Eltex greenhouse heater

Discussion in 'Greenhouse Growing' started by justsomeguy, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi everyone, I am new to using a greenhouse and am lucky enough to have been giver an Eltex parrafin heater (see photo). Can anyone give me some help in its correct operation, which controls do what etc!! There are 2 screw adjusters on the right and a lever on the left.
     
  2. Marley Farley

    Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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    Hi & welcome to GC.. Yes the lever on the left is to snuff out the flames & the two with the knurled knobs are to adjust the height of the wick & the size of your flame the higher the flame the hotter it gets, BUT don't have the flames too high as it will smoke badly.. Ideally it should be a nice rounded yellow flame I think if my memory serves correctly. You will need to trim the wicks weekly as well. Oh & one last thing.. Empty out the parrafin left in it at the end of the winter, don't leave it in over winter as it goes stale & will not light.... :thumb: That certainly was a lucky gift have fun as they are excellent heaters..
     
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    • wilroda

      wilroda Gardener

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      I have a similar one to yours, and despite trimming the wick It seems to have a mind of its own!

      I set the flame height....check it a few minutes later, its got too high, turn it down....back a later and the flame it too high again!! - even thought the wick is short.

      Maybe I am aiming for a flame thats too small but i thought you were supposed to have a flame that was only just under an inch high with no smoke coming off it....
       
    • justsomeguy

      justsomeguy Apprentice Gardener

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      Hi guys, thanks to both of you for the information. What I am realy hoping for is warmer weather to arrive as soon as I light up the heater!! Maybe that is a bit optomistic for Oldham.
      Thanks again.:old:
       
    • Marley Farley

      Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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      :dh: Gosh yes, I think you may be a tad optimistic for Oldham.. Don't forget to check & adjust the flame after 5 & 10 mins justsomeguy.. Forgot that bit sorry..:dh: :hehe: I maintain my greenhouse through the winter at around 10-12c.. I insulate it well.. I used to use paraffin but have switched to propane now..

      :wink: Wilroda not sure what heater yours is but they all need fine tuning & you will find the height for yours without smoking.. I used to light mine while I was doing something else up there if I could because my rule was check & adjust after 5 mins, then check & adjust again after after 10 mins, well, that always worked for me anyway.. They do smell horrid if turned that little bit too high & smoking..
       
    • Steve R

      Steve R Soil Furtler

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      Knowing nothing about parrafin itself, is there a "grade" of it thats best to use? And where is the best/cheapest place to source it from?

      Many thanks

      Steve...:)
       
    • Marley Farley

      Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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      Hi Steve, no there is no grade as such as far as I know, but you can get the Parasene kind from b&q which is about £7 I think but it is supposed to be a cleaner not so smelly burn..
      Or you can get regular old parrafin from the local garage at £4... Both per gallon size..

      Paraffin just stinks full stop whether you by the expensive or the cheap I think, but the plants actually seem to like that..!!
       
    • Steve R

      Steve R Soil Furtler

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      Many thanks Marley..

      Steve...:)
       
    • Dave W

      Dave W Total Gardener

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      I've used both types and it doesn't really make a blind bit of difference provided you've got the burners set properly. I used to buy in bulk (10 galls) but now just have to content myself with the 1 gallon containers.
       
    • Steve R

      Steve R Soil Furtler

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      Dave, how long do you run your heater for, whats your paraffin consumption?

      I bought a gallon and have used it up in around three days. Fair enough I was fiddling with it so may well have used too much due to flaring etc etc

      Steve...:)
       
    • Dave W

      Dave W Total Gardener

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      Mine is a Parasene heater Steve with a double wick and I guess I get a week at least (see below) from a 4 litre container. I use it as little as possible and last year managed to get away without using it at all. We've got a fairly big sun porch that is frost free so I now bring my early toms and cucs on in it for as long as possible. I've also got a bigish heated propagator in the greenhouse and often use that to provide a bit of bottom heat to pots when they are first moved into the greenhouse which itself is partly double glazed fully bubble wrapped and has a concrete floor and brick walls - this all helps keep it a bit warmer than a standard greenhouse.

      In the past I would heat the greenhouse from early April into early May, but usually only lit the heater at nights and also had a bubble wrap divider and door half way up the greenhouse so the area being heated was only about 6 feet by seven feet.

      Sorry not a very good answer - doubt if it will help you much!
       
    • Marley Farley

      Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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      Steve I found 1 gallon of paraffin lasted around a week, sometimes longer & sometimes not quite so long if it was very cold in an 8x6 greenhouse, but if you are only going to use it now with a double burner I would expect a around a week + from a gallon..!! :wink: You do have to set the flame properly or it will burn away though, are you sure they were not smoking..?? :wink: Have another try.. I know this is moving away a tad, but I do have to say now though that I am very pleased with my propane heaters in the greenhouses & after ripping through the first bottle at break neck speed :dh: about 2 weeks...!! I now use a lg bottle of propane every 5 weeks, or more hopefully as it warms up. So after the initiall out lay each of my greenhouses cots about £20 to heat per month with propane.. They are thermostatically controlled & they are working out very well... There is no smell & it is very clean. The plants are all enjoying it too..!! It is actually a pleasure for me now to do things in the GHs now & not come away smelling of paraffin..!! :D
       
    • JWK

      JWK Gardener

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      I've used and no longer bother with parafin heaters, last year I tried an electric warming cable to take the chill off but that was not a success. So it's interesting to learn about your propane heaters Marley, I've never considered that. What make of propane heater did you get and was it expensive?
       
    • Marley Farley

      Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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      Hi John, this is what I have 2 of these..
      [​IMG]
      I think they cost around about £100 John, you also have to add in the initial cost of the propane bottles, I now have 4 & I am always covered at run out time on both heaters but the cost doesn't really come into it as the benefits far outway the cost for me John..
      :mad: I have lost precious plants when the paraffin heaters misbehaved or suddenly started smoking badly in the middle of the night & you are greeted by paraffin smoke damaged plants... That happened 1 time too many, hence the propane heaters for me now & I have never looked back.. :thmb::D
       
    • JWK

      JWK Gardener

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      Thanks for that Marley. I too have had issues with paraffin heaters in the past going out and losing precious plants - its very disheartening.
       
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