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general heating oil question

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by bears12th, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. bears12th

    bears12th Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    52
    Loc:
    Eastern Connecticut
    So here I sit now entering my forth, or fifth - crap can't remember, year of burning wood and my heating oil has finally run out. I am sure what stuff might be in there is sludgy and old and am in need of filling up the tank enough to get me through three weeks of vacation to warmth and such craziness I might find while traveling. What would you guys do? I can get a min. delivery of 100 gallons (too much and oil will go bad as I burn maybe 30 gallons a year), I can purchase a few 5 gallon containers and put 40 gallons in myself from the local diesel gas station, I heard perhaps Kerosene is what I really want as it burns cleaner and hotter, but can mixing diesel and kerosene be bad? Should I even consider this? It is more costly by about a buck a gallon too.

    Any help would be appreciated. Called four oil companies (man I don't miss doing that since installing my wood stove) and each gave me such radical differences in prices and what to do. One just said I never really need to purchase bulk oil - just go to station and get enough for the year. Don't get services on the furnace as I am not burning enough to worry about - I will probably just have someone look at it once every 7 or so years. Thoughts? Figure you all helped me so much with the wood I would hit you up for your opinions on this as well.

    Thanks in advance and happy Thanksgiving to all.

    Bears.

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  2. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    First off mixing deisel and kerrosene will not hurt there compatible and both burnable. Some old timers burned Kero in there tractors in winter as it did not "gell" in the cold, or they cut the deisel with it. The problem with Kero is that it costs more than deisel and there is less BTU's per gallon than deisel, so your paying more for less. Deisel burns clean if your furnace is running properly, i have a 30 year old furnace at the farm and you dont see anything but heat waves coming out its chimney. Second fuel oil or HOme heating oil is the same thing as off road deisel. Buying this time of year it will be mixed enough to not gell up if you have an above ground tank. All i would do is get deisel. Thrid, deisel will not go bad in 3 seasons. If you have a filter on there the "junk" and slude will be caught and be fine. I would dump some biocied in there to stop algae growth.

    My fuel oil place wanted to sell the 100 gal minimun even if they were already passing the house. I just bought a crank pump and 55 gallon drum and bought it at the cheapest place and still came out cheaper than buying than even the same amount from a local oil place.
    Dune and firefighterjake like this.
  3. Malatu

    Malatu New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    84
    Yep, I concur. Now that you know what you can put it it and there are no compatibility issues, I personally would bite the bullet and purchase 100 gallons and be done with it for 3-5 years. Isn't that one reason you have you have the wood stove! I'd rather put 100 gallons of fuel in my tank every three - five years a luxury! It's either put in 100 gallons now or 20 gallons every year. I couldn't be bothered with the latter of the two. That would be like putting gas in my car $10 at a time. At least that's my perspective.

    I had an empty rental that I was heating just to keep the pipes from freezing. I needed to get through a couple of weeks of cold weather and used 5 gallon cans to get 20 gallons of fuel oil into the tank. WHAT A PAIN IN THE **S.
  4. HomeBruin

    HomeBruin New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
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    47
    Loc:
    Califon, NJ
    So just how long does home heating oil last sitting in the tank? I would normally go through about 125g a heating season with my small VC Aspen stove, but now I have the HI300, hoping it will be much less than that.
  5. Morgan

    Morgan Member

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    Apr 24, 2010
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    Loc:
    PEI, Canada
    Around here (PEI, Canada) there are a few service stations that actually sell furnace oil at the pump. Its basically diesel without our Canadian road tax on it, which makes it about 30+ cents cheaper per liter. I have a 55Gal plastic drum and a transfer pump to take care of my oil needs. Look around maybe someone has it at the pump in your area?
  6. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    283
    Loc:
    Sherman, NY
    When my fuel oil tank was a 5 gallon bucket, I was burning regular #2 diesel. You can do this without problems, just use winter grade fuel. It will be expensive but it works. I have burnt kero as well, and it burns fine, but keep in mind that it has little lubricity, and can cause issues when used for long times (an issue when burning in a diesel engine). Due to my wife's schedule, we haven't been able to burn wood as much this year as much as we would like. I had 165 gallons of fuel oil delivered this summer, which is the minimum I can order through my dealer. I burnt about half of that in the tractors and the genset. The rest we have been burning more than I would like.
  7. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    930
    Loc:
    Mass north of Boston
    I am in a similar situation, my furnace almost never runs. If you only use 30 gl/year it would probably be easier to just buy some diesel at a gas station. I added this http://www.amazon.com/Hammonds-Biobor-Diesel-Treatment-16-Ounce/dp/B0014434DG/ref=pd_sim_sbs_sg_1
    to the tank to prevent algae growth.

    Also if you think you have sludge in the tank it might be a good idea to add an extra filter. I have a standard cartridge filter, then a spin on filter out of the tank, and sintered bronze filter at the pump.
  8. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Fill it with the 100 gals and stop worrying about it. Your making a simple issued into an un-beaded headache!

    My folks had an oil burner for backup as well and they would use maybe 50 gals a year They would just the tank filled every couple years

    It certainly won't go bad in 3 years. These oil burners are quite crude anyhow. You could burn old engine oil if you thinned it down s bit.
  9. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Pt Pleasant, PA (SE PA)
    My brother in law has fuel oil sitting in his tank since the late 80’s. he pours a 5 gallon jug of kerosene in it every year to keep it " smooth" as be says. I myself have 200 gallons oil, 50 gallons kerosene for a year, no issues. We mix kero because the house is a bank barn on a hill so the only flat surface for the tank is pretty far from the furnace, so we were having trouble with it gelling up all the time, even with line warmers and such. We also treat with anti-gel and sludge removal (old tank).

    There is nothing like the security of a back up heat source so IMHO, suck it up and buy 100 gallons. Then reflect how awesome it js that as a wood burner, you aren't doing it every month :)
  10. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    East Central, NY
    Change those filters! If you decide to add any kero, I think the solvent properties of the kero will start to clean out the sludge.. then you'll be changing filters more frequently. I've heard bio diesel does the same thing.
  11. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    SE Mass
    If your tank is in the basement the stable temps should help it keep.
    We look for Agricultural diesel here for no road tax. Can get it at the boat house too but they're not the cheapest.

    Home delivery, I've seen as much as 60¢ a gallon added for priority burner service. I realize they have to pay their service guys , but that's over the top.
    I get a hundred gallons at a time from the local guy who is about the lowest price - doesn't even have to be cash. No service techs, doesn't sell or install burners.
    He won't do partial payments though. He doesn't want to play nor pay for that game.
  12. jomama

    jomama New Member

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    Loc:
    Thurman NY
    Just a quick note on kero. I had my tank filled when I bought my home in 1995. All I have used in 17yrs is 100 gallons which I replaced last yr. Still burns perfectly. Tank is in the basement so temp swings are minimal.
  13. jomama

    jomama New Member

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    Loc:
    Thurman NY
    Just a quick note on kero. I had my tank filled when I bought my home in 1995. All I have used in 17yrs is 100 gallons which I replaced last yr. Still burns perfectly. Tank is in the basement so temp swings are minimal.
  14. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    Buy 100 gals. Change filter, cheap maintenance item. Don't worry about it. Maybe an additive if it will give you piece of mind.
  15. HomeBruin

    HomeBruin New Member

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    Califon, NJ
    jomamma, that is awesome. I am so proud of you!==c
  16. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Why would you fill it with kero if it's in the basement? I thought kero was more for outside tanks so it wouldn't gel up. Good news that it lasted so long!
    FrankMA likes this.
  17. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    I have an in-basement tank... I used to have to buy K-1 because of the monitor I *used* to use to heat my house.... now I buy 5 gallons of off-road diesel every other week to fire my oil HWH... I see no need to pay the oil-man for 100 gals....
  18. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I forgot about the kero-fueled monitor.
  19. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    yep.... Monitors are K1 only and my 2400 was temperamental as hell.... no wonder MPI is out of business...
  20. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Most folks in these parts use diesel/fuel oil in their Monitor/Toyotomi stoves.

    MPI isn't out of business "per say", just that Hitachi decided to stop building the Monitor stoves.
  21. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    Monitors can't burn diesel or #2... Toyos can... I've got both a Monitor 2400 and a Toyo Laser 30 uninstalled in my shed, under a tarp, and listed on craigslist..... the Toyo was flawless.... the MPI Monitor.... not so much...

    the infernal beeping.... oh the beeping...

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