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Old 04-12-2017, 14:42   #1
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Diesel not vaporizing in Newport Heater

We have had our Dickinson Newport diesel heater for a few years with no problems, keeping us toasty warm on Vancouver Island.

About a month ago, it quit working properly. The flame won't rise up in the burner. It lights, slowly, but the small flame stays below the burner.

Checked the flow rate. It's fine. Took apart the metering valve. It's clean. Fuel definitely getting to the burner, but it's not getting hot.

Then I turn it off and it continues burning, weakly, for about 30 minutes or longer.

Any ideas?
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Old 04-12-2017, 14:51   #2
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Re: Diesel not vaporizing in Newport Heater

Are the air holes blocked? The ones in the burner itself?
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Old 04-12-2017, 14:59   #3
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Re: Diesel not vaporizing in Newport Heater

In case you don't have a manual http://www.dickinsonmarine.com/Manua...ual-2011-2.pdf

Sounds like you don't have enough combustion air to match the fuel.

Note: If you are burning old diesel,or "summer" diesel in cold weather,it can cause similar smoldering because of higher viscosity. Winter diesel is lower viscosity.

Just a couple of possibilities,since you say you have thoroughly cleaned the firepot,carb,etc.

Check the carb float adjustment vs. the instructions for changing fuel types.

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Old 04-12-2017, 15:26   #4
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Old 04-12-2017, 16:51   #5
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Re: Diesel not vaporizing in Newport Heater

Sounds like old fuel or fuel with emulsified water.
When I was a commercial fisherman, most of us had a tank just for the stove and used #1 diesel for the stove. And back then (about 1980) #2 diesel was much better than today's diesel. Refined diesel comes with additives for stability, etc., that only last a couple months. As the fuel ages, it starts to decompose, absorbs water and stuff grows.
What I do now is use a fuel supplement the increases combustion efficiency, expels water, and so on. It also gives me better mileage and I can store fuel a long time.
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:13   #6
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Re: Diesel not vaporizing in Newport Heater

Lepke, would love to hear what sort of additive you can add to diesel that might make it burn hotter in a Dickinson heater. Was in a local shop this morning and he had a container of this on the shelf. I bought it, but might not use it if you have a better suggestion.

The fuel was pumped aboard in September from a busy fuel dock, so maybe three months old.

I thought we had used it before, and burned it in the heater, but talking to my wife last night she convinced me that we had used this fuel over the summer, but during the winter we had always burned fuel from another source near our home dock.

The air holes are not blocked.

Deblen, I have that manual and one that is specific to the Newport. I might have to take the metering valve apart again.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 05-12-2017, 11:21   #7
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Re: Diesel not vaporizing in Newport Heater

When you say that it continues to burn for 30 minutes after shutting down I immediately suspect too much fuel and or not enough pre-heating . This can be an issue with a newly cleaned heater. Also heat from above may not be being carried to the fuel inlet efficiently. (I don't know how Dickerson does it as I am only familiar with Sigmarine.)

At any rate try extending your pre heat time, check your setup carefully and see how it goes.
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Old 05-12-2017, 14:40   #8
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Re: Diesel not vaporizing in Newport Heater

I am familiar with this problem when we lived aboard and used the unit constantly. I'll bet the burner and deflector are all black too. I eventually used a day tank and started using kerosene which is a lot less viscous in winter. I also added the fan assembly to ensure airflow was maximum. Low thermostat temps also played havoc, so we kept the temp up and opened ports as necessary.
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Old 05-12-2017, 15:25   #9
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Re: Diesel not vaporizing in Newport Heater

Greg,

We burned kerosene in a Refleks heater that we installed on a previous boat. Heater was brilliant, using a separate tank, and we lived aboard then in a climate colder than Vancouver Island.

sailor ed,

We light the Dickinson the same way we lit the Refleks, an ounce or so of methylated spirits, getting the burner very hot before turning on the diesel. Until recently it worked brilliantly, vaporized immediately, and kept the pot clean.
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Old 05-12-2017, 16:17   #10
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Re: Diesel not vaporizing in Newport Heater

Funny, I had the opposite problem with a Dickensen Adriatic, urned TOO hot, actually went into thermal runaway once. Readjusted the carb as low as I could seemed to do the trick.

The stove is in a small cabin, it gives about 40F of temp rise, minimum. That limits how much we use it.
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Old 05-12-2017, 16:55   #11
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Re: Diesel not vaporizing in Newport Heater

You may want to try adding some diesel anti-jell / cold weather conditioner to your fuel system. Its meant to keep the diesel from jelling in Artic cold "Which your are no where near" but it does contain naphtha and or Benzene which makes the fuel ignite easier as well as keeping it fluid.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:06   #12
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Re: Diesel not vaporizing in Newport Heater

Tried two things last night and Newport burned better.

Added the STP 5 in 1 diesel treatment mentioned above and drained about two cups through the heater to get to the treated diesel.

I had called the place that sold me the Dickinson and they said it or any treatment could help as long as it had a cetane boost. They also said, as sailor_ed suggested, that the reason the flame took so long to go out was that the diesel was pooling at the bottom of the heater.

I also adjusted the damper which I think was opened a bit too much and not enough air was getting to the flame.

Started it again, turning it up very slowly. The flame did not get very high but seemed for the most part was getting out of the burner.

After a few hours I turned it off and the flame went out quickly.

We are almost there, I think. Thanks for the help. Might go looking for a conditioner like Wayfarer1008 suggested with naptha or benzene.
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