I recently bought a Chinese Diesel heater to heat my green house during cold spring nights. Here I will share some important tricks and precautions I found while using the device.
⛽ Using alternative fuels
You can reduce your Diesel consumption by mixing it with rapeseed oil that was used for cooking. Make sure that during cooking no extra water is added. Of course, some water from the cooked food will get into the oil but these are small amounts. I would only use oil that was used for frying. I can recommend a maximum mixture of 25% rapeseed oil and 75% Diesel. Old motor oil can also be used with a ratio of 35% motor oil and 65% Diesel.
There are some cases where the heater can leak fuel. It is important to prevent the fuel from reaching the earth because even small amounts of oil (Diesel is also an oil) can make the ground water and earth unusable. It won’t destroy your plants, but it is very toxic for YOU and animals.
I placed the whole heater inside a plastic tub to collect all liquids that may leave the device. Special care must be taken, so that the exhaust pipe does not touch the tub (would melt it or set it on fire). I placed a brick between the exhaust pipe in the back to prevent the heater from sliding closer to the wall. This type of heater has feet that are too short. Therefore, the exhaust pipe would touch the tub at the bottom. I screwed some wood to the feet to raise it about 2cm from the ground.
One day the heater had a problem where it didn’t completely burn the fuel. This caused some oil to drip out of the air inlet. In my case the air inlet is outside of the tub I placed under the heater (I take the air from outside the green house for combustion). Due to this, the tub wouldn’t collect this oil. To prevent a fuel leak, I made a loop with the air inlet hose which rises higher than the heater. This leads to the hose filling up with oil and blocking the air inlet in case of a fault. As a consequence, the heating flame will be extinguished, and the device enters an error mode. The oil level will never rise over the top of the loop because at this point the heater would be completely flooded. There are also some other ways to make the air inlet secure from leaks. For the exhaust nearly the same techniques can be used but this is not a problem in my setup since my exhaust pipe rises straight up into the air for about two meters (would flood the heater if fuel leaks).