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PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD

Heating oil filter deposits

I replace the oil filter that feeds my boiler every year before heating season starts. The filter looks like this:



It's some sort of compressed fabric element inside the metal housing.

Anyway, every year the filter has what I'd consider to be a lot of sludge in it. It's a thick brown solid that's evenly distributed around the outside of the filter element. How much of this stuff is normal? I go through a few hundred gallons of oil per year.

A 290 gallon underground tank feeds the system, and it's about 8 years old.


Pher9999

join:2011-07-06
Carmel, NY

we get the same thing, when your tank gets low the sludge builds, when you fill the tank it stirs up then gets sucked in. They make a liquid to add to the tank to help break it up, we try to put it in 2x a year or so, but also change the filter an Adjust the elextrodes, during the cleaning.



PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD

Is the sludge from moisture buildup in the tank?


Pher9999

join:2011-07-06
Carmel, NY
reply to PSWired

Could be, could be dirt getting in the vent. part of the tank breaking down, Our tank is 40 years old.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by Pher9999:

Our tank is 40 years old.

You're nearing the 50 year expectency
I just hope you don't have a leak, it would SUCK if your soil is contaminated.

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
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reply to PSWired

Unfortunately bacteria can grow in fuel oil. Some of the deposits that you see in the filter might be bacteria. There are additives to inhibit bacterial growth you can add when the tank is filled. Ask your fuel oil supplier what they recommend to inhibit bacteria growth.


sailor
Premium
join:2003-10-21
Long Island
kudos:6
reply to PSWired

Click for full size
My house was built in 1947 and I am not sure how long the fuel oil tank has been in my basement but it is old...It has sludge on the bottom of it and has clogged up my filter so much that it has kept the boiler from running...

I was told to change the filter 2x's a year and also to turn emergency switch to boiler to OFF when I am getting a delivery of fuel oil....and to leave it off for at least 20 minutes after fill up....it was right after getting a delivery in the past when filter clogged up...the new fuel oil going down into tank stirred up all that sludge that sits near the bottom of the tank..so by turning it off you allow everything to settle down...

My line from the fuel tank is located near bottom of tank so I was also told I could have line coming out the top of tank to avoid that but I never did go through with relocating line.

The reason being in addition to changing filter 2x's a year and making sure boiler is turned off during delivery by using emergency switch near top of basement stairs I also was told to add sludge treatment to tank right before delivery...

I was told to buy the stuff by Hercules and I leave the bottle outside by fill valve with a note to fuel oil delivery guy on how to much to add before he starts filling....

No problems since...

Only issues I have now is the high cost of fuel oil...I just had a delivery yesterday...

176.8 gallons @ $3.76 for $664.77 and then tax added another $16.62 for a total bill of $681.39

I sure am hoping we have a mild winter like we did last year here on Long Island, NY.


dosdoxies
Premium
join:2004-12-15
Wallingford, PA

said by sailor:

176.8 gallons @ $3.76 for $664.77 and then tax added another $16.62 for a total bill of $681.39

Tax on fuel oil? I never heard of that. None here in PA.

sailor
Premium
join:2003-10-21
Long Island
kudos:6

The tax imposed on my fuel oil is a county tax...my county being Suffolk County, NY...It is 2.5%

Is is in publication 718R which is down a bit on this page

»www.tax.ny.gov/pubs_and_bulls/tg···ions.htm



PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
reply to sailor

Thanks. Guess I'll add some of that sludge emulsifier the next time I have the tank filled.

My generator also draws from this fuel tank. Fuel filters for that are $40 each, so I'd like to avoid clogging them up any faster than I have to.



pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
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Could you put a pre filter, like the General 1A-25A, in the line before the generator? The paper elements for a General are only $3-4 and have a lot of surface area so should take out a lot of crap before there is too much of a pressure drop.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.



PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD

That's something to consider, but I'd rather get the crap out of the tank to begin with. Don't really want water-laden sludge sitting at the bottom of the tank rusting away the steel.



LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to PSWired

Most diesel / fuel oil suppliers can clean the tank and 'polish' the fuel for a reasonable charge... They use a series of filters and an external pump setup to siphon the fuel and crap from the tank, filter it, and return it to the tank.


patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1
reply to PSWired

Put in 2 filters in parallel. 2x longer before clog time.



JRW2
R.I.P. Mom, Brian, Ziggy, Max and Zen.
Premium
join:2004-12-20
La La Land
kudos:5
Reviews:
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reply to sailor

said by sailor:

176.8 gallons @ $3.76 for $664.77 and then tax added another $16.62 for a total bill of $681.39

My tank is in my basement, and I have the draw from it on the bottom, via gravity feed, my filter is sludgy every year too.

Where do you get that sludge treatment, I need it for mine too.

I've been told you can have the tank drained and cleaned, and this will reduce the sludge, but not eliminate it from coming back.

You could try COD delivery to reduce the price of oil, or try Slomin's for one year, I think they are offering it at $3.50 right now.
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Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to PSWired




quote:
This is a transparent view of a typical underground residential fuel oil tank. It shows how the pipes are usually connected to the tank. The three main connections are; the FILL PIPE, the VENT PIPE, and the FUEL OIL LINES. Each will be explained in more detail below.

The FILL PIPE is normally a two(2) inch pipe which is screwed directly into one of the two-inch fittings on the top of the tank. Notice that the pipe goes DIRECTLY into the tank. A DIRECT FILL PIPE is imperative for both measuring as well as testing, as our tests can not be performed/certified without precise measurement of the oil and/or water in the tank.

The VENT PIPE allows air to escape from the tank when fuel is being added. The pipe originates at another of the two-inch fittings at the top of the tank. Vent pipes can measure from 3/4-inch to 2-inches in diameter. It is normally buried underground, comes up next to the structure, (see diagram above), and is topped off with a cap that allows air to escape. This pipe usually has to be sealed or plugged during our test.

The FUEL OIL LINES are copper tubing which allow fuel to flow from the tank to the furnace and from the furnace to the tank. The lines are secured in a fitting at the top of the tank by a duplex bushing with flare nuts or compression nuts. The supply line carries fuel from the tank to the furnace. The return line allows unused fuel to flow back to the tank from the furnace.
Actually the supply line should be a little shorter than shown here. A considerable amount of sludge and water can accumulate in the bottom over time.

»www.ustanktech.com/tank_pic.htm

sailor
Premium
join:2003-10-21
Long Island
kudos:6
reply to JRW2

Click for full size
Click for full size
Click for full size
said by JRW2:

said by sailor:

176.8 gallons @ $3.76 for $664.77 and then tax added another $16.62 for a total bill of $681.39

My tank is in my basement, and I have the draw from it on the bottom, via gravity feed, my filter is sludgy every year too.

Where do you get that sludge treatment, I need it for mine too.

I've been told you can have the tank drained and cleaned, and this will reduce the sludge, but not eliminate it from coming back.

You could try COD delivery to reduce the price of oil, or try Slomin's for one year, I think they are offering it at $3.50 right now.

When I am in need of a bottle I will pick it up while in Riverhead at Blackmans. They are at 940 West Main Street, Riverhead 11901 ...

In the screenshot I drive into the wholesale lot to the right of the building where you see the chain link fence..park in there behind the fence area and you will see a side door and just go in that door...

The sludge treatment is around $16-$17.00 dollars for a quart container and recommended initial dosage is 1 pint per 275 gallons of tank capacity.....I now just leave the bottle in a zip lock storage bag outside when I am expecting a delivery and usually leave a note for driver to add 1/4 of bottle....do this maybe 3-4 times during the year and I am good.

I also buy the filter replacements there. They are about a dollar and change.

As for a fuel oil delivery company thanks but I use a small family business where I have known the family for many decades....they try and give me the best price they can plus they have key to gate and after driver is done he just puts bill in my door....have like 30 days to pay them but I always pay them right away...long time family friends.

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
reply to PSWired

Check out the website below that describes a fuel cleaning system:

»www.parkerfuelpolishing.com/

Unfortunately their products are expensive but do clean stored fuel.


Phillip
I Need A Nap

join:2004-12-21
Hatboro, PA
reply to PSWired

Home Depot sells the Hercules Fuel Oil Sludge Treatment and some of the more common replacement parts like filters and nozzles.