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I ran out of oil...and not how you think.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by ChandlerR, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. ChandlerR

    ChandlerR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
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    662
    Loc:
    Hampton, NH
    All this talk about everyone's lack of oil use got me thinking. My oil burner hasn't run since last summer when I exercised it for a hour. At that time, I had just over 1/4 tank. Today, I decided it was time to exercise it. Went downstairs to flip the emergency switch on and lo and behold, it was already on. Hmmmm...must have forgot to shut it off last summer. Oh well. Went upstairs, checked the emergency switch there and it was on. Turned up the Round Honeywell thermostat and heard it click. Went back downstairs and no furnace running....checked the burner and the ignition failure light was flashing. I had that sinking feeling. Checked the tank and it read empty. Banged on it and it sounded empty. Pulled the line off and it WAS empty. So, what happened?
    I think at some point during the summer, someone rubbed up against the thermostat and the furnace started and ran. And ran and ran. Because it was summer, the A/C was running so it just ran harder and longer. It ran and ran until it ran out of fuel.

    So, even if I need it, I'm out of luck until I get oil. Just to prove a point, I'm not putting oil in it until spring...Who needs the oil monster!
    Pallet Pete, Richprint29 and jtakeman like this.

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  2. boo boo

    boo boo Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    386
    Loc:
    So. NH
    I still use oil for my hot water and it sucks but I need it I was just telling the wife this time last year i would be ordering another 125 gallons @an average of $3.899 of oil as I had to every 5 weeks last heating season This year im loving not calling those bastards for a delivery
    briansol, Richprint29 and drizler like this.
  3. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I'm assuming you have a family. And for that single reason alone, you need to re-think you're decision to not get any oil.
    IMO, you should get at least some oil in that tank, whatever the minimum is you can get delivered. I'd hate to see it get REAL cold and the stove have a problem you can't fix immediately, and have to look your family in the eye and explain to them why theres no heat.
    Harman Lover 007 and MommyOf4 like this.
  4. Pellet-King

    Pellet-King Minister of Fire

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    Like to see your electric bill with the heat on and the a/c cranking!
  5. ChandlerR

    ChandlerR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Hampton, NH
    imacman....I hear you, and I agree. If need be, I can get a delivery any day. A friend of my SIL owns an oil company. I just can't pony up a minimum 100 gallons right now.

    Pellet King, my electric was a bit pricy in August....I'm sure that was the cause!
  6. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Oil... who needs oil??? (or LP/Gas/Electric).

    Haven't used any in over 5 yrs!!! Not gonna start now ;)

    Get some spare parts for that stove. A comb blower, auger motor, and convection blower will cost less than an oil fill. Could even add a board and it would be cheaper.

    For the cost of oil and those that still burn it (for heat, not Hot water) the cost of a second stove will quickly pay for itself.

    That's why most switched anyways. The less oil burned. The more money saved. Pellets are cheaper than oil (and Lp).

    Not saying you (OP) need a second stove. (My Quad did 100% of the house for 3 seasons, I don't NEED all the stoves I have, but I save over $3,000 a year burning wood and pellets. So NOT burning LP is my main goal. All my stoves and needed equipment have paid for themselves already)

    I spent a lot. But have saved a lot...

    Congrats on keeping the Man at Bay :)
  7. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    Id suggest getting the old blue can out and filling it up with K1 at a gas station and have 5 gallons in your tank. Give it a run and then shut it off. Sleep better and dont tell anyone about what happened.
    LEES WOOD-CO likes this.
  8. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Arrow Bridge,NY
    Amen brother!
    I woodnt be waiting till its needed to get the system bled and back up and running.
    Better change the filter as it prolly sucked up alot of crud since it drained the tank.
    If the tank is accessable I'd also prop up one end as long as it's empty and get the rest of the sludge out .
  9. darryl123

    darryl123 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    17
    Loc:
    central ma
    use deisel not k1. different flash points. heating oil is just deisel with red die in it. k1 is higher priced also.
    why not shut the thermal valve at the burner then no way it will go on by accident.
    kero is also thinner than heating oil so it throws all the adjustments off.
    boo boo i see lots of people around here that have an electric water heater that they use during summer to shut the boiler off to save oil during the summer
    LEES WOOD-CO likes this.
  10. glenc0322

    glenc0322 Minister of Fire

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    long Island NY
    Go pick up 10 gallons of kerosene and pour it in your tank if you ran out of oil might need to change the filter and clean the head. I would make sure it works or you will be cold in an emergency
    Harman Lover 007 likes this.
  11. New Hampshire Jim

    New Hampshire Jim Member

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    Westville New Hampshire
    O how quickly we New Hampshire people forget. Two years back we had An ice storm and were without power for up to two weeks.I had to run my generator for 4 days and I was very fortunate that I had the gas to do this. Some of my neighbors only had enough gas to run for a day and were SOL as the gas stations couldn't pump because they had no electricity either . I also ran the OIL furnace so the pipes would not freeze as the pellet stove wouldn't send heat down to my cellar I know It Is a great feeling to not have to run the oil and save a lot of $$$$ but If we do have a emergency I would think the best situation to be In would be to have as many WORKING backups as you can have
    Jack Morrissey likes this.
  12. Boondoggie

    Boondoggie New Member

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    Nov 29, 2012
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    Loc:
    Southern NH
    I'm with you Jim. As thrilled as I am to not be burning oil, I can't say I trust my pellet stove to go without a safety net. I've been thru pipes freezing all over the house due to a furnace failing in the middle of winter, I'd rather not repeat it.
  13. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    As the others have said, don't be foolish. Go grab two 5 gallon containers of diesel fuel at the pumps and put it in the tank and give it a test run. You need to be sure that your backup is there if you need it.
  14. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    The other thing that I hope you really dont find out is the symptons you describe are exactly the ones that more than a few folks have seen when the copper fuel line has rotted out under the concrete slab. When this happens the contents of the tank leak out under the slab and you may not know if for quite a while. That is the reason that most states (not sure of NH) now require that the line be encased in plastic to ensure that it wont rot. In some areas the oil firm cant deliver oil unless the line is replaced.

    I use to work with someone whose family had this problem. They ran out of oil and called for a fill up, the tank was filled and then the ran out of oil the next day. There was no trace of oil or oil odor anywhere. int he basement. Once the oil dealer came by he figured it out and by lawe had to call it in. They had to remove the basement floor, remove all the contaminated soil, then install a subslab ventilation systems and collection wells routed to new shed in their backyard whihc had oil removal equipment.
  15. TLHinCanada

    TLHinCanada Feeling the Heat

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    Canada
    I know my insurance company won't cover me if the pellet stove is my only source of heat. You can send your family to a motel if you have no heat. I can gaurantee you that if you have a problem and the pipes freeze up it will cost (if the insurance doesn't pay) a lot more than the $500.00 for a oil delivery.
  16. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Dude, put a fork in that thing. Best thing I ever did was toss that side saddle tank in my trash pile. I used mine at one point just dumping 6 gallons a week in from the local gas station. 3 of us just one shower a day and shutting the thing off burned just that much diesel a week. I put in a Lowes elcheapo State 40 gallon electric and my electric bill from NYSEG went up $25/month for all the water I need with it set at the lowest setting. Roll the thermostat up to highest temp and I can fill my 55 gallon whirlpool tub BETTER than the 30 gallon side saddle hooked to the oil monster. No fuss, no muss, shoulda done it years ago.
  17. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Chazy, NY 12921
  18. boosted3g

    boosted3g Feeling the Heat

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    If your not going to fill the oil tank id make sure you have some sort of emergency back up. I rely on my pellet stove but if it were to fail the heat pump kicks on at 70 degrees. If that fails or cant keep up i will resort to my kerosene heaters. I got a really clean burning one with stainless rings around the flame in a glass tube that ill run inside if i need to. They can be had cheap on craigslist. Get that and some spare stove parts and i dont think youll ever be without heat.
  19. bill3rail

    bill3rail Minister of Fire

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    Others have said it already, so I will repeat it repeat it!
    Get some diesel in there a few gallons at a time so you have a backup heating system.
    If you are concerned about an underground copper line or anything, you can just get a 35 gallon plastic drum and stand it near the burner to suck oil or diesel from.
    I had a 1500 gallon underground tank years ago at my business and had problems maintaining suction from the tank to the boiler so I ran diesel in the drum next to the tank.

    Bill
  20. ChandlerR

    ChandlerR Minister of Fire

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    Hampton, NH
    You guys are right. I will put 10 gals of diesel in it on Monday...just to be sure. My tank, line and furnace are all only 6 years old. Because I have a dirt floor, the line is on top and armored. I have a Buderus boiler with a Riello burner. Super easy to work on. I'll pop the filter on the burner and change the one on the tank and fire her up. I installed a 60 gallon electric water heater when I did the furnace. In a couple of weeks I'll have the funds to drop 100 gallons in it and that will stay there for a few more years. :) I do usually shut of the emergency switch at the boiler but must have had a brain fart this summer....Right now, even the pellet stove is off. Too warm for anything. I love a super insulated house!
  21. glenc0322

    glenc0322 Minister of Fire

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    you still should turn your furnace on at least every other month or it will rust and can freeze up on you. if you dont use it for years. you will have problems when you need to use it. its like a generator. you need to run it at a minimum every other month and exercise everything or problems will arise just a thought. but at least you will have some backup incase of an emergency I run my generator boiler and snow blower every month for 5 minutes just to check them and keep them in great working order
    Jack Morrissey likes this.
  22. ChandlerR

    ChandlerR Minister of Fire

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    I had the burner tuned up in the fall of 2011. It didn't really need anything but I wanted it checked out. I usually run it three or four times a year for a 1/2 hour or so. Probably not as much as I should but it runs great. I bought a quality furnace because I wanted something that would last. Little did I know that I would never run it. It probably has less than 100 hours on it! We'll fire it up tomorrow.
  23. glenc0322

    glenc0322 Minister of Fire

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    Good now enjoy the pellet stove and hope you never need your boiler
  24. ChandlerR

    ChandlerR Minister of Fire

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    Ok, put in 10 gallons of diesel, changed the tank filter, checked the burner filter, bled the line and hit the switch. Fired right up like it was new. I feel better. Next month I'll drop 100 gallons in it and it can sit for another few months. :)
  25. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    I'm getting a delivery today. I have about 1/4 tank left in my 250 gal tank... so it should be about 180 gallons or so for the fill up. at 3.60 ish a gallon, i'm looking at a pretty hefty bill. Luckily, this is fed my hot water and lower level heat since about july. I still want to do the electric hot water heater... but i'm trying to move out of state in the near future too...

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