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Old 05-20-11, 01:57 AM   #6
Apprentice EcoRenovator
Join Date: Jun 2010
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So I was kind of disappointed with the svo burner put it on the shelf for a month or so, busy with other stuff, but over the last week began working on it again.
Decided that the big problem was heat loss, so built a metal box, and built a series of U shaped tubes. Mounted them so that some are in the fire box and some are on top of the firebox (2 rectangular clay chimney sections) put in the stainless steel expanded metal to try and make a hot place to burn all the oil vapor. Oil vapor condensing on the water pipes is a problem. Closed up the rear end with fire bricks, put pieces of cement board against the sides of the firebox and one on top of the pipes on the outside of the firebox. Then filled the whole thing with perlite. Lo & behold once we got it lit, which was a bit of a struggle, as I had "improved" the oil gun, - gonna put it back the way it used to be cause it worked better than the improvement. Any way got it lit on propane, then turned on the oil, had to keep a little bit of propane going to keep things hot enough, but we got the hot tub up to temp in about two hours. from 90 deg to 105 deg. Just about the same speed as the propane heater we were using.

svo water heater

Please no cracks about my soldering - it did not leak - & thats good enough!!!
The big prob is trying to get the firebox hot enough to vaporize all the svo, while cooling it with water running through the pipes. Still gonna have to tinker with it, but burning svo to heat our hill billy hot tub will save us about $65/month on propane & we had to use elec to pump the water anyway so that is not an additional expense.

Last edited by nibs; 05-20-11 at 01:59 AM.. Reason: note re soldering
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