b. Operation. At the start of operation, the gas tank should be about 3/4 full
and the pressure in the pressure tank pumped to about 45 pounds per square inch in
warm weather or 60 pounds per square inch in cold weather (subfreezing). The
portions of the lower pipe inside the shields and around the small holes should be
preheated by igniting about a cupful of gasoline underneath them. This will also preheat
the upper pipe. The control valve on the tank is opened about one-quarter turn; ignition
will then occur and in two or three minutes, a steady blue flame will result. The burner
control and air valves on the M-1937 unit remain closed.
6-30. OPERATION HAZARDS, HEATING DEVICES
Whenever gasoline or oil heaters are used, there is potential danger of carbon
monoxide poisoning, lead poisoning, or explosions; therefore, only experienced
personnel should be permitted to operate improvised oil and gasoline burners.
a. Carbon Monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is
given off by the burner when combustion is incomplete. This hazard may be eliminated
by proper operation of the equipment and adequate ventilation.
b. Lead Poisoning. Lead poisoning may result from the use of a leaded fuel,
such as ethyl gasoline. The inhaling of vapors given off by the burner is particularly
dangerous. Adequate ventilation, therefore, is absolutely necessary.
c. Explosion. Serious explosions may result from improper operation of these
burners. This danger is not as great with the oil-water flash burner as it is with the
vapor-type burner. If the flame goes out and the fuel is not turned off or relighted
immediately, a dangerous concentration of gas will build up in the trench. If ignited, it
will result in an explosion. For reducing explosion hazards with the vapor-type burner,
an automatic relighting device may be improvised. This is done by wrapping a few coils
of iron wire around the feed line and the burner line at the holes. After the burner has
operated for a few minutes, this wire becomes red hot and if the flame goes out, the
heat from the wire will relight the fuel. Also, the explosion hazard in the tank will be
considerably decreased if the level of the fuel is not allowed to fall below the half-full
6-31. IMPROVISED MESSKIT WASHING DEVICES
After each meal, messkits should be cleaned and disinfected (para 6-25). In
each of the devices discussed in this paragraph, three containers are required. When
G1 cans are not available, messkit washing devices may be constructed from metal
drums with tops removed (figure 6-22) or cut as described below. The vapor-type
heater and the modified M-1937 heater work effectively with these devices.