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Exercising Oil Boiler

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Dana B, May 30, 2014.

  1. Dana B

    Dana B Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
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    399
    Loc:
    So. New Hampshire
    Now that I have the Biowin and Nyletherm in place I no longer will be using my oil boiler for heat or DHW but I understand that I should exercise it from time to time.

    I have a little less than a quarter of a 250 gallon tank's worth of oil. I haven't turned it on for a few months but I was thinking of turning it on once every other month or so to let it run for awhile.

    Also, how long can heating oil sit in a tank without going bad?

    Any recommendations on maintaining an idle oil boiler?

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  2. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Sand Lake, NY
    I suggest a biocide for the fuel oil tank. I don't know about the rest.
  3. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    Heating oil keeps a long time as long as bacteria doesn't get into it. You can get biocide from most boating suppliers. I think Hamilton Marine has it. I have a jug of it to add to my tanks but it is supposed to be added before filling so I need to hook up a pump and mix it after the fact. I have two tanks and am thinking of switching all the oil to the newer tank and pulling the older one. Supposedly CN Browns Red Shield oil has some sort of additive package that has biocide.

    The last tech who worked on mine had no specific recommendations except keep an eye on it if it starts to leak. I assume you keep yours "cold". Some brands of boilers don't like being cold and will start leaking others don't.
  4. Dana B

    Dana B Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    So. New Hampshire
    I have a Trianco Heatmaker and it's kept cold.


    I'm hoping I never have to use it again on a regular basis for anything.
  5. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    We all do, I turn mine back on with a low setpoint when I leave for extended periods in the cold weather since unlike you pellet boiler, I need to be home to feed the wood to boiler when the storage runs low.
  6. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I got rid of mine. And the oil tank.

    ==c
    flyingcow likes this.
  7. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    When I ran wood only for a few months.. I had issues with the fuel pump on the oil burner sticking.

    It would take a second to spin the fan by hand, then reset. Since then, I've let it come on once every 5 or so weeks.

    JP
  8. Redbarn

    Redbarn Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
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    Loc:
    SE PA
    Added Biowin biocide to the oil tank, use dehumidifier in basement and run burner for 10 mins or so every 2 months.
    Done this for a couple of years and no problems so far.
  9. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    I think a lot depends on the environment the tank and the oil boiler are in. A damp basement will make any boiler scale and plug up fireside HX passages. An oil tank that is outside or in a garage that is subject to the warm humid air on it's cooler tank surface and likewise condensation into the oil is also bad news.
    On the other hand a steady state temp and humidity location for both and I'd think an exercise every other month for 10min should be satisfactory. My guess is oil is good for 5 years in the tank and biocide is a good idea, just pour it down the fill pipe before a delivery.

    TS
  10. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

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    FWIW, I hadn't run the oil boiler since Nov. 2010. This early spring we went away for a week. It fired right up....no fiddling required. It was a little smokey for about 30 seconds and then was clean. I used it for a few days before we went, went back to the Garn for a week, and ran oil during the week we were gone and kept the house warm. No problems at all. Fuel is 5 years old. I'd like to put some biocide in sometime when I fill the tank (500) next....but that may never happen. :) Though I likely should.

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