I bought a little diesel heater….

…..the heater is a 5KW Vevor. It’s about the size of a thick briefcase. It’s a Chinese knock-off of the hugely-more expensive Wabasto or Espar German-made units that have been around forever. The Vevor cost Can$ 200.00. Espar is C$1400. According to You-Tube, the Chinese knock-offs work just fine. It appeals to me because they (YT) also claim the units will burn just about any kind of oil including waste oil. They will even burn imprecise ‘mixes’ of oils.

So, I can use up some old kerosene, add in some waste engine oil from a genset or outboard oil change, mix in some diesel and, when in town, pick up 5 gallons of home heating oil. I can throw the whole mess in one barrel, give it a shake and a stir and whatever the new mix is, it will burn.

That’s good. Recycling oil is impossible now. We used to have an oil recapture tank ten miles away but the Feds decided collecting waste oil was too much trouble for them so they took it out. That would be a Transport Canada decision. That was NOT Environment Canada nor was it Fisheries and Oceans Canada. I am not sure they talk much amongst themselves.

To be fair, the locals recycle old oil the smart way, anyway. I had just bought a gallon of chainsaw bar oil one day when a neighbour said, “What the hell, man! Don’t buy that crap. Use your old engine oil. It will lubricate a chainsaw just fine!” I only have to be yelled at once. So I switched to ‘dirty’ oil on the chain lube and I now recycle by spraying a fine mist of dirty oil instead of new expensive red-coloured oil all over my firewood.

“Dave, why would you need a small diesel heater?”

I didn’t used to need one. Well, maybe I did but I kinda lucked out for 18 years with either mild winters or cold ones that had me fly away to southern climes. I endured a few cold winters but the worst would inflict only a one or two day cold snap (below freezing) and my exposed house plumbing was at risk. I used heat tapes to save it. And that sufficed for a long time.

Now? Not so much. Several factors have changed. Firstly, we ain’t flying south. We ain’t driving south, either. We’ve been staying put. The wanderlust is still alive albeit not as intense as when we were younger. Plus we have dogs! But the main reason is fear and loathing. Loathing for anything immediately south – hard to visit the US these days. And we have a fear or, at least an aversion to flying. Not keen on Covid and foreign countries in turmoil either.

That last one is not really a big problem. Countries have been in turmoil my whole life. I still go. Only Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador have really been scary and only El Salvador was scary enough to get out and get out NOW! So, it is really more of a function of hating airports, red tape, Covid and all the restrictions and now the extra distance involved having to go further by air. Those 16 hour flights accompanied by 4 hour lay-overs, two hour waits and lost luggage have diminished the appeal, ya know?

But, I digress…..the heater is for the new under-house insulated plumbing mechanical room I plan to construct this summer (only two winters late). I intend to make the plumbing freeze proof by heating the whole system for as long as a cold snap prevails. This year we had ten days of below freezing and this winter is not over. We expect a few more cold days starting tomorrow.

If climate change means what it seems to be meaning, I have to change, too. I am going to have to address making some ‘accommodation’ for it all. And NOT just winter. We may have to make some heat-tempering adjustments for future summers as well.

11 thoughts on “I bought a little diesel heater….

  1. I didn’t know these heaters. Just looked it up and they seem OK. I just can’t figure out what happens with the exhaust fumes. Since it is burning fuel, there should be some smoke, no? Climate is definitely changing, so we’d better prepare!


    • There is an exhaust outlet on the bottom and a two foot flex exhaust hose included. Mine will likely be mounted outside but, if inside the room, very close to the outside so that I can service it.


  2. Good luck on that dirty oil. I have burned out 2 pumps and had to strip mine down 2 times to keep it alive. Im burning the same oil that my motors get. Maybe put a real filter in line


  3. If it burns diesel.
    It should burn biodiesel.
    I wonder if you could visit some of the fast food joints in Campbell River and take a free 5 gallon bucket of old cooking oil off their hands.
    Nothing like the entire cabin smelling like french fries to drive the bears CRAZY!


  4. We have one in our van. It works well and really warms the place up. The problem comes when the place has reached the required temp and the controller throttles back the burn rate. It then can soot up very fast.

    They work well esp at full throttle.


  5. That does not bode well since I was gonna throttle it right down. Don’t need a lot of heat to keep a closet space (about 2m x 2m x 2m) warm. Damn. Maybe kerosene will burn better?


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