heaters will have a yellow flame and smoke IF the wick is turned up too high...

A wick that's crusty or uneven won't allow the kero to siphon up to the top to burn properly.

DM

WRTN
01-17-2009, 08:33 PM
I heated with kerosene for years..

Check the wick! When it's turned all of the way up, it should be even all around the holder. If not, replace it..

Sometimes the wick will get built up with carbon. Light it and let it burn out totally. Let it sit for a while and light it again without adding kerosene. This will burn the carbon from the wick. (Most of the time) You might wanna do this procedure in a well vented area because it will smell.

Another issue may be water in your kerosene. Get a can of dry gas and add a couple of tablespoons per gallon. This seems to help.

To Add..

Don't try to adjust the flame to your needs! *After letting it run for a half an hour or so, adjust the flame until the tips of the flame are running blue with a slight part of yellow and let it be. Trying to turn it down to either save fuel or to turn the temperature down won't work!

Good advice. I used to add isoproply alcohol to kerosene to help it burn a little cleaner. I would add maybe 4 to 6 ounces to 5 gallons.

Some kerosene heaters just don't burn very well no matter what you do to them. For these I suggest burning Jet-A. If you live near an airport you can buy it there just like regular kerosene. It burns a lot hotter and cleaner.

12vman
01-17-2009, 10:24 PM
Quote

"The wick was a little black and crusty at the top, but shouldn't it be from being burned?"

Empty the kerosene from the heater and light the burner. Let it burn untill it goes out. Wait about half an hour and light it again. Let it burn out again and check out that built up stuff on the wick. It should be pretty much burnt up and easily removed by pinching it between your thumb and finger. It should just break up and fall off. Don't pull on the wick! Just crush the crusty stuff and blow it off.

Refill the heater with good fuel, let it set for a half an hour and light it. I've salvaged a few heaters like this.. 8)

blackpowderbill
01-18-2009, 12:00 PM
Buy yourself a heated pad for the dogs or a poultry heat lamp or make them a nice box a big cardboard one works well. Put down a few old rugs inside the box. Then cover the box with blankets.
The dogs will be warm and toasty.
When my beagles were outside they only came up to the garage when it was bitter cold and deep snow. It was more of a convience for me than them.
I did have a light socket wired inside and would run a 40w bulb at times. The bulb helps dry the moisture out that builds up in the dog house.

I try to not heat my garage because their is no insulation and ice will build up on the roof.

The only heat in my garage now is a 60w bulb resting on the air filter of my lawn tractor to keep the ice/water out of the carb after plowing.

All my kero heaters stink and they burn a fairly clean blue flame.

bpb

ldsparamedic
01-18-2009, 06:04 PM
As a firefighter and paramedic I would like to add a couple of comments:

First of all, EVERYONE should have a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector in any building which is heated by any carbon based fuels. CO is heavier than air so the detector should be mounted close to the floor, as close to the heating source as possible. Our detector is within 6" of our propane furnace and has never gone off.

There are no false alarms. If your CO detector goes off, evacuate the building and call the gas company (if applicable) or the fire department. They have atmosphere detectors which indicate the amount of CO in the atmosphere being tested.

If you are getting a headache or nauseated, evacuate immediately. These are late signs of CO poisioning.

Different fuels release different amounts of CO. Charcoal releases tons and tons of CO and should never burned indoors, even in a fireplace. Propane, natural gas, kerosene, etc can be burned safely indoors but there needs to be ventilation. A window cracked open with a small exhaust fan or second window cracked open will suffice.

I have had CO calls ranging from detector activation to headaches to multiple fatalities. This is not something to take chances with.
-John

jott
01-18-2009, 11:58 PM
I think you are confusing CO with CO2. CO is not heavier then air, it will generally mix with air so concentrations will be similar throughout the room. The recommended location for detectors is in hallways out side bed rooms and in bed rooms.

I donít have time to find any good references but here is a quick one from my Google search for CO detectors.

RueTheDay
07-14-2009, 06:01 PM
I just lit it again, and took a picture but I don't think I'll post it here unless someone asks. I turned the wick up all the way, opened the garage door and lit it. All yellow. And, no, I'm not using diesel. I'm using kerosene that came in little jugs at wal mart. It even said 1-K kerosene and it's clear, like water. And it stunk. The wick was a little black and crusty at the top, but shouldn't it be from being burned? It looks pretty even, but I'm new to this so I may not be able to tell. I think I'll just set it aside and go get an electric space heater. Thanks for all your help.
Jared

You need to adjust the wick up and down until you get a blue flame. All the way up is not necessarily the right setting. Yellow flame = burning rich and in addition to being inefficient will smell.