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#445609 - 03/25/08 07:11 PM Burning Kerosene in my Oil Furnace????
rerunjas Offline
first timer

Registered: 03/25/08
Posts: 1
Loc: Virginia, USA
Hello, Will Kerosene burn OK and not harm my Oil Furnace which uses #2 Heating Oil(Deisel)??? If you know, please answer. James

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#445610 - 03/25/08 08:41 PM Re: Burning Kerosene in my Oil Furnace???? [Re: rerunjas]
HeatPro Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/30/04
Posts: 28022
Loc: South New Jersey
To have a very simple answer, I'll write
YES
and
NO.
You now have a simple answer.

However, your fuel dealer delivered a certain quantity of fuel oil of a particular fuel for your region. As there is no specific quantity of kerosene being indicated, there is no specific answer. If a few gallons of kerosene is added to a tank of fuel, then you might not notice the difference.
If instead you plan to burn a mixture that is mostly kerosene, then be warned that kerosene has a different flow than fuel oil, so your burner might soot up and quit because the fuel/air mixture settings will be right for the original fuel, but not for kerosene.
_________________________
Friends tell people how to live past 60.

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#445611 - 03/27/08 04:57 PM Re: Burning Kerosene in my Oil Furnace???? [Re: HeatPro]
Holmesuser01 Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 1441
Loc: Asheville, NC USA
My parents have been burning kerosene in their oil furnace for over 15 years. As an old HVAC service tech, I check it out yearly. Zero problems.

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#445612 - 03/28/08 12:40 PM Re: Burning Kerosene in my Oil Furnace???? [Re: rerunjas]
jdevlin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 7973
Loc: Welland Ont. Canada
#2 heating, diesel and kerosene are not the same thing. They are very similar often interchangeable but not the same thing.
_________________________
Please do not Private Message with questions that can be answered in a Forum. I will not respond.

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#445613 - 03/28/08 02:03 PM Re: Burning Kerosene in my Oil Furnace???? [Re: Holmesuser01]
HeatPro Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/30/04
Posts: 28022
Loc: South New Jersey
Quote:

My parents have been burning kerosene in their oil furnace for over 15 years


Just as a precaution when advising nationally and even internationally - as opposed to local experiences. Different regions of the country (you might be aware of the isocline maps dividing the country) have different oil viscosities provided by dealers, just as diesel fuel providers, to compensate for temperature differences.
http://kozmik.guelph.on.ca/gtdproject/fluids/localdiesel.htm

You might be less aware that oil burner nozzle manufacturers provide different nozzles with burners sold to specific areas to compensate for these viscosity adjustments, so determining which manufacturers specify certain nozzles. I became aware of this as national training manager of an international HVAC manufacturer and also as a training manager representing residential boiler manufacturers, so view internet recommendations from an international view to include regional differences. Repairmen rarely have experience in several regions of one country and are more likely to have spent a service lifetime in a few states.


You may consider kerosene as simple to adjust for and burn, especially when a competent mechanic.

HOWEVER! WARNING! DANGER!
Do not be made insensitive that the appliance manufacturer will specify which fuel the furnace is to be operated with and which nozzles are to be used. The result of merely saying:
"Well I did it for years and got away with it"
or
"Go ahead and don't worry"
CAN BE FATAL!
especially to the novice that has neither the experience to recognize a bad burn nor has the instruments to do anything about it. Novices usually view fuel oil as a single product with no changes, similar to water, but more like beer, pretty much the same thing with different 'flavors' instead of something that can bring their heater out of adjustment.

What you did NOT say thankfully was
"I delivered #2 oil sometimes and kerosene sometimes and so far my 400 customers haven't all disappeared yet."
_________________________
Friends tell people how to live past 60.

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#445614 - 03/28/08 03:07 PM Re: Burning Kerosene in my Oil Furnace???? [Re: rerunjas]
Clint_Robbins Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/19/01
Posts: 10326
Loc: Akron, OH
FYI - oil fuels are identified by viscosity with #1 being the thinest and #6 being the thickest. Therefore, kerosene (#1) will flow easier than #2 fuel oil and, as others have stated, might require different nozzles and/or burner settings.

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#445615 - 03/30/08 04:57 PM Re: Burning Kerosene in my Oil Furnace???? [Re: Clint_Robbins]
Holmesuser01 Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 1441
Loc: Asheville, NC USA
I am sorry about my previous post. When we switched to K-1, I did reduce the nozzle size, and checked the flue with a CO2 tester. Please excuse my forgetfulness.

I will watch myself in future postings.

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#445616 - 03/30/08 06:05 PM Re: Burning Kerosene in my Oil Furnace???? [Re: Holmesuser01]
HeatPro Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/30/04
Posts: 28022
Loc: South New Jersey
Such occasion to miss cautioning others "not to do this without a professional" is very understandable - and not meant on my part to imply purposeful neglect. To urge caution by showing care for your parents machine within the same thread is FAR better than the many times others have taken the occasion to defend their lack of precaution.

Thank you.
_________________________
Friends tell people how to live past 60.

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#445617 - 03/31/08 10:03 AM Re: Burning Kerosene in my Oil Furnace???? [Re: HeatPro]
Holmesuser01 Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 1441
Loc: Asheville, NC USA
All this said, and with the added cost of K-1 over #2, I am very happy with the condition of the burner on the parential furnace. The firebox is clean with minimal soot build-up anywhere. Cleaned the heat exchanger with the old shop vac and a wire brush and got little crud from inside of it.

When I worked in HVAC and went to customers homes, I was amazed at how clogged up some of the furnaces were... even ones that were under maintenance agreements for power-vacummings every 5 years.

I also had the pleasure (?) of running the power-vac truck. We called the truck "BIG NASTY" for a good reason!

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#445618 - 03/31/08 10:19 AM Re: Burning Kerosene in my Oil Furnace???? [Re: Holmesuser01]
HeatPro Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/30/04
Posts: 28022
Loc: South New Jersey
Yes. The benefit of running kerosene is its cleanliness. The benefit of #2 oil is its reduced expense due to allowing sulphur to be burned instead of refined away. New rules for low-sulphur fuel in trucks and homes also increases the cost.
http://www.ec.gc.ca/cleanair-airpur/CAOL/OGEB/fuels/reports/cnslt_rpts/fqp/tables1_e.htm

Most customers aren't aware of the difference, so look at the two products as very similar. The latest marketing promotions for residential fuel oil were called 'Clean Burn' which assumed a dealer could leave a burner without service for many years due to clean fuel. However, the 'real world' still requires the careful service you give your parents - but for all customers. #2 fuel oil isn't at the kerosene cleanliness level yet, and maybe never will be.

There can be great danger when the furnace is set to burn kerosene, then the homeowner discovers that #2 fuel oil of unknown content is switched in to 'save money.'
_________________________
Friends tell people how to live past 60.

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