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Thread: Cleaning Waste Oil Burners

  1. #1

    Cleaning Waste Oil Burners

    I have a kwiky burner that I use on both of my furnaces, but after it's shut down for winter and sits, the cooking oil in it tends to turn into a green jello looking crud that jams up everything. I was just curious what you guys use to clean the burners with or how you prepare them for storage so they dont gum up? I end up tearing mine apart each year and soaking it in soapy water, which loosens it up but still needs to be all scraped out after it's loose.

    I love my oil burner but the need to dissassemble everything after each time of using it to clean it is just getting annoying because I usually build up a large pile of patterns, then cast everything all at once, so it'll be months before I cast again if it's just by myself.

  2. #2
    I have no intention to let winter stop me!
    However I'd flush it through with some normal oil (may be in your last burn) or clean it with some type of spirit.
    The Green or Bio bug as it's called here causes a few problems on those here using veg oil or Bio oil in there vehicles.
    The Bio bug is not a single type of organism, there are thousands of different types of bacteria, mould and yeast and such, these added to the fact Bio is very hygroscopic causes then to multiply.
    This is the cause of the gum & green colour.
    I believe there are treatments available to stop it.
    The only time You're not following your nose is when your going backward!.......Andy (ME) .
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Tobho Mott's Avatar
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    Oct 2013
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    First time I have read about anyone having this issue, it certainly has not come up with my drip-style burner. The obvious solution is not wait so long between pours!

    J/K, I don't cast much in the winter either - my furnace is actually snowed in out back in my shed, with a large blizzard supposedly on its way here tonight. I doubt I'll be able to free my furnace before spring...

    I wonder if you were to run the burner for a while after you are done casting, but instead of running it on oil, you ran it on your soap & water mix? Maybe if you did that before letting it sit for a while, it might clean out easier, without any scraping needed. Just a thought.

    Good luck,

    Tobho had learned to work Valyrian steel at the forges of Qohor as a boy. Only a man who knew the spells could take old weapons and forge them anew.

    How I built my oil furnace | My Photo Album | My Videos | TheHomeFoundry Forums

  4. #4
    yea, I thought about running some soapy water through it after shutting it down, or some diesel/kerrosine through it to clean it, but wasnt sure if that would actually work. Im not sure what is going on with the stuff and during the summer, most of the time Im stuck indoors and not being able to work in the foundry, or it rains, so kinda kills every plan I have, and usually causes the patterns to just pile up and the excessive need for more molding flasks so that I can cast out as much as I can while I can. The cooking oil that I have came from a bar and they change it so frequently that there is really nothing in it, it still looks and smells like it's brand new, and after letting it sit for a few days, you dont see much particulate in it at all tbh, so idk what could be causing the gelling.

    Right now, I wish I could go out and cast, but it's around 8-10F(-15 to -12C) during the day most of the time here, so the sand tends to be a frozen block of ice and my casting area is around 40-50 feet from the house, which Im not that good at carrying the molds around without dropping something or something going wrong, lol. Also, alot of the molds I make tend to be heavy enough that carrying them a longer distance is just asking for trouble. As soon as the new shop is finished, Ill have heat in it and I can make the molds from there, but it's still under 1-2 feet of snow and you cant really melt anything or find any place to sit the flasks down to pour at, so winter time is a bust for casting here.

    I was just curious if anyone else had run into this issue and guess that it was just some wierd fluke that Im getting or something.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I would approach this problem from the same angle as I would approach cleaning on the beer lines for my kegs:

    Get a small pump sprayer, a length of hose, and the right fittings and make up a way to run some pressurized cleaner through the burner to clean it out. Use a degreaser like Simple Green or Purple Power; something that dissolves grease. Then flush it with some water.
    "Success is 99% determination"

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wolfcreek-Steve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Central Wisconsin
    There is an algaecide (sp) that truckers use to avoid algae growing in truck fuel tanks. Go to a large truckstop and look around on their fuel treatment shelves.
    What is that squeaking noise?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Zapins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    CT, Hamden
    Switch to ceramic shell then you don't have to wait for sand to unfreeze! Costs about 300 to buy the ceramic shell stuff you need and wax. Join the lost wax dark side!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobho Mott View Post
    First time I have read about anyone having this issue, it certainly has not come up with my drip-style burner.
    I actually had this very problem with the needle valve controlling my drip burner. I just took it apart (not much to it) and sprayed some automotive degreaser through it. No more problems...
    FLAME ON...!!!!

  9. #9
    Administrator Site Admin
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Huatulco, Mexico
    I do most of my casting in the winter. Here the daytime temperature rarely gets above 85 F in the winter, and the humidity is lower.

    At times its seems that half of the posts on here are guys having oil burner problems. I notice the posts about drip-style burner problems are almost non-existent. I keep promoting the joys of drip-style oil burners (some of you will say to the point of being obnoxious) but I fully intend to keep doing it, because they are so simple and they just plain work, with few problems. I did have one problem, I must admit. I let some rain water get in my oil tank a few years ago. That was a problem.

    I clean the drip tube of my Brute before each us, if I remember, with a piece of 14 gauge wire, and occasionally I open the needle valve wide open and pour a bit of diesel oil through the oil tube and then blow through it. That's the full maintenance procedure for a drip burner.

    When I die, Heaven can wait—I want to go to McMaster-Carr.

  10. #10
    That's wild CAE. I have a kwiky burner too and have NEVER cleaned it in 3years. I start on jet fuel (kerosene) and switch to used motor oil that I filter with some really fine mesh screen a few times. The only thing that has screwed me is fuzz from oil filters. Once I started screening, that issue went away. When I shut mine off, I always start with the fuel and let the compressed air blow just for about 5 seconds and remove from the furnace. I stuff an oily rag in the business end of the burner right up against the nozzle tip. Maybe that's why I havent had any issues. hmmm.

    Zap is right, switch to ceramic shell. BUT You're not getting any of it THIS YEAR by mail order. R&R WILL NOT ship during the winter months. If it freezes, the slurry is expensive trash!
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