Soot in diesel heater box, concerning?

Hey all,

I did a bit of a search on this and couldn’t find anything relevant on here… Over the weekend I ran my Planar 2kW heater for about 24 hours total and when I went to pack it away I noticed a bit of soot inside the box where the actual heater lives. I assume this is coming off of or out of the exhaust, it’s actually a somewhat minimal amount - maybe 1/4tsp of it total - but is this something I should be concerned about? I regret not taking a photo of it before I cleaned it out of the box.

Maybe I should be placing a fire alarm or something within the box itself? I’d hate to wake up in the night to my heater on fire.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone has encountered this before - or if I should be reaching out to Planar.


Soot is fairly common in these if they’re run on low for long periods of time. Definitely would recommend running on high for a bit to burn off soot and potentially run a diesel/kerosene or straight kerosene mix (I do this most of the time).

Soot would build up in the combustion chamber, so perhaps a fair assumption that your exhaust is leaking. I would definitely check that, and regardless, would recommend having a CO detector in the tent with you at all times while running for safety.

Interesting, I didn’t know that - thanks! It’s only ever run on low, I’ll try running it on high and see how it goes. Will give the exhaust a closer look as well.

As far as detectors go, I have 2 in the tent LOL… overkill, but they’re 2 different types so I’m fine with the redundancy.

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Pump settings are huge in the diesel heaters. I had to clean my Vevor out 3 times before I finally got the pump settings figured out.

Never prime the heater either - just turn it on and let the pump naturally prime it.

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I generally run mine on high for a bit (15 or 20 minutes)before packing everything up to dry things out (inside of sleeping bag or clothes) more from the night and avoid carbon buildup and it has worked well for me.

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Soot inside your box isn’t a normal thing … sounds like you might have a leak in your exhaust. I would suggest disassembling and resealing with an exhaust sealant.

I have the exact same Planar 2d portable heater. When I’m making breakfast, I usually just run the heater on the highest setting for about 10-15 minutes with the hose laying on the ground, not routed into the tent. Sometimes I put the end of the hose into the reflectix bag I made for my water jug for winter camping, while it’s on max. see link below

I have cold weather sleeping gear, so I don’t run my heater all night. The Planar 2d gets the GFC way too hot for my taste, even on the lowest setting. If it’s mid 20’s F outside, and I’m protected from the wind, the Planar on low can get the GFC tent close to 80F. So usually, I just run it for about 30 minutes before bed, and another 30 minutes in the morning so it’s way more pleasant to change clothes and get into or out of bed. When it’s super cold and/or windy, I’ll run it all night then of course.

The kerosene is a good suggestion too, but I think running it on max heat for about 10-15 minutes periodically will do a lot to burn all the soot off.

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