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Old 02-01-2016, 10:59 AM   #1
Senior Member
City: Portland, OR
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Cool Water
Vessel Model: C&L Puget Trawler
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 186
Dickinson Antarctic Heater.

It wasn't working right. Long story short - new kit for metering valve etc. Cleaned entire unit, again. Last evening restarted the stove per instructions from the Company. Prior to lighting, I adjusted the flow valve. Lighted the stove. All was working great, for a time. Then there was a subtle "pop" I turned & looked at the stove & it started roaring!!! I reached down & turned the control knob to off - nothing happened. Quickly I went to the electric panel & turned of the fuel pump off. Again, nothing changed!! By this time we have FIRE within the stove chamber!!! I waited a moment to see if the fuel would stop flowing, Again, nothing changed!!! I then went into the engine room & turned the supply valve off. Fuel stopped flowing, the fire went out.

Here is what I was grateful for: a) Fire extinguisher away from the stove. b) A wife that responded to instructions without wanting an explanation. In that she took the dogs & got off the boat post haste. c) Clear access to the engine room hatch.

NOTE: Tested the valve & pump switch prior to relighting the heater. All worked as designed.

Today, I'll start the trouble shooting.

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Old 02-01-2016, 01:35 PM   #2
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City: Concrete Washington State
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,934
Sounds like it over filled the pot. The excess fuel needed to burn off before the fire would slow down.

I had a Colman heater that had a similar fire pot. It must have been undersized as it needed to run full bore ... in Juneau. It "roared" all the time. Roaring isn't that unusual.


North Western Washington State USA
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Old 02-01-2016, 02:39 PM   #3
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City: Powell River, BC
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,317
Is the overflow line hooked up and not plugged or capped?
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:18 AM   #4
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City: Portland, OR
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Cool Water
Vessel Model: C&L Puget Trawler
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 186
Spy - Little more complicated -- the overflow is fine. What I found out was the Heater is much older than everyone thought. After a call to Dickinson, I was informed the re-build kit is for a much newer heater. So the bottom line is - I have to buy a new valve.

Manyboats - You bet there was excess fuel & it just kept coming. Dickinson stopped making the valve over 30 years ago. The dang thing worked fine until I moved the metering valve to a "3" position for more heat. Smoke soot galore.

One more thing I went to school about. Thanks for the reply fellas. Tonto.
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:01 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 14,908
All the pot burners need to be warm enough to evaporate the entering fuel .

On start up you have to take a peek at the flame.

If its yellow its burning the surface fuel, like a smudge pot.WAIT!

If its blue and NOT down in the pot chamber , you are set for the rest of the winter.

I was a dealer when the Singer valves got too expensive and they created their own metering valve.

I prefer the older Singer ,for numerous reasons.

The fuel used does matter,

Oil Metering Valves - Dickinson Marine | Fisheries Supply


Burning #1 diesel (stove oil) will allow 25% more fuel, and burning kerosene will allow 50% more fuel, to flow through a "D" calibrated oil-metering valve.
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