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Old 01-28-2015, 01:43 AM
williaty Male williaty is offline
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Default Help needed with extreme kerosene filtering

Over the weekend, the small radiant heater (CTN-110) we’ve had absolutely no problems with suddenly stopped burning properly, began to smell, and even had a portion of the burner that stopped glowing. Since it had been burnt dry very recently (less than 3 gallons ago), I took it apart expecting to find that the factory wick had just died. I was right about that, but was surprised to find why. When I took the heater apart, I could see that the tip of the wick was charred and tarry as I expected. However, I was shocked to see that the bottom “fringy” portion of the wick was in terrible shape as well! I’ve never seen this before, even when one of the factory wicks dies, and I’ve included a picture of it along with two others at the end of this email. Removing the wick completely and looking into the sump revealed contamination in the sump, which I’ve never had before. I flushed out the sump repeatedly with known-clean 1-K, cleaned it out as best I could, and assembled it with a new wick. It now burns perfectly again on the known-clean 1-K.




The backstory to this is that, late in the 2013-2014 heating season, we bought 1-K in bulk for the first time. We purchased a full 55 gallon drum from Englefield Oil in Heath, Ohio. We used a pump to transfer from that 55 gallon drum into our 6 little 5 gallon steel cans (originally bought full of Crown 1-K from Tractor Supply). We finished the 2013-2014 heating season that way with no problem. The 55 gallon drum then sat in the barn half full over the summer of 2014. Last fall, we started burning kerosene from that drum again. By the end of December 2014, we burnt through all the 5 gallon cans we’d filled at the end of the 2013-2014 season and needed to refill them. This time, we tipped the 55 gallon barrel on its side (since it was nearly empty) and used a spigot, and I think that might have something to do with our problems. We had both jostled the drum by turning it onto its side and were down to the last of the dregs to empty the drum. Then, once we had emptied that 55 gallon barrel, we drove the barrel up to a specialty fuels dealer (Santmeyer Energy) who would refill it for us with undyed 1-K from a pump. My father has been using that dealer for about 4 winters now and has good results, so I am inclined to trust the quality of the fuel from them. While we were filling the barrel, when I looked inside, I thought the kero was tinted reddish brown, but I wrote that off as a trick of the light. Now, I think it might have been contamination in our 55 gallon drum. We have not yet tried to burn any of this kerosene from the refilled barrel though.
Once I saw how bad that wick was and all the crap in the sump, we immediately switched back to the Crown 1-K from Tractor Supply, even though it costs $8/gallon, until we could figure out what went wrong with the kerosene from the bulk 55 gallon drum. Today, we took a 5 gallon can that had had the problem kerosene stored in it temporarily, sloshed a little bit of kerosene around inside of it to wash it out, and dumped the result. The stuff that came out was definitely dirty. We did that until it rinsed clean and then refilled the now-clean can through a Mr. Funnel which has a filter in it. The stuff we poured into the top of the Mr. Funnel was definitely reddish brown and had particulates in it. The stuff that came out of the Mr Funnel looked clear. Once finished with the 5 gallons, the funnel’s filter was visibly dirty. I then drew up 1L of kero that had been filtered into a beaker and compared it to 1L of the virgin Crown 1-K straight from Tractor Supply. I included a picture of this below, but the result is that the kerosene that went through the Mr. Funnel is still quite contaminated. We have about 25 gallons of the original bulk 1-K sitting around in 5 gallon cans plus 55 gallons that we refilled into the big 55 gallon drum, all of which we fear is too contaminated to use. Since it didn’t come clean filtering it through the Mr. Funnel, what can we do to make it usable?
I’m hoping you know of some additional filtration step that we can do in order to make the 80 gallons of 1-K we have sitting around usable. Otherwise, I have no idea how on earth we’d get rid of 80 gallons of hazmat!

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Old 01-28-2015, 02:42 AM
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Bearfootfarm Male Bearfootfarm is offline
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Quote:
Since it didn’t come clean filtering it through the Mr. Funnel, what can we do to make it usable?
You need to rig up an inline filtration system using automotive style spin-on cartridge filters similar to this:

http://www.agrisupply.com/product.as...c=2&zmap=28208

A few pipe nipples and a fitting or two is about all you need

Put it on AFTER the spigot, or put a valve on each side so you can shut off the flow to change as needed
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:44 AM
williaty Male williaty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearfootfarm View Post
You need to rig up an inline filtration system using automotivce style spin-on cartridge filters similar to this:

http://www.agrisupply.com/product.as...c=2&zmap=28208

A few pipe nipples and a fitting or two is about all you need

Put it on AFTER the spigot, or put a valve on each side so you can shut off the flow to change as needed
How much pressure do those need to achieve a decent flow rate? Since this is one open container into another, the only pressure will come from the height difference between the containers.
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:27 AM
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Bearfootfarm Male Bearfootfarm is offline
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They don't require any pressure but they can take up to 50 lbs

Gravity feed will work just fine

You can probably find some that use smaller fittings, or just add a couple of adaptors if needed to match what you have

They are commonly used on gravity fuel tanks for oil furnaces with 3/8" tubing, or diesel tanks with powered pumps, so they are versatile
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:02 AM
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coaltrain Male coaltrain is offline
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The kerosene on the right may be a different color because of getting a dye from the rust in the 55 gal drum. I don't believe any filter is going to take that color out of it and make it clear again.

Let the kero sit for a day in the flask and see if there is any debris settled to the bottom then - I would bet not. If you are seeing some particulate in the bottom you could try filtering it through a coffee filter or cheese cloth also.

My opinion is the fuel you ran through the Mr. Funnel will be fine to burn.
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Old 01-29-2015, 03:46 AM
williaty Male williaty is offline
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Well, progress is being made. This morning, there was considerable sediment deposits on the bottom of the beaker and the kero looked a little hazy. Tonight, we bought a 10um particulate plus water blocking filter kit at TSC (basically what BearFoot recommended in post #2 here). It's made for filtering diesel coming out of transfer tanks in the backs of farm pickups and whatnot. While it was intended to be used with a pump, we just stuck 1/2" hose barbs into each side of it and ran fuel-safe 1/2" hose from a 5 gallon bucket to the kerosene hose. Poured the dirty kerosene into the 5 gallon bucket, which we had stacked up on a bunch of crap to get it right up to the ceiling. Then the hose ran down to the floor and into the filter. From the filter, a short bit of hose ran up and into the destination kerosene can. Gravity did the work of pushing the kero through the filter. It DEFINITELY improved things. There's no visible sediment in the beaker anymore (will check again tomorrow after 24 hours of settling) and it looks somehow clearer/more crystalline as well. The color improved significantly. All the red/pink has been taken out, leaving only a very light tan/amber tint to it. I've seen gasoline drawn up into a clear container look like this a lot of the time, so I'm hoping that's getting into the allowable range for kersosene. I REALLY wish I had drawn up a sample of this bulk kero before we disturbed the big barrel. I'd love to know what it looked like back when we were burning it successfully. I'd be curious to know when we're back where we started, if you know what I mean.

So, with the success of the 10um filter, we ordered a 2um filter assembly from the same company. We looked at doing a 1um filter instead, but it was about 3x the cost of the 2um. I'm going to rig it up in series with the 10um filter we already have. The 10um should take most of the gunk and the water out with the 2um hopefully getting rid of everything that could bother the wick. The final process is going to be to run it through our Mr. Funnel to get the rocks out and remove the bulk water, then through the 10um-2um cascade to get it ready to burn. Hopefully, in less than 2 weeks, I'll know if the filtration will produce usable output or no. All told, we'll have about $150 in filtration to save kerosene that would cost $640 to replace, if we could even find that much at this point in the season. Hopefully, it's money well spent. If nothing else, we'll then have a filter cascade for cleaning other fuels in the future, should it become necessary.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:46 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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I don't know how well it would work with kerosene, but the bush pilots here carry chamois with them in case they have to buy questionable fuel in remote locations. They filter the avgas through the chamois (make sure it is REAL CHAMOIS). It supposedly filters all debris as well as water.
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:26 AM
williaty Male williaty is offline
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I think we managed to lick it using a 3-step filtration process. We're burning our first test now. If I can get 10 gallons through the heater and the wick looks good upon inspection, I'll call it a success and post the details of how I did it.
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:11 AM
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12vman Male 12vman is offline
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I used kerosene heaters for years. Bought fuel 5 gal. at a time. Some of the loads would stink up the place when I used it. I would add a dollop of dry gas to each 5 gal. container before I used it and it made a big difference. Much less smell and the wicks lasted longer..
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