1) Q. Can I modify my existing gun-style oil burner to burn waste oil (motor or veggie)?
A. Yes, but it is highly recommended that you purchase a used oil burner and keep the original burner set up the same. (In case you aren’t successful or run out of waste oil or your wife gets a cold shower)
2) Q. How do I get started?
- Get a used gun-style oil burner, like a Beckett AF or Carlin, for example, to experiment with, not the burner you are currently using to heat your home.
- Order a Kagi air diffuser or build you own.
- Order a siphon nozzle and adapter from Kagi, Patriot Supply, etc.
- Build a pre-heater from the parts list over in the Files section.
- Get a small compressor to drive the siphon nozzle.
- Put your collecting/filtering portion of wvo together so that you have fuel ready.
3) Q. Can I purchase a waste oil burner from a manufacturer?
A. Yes but the prices range from $1500-2500 for a burner alone. These are also not legal for use in a dwelling. A commercial burner may not work in your furnace/ boiler either, the flames are generally long and thin and not conducive to some small combustion chambers, I.e., the combustion chamber on the commercial waste oil burner is different that on a residential so the manufacturers won’t sell them for resident use. This is an inherent variable in using your modified Becket, Carlin, etc., in you own home boiler or forced-air furnace, but we do talk about how to adapt the chamber so that it works.
4) Q. What does it cost to convert a burner to waste oil.
A. It depends on the level of mechanical skill you have but roughly $300-$1000.
5) Q. Which method is better, pressure nozzle or siphon nozzle?
A. Pressure nozzle setups are easier to build but require frequent maintenance and nozzle changes as the nozzle clogs easily. Not to mention the oil has to be filtered much better. A siphon nozzle on the other hand is much less prone to clogging but requires compressed air to operate. Most commercial units are using the siphon nozzle but feeding the oil at a slight (0-10psi) oil pressure. Most prefer the siphon nozzle.
6) Q. What modifications are required to convert to waste oil (Pressure nozzle)?
A. Preheater on the nozzle tube or preheater block and preheated oil pump.
7) Q. What modifications are required to convert to waste oil (siphon nozzle)?
A. Preheater (including cartridge heater, temp controller, insulation), siphon nozzle and adapter, air compressor, air solenoid, air regulator, Kagi-style retention head (see list of parts in files section for more details).
8) Q. What temperature does the preheat need to be?
A. Motor oil 180-250*, veggie oil 275-325*, 50/50 blend of the two 180-250*.
9) Q. Why do I need a new retention head for a siphon nozzle setup?
A. The retention head on Beckett burners doesn’t work well with waste veg/waste motor oil (sometimes better than others). The viscosity of the pre-heated wvo/wmo is different than home heating oil so that’s why you need the slanted turbine style retention head. Kagi sells their retention head but it may not be suitable for all chambers. They are about $45. I opted to make my own out of stainless.(Craig)
10) Q. How do I filter the oil?
A. Oil should be above 50* for filtering, gravity works best. You can purchase bag filters from Mcmaster-Carr or you can make your own from felt purchased from Walmart. If the oil isn’t too dirty, you can pump 1-5 gallons per minute thru a 150 micron filter. For pressure nozzles, 5 micron is acceptable. For siphon nozzles, you can get away with 50-150 micron depending on the nozzle size.
11. Q. Can I just pour filtered veg oil into my oil tank with regular HHO in it?
A. If you have a 2-line pump setup, the pump constantly re-circulates excess flow back to the tank—-this will help mix any oil you pour into the tank.
I poured about 8 gallons of used veggie oil into my 675gal tank and didn’t have any problems—maybe I was lucky.
12. Is there a plan that shows how to build a modified oil burner?
There are no A-Z plans but there are working models to look at in the Photos section and parts lists in the Files section of the forum. Everyone builds there burners differently and some mechanical skill sets are required to build a siphon nozzle burner. Get a used Beckett burner and experiment with that.