Monday, July 2, 2018

Dickenson Heater Maintenance

Dickenson Diesel-fired Heater
Have one of these?

Is the flame getting smaller and smaller over the years?

If so, eventually it will need to be cleaned - estimated MTB cleanings is about 15 years.  Diesel fuel is not quite free of ash - so ash will accumulate in the pot.  But more importantly, the diesel cokes out from the heat of the burner, leaving behind deposits of carbon.  These accumulate in the bottom of the pot.

But even more importantly than that, the carbon also accumulates in the fuel entrance to the pot, at its center bottom.  The feed from the float tank to the pot is strictly by gravity, with the head driving the flow only a couple of inches...  it doesn't take much to significantly decrease the flow when there is only this tiny pressure to drive it.
Thankfully, Dickenson anticipated this, and provided an easy port for cleaning.

If you look at the fitting where the diesel enters the pot (look from the bottom of the heater), you will see that instead of an elbow (which would have sufficed), Dickenson used a tee.  If you remove the plug from the bottom of the tee (watch out, some diesel will escape - have a container under the fitting when you remove the plug), you will find that you can push a typical Phillips screwdriver up thru the tee and into the pot.  This will clear out any coked out diesel or ash that has accumulated in the feed and entrance to the pot.

Next, you should also remove the copper pipe which leads from the float tank to the tee and clean it - some carbon may either have accumulated in it where it attaches to the tee, or may have been pushed into the pipe when the screwdriver was used to clean out the tee.

(Yeah, I know I am talking about heater maintenance in July, but: PNW)


1 comment:

Melt Alaska said...

Another factor in Dickenson Heaters not burning very well is the ultra low sulfur fuel we all burn now. It does not evaporate as well as the good'ol diesel and needs a higher temperture to evaporate and get up to where the compustions is supposed to take place. We added a "low-sulfur fuel baffle" and solved most of out Dickenson blues and have a happy warm glow with much less soot and carbon.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...