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Old 08-27-2014, 11:15 PM   #1
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Ancient diesel for stove?

I've finally worked my way down the 'to do' list and am about to fire up our 1980's Washington Stove Works diesel stove. We aren't allowed to use diesel stoves in our marina, so I'll have to wait a day or two to get under way and try lighting the beast.

My question concerns the fuel in the day tank.

The original owner used the stove a lot, but the second owner tried it once and then never fired it up again. This means the fuel in the day tank is probably of a 1990 or so vintage.

Do you foresee any problems, or do you think it'll perk along happily enough once I figure out the fuel/air mixture? In other words...go for it, or drain and refill?
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:39 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. MM. How much biblical (old) diesel are we talking about here? In any case, best to dump the old and start fresh IMO. Who knows what effect the old stuff would have on the innards and it might cause problems that will cost more to fix than replacing to old fuel. Oh, and clean the tank, the lines and anything that was in contact with the old stuff before the first firing. $.02....
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:52 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. MM. How much biblical (old) diesel are we talking about here?
Might be a couple gallons at the most. You're probably right to suggest replacing it, although there's not much in the way of complicated bits to get gummed up.
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:55 PM   #4
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This fellow has pretty much the same model;

The Stove - Boat Design Forums
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:12 AM   #5
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It will burn, but it might be sooty. If it doesn't burn hot enough, you might not get a good draw on the chimney.

I'd be concerned more with contaminants that might plug the metering valve and/or float. Hopefully there is a filter in line between the tank and the metering valve. If not go to NAPA and buy one.

A plugged needle valve will make your flame go out. A plugged float could burn down (or is it "up"?) your boat.

Never seen a Washington Stove Works stove, but Dickinson has quite a few good manuals on line that might help you out if you don't have one.
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:17 AM   #6
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A plugged float could burn down (or is it "up"?) your boat.
We have a winner - drain and service it is
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:32 AM   #7
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Hopefully there is a filter in line between the tank and the metering valve.
The line to the day tank is after the Racor 500fg.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:27 AM   #8
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Water would be the enemy as the metering device has lots of different metals inside , that could rust.

If the fuel can easily be filtered , old fuel should be no problem.

To light the range turn on the fuel to max and observe some (table spoon or two) entering the bottom of the burner pot.

Turn off the fuel and crumple a couple of sheets of toilet paper , light them and drop the burning TP in the small oil puddle at the bottom .

Then turn on the fuel control to low, in about 15 min the unit will be burning clean and you can increase the fuel if more heat is needed.

The metering device will work fine as the boat rolls , on sail boats 20deg still functions IF the metering unit is lined up fore and aft.

The usual hassle with these units is the wrong smoke head, or no barometric damper.

There are many head styles , but the H style will usually be the choice that works.

Be sure you have all the burner rings installed.

Light it off at the start of cold weather and it will operate all winter, no noise, no electric , the cruisers delight!

A water deck iron is required where the exhaust exits the cabin top .
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:01 AM   #9
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I wouldn't even use diesel.

Think kerosene. I'm switching to kerosene for my Wabasto.
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:15 AM   #10
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If you switch fuels make sure you adjust for the change in viscosity. Diesel stoves are really meant to burn diesel.
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:19 AM   #11
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If you switch fuels make sure you adjust for the change in viscosity. Diesel stoves are really meant to burn diesel.
Thanks for chiming in guys.

Found a Dickinson link explaining how/why to change for different viscosities of fuels, as in hot summer or cold winter temperatures. Have the original manuals as well.

Does kerosene burn cleaner...less tendancy to soot?
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:02 PM   #12
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Does kerosene burn cleaner...less tendancy to soot?

Yes.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:28 PM   #13
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No soot from my Hurricane burning good diesel.
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:01 PM   #14
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When I took my Wabasto in for service they recommended kerosene as it's much cleaner burning. I'll bet diesel in an old oil burning lamp would tell the difference.

I did get 800 hrs on my first run w the Wabasto however. But the guy said it was extremely sooted up.

Switching to kerosene will require a separate fuel tank and we're not sure where to put it on our little boat.

Met another Willard owner at the yard yesterday and he uses a sit on top kayak for a dinghy. Raises it w some kind of mechanical lift though. He's a commercial pilot. Fliers and boaters and motorcyclists are .. it seems linked together.

Re the old WA stove diesel may be just as well but if you (Murray) have soot issues kerosene may be an option. Being less viscous that diesel oil it may be more stable and require less adjustment. However you may be dealing w a very small orfice and that may take the advantage away.

Tom re this thread what is a "Hurricane"?
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:28 PM   #15
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Tom re this thread what is a "Hurricane"?
Hurricane Heating Systems | International Thermal Research
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:16 AM   #16
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>I wouldn't even use diesel.

Think kerosene. I'm switching to kerosene for my Wabasto.<

A truck heater has a very hard time lighting off heavy cold diesel, so for that breed of heaters ,kerosene is a great idea.
Especially if the unit has a thermostat and cycles frequently.

Most truck engines return large amounts of heater fuel to the tank , so lighting is less of a problem with warm fuel.

The Dickinson and similar heaters are pot burners , the fuel vaporizes from the heat of the cast iron pot , and burns clean once warmed up, about 15 min.

Since they are usually on for months , the manual lighting is no big deal.

Temperature is controlled by the fuel drip rate , set with the device on top of the unit.

The maint on the Dickinson after a winters use is to vacuum the pot when its cool, and perhaps using a tool to ream the feed pipe every couple of years , 5 min for both.

The truck heaters Wabasco and Espar usually require a tale down to replace the burner nozzle and burner rfings. A couple of hours of dirty work (the second time) and a fist full of replacement parts from a dealer .

The Dickinson style is about 20,000 Btu , the truck units can be as much as 80,000+ Btu.

Zero electric is required for the pot burners , the various pumps and big air fans require 10+ A ( 30a for starting) some much more of 12V or 24V. The water circulating units also require a pump and fans to be powered for each box or toe kick heater.

For a big boat having 3 or 4 furnaces would be hard to install, so the complex units have their place.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:18 AM   #17
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FF Wrote ... "Temperature is controlled by the fuel drip rate , set with the device on top of the unit."

Yes of course but that's not much of a range. Many are controlled in the PNW by regulating heat lost instead of heat produced. Opening and closing doors and windows. One needs a very big boat to use all that heat and they don't like to burn low. In the dead of winter they can keep a boat 80 degrees though.

I don't recall my Wabasto having a return line at all.

FF I'm surprised a man from down south having so much diesel stove experience.
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:35 AM   #18
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I will butt in now.

----DO NOT VACUUM THE BURNER unless you wish to spend days cleaning the boat afterwards. My Outlaw did that , of course the vac. was inside the boat, and he spent days cleaning the interior. Most vac filters are simply NOT fine enough to catch all the very fine soot. At the very least the vac. should have a LONG hose and be outside and away from the boat.

---Yes, if all is perfect the stove will burn cleanly without the fan. Other wise use the fan. I learned that years ago with mine. I do have the Dickinson.

-- The Washington is a bit different and if I remember correctly the fan is required. The burner is somewhat different from the Dickinsons. Too long for me to remember that well. It was also noisier than my stove due to the burner style. Not bad but noticable.

-- Use of a small quantity , 1 - 2 oz., of alcohol will help ensure a reliable and clean startup, especially when really cold. I use a small 8oz squirt bottle with the flip open/close lid. Turn on the diesel, light the alcohol using a rolled paper towel or a propane stove lighter. Be carefull as the alcohol is faster to light and may bark at you. No problem, just be aware. Set the controll for a somewhat low heat and by the time the alcohol burns off the burner will be hot and the diesel will run well. Let it warm up 1/2 hr and then you can turn up the heat. You are letting the parts get to a stable , even temp.

--Nothing wrong with diesel for fuel. Saves carrying another fuel, one of the reasons many use these stoves. It will burn clean if the stove is set up and run correctly.

--If the stove goes out or you shut it off and it is still hot it is possible to relight it by using the paper towel first and then turning on the fuel. If you do the other way the burner will vaporize the fuel and when you drop the towel in it will really bark at you.

--When travelling, especially if the wind is up, turn the oil valve up somewhat. That will prevent a backdraft from extinguishing the flame. That is another point for using the fan all the time.

It was a good little stove and you are right, my Outlaws used it as we winter boated.

As for the old fuel I agree that you should change it. Normally I would say use it if it was just a few years old. But if as old as you think then some fresh stuff run through the system will be best.
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Old 08-30-2014, 07:27 AM   #19
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>FF I'm surprised a man from down south having so much diesel stove experience.<

Lived aboard full time in NYC for almost 23 years.

Yankee by birth, Southener now by choice!

Lived with Espars truck heaters , never again, and with Dickinson. Was dealer for both.

Dickinson is on the newest boat , no fan , no soot.

The heaters like the Antartic burn cleaner than the ranges like the Pacific , but both can crank out almost 20,000 BTU with ease.Soot? Wash the deck in late April.

Yes, in the spring time , air temps get to 50-60F in day time , but drop to 30-40F, water temperature, at sundown , opening a port or hatch is the easy temperature control.Esp with my Hydronic system that is slow to respond.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:04 AM   #20
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I will butt in now.
Please do! I'm a lucky man to have someone here who has first hand experience with our boat

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----DO NOT VACUUM THE BURNER unless you wish to spend days cleaning the boat afterwards. My Outlaw did that , of course the vac. was inside the boat, and he spent days cleaning the interior. Most vac filters are simply NOT fine enough to catch all the very fine soot. At the very least the vac. should have a LONG hose and be outside and away from the boat.
Your 'outlaw' gave a small book of instructions for Badger in which he fesses up about that one, and the need for a hose long enough to get the shop vac outside. For now I just used the long scraper do-hickey that came with the stove.

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---Yes, if all is perfect the stove will burn cleanly without the fan. Other wise use the fan. I learned that years ago with mine. I do have the Dickinson.
That's what I'm shooting for...batteryless background heat to keep the chill out of the air. Not planning on trying to bake turkeys in the thing

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-- Use of a small quantity , 1 - 2 oz., of alcohol will help ensure a reliable and clean startup, especially when really cold. I use a small 8oz squirt bottle with the flip open/close lid. Turn on the diesel, light the alcohol using a rolled paper towel or a propane stove lighter. Be carefull as the alcohol is faster to light and may bark at you. No problem, just be aware. Set the controll for a somewhat low heat and by the time the alcohol burns off the burner will be hot and the diesel will run well. Let it warm up 1/2 hr and then you can turn up the heat. You are letting the parts get to a stable , even temp.
Awesome! I was wondering how to speed up the warming up process.

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--Nothing wrong with diesel for fuel. Saves carrying another fuel, one of the reasons many use these stoves. It will burn clean if the stove is set up and run correctly.

--If the stove goes out or you shut it off and it is still hot it is possible to relight it by using the paper towel first and then turning on the fuel. If you do the other way the burner will vaporize the fuel and when you drop the towel in it will really bark at you.

--When travelling, especially if the wind is up, turn the oil valve up somewhat. That will prevent a backdraft from extinguishing the flame. That is another point for using the fan all the time.

It was a good little stove and you are right, my Outlaws used it as we winter boated.

As for the old fuel I agree that you should change it. Normally I would say use it if it was just a few years old. But if as old as you think then some fresh stuff run through the system will be best.
Thanks a bunch for chiming in
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