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Old 16-05-2008, 19:50   #1
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Dickinson Lofoten stove fuel flow issues

I found a couple of threads here debating the relative merits of the Dickinson diesel stoves for heat and was hoping to tap the brains of fellow owners with an annoying problem I've been having with my Lofoten.

The stove has worked wonderfully for the past couple of years, and presumably before that for the previous owner of the boat. Recently, after a period of infrequent use, it has started going out on us randomly. Checking the stove, it appears when this happens that the fuel flow has simply stopped. There is fuel in the tank (gravity fed, installed to spec as far as I can see) and the valve can be set to any open number (1-5) but regardless of setting, no fuel comes out of the feed hole.

We have been tearing apart the valve assembly to see what is wrong each time, and there never appears to be a problem. However, after assembling it again, the stove works: fuel flows, it lights and burns normally for some random period of time.

I thought at first it was bad fuel; a bit of water or crud choking it or blowing it out. But that doesn't explain why no new fuel feeds after it goes out. There has been more fuel than usual in the overflow line so I thought perhaps it was feeding into the assembly too fast and raising the float which (I think) cuts the flow off if it overflows. But it happens even if the valve is at the lowest setting, and I have constricted the flow with a smaller filter screen with no effect. Also, it doesn't seem that the fuel in the assembly is always excessive when we tear it down, only sometimes.

The last time it did it, I just unscrewed the top plate of the valve assembly and lifted it up slightly, then replaced it, and it started working again! No idea at all why.

If anyone has any thoughts, I would love to hear them! If I don't reply, it's not because I'm ignoring anything, I'm just out cruising with only intermittent network access right now. Thanks!

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Old 16-05-2008, 21:42   #2
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Have you checked the manual?
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Old 19-05-2008, 13:45   #3
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Yes... nothing in the troubleshooting section seems to describe this particular problem, although, as describe, I have run through most of their recommended steps anyway to no avail.
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Old 19-05-2008, 14:55   #4

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Originally Posted by scott View Post
Yes... nothing in the troubleshooting section seems to describe this particular problem, although, as describe, I have run through most of their recommended steps anyway to no avail.
Having spent a lot of hours running this stove, I would expect you are on the right track looking at that overflow. Mine had absolutely no overflow at all.

If you call Dickenson for support, they are quite nice and helpful about it. Give that a shot too.
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Old 28-05-2008, 17:19   #5
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Up until 5 years ago we used a dickinson heater 24/7 all winter long.
Have you cleaned the burning chamber out? Do you have the poker tool for sticking down the fuel inlet line to clean? I would take the fuel line that goes to the burning chamber out and clean it.
If we didn't run it hot enough it would get sooted up and have to be cleaned. We kept a Dirt Devil hand held vacuum, in a plastic bag, and used it only for vacuuming out the inside of the stove. Once you use it for that, you can never use it for anything else!
Ours didn't have a gravety feed, but used a low pressure electric fuel pump. We used an automotive inline filter in the fuel line.
We got a small amount of overflow in the pepsi bottle overflow.
Good luck with it. Dick kept us cozy in the Pacific NW

Give them a call. They are good people.
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Old 22-06-2008, 20:39   #6
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Just in case anyone was curious about the outcome of all this, I think I found the issue. It turned out that the pin in the float mechanism which controlled the fuel level in the reservoir was corroded at the tip... so it would tend to stick in the closed position even when the fuel level fell below the inlet for the metering valve.

I'm not able to get a replacement part at the moment, but I filed off the corroded bit and the float and pin seem to operate more smoothly now and I imagine that will take care of the problem.

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