Author Topic: Burning heating oil in waste oil furnace  (Read 1087 times)

ajparry89

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Burning heating oil in waste oil furnace
« on: April 05, 2019, 10:29:08 am »
Hey all,
somebody im acquainted with stopped in my shop today and said they have about 100 gallons of 5 or 6 year old heating oil, that the ethanol separated in it, and they are unable to use it in their furnace because the thick ethanol on the bottom keeps clogging his nozzle, etc.  he wanted to know if i wanted it for my waste oil furnace.  is there a problem with burning heating oil in a waste oil furnace?  i have a older Clean Burn furnace.

i would mix the heating oil in with the oil, i wouldnt burn straight heating oil.  if you all think its ok, my questions would be, how much/what ratio would you suggest mixing in a 275 gallon tank.  also, when he drops the oil off at my shop (in drums) do you think i should avoid pumping the bottom 6 or 8 inches of the barrel to avoid the ethanol, or will that not be a big problem in the waste oil furnace?

thanks for the help guys!

HT32B-SX115

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Re: Burning heating oil in waste oil furnace
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2019, 05:06:48 pm »
Howdy,

According to Cleanburn,
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Fuels   Used oils: Crankcase,ATF, hydraulic
Fuel oils: #2, #4, and #5 fuel oil

Since "heating oil" is usually #2 fuel oil, you can burn it with no problems as long as it's "clean"

I am not sure how one gets heating oil with "ethanol" in it.   Ethanol is not a component of heating oil nor is it "thick" ........ By the way, if you have ever had Everclear, it is over 90% ethanol.   It's not very thick!

If you really do have ethanol in it, it's likely from someone pouring gasoline (E10 specifically)  in the tank. 

If that's the case, I wouldn't run it at all.   

Gasoline old or new is far too dangerous to run in any waste oil furnace.

If you have really "thick" oil in the bottom of the tank, it's probably mostly sludge, which could be nearly any solid/semi solid contaminant(s) mixed with water.

If the tank does indeed contain old heating oil, I would pour off the actual heating oil and further strain it, and completely avoid the "sludge" at  the bottom.

Then you could mix the heating oil with your other oil


Cheers,


Rick




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73/Rick
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No critters are harmed running my Lanair Oil Furnace except the ones that are inside when it fires!!   ;)

ShopSpecialties

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Re: Burning heating oil in waste oil furnace
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2019, 05:58:17 pm »
Maybe it is gelled bio-diesel or possibly his tank has fungus growth ? I would put it in a separate tote first to let it settle to see what ends up on the bottom. You can run straight diesel through that burner if you wanted to with zero issues.

I would do a burner rebuild first before running any diesel through it. If your preheat block is full of sludge/carbon the diesel will loosen it and you will be plugging nozzles constantly. After that just mix everything together at no special ratio and let it burn.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 06:00:02 pm by ShopSpecialties »

ajparry89

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Re: Burning heating oil in waste oil furnace
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2019, 06:48:56 am »
Ok, thank you for the help guys!  yes i will clarify with him more on the exact story with the oil.  I know that ethanol does 'gel' up over a long period of time, which is why carburetors on small engines get plugged up when they sit for a real long time and they need cleaning.  however, i dont know much about ethanol and if it should or should not be in heating oil. 

and yes, this would go into my storage for next winter, after i get the burner rebuilt and the lines/plumbing redone.  and i sort of planned on not taking the stuff on the bottom, just in case.   

thanks for all the help everybody!

Myatt

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Re: Burning heating oil in waste oil furnace
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2019, 04:11:33 am »
How long does it roughly take ethanol to gel up like that?

HT32B-SX115

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Re: Burning heating oil in waste oil furnace
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2019, 11:19:00 am »
How long does it roughly take ethanol to gel up like that?
Howdy,

This is pretty much off topic but ethanol doesn't "gel up " anywhere.   One of the main problems with ethanol in automotive gasoline is that in an engine that sits for months at a time, the gasoline component will evaporate and leave the ethanol behind which evaporates slower since it's less volatile.  If there is also some water in the fuel when this happens, the ethanol/water mix evaporates even slower .

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however, i dont know much about ethanol and if it should or should not be in heating oil.
Rest assured that there will never be ethanol in heating oil.......UNLESS, someone pours gasoline in your heating oil that contains ethanol! (E10, E15 , E85 etc)

If you suspect gasoline in ANY oil that you want to plan to use in a waste oil furnace,   I wouldn't use it.   

The explosion hazard is too great with any fuel that produces an ignitable vapor.
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73/Rick
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No critters are harmed running my Lanair Oil Furnace except the ones that are inside when it fires!!   ;)

Oilburner

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Re: Burning heating oil in waste oil furnace
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2019, 08:30:08 pm »

This is pretty much off topic but ethanol doesn't "gel up " anywhere.   One of the main problems with ethanol in automotive gasoline is that in an engine that sits for months at a time, the gasoline component will evaporate and leave the ethanol behind which evaporates slower since it's less volatile.  If there is also some water in the fuel when this happens, the ethanol/water mix evaporates even slower .

I agree. There are no physical properties by which ethanol can Gel.. that's just an ignorant internet misnomer.

If it's in a sealed container it will always remain Liquid ( it's just basically Metho) and if it's in an open vented container it won't be ther long enough to gel  in teh first place.

Ethanol fuel is garbage and i avoid it at all costs. 3 repeated problems I have had with it.....

It is hygroscopic and pulls moisture out the air like no tomorrow. You end up with carbs and tanks Full of water.  I could not figure how the neighbours mower ALWAYS had a gut full of water every time she went to mow the lawn.  had an issue the same myself eventually and saw something that said it was the ethanol. Sure enough, changing to " real" fuel fixed the problem straight away.

It is hell on a lot of seals and gaskets. had to rebuild the Carb on My Harley and several other engines when it turned the gaskets and seals to goop. even took the tip of a needle in the carb of one of my 2 strokes.  seen it play havoc on breather pips on vehicles as well and despite the thing of all the soft hoses bing impervious these days, they are not all up to it at all.

It boils a full 20o C lower than proper petrol. This gave me a shipload of trouble in summer when I stopped the car, went to the shops quickly or other such short shutdown periods then couldn't re fire the thing because of airlocks. Even if you are using a blend like E-10 and think the ethanol component may not be much, it phase changes 1000x  greater volume from liquid to a gas so 1Ml of ethanol cooking off creates a litre of " air" in your fuel system and that's a LOT!

[/quote]

If you suspect gasoline in ANY oil that you want to plan to use in a waste oil furnace,   I wouldn't use it.   

The explosion hazard is too great with any fuel that produces an ignitable vapor.
[/quote]

I -have- put petrol in oil I was going to burn however it was a small amount and I knew how much I was putting in and was aware of it. that said, you only need a small amount to fill a tank with vapor and create an explosion hazzard where none existed before.

I know everyone on the internet thinks everything explodes like a bomb as they see on TV but petrol really is energetic and dangerous stuff.
Couple of years ago I caught my father pouring petrol on a bonfire pile he was going to burn. I stopped him and made him get well back while I tossed a stick with a burning rag on the thing. The weather was cold but the whole large pile lifted about a foot and the bang had a neighbour ringing to see if everything was OK.

Scared the ship out of Dad  especially later when he figured he poured about a liter of fuel on the pile and was going to put about 5L  and realised had I not stopped him and he put it all on and lit it the way he was going to, he would have been dead or wished he was.

I was surprised he didn't know how dangerous it was.  He was still wary when I poured engine oil on it but I then explained the difference and while the oil would flare if poured on a hot fire it would never go bang like the petrol would.

The petrol as a liquid is not a problem at all. It's the vapor that comes off it and can travel even in the open that is a real danger.
I'm no safety sissy in any way but it pays to have some respect and knowledge for things that can hurt you is you don't know what you are doing with them.

I have no fear of oil what so ever but I just avoid petrol all together for the main part and if I do something with it, I am very wary, careful and think it through thoroughly before I touch it. Very rare though and only as last ditch solution. The smallest amount of the stuff can cause significant and energetic results.

With the exception of Hydrogen and acetylene, can't think of anything much more dangerous for mucking round with for burning .