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Old 27-12-2013, 19:50   #1
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Dickonson Antarctic Diesel Heater Problems



My Dickonson Antarctic Diesel Heater is about to drive me CrAzY.
So here's what I have:
-7ft of flue stack
-fuel pump to feed the unit
-cleaning almost daily
-no dampner in the flue stack

So here is what happens. I can run the unit on the "1" setting but have a blue flame. So I know that as a sign of burning too lean, so I try to adjust the fuel valve up just a hair to lets say 1 1/4. The flame then gets perfect for a few hours. BUT then KA POW...I have a Saturn 5 Rocket blasting off in the salon...pulsating...fumes shooting out of every crack and crevice. I turn the fuel valve back to 1 and after the fuel burns off and I air out the boat, we get the blue flame of not enough fuel again. Anytime I try to turn up the fuel in any amount, the flame looks great for a few hours and then Ka Boom...rocket blas off again.

The only thing I can think of is that my fuel metering valve is faulty but I replaed it with a new one last January and wouldn't think these valves would be so cheezy that they would fail so easily.

It's getting to the point now where my wife won't let us run the heater at night for fear of it and it's damn cold here! When it is working, we love it...but are these things just this finikey because if so then we need to find something else to keep us warm.

Thanks
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Old 27-12-2013, 20:52   #2
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Re: Dickonson Antarctic Diesel Heater Problems

I see a fan switch and rheostat on the wall and yet you don't mention it in your heating process?

It will take about a half of an hour to get it burning clean and steady. Put the knob between 2-3 and let fuel pool in the bottom of the heater chamber. It should only take a few tablespoons to get it lit. Light your paper wad and place it in the burn chamber. When the fuel starts burning it will be above the ring, in about 15-20 minutes the flames will drop below the ring and this is when you want to turn the assist fan onto the lowest setting and turn the fuel down to #1 setting.
After a few minutes it will start your "rocket" effect, be ready for it. Turn the fan on as high as you need to and wait a few minutes, it will settle down gradually and you can begin turning the fan back down again.

I believe the whole rocket thing is caused by excess fuel. Maybe someone more knowledgeable than me can help out here?

I have a Dickenson Bering stove unit and getting it running smoothly takes a little practice, but once you get it down you have a hell of a heater. The fishing boats up north keep theirs running 24/7 for months at a time.

I've heard tell from some folks on CF that you can use alchohal in the pre heating stage with good results. I believe they use an oil can with a pump handle to deliver the fuel to the chamber.

Don't be to quick to dump your heater, play with if a bit more and let us know what happens.

John
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Old 27-12-2013, 21:03   #3
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Re: Dickonson Antarctic Diesel Heater Problems

Sounds like a pressure problem to me ! ran the same heater for a long time with a overhead tank without a pump and never had a problem!! Burned blue and hot 24-7 in Anchorage Alaska never had a problem! It burned so clean with this set up it almost never needed cleaning (except for the outside LOL) maybe to much pressure or not enough volume, altho it sounds like to much pressure to me ! Just a thought
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Old 27-12-2013, 21:21   #4
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Re: Dickonson Antarctic Diesel Heater Problems

Have you read any of the other threads on Dickenson heaters. Lots of info.
dickenson diesel heaters
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Old 27-12-2013, 21:48   #5
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Re: Dickonson Antarctic Diesel Heater Problems

Guys....off to go read those other threads....
I know I'm a California cold weather sissy, but at least I admit it!
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Old 27-12-2013, 22:57   #6
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Re: Dickonson Antarctic Diesel Heater Problems

Insufficient draw (flue) for metered fuel. Bobconnie has it right in that it's a pressure problem. Except there is a balance between the pressure and the draw (stoichiometric, in a round about way)

I was gonna say something but at least you admit it.
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Old 28-12-2013, 12:19   #7
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Re: Dickonson Antarctic Diesel Heater Problems

Your system doesn't list a barometric dampener. With that long of a stack it is a must.

Also it sounds like you don't a have good make up air from out side the boat to the burner. It would be wise to have an intake ducted to the bottom of the stove from outside.

Lloyd

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post


My Dickonson Antarctic Diesel Heater is about to drive me CrAzY.
So here's what I have:
-7ft of flue stack
-fuel pump to feed the unit
-cleaning almost daily
-no dampner in the flue stack

So here is what happens. I can run the unit on the "1" setting but have a blue flame. So I know that as a sign of burning too lean, so I try to adjust the fuel valve up just a hair to lets say 1 1/4. The flame then gets perfect for a few hours. BUT then KA POW...I have a Saturn 5 Rocket blasting off in the salon...pulsating...fumes shooting out of every crack and crevice. I turn the fuel valve back to 1 and after the fuel burns off and I air out the boat, we get the blue flame of not enough fuel again. Anytime I try to turn up the fuel in any amount, the flame looks great for a few hours and then Ka Boom...rocket blas off again.

The only thing I can think of is that my fuel metering valve is faulty but I replaed it with a new one last January and wouldn't think these valves would be so cheezy that they would fail so easily.

It's getting to the point now where my wife won't let us run the heater at night for fear of it and it's damn cold here! When it is working, we love it...but are these things just this finikey because if so then we need to find something else to keep us warm.

Thanks
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Old 28-12-2013, 12:38   #8
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Re: Dickonson Antarctic Diesel Heater Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Your system doesn't list a barometric dampener. With that long of a stack it is a must.

Also it sounds like you don't a have good make up air from out side the boat to the burner. It would be wise to have an intake ducted to the bottom of the stove from outside.

Lloyd

Hmmm....
I don't have a barometric dampner....so I'll order one of those.
I do open a port hole to make sure I don't get a negative in the boat cabin and at anything over a 1 speed setting I need to run the 12v fan blowing in the bottom to keep it running cleanly...if not my stack looks like an old school locomotive spewing black smoke.
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