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How to service a Refleks heater


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Part 1 The case

 

The Refleks heater I've got in the butty is about twenty years old. It's given excellent service for only the minimum of attention – which mainly consists of chucking in cleaning tablets now and again, dropping a weight on a bit of string to clear soot from the flue, hoovering out the muck from the bottom of the burner and poking around with the L-shaped cleaning rod.

 

P1140787.jpg

 

Pic. 1 State of burner before cleaning

 

 

The flue was clean, so the problems lay with the stove itself. It clearly needed more radical treatment because the flames were always rolling yellow and sometimes went out. Also when I turned off the regulator there is always a small flame the size of a sixpence that refused to go out until I turned off the fuel supply.

 

 

1. First remove the stove from the boat. It's a messy job and likely to upset OH with soot and the pervading smell of diesel lingering for ages.

 

P1140780.jpg

 

Pic 2 The Refleks ready for dismantling

2. Remove the Regulator which is bolted onto a bracket.

 

3. Remove the outer stainless steel cover. This is held in

place by three rivets at the bottom which have to be ground off or drilled out. Bend down flat the spacer strips.

 

P1140783.jpg

 

Pic.3 Spacer strips

P1140785.jpg

Pic.4 Bottom rivets holding outer case to base

 

 

4. If the Refleks is a model with the heating coil, this will need to be manipulated so that the ends clear the outer case. The top section then lifts off from the cake-stand base.

 

P1140791.jpg

 

Pic. 5 Dismantled Refleks showing inner and outer cases, the base, burner pot, upper and lower burner rings and oil regulator.

 

5. Next grind off/drill out the rivets half way up the inner container. (A) Remove the split ring and the stainless steel ring.

 

P1140789.jpg

 

Pic 5a First grind off rivets (C ), then (b ) finally ( A)

6.The burner pot needs a bit a persuasion to come out at the bottom. Use a long piece of wood between the inner and outer cases and tap round (well actually it needed a bit of a wallop) on the burner pot rim.

 

I was amazed that the fire ever functioned at all. All the holes on the top of the burner pot were completely blocked as were about half the ones around the sides.

 

P1140801.jpg

 

Pic. 6 Cleaned burner pot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PART2 – the regulator

 

7. Next the regulator. First examine the pipe leading fromthe regulator to the burner pot. This is where condensation collects.

 

8. Remove the nylon filter. As you can see mine was full of slime, water and general muck.

 

P1140797.jpg

 

Pic. 7 Before. It looks as though I had a touch of the dieselbug.

 

P1140813.jpg

 

Pic.8 After.

 

9. Remove the regulator knob and the three screws holding the cover in place.

 

10. Remove the float assembly by undoing the three screws holding it in place. (Pic14, screws 1,2 and 3)

 

P1140811.jpg

 

Pic.9 Float assembly

(A ) controls the height of the metering stem and hence the rate to flow offuel. (B ) controls the fuel level and prevents overflow.

11. Lift out the metering stem and spring. Remove inlet valve and spring. (Note the spring holding the valve open is very weak. I have known one of these to become clogged, preventing the inlet valve from operating.)

 

P1140805.jpg

 

Pic.10 Inside of the regulatorbefore cleaning. Note the pool of water!

 

(A) Outlet tube. Metering stemfits in here. (B ) Overflow pipe. (C ) Inlet valve.

P1140823.jpg

 

Pic.11. After refitting the float assembly, turn the control knob to fully open and check that the metering stem is free to move up and down.

12. Thoroughly clean out thechamber. If, like mine, your flame doesn't fully extinguish, or you find that there is diesel swimming in the bottom of the burner pot when you comeback to the boat after an interval, it's probably because there is dirt at the base of the metering tube preventing the metering stem from closing fully. If you look carefully you can just see the speck of dirt that was the cause of the trouble.

 

P1140818.jpg

 

Pic 12 Inlet valveand spring

P1140815.jpg

 

Pic.13 Meteringstem. Note the thin delivery slot.

 

 

13. There are four adjustments you can make. You shouldn't need to touch them, but it's useful to know how they work..

 

Metering stem adjustment. (A) in pic.14. This raises the metering stem exposing more or less of the fine slot, thus allowing more or less fuel to enter the fire. If you find that you need to turn the knob up more and more to get the same degree of heat, as a temporary measure you can give this screw a couple of turns clockwise. It doesn't solve the problem of a blocked or dirty regulator, but it might get you out of difficulties in an emergency and keep the fuel flowing.

 

Overflow level adjuster. (D ) in pic.14. When I moved my Refleks from the motor to the butty, the trim was different and fuel leaked from the overflow pipe. Adjust the level until it the diesel begins to flow then screw it down by half turns until the overflow stops.

 

(B )and (C )The high fire and low adjusters. These really shouldn't be touched. However, if after renovation and cleaning the fire burns with a dirty yellow billowing flame the mixture is too rich. You should heat the fire up thoroughly and set the flame to mark 4. To make an adjustment, screw the high fire screw (B ) in half a turn at a time, letting the flame settle, until you reduce the yellow licking flames until they are blue with yellow tips. There are detailed instructions on how to do adjust the high and low fire adjustments on the Harworth website . Again,you will only need to do this if someone has fiddled with them instead of tackling the root causes of the problem.

 

P1140824.jpg

 

Pic. 14 Adjustments A - D

 

Assembly is the reverse process. However, to make it easier next time I replaced the rivets with 4mm self tapping screws. Also a little grease round the burner pot made it easier to get back into position without having to apply brute force.

 

Before lighting, check that oil is flowing. It should be seen instantly in the bottom of the burner pot and should shut off equally quickly. You can also check to see that that the rate of flow changes as you adjust the control knob.

 

P1140832.jpg

 

Pic. 15.Fuel should flow freely into the bottom of the burner pot

The change was marked when I lit thefire. Bluish flames, improved responsiveness from low to high andcomplete extinguishing of flame when the control knob is set to zero..

 

 

I should add that I'm in no way qualified to offer this advice. I'm not a heating engineer and have had absolutely no training in servicing Refleks stoves. You follow the above steps at your own risk. If in doubt you should consult a professional. I'll be happy to amend anything that I've got wrong.

Edited by koukouvagia
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PART2 – the regulator

 

7. Next the regulator. First examine the pipe leading fromthe regulator to the burner pot. This is where condensation collects.

 

8. Remove the nylon filter. As you can see mine was full of slime, water and general muck.

 

P1140797.jpg

 

Pic. 7 Before. It looks as though I had a touch of the dieselbug.

 

 

 

I should add that I'm in no way qualified to offer this advice. I'm not a heating engineer and have had absolutely no training in servicing Refleks stoves. You follow the above steps at your own risk. If in doubt you should consult a professional. I'll be happy to amend anything that I've got wrong.

 

 

KK,

 

Brill, the Kabola 'ODE4' is similar, but smaller, the main filter is difficult to get at on the Kabola (a steel plate is in the way). Yours looks really 'clogged up' - I have an in 'line filter' which catches the rubbish. Carburrettor looks the same.

 

Good finished result, as you state, servicing and cleanliness are the secret to a blue flame.

 

Obviously, you need an 'on/off' tap on the diesel feed line to carryout this work.

 

Looking at the before pics I am not surprised the fire struggled to work properly.

 

Thanks.

 

L.

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  • 1 month later...

I've only just seen that you've put this together KK - what a splendid job!

 

Us pot burner fanatics are gradually putting Oil Controls International to shame for having absolutely NO published service information on their regulator available for the general public!

 

I wonder if it is the result of some quirky Dutch equivalent of our Health and Safety legislation.

 

Richard

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PART2 – the regulator

 

7. Next the regulator. First examine the pipe leading fromthe regulator to the burner pot. This is where condensation collects.

 

8. Remove the nylon filter. As you can see mine was full of slime, water and general muck.

 

P1140797.jpg

 

Pic. 7 Before. It looks as though I had a touch of the dieselbug.

 

P1140813.jpg

 

Pic.8 After.

 

9. Remove the regulator knob and the three screws holding the cover in place.

 

10. Remove the float assembly by undoing the three screws holding it in place. (Pic14, screws 1,2 and 3)

 

P1140811.jpg

 

Pic.9 Float assembly

(A ) controls the height of the metering stem and hence the rate to flow offuel. (B ) controls the fuel level and prevents overflow.

11. Lift out the metering stem and spring. Remove inlet valve and spring. (Note the spring holding the valve open is very weak. I have known one of these to become clogged, preventing the inlet valve from operating.)

 

P1140805.jpg

 

Pic.10 Inside of the regulatorbefore cleaning. Note the pool of water!

 

(A) Outlet tube. Metering stemfits in here. (B ) Overflow pipe. (C ) Inlet valve.

P1140823.jpg

 

Pic.11. After refitting the float assembly, turn the control knob to fully open and check that the metering stem is free to move up and down.

12. Thoroughly clean out thechamber. If, like mine, your flame doesn't fully extinguish, or you find that there is diesel swimming in the bottom of the burner pot when you comeback to the boat after an interval, it's probably because there is dirt at the base of the metering tube preventing the metering stem from closing fully. If you look carefully you can just see the speck of dirt that was the cause of the trouble.

 

P1140818.jpg

 

Pic 12 Inlet valveand spring

P1140815.jpg

 

Pic.13 Meteringstem. Note the thin delivery slot.

 

 

13. There are four adjustments you can make. You shouldn't need to touch them, but it's useful to know how they work..

 

Metering stem adjustment. (A) in pic.14. This raises the metering stem exposing more or less of the fine slot, thus allowing more or less fuel to enter the fire. If you find that you need to turn the knob up more and more to get the same degree of heat, as a temporary measure you can give this screw a couple of turns clockwise. It doesn't solve the problem of a blocked or dirty regulator, but it might get you out of difficulties in an emergency and keep the fuel flowing.

 

Overflow level adjuster. (D ) in pic.14. When I moved my Refleks from the motor to the butty, the trim was different and fuel leaked from the overflow pipe. Adjust the level until it the diesel begins to flow then screw it down by half turns until the overflow stops.

 

(B )and (C )The high fire and low adjusters. These really shouldn't be touched. However, if after renovation and cleaning the fire burns with a dirty yellow billowing flame the mixture is too rich. You should heat the fire up thoroughly and set the flame to mark 4. To make an adjustment, screw the high fire screw (B ) in half a turn at a time, letting the flame settle, until you reduce the yellow licking flames until they are blue with yellow tips. There are detailed instructions on how to do adjust the high and low fire adjustments on the Harworth website . Again,you will only need to do this if someone has fiddled with them instead of tackling the root causes of the problem.

 

P1140824.jpg

 

Pic. 14 Adjustments A - D

 

Assembly is the reverse process. However, to make it easier next time I replaced the rivets with 4mm self tapping screws. Also a little grease round the burner pot made it easier to get back into position without having to apply brute force.

 

Before lighting, check that oil is flowing. It should be seen instantly in the bottom of the burner pot and should shut off equally quickly. You can also check to see that that the rate of flow changes as you adjust the control knob.

 

P1140832.jpg

 

Pic. 15.Fuel should flow freely into the bottom of the burner pot

The change was marked when I lit thefire. Bluish flames, improved responsiveness from low to high andcomplete extinguishing of flame when the control knob is set to zero..

 

 

I should add that I'm in no way qualified to offer this advice. I'm not a heating engineer and have had absolutely no training in servicing Refleks stoves. You follow the above steps at your own risk. If in doubt you should consult a professional. I'll be happy to amend anything that I've got wrong.

 

 

 

Brilliant article!! :cheers:

 

I brought this problem up on a new topic before I'd seen this so Thanks again ;) Very helpful.

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  • 3 months later...

Great article! We have just bought our first Narrowboat, not good timing with this late winter weather! I have been working through the operation and cleaning of our Refleks. Can now easily light device with a starter of meths and a dropped lit piece of tissue, before turning on and allowing diesel to flow. We get a good blue flame on low setting between 1 and 2. Winds are quite gusty today and flame has blown out several times. The outer chimney has a cowl on the top which looks well designed but is not totally effective in stopping down draught. Has anyone discovered a good solution for this problem, please?

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  • 5 months later...

Hi All

A newbie with a problem. Reflexs 60M

 

I bought a narrowboat with a Refleks stove onboard and decided to clean it and the regulator and finally lit the stove. Having seen on Youtube a guy showing off the great flame on it I expected the same from mine. I let the diesel in and lit a cotton wool soaked in meths and it duly lit the diesel.

All I get is flames from the diesel spread out on the base but nothing from the burners around the sides. I notice on the article pics (which are brilliant thank you) that there is a coiled tubing inside the pot which mine has not got. Is this coil for heatinga radiator for example as mine has not got this in and is it necessary for the heater to work properly? Any help would be appreciated..thanks in advance Barry

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Is this coil for heatinga radiator for example as mine has not got this in and is it necessary for the heater to work properly? Any help would be appreciated..thanks in advance Barry

Yes it is for heating water and was an optional extra so not necessary.

 

Can't help with your problem I'm afraid because I didn't have mine long enough for anything to go wrong.

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Hi All

A newbie with a problem. Reflexs 60M

 

I bought a narrowboat with a Refleks stove onboard and decided to clean it and the regulator and finally lit the stove. Having seen on Youtube a guy showing off the great flame on it I expected the same from mine. I let the diesel in and lit a cotton wool soaked in meths and it duly lit the diesel.

All I get is flames from the diesel spread out on the base but nothing from the burners around the sides. I notice on the article pics (which are brilliant thank you) that there is a coiled tubing inside the pot which mine has not got. Is this coil for heatinga radiator for example as mine has not got this in and is it necessary for the heater to work properly? Any help would be appreciated..thanks in advance Barry

 

Hi,

 

As indicated in an earlier answer, the coil is for heating water.

 

Are you looking at your flame with the lid (or stove top) off?, if so the flame will not burn from the top of the burner. Best to replace the lid and let the flame settle and then remove the lid and see what flame pattern there is for the first few seconds after the removal of the lid. After the lid has been off for a few seconds the flame will spread across the floor of the burner chamber, before that it should be at the top of the burner.

 

As stated keep the unit clean and soot free to get the best results..

 

Leo.

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I wonder if your Reflex has a catyliser - this is a sort of stainless steel mesh basket that fits in the bottom of the burner pot. The older Refleks didn't have these, but they can be retro fitted - they just drop in. You will find there is a huge difference to the performance. There will be none of the rolling yellow flames. All the flames will be blue and the catyliser will glow red.

Your Refleks will be perfectly OK with the yellowish flames, but you'l have to clean the flue and the burner pot more frequently.

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Thanks all for you input it seems a lot clearer now. The catalyser seems a good bet and so I will order one. In the instructions left in the boat I can see a catyliser in the exploded diagrams and wondered what it was. So its OK that the flames just flow up from the centre of the base? I had an idea that they would come out of the holes at the top of the pan....what are the holes for then if the flames just come out from the centre of the pan floor?

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  • 1 year later...

Hi folks,

 

Sorry to drag up an old thread but I have registered here today after googleing Refleks stoves and this very helpful thread came up. Thank you, Koukouvagia.

 

I have been given an old Refleks like the one here to heat my small workshop and I think parts are missing, like the burner rings. Basically there is nothing in the burner pot at all.

 

I followed the instructions here and have all the little holes clear, the bigger holes around the top of the burner pot are clear and fuel seeps out of the fuel outlet (or is it inlet to the burner pot). The fuel flow increases as I turn the control and stops in the off position. All good so far, but when I light it the flame is yellow, weak and rather pathetic and if I put a flue that I rigged up on it goes out. (the flue is 70mm pipe as recomended).

So are the burner rings essential, although I did make a couple but had to guess the hole size. This made it worse.

It appears to me that the fire is not drawing air but I can not see how that it can't draw air if the holes are clear and the base has unrestricted air flow.

 

I understand this is a Narrowboat forum and I am being a bit cheeky here but can any one help here please? It's driving me nuts.

 

Thanks for reading,

Ivy.

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Sometimes they can be a bit reluctant to keep going if the fire doesn't get hot fast enough or if there is too much diesel in the bottom of the burner pot. I'm assuming that the flue isn't blocked and that the flue pipe doesn't have too many angles or too long a horizontal run.

 

I suspect you are letting too much fuel in before lighting. You only need enough to cover a penny before lighting.

Try removing the cleaner pin to introduce more air into the burner.

 

You can also encourage a sluggish flame to get hot enough to vapourise the diesel by wegding open the lid a fraction for a few minutes. However, if you do this make absolutely sure that you've got good ventilation otherwise you run the risk of CO. I've got a CO monitor as a precaution.

 

I was intrigued to find out what happens if you try to run it without the rings. So I took them out as an experiment.

The fire started normally, but the flames were much higher than usual and they were yellow and billowing and not blue. So, yes they are necessary.

 

A further experiment was to light the fire without the rings and without the catalyser. It was difficult to start and went out.

 

To help further, what happens when it goes out? Is the bottom of the burner dry? If so you have fuel feed problems. If wet, then you have a problem either with the adjustment of the regulator or the flue is blocked in some way.

Edited by koukouvagia
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Thanks again Koukouvagia,

 

The flue I am using is absolutely clear and about 4ft straight up.

I did remove the cleaning pin as an experiment, this improved things slightly.

 

I really need to try again with burner rings. I take it the bottom one sits on the 3 pegs half way down the burner pot, but I am not sure about the top one, does it sit above or below the bigger holes around the top of the burner pot, and roughly how big is the hole in the burner rings.

 

When it goes out the burner pot is just damp, not really wet.

 

I really appreciate your help.

Thank you.

Edited by Ivy
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The upper ring is made of cast iron. It's in two halves for ease of fitting. It sits directly on the burner pot rim. The hole is 5 inches in diameter.

The lower ring, with a similar sized hole, lodges on a ledge about four inches below the rim of the burner pot and is made of stainless steel.

If you bought a catalyser, which is a sort of stainless steel wire basket, it comes with an attached lower ring, so you wouldn't need the original one.

The catalyser, by the way, hugely improves performance and can be retro fitted to older models.

I get Refleks spares online from Toplicht.de. They are very helpful and reply quickly to queries.

It's worth persevering because when you've got them set up properly they are cracking heaters.

Edited by koukouvagia
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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

REFLEKS boat heaters and stoves have been developed specially for voyaging at sea. They and all their
accessories are made of rust-free stainless steel; in the exhaust region, of acid-resistant stainless steel.
The burner bowls are made of precision steel.
All heaters are fitted with a proven marine oil regulator,
which ensures faultless performance to 15°of heel and a high level of safety.

More than 100,000 quality REFLEKS oil heaters have proven themselves for decades on fishing boats and
other craft in Scandinavia and worldwide.
These oil heaters and stoves require no electricity, are easy to install, produce no smoke and give
off a comfortable warmth.

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LIGHTING THE STOVE
Check that the burner pot is free of oil, see safety precautions.
Fill the fuel tank with oil and open the tank cock and the safety fuel valve. The control indicator of on the regulator should be set to Pilot. Open the top of the stove and drop a lit match* down into the bottom of the burner pot.
If mentholated spirit is used this should be poured directly into the burner pot approx. 5 cc. and a lighted match thrown down into it.
Close the top of the stove and wait 5-10 minutes, the time it takes for the stove to heat up and set light to the fuel oil. The control indicator can then be turned to the required from Pilot to 9 on the scale.
Remember to start the circulating pump if the stove is coupled to a central heating unit...”

* I’ve heard that some people use a small cube of solid BBQ fire starter on a piece of coat hanger wire, instead of a match.

Edited by sampeeter
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I know these instructions are taken from the Refleks manual, but I think the method is unduly complicated.

Just turn the fuel on.

Turn the pump on

Watch until the fuel seeps into the bottom of the burner

Light the stove with a spill. You can feed it down into the burner.

 

That's all you have to do

 

All this business of dropping a lighted match doesn't work very well if you've got a catalyser in the way.

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LIGHTING THE STOVE
Check that the burner pot is free of oil, see safety precautions.
Fill the fuel tank with oil and open the tank cock and the safety fuel valve. The control indicator of on the regulator should be set to Pilot. Open the top of the stove and drop a lit match down into the bottom of the burner pot.
If mentholated spirit is used this should be poured directly into the burner pot approx. 5 cc. and a lighted match thrown down into it.
Close the top of the stove and wait 5-10 minutes, the time it takes for the stove to heat up and set light to the fuel oil. The control indicator can then be turned to the required from Pilot to 9 on the scale.
Remember to start the circulating pump if the stove is coupled to a central heating unit...”

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