How to build a Backyard Waste Oil Burner Powered Water Heater to produce Hot Water for your Home

This project goes over the build of a waste oil-powered hot water heater for your home. This converts an old used domestic water heater to run on waste oil, engine oil, or cooking oil. With as little as one liter of waste oil, this heater gives twice the heat output as a domestic electric-powered water heater. As waste oil is easily available, this is more economical than running on gas or electric.


The setup of this waste oil heater is very simple and easy. We have a waste oil burner that is placed under the domestic water heater. The burner is connected to a blower from a car. This blower is powered by a 12V battery charger. The burner is also connected to a drip-feed waste oil pipe through a small pipe.



The oil feed from a suspended tank, which gives it a gravity feed dribbles into the inlet pipe on the burner and it is simply blown into the burner by the force of the air from the blower. To control the oil flow, we have a valve on the oil tank.


The cold water comes through the inlet hose at the bottom of the tank. From there burner just fires the heat up through the center of the heater as it would normally if it was gas-fired. The hot water comes out from an outlet hose at the top of the tank.



The waste oil burner is made out of an old fire extinguisher bottle. The beauty of using extinguisher bottles is you don’t have to worry about any flammable gases in them, and the metal seems to be quite durable.

Make sure that the air and the fuel enter the bottle at a slight angle in order to create some swirling. This makes sure that the air and the fuel mix will burn completely. And also that the bottle is kept hot so that the liquid oil will vaporize and the gas will burn.

The inlet pipe for the waste oil and the blower is positioned at 25 to 35% of the way up to the bottle. The inlet pipe has a small bend in it so as to promote swirling within the bottle. This is important in keeping the bottle hot and self-sustaining. The burner has a clean burn with almost no smoke.

The output of the oil burner can be controlled by the amount of waste oil being dripped into the burner and by the amount of air blown into it. This oil gas burner is more powerful than a gas burner and the heat produced can overpower the heat sink threshold of the water heater. A vent line is installed on the system so that any build-up pressure can be released. Apart from heating hot water, this setup can be used for space heating, pool heating, or garage heating.

Image Credits : Oil Burner

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