Author Topic: Diesel Workshop Heater 1st Year Service.  (Read 963 times)

Offline Joules

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Diesel Workshop Heater 1st Year Service.
« on: March 02, 2020, 12:09:11 PM »
The workshop heater has done about 13 months in the workshop and started to smoke prior to ignition since about December.   I figured it was time to strip it down, de-coke and check the vaporising mesh.  The dissasembly was pretty straight forward apart from damaging the gaskets, they are little more than fireproof cardboard.  The combustion chamber gasket was repaired with high temperature silicon used for stove installation.  I also used this as a replacement for the fan housing gasket, being very cautious not to get silicon on the compressor fan.

Considering my heater is mostly at idle the heat exchanger shows little in the way of soot.  Since I had it apart I used a toothbrush to clean out what was there, but it wasn't much.  The exhaust pipe is coated, but in no way chocking up.   A snag I had not using the original gasket on the fan housing was that the motor shaft is only 1mm clear of the rear of the combustion chamber, you can see the mark the shaft made...  This was due to the clearance the gasket gave.  A quick job with the Dremel got 1.25mm off the shaft and regained clearance using the silicon gasket.  If I had used silicon on the combustion chamber it would have had the correct clearance, but a little extra won't harm here.

What I did find interesting was the mesh present in the combustion chamber (top of picture), it must have started breaking down and not acting as a wick anymore, some mesh is present inside the cavity around the wall, so I guess this also helped in vaporising fuel and aid ignition once hot.   The vaporising meshes sold are just wound and pushed into the port where the heater goes, you don't seem to get one with the heater as none was present on mine, only the mesh in the combustion chamber.    It's not a problem to make your own, mine shown here is fine mesh rolled on a 6mm drill to form it.   This is then pushed into the port using the heater to seat it, screw the heater in by hand to set the mesh in position and be careful no wires come loose from the mesh and get trapped in the thread.

My mesh was rolled from a piece 18mm x 30mm and took a couple of minutes to make.   The heater can be reassembled and installed back, oh worth swapping over the fuel filter whilst your at it, mine had got pretty funky after a year.   My heater is back in service, I altered the position of the external fan a little to stop it rubbing as it did on occasions, the mouldings aren't that great and you can see quite a bit of runout towards the blades where the fan has relaxed after moulding.

So if your heater has started smoking, it's definitely time to fit, or replace the vaporising mesh.

 
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Offline Joules

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Re: Diesel Workshop Heater 1st Year Service.
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2020, 04:06:16 AM »
Well that was a FAIL....

Yesterdays tests went well, no smoke and heater started no problem.   Today, loads of smoke and failure to light.   Scratching my head, wondering if the glow plug was on its way out.   Nope, the mesh I installed had choked up and held enough fuel to chill the plug below ignition.  Kind of explains why the mesh WASN'T around the plug.   :bang:

Sooooo, pulled the mesh and the heater worked fine, other than a little smoke and for longer as it cleared the residue out the heat exchanger.

My mesh was a big fail, so wondering where it goes and looking at the amount of residue, my mesh may be too fine.  I guess you are supposed to somehow jam it into the combustion chamber, but no way I can see you can get a 9mm roll of courser mesh into that cavity.    Looks like I live with a little smoke at the start for now.

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Offline awemawson

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Re: Diesel Workshop Heater 1st Year Service.
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2020, 05:41:46 AM »
What determines the volume of fuel supplied to the burner - is there a calibrated jet? Perhaps it's over fueling?

Or conversely under airing?

Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Joules

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Re: Diesel Workshop Heater 1st Year Service.
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2020, 06:44:14 AM »
Just the blower and pump control the fuel air mixture, no jet.   It relies on a trickle of fuel down the glow plug combusting on contact, once the combustion chamber is hot the fuel vapour spontaniously combusts and keeps the mesh in the combustion chamber glowing, bit like a hot bulb engine.  The glow plug is turned off once the temperature raises above a set limit.  Too much mesh in contact with the plug just soaks away the heat and holds liquid fuel, this fuel then just chars, but doesn't ignite causing the carbon build up.  A bit of smoke at the start is the lesser of two evils for now.   Looking at the picture you can see the section above the glow plug tip is discoloured but no carbonised fuel.  That is why the glow plug is turned on and the fan ramped up at shut down, to clear residue for the next run.
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Offline mc

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Re: Diesel Workshop Heater 1st Year Service.
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2020, 02:48:47 PM »
I was wondering how your home made mesh would hold up.

I've only ever serviced Eberspachers, but their mesh is more like a metal mesh version of an air stone.
Actually, having just done a search trying to find a photo, this page shows one unwound, and they're actually five different layers - https://www.letonkinoisvarnish.co.uk/d2_d4_service_2.html


I have been considering one of these Chinese heaters for the workshop, but I've not been cold enough this year to finally spend the money. However, I'm lead to believe this facebook group is the best place for finding spare parts for them - https://www.facebook.com/groups/146837062640024/

Offline Joules

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Re: Diesel Workshop Heater 1st Year Service.
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2020, 05:49:50 PM »
Thanks, interesting links.  I would love to switch to heating oil, however for the quantities I need it just isnít available at a reasonable price.  I get through 150 litres a year, will have to see how the price of a barrel compares to the red diesel we have been using.

Interesting point that they claim the mesh is coated with a catalyst.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2020, 07:13:23 PM by Joules »
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Offline kayzed1

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Re: Diesel Workshop Heater 1st Year Service.
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2020, 07:27:43 PM »
Just a note on spares for the Chinese heaters, i get my stuff from the Banggood site. I am currently awaiting over Temp sensor about £4.50 each so ordered two plus two glow plugs, brand new unit bought in November but never worked...no chance of a replacement from them as they are giving me the run around. So easy to buy the parts and fix it. This is a mates heater, mine has run with out fault for two winters so far.

Offline Joules

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Re: Diesel Workshop Heater 1st Year Service.
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2020, 10:47:20 AM »
To summarise the first year service, pretty much a tooth brush is all you need.   Clean out the combustion chamber and heat exchanger, examine the outer casing for any signs of leak/staining, fuel or exhaust .  Buy new gaskets if you aren't confident using high temperature silicon.  Now the excess fuel that soaked into the engine has burned off, very little smoke again at start.   I suppose in this case the smoke indicated that the soot was holding fuel vapour causing the smokey starts.

No regrets, and it's just in my nature to fiddle with things like the mesh.   No doubt next years service will have further meddling  :smart:
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Offline John Rudd

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Re: Diesel Workshop Heater 1st Year Service.
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2020, 11:24:18 AM »
I got one of these.....Not had it long, but works very well.
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Offline Joules

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Re: Diesel Workshop Heater 1st Year Service.
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2020, 12:46:44 PM »
Go on John, fit an afterburner.
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Offline kayzed1

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Re: Diesel Workshop Heater 1st Year Service.
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2020, 02:20:20 PM »
My cab heater works very well in the shed, 10' by 16'

Offline John Rudd

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Re: Diesel Workshop Heater 1st Year Service.
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2020, 03:06:50 PM »
Go on John, fit an afterburner.

Lol.....like this? 😂
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Offline Neubert1975

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Re: Diesel Workshop Heater 1st Year Service.
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2020, 06:52:38 AM »
Joules
I use one of these heaters in my workshop too, the 5Kw all in one.
Do you use the afterburner, and if so, is it worth the investment ?