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Old 25-11-2012, 11:17   #1
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Priming Dickinson Heater With Alcohol

I have read here that staring my Dickinson "Newport" heater with alcohol can help to eliminate a lot of the soot I have been experiencing with the unit. Does anyone have any experience with this prochedure and if so can you please indicate how it would be done, what type of alcohol as well as what benefits would be gained over starting cold with diesel.
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Old 25-11-2012, 11:57   #2
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Re: Priming Dickinson Heater With Alcohol

Hello, It is a subject that I used to be quite passionate about. I spent years of my working life and also on our sailboat nursing the dickinson heaters. The alcohol treatment works great. A few subtle nuances though.
What we used to do,,,,, Make sure the pot is clean of as much previous soot as possible. Turn on the carb and wait until you see the first indications of diesel welling up in the bottom. (flashlight in hand) Turn off carb and pour in about a tablespoon of methyl hydrate (alcohol) We either filled the cap of the alcohol container or even better kept a sqeeze bottle of the starter fluid for the pupose. Light the alcohol with a bbq lighter and watch the pretty blue flame until it starts to turn yellow as the bit of diesel catchs and starts to burn. Now turn on the carb and it should be good to go. If you don't have the diesel already to go in the tube, when you first pour in the alcohol it will wash any existing soot down the tube and plug it up. Also , you want the little bit of diesel in the bottom of the pot starting to get pre-heated. If it seems like the raw diesel is starting to get ahead of itself,ie ccoming in faster than it is burning, just turn off the carb until the flame dies down, then turn back on. If it doesn't work the first time you try it, don't repeat the process until the pot has cooled down. If you try too soon, the alcohol will give that cute little whuuuump sound and blow soot all over your interior.
This sounds like complicated instructions, sorry about that, but after about 2-3 times of doing it, you will be an expert.
cheers,greg
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Old 25-11-2012, 16:46   #3
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Re: Priming Dickinson Heater With Alcohol

Thanks Greg, can you please explain the benefits of starting with alchol as well as maybe the over the counter name for the type of alcohol you used.
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Old 26-11-2012, 07:20   #4
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Re: Priming Dickinson Heater With Alcohol

Methyl Hydrate (CH3OH) is “wood alcohol”, also known as methanol, methyl alcohol, wood naphtha, or wood spirits; and is most often used as an antifreeze, solvent, fuel, and as a denaturant for ethanol.
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:25   #5
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Re: Priming Dickinson Heater With Alcohol

G'Day cburger,

As I mentioned in your other thread, we have a "Fab-All" heater on board... very similar to the Dickenson. We have used the lighting protocol that they suggest in the manual:

1. Take 1/4 sheet of toilet tissue, roll up into a "wick"
2. Soak in alcohol (we use what is called "Methylated Spirits" here in Oz, which is mostly ethanol with a shot of methanol added to render it undrinkable and untaxed).
3.Pour about an ounce of the alcohol into the burner pot.
4. Light the soaked wick and drop into the pot. Close the door.
5. Turn on forced draft fan and set the "carburetor" to the 3 setting.
6. After circa 10 minutes, raise the setting to whatever you require... it's all done.

As mentioned before, we've not had any sooting problems.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 27-11-2012, 17:22   #6
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Re: Priming Dickinson Heater With Alcohol

Thanks All.
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Old 27-11-2012, 21:38   #7
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It pre heats the ring and other parts causing heat and no soot. When the diesel starts it burns preheated instead of a cold start
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