We’ve been told too many times what to do to keep the cold away. Central heating is good, but it isn’t always enough and can sometimes be too much and too expensive to run. This is why we often resort to other portable and specific options like torpedo heaters.
They are a very good source of primary or supplementary heat during the winter period. While these torpedo heaters are a lifesaver, they are only machines and at some point may malfunction or even break down.
A common malfunction you may experience is your torpedo heater not burning clean. What could be the cause?
There are quite a number of reasons why your torpedo heater isn’t burning clean. From the type and quality of fuel to the availability of fuel and flow, among other factors.
We’ll explore these options as we go on. Whatever it is, the solution often lies in identifying the fuel that burns cleanest in your torpedo heater.
What Fuel Burns the Cleanest in A Torpedo Heater?
Torpedo heaters are meant to make us comfortable by warming us up. Having a torpedo heater that releases a lot of fumes (carbon monoxide) into the air defeats the purpose of comfort and exposes you to unsafe conditions which can affect your health.
But which fuel do you opt for that burns the cleanest thereby reducing the rate and propensity of fume buildup in your space?
Some torpedo heaters have a multi-fuel feature. This implies that the heater can either use kerosene or diesel. Of these two fuel options, kerosene is the preferred option for fuel that burns the cleanest.
The k-1 kerosene is more expensive, but the diesel thickens when it gets really cold and this makes the torpedo heaters release a lot of fumes. The kerosene barely thickens up and, while the heaters still release fumes, it is usually at a minimal rate.
Aside from these two fuel options, there are other torpedo heaters that use propane. Propane is a colorless gas, and propane torpedo heaters give off fumes at a very slow rate too, often slower than kerosene.
The only time this type of heater produces a lot of carbon dioxide is when incomplete combustion takes place. So, which fuel burns the cleanest in a torpedo heater? It is definitely the propane torpedo heater.
How Do You Flush a Torpedo Heater?
At some point, the climate changes and the cold goes away. The torpedo heaters are not needed anymore, probably till the next winter season. The heater would need to be kept away at this point.
However, putting the torpedo heater away with fuel in it is not a good move as it can harm the heater’s tank. If not properly drained, it gives room for condensation and rust.
Moreso, it is advisable to flush your torpedo heaters too if you have to start using them after it has been stored away for a long period of time.
To flush a torpedo heater before storing it, you need to drain out the fuel from the heater’s tank completely.
You achieve this by using the siphon pump. A siphon pump makes it easier for you to remove the fuel from the torpedo heater’s tank without creating a mess.
Do take precautions when draining your fuel out of the heater’s tank. Check for spills, and clean immediately to avoid an odor. Besides, fuel is flammable so you’d need to be extra careful.
You can use a nose covering also to avoid inhaling the odor which can be toxic. Another way to get your torpedo heater clean before storing is to dry burn.
This simply means that you burn out the fuel till it dries up. This must be done outdoors because of the fumes and the terrible smell it gives off.
When the next winter season comes, there’s a need to clean before use. Cleaning your torpedo heater for use after it has been stored away for a while is important.
Be sure to look at the nozzles too. You can either change the nozzles or flush them using a carb cleaner sprayer.
How Do You Adjust the Airflow on A Torpedo Heater?
Good air pressure is key to having your torpedo heater perform efficiently. When the air pressure is below the specified rate for your heater’s BTU, it fails to produce enough heat to warm up your space and may even shut down the heater.
The air pressure determines the fuel delivery. This implies that if the air pressure is below specifications, the fuel delivery also will be below normal and in return, the heater will underperform.
To adjust the airflow, you must first know the specified air pump pressure for your torpedo heater.
The air pump pressure is measured in PSI and, depending on the BTU output size, the PSI ranges from 3psi to 6psi. The more the drop in psi, the more the drop in fuel delivery.
The next step is to look at the rear of the torpedo heater. You will see two different protrusions: a short one and a long one. You gently take out the short one and put it in your pressure gauge.
The long one is an adjuster screw. By turning it clockwise and looking at the pressure gauge, you can adjust the air pump pressure to the correct PSI. Doing this will bring your heater back to life.
How To Make a Torpedo Heater Burn Cleaner?
After a period of use or sometimes when the torpedo heater is being used again after it had been put away for a really long time, you may notice that the heater is not burning as clean as it is supposed to.
This can be corrected by observing routine maintenance. You can do this by carrying out the following tasks.
1. Cleaning the fan blades
You should clean out all the dust, cobwebs, or any substance that can impede the free movement of the blades. Do this carefully to avoid bending the fan blades out of position.
2. Cleaning the fuel nozzles
This is to be done regularly especially when the heater has just been brought out for use again after a while. You can clean the nozzles by blowing compressed air through them.
3. Cleaning the fuel filter
Once the fuel filter has been disconnected from the fuel lines, it can be cleaned by soaking it in K-1 kerosine. The filter should also be inspected for damage. It should be replaced if damaged.
4. Check the air pressure
Always check the air pressure to be sure it corresponds with the specified amount for your torpedo heater.
Turning the adjustment screw to the right increases the air pressure, while turning to the left reduces the air pressure. It is a clockwise and anti-clockwise movement.
Regular flushing of the torpedo heater’s tank either before it is stored away or before it is used again after a long storage period is also a way of ensuring it burns clean.
This prevents condensation in the tank and also protects it from rust which in turn can contaminate the fuel.
Another way of ensuring your torpedo heater burns clean is the quality of fuel you opt for. For kerosene torpedo heaters, the best fuel to use is k-1 kerosene.
Torpedoes heaters are lifesavers during the winter season. However, it is unavoidable that at certain points these heaters will malfunction and may not burn clean.
Factors that may be responsible for your torpedo heater not burning clean range from the choice of fuel to contaminated fuel, and low air pressure to poor routine maintenance.
Using good fuel such as the k-1 kerosene, and adhering to proper scheduled maintenance will help your torpedo heater perform better and burn clean.
You must regularly check the air pressure to be sure it’s adequate and make adjustments when needed. Cleaning the fan blades, fuel filter and fuel nozzles regularly also helps the heater to burn clean.