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    Frozen Oil lines??????????????? (27 Posts)

  • N/A @ 2:06 PM

    Oil problems

    Home heating oil will gel at very cold temperatures, but before that happens, wax crystals begin to form, and will clog filters. Any water/sludge in the tank bottom will freeze solid. The temperature at which the wax crystals begin to form is called the "cloud point", and varies from load to load. Pour point isn't usually something that home systems need to be concerned about, but it refers to the point at which the oil is liquid enough to pour. Some commercial fuel oils need to be heated to 100 degress before they are liquid. Reputable oil companies will add a pour point depressant chemical to their product as a routine measure, especially in very cold areas. Others have mentioned field remedies to help thaw out above. Best solution is an indoor tank, Roth is one manufacturer. ALL fuel oil contains water in some amount, so monitoring the amount in the bottom of the tank is important. A biocide will keep the algae that grow on the interface between the oil and the water under control; any reputable oil company will add this to their product as well. I hope you found this useful.
  • Leo Leo @ 6:34 PM
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    No Crime

    It's no crime but there are a number of factors to consider. The oil company may not care or fears liability if they supply additive and forget it. The oil company may not sell kerosene. The customer may have refused to spend extra for additive or kerosene, kerosene not being cheap. We had two different customers where I onced worked who both had frozen tanks, over five hundred dollars later they were in saying they shouldn't have to pay as they were never advised to use kerosene. Both customers files were pulled showing where they initialed their refusal to purchase kerosene. End of story. Every outside tank using kero gets trhough the cold snap unless it has some water in the bottom. Leo
  • Marcus the Frozen.... Marcus the Frozen.... @ 8:40 PM
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    Frozen as well

    I'm no plumber or HVAC expert but have learned enough about my system to realize that my oil line is frozen. We are in the north east and experienced two days of 0 degree temps. Interestingly enough, the furnace was working through the coldest of the days and then about 1pm today(15 degrees out), it 'puttered out' - After a filter change and many feeble attempt at bleeding the line, I realized, I have no oil flow. I have tried blowing air with a compressor in the line and vacuuming out the line. I have added 199 as well, to no avail, I will get a drip every 15 minutes or so and that's it. It's an outside tank with the pipe underground coming through the foundation - ANY AND ALL ADVICE WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!
  • ed wallace ed wallace @ 9:00 PM
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    no oil flow

    is it an above ground tank? or underground tank ? with an aboveground tank you need to do as advised in an earlier answer to the problem if underground could be a clogged foot valve in the tank or a frozen ooil line that is not buried deep enough below ground you say you are in the north east that covers many square miles be more specific to your location
  • ed wallace ed wallace @ 9:00 PM
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    no oil flow

    is it an above ground tank? or underground tank ? with an aboveground tank you need to do as advised in an earlier answer to the problem if underground could be a clogged foot valve in the tank or a frozen ooil line that is not buried deep enough below ground you say you are in the north east that covers many square miles be more specific to your location
  • Big Ed Big Ed @ 10:02 PM
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    Water will Freeze not oil

    The best way to prvent freeze ups and sludge is set up the tank so water will not collect. Pitch the tank to the bottom valve. Run the oil line from the bottom tap and pitch the line down hill with out any dips (dips collect water)right into the house. At the wall install a fillter to collect any water. Sludge is a waste product of a bug living between a layer of oil and water. It eats the oil and poops out sludge. That bug can not digust the sulfer in the oil. It will decreat it out as sufuric acid. That's how the tank rots from the inside out.
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • billz billz @ 2:53 PM
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    oil tanks

    what works pretty good get a big tarp drap tank put heat lamps at bottom tank we found a lotta times after freeing up frozen lines we are right back if we dont go to root of problem too cold oil tank permant put shelter around a g tank .burner bill in past we have taken exhaust off svc truck under tank
  • Big Ed Big Ed @ 8:36 AM
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    Tank Heater

    Looked a little in to a tank heater for a waste oil system. I only found high voltage units with a high price tag. Low voltage you say ? Any info you can post for me ? How do you choose the correct heater for the job would be very helpful.
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Tony Massi Tony Massi @ 7:43 PM
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    Oil Tank Heater

    Big Ed. The oil tank heater is made by: Rollie Systems, Tank Heaters & Equipment You can see them on their Web Site
  • Marcus the Frozen.... Marcus the Frozen.... @ 2:23 PM
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    Frozen Follow-up

    First off - THANK YOU to all that responded. I ended up putting in a temporary from inside the basement to heat the house until I could get a pro in. He came in on Monday and no matter what could not open up the line. I did, however have a 2nd line to the tank which was not being used any longer (it had snapped and been sealed) - he was able to draw oil through it with his hand pump and since then, we are good to go. The original line is either frozen, clogged, sludged, gelled or all of the above. At the end of the day, I am filling out the paperwork for the state grant to pull the underground tank and get one installed inside. Thanks again.
  • Tony Massi Tony Massi @ 10:24 PM
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    Oil Tank Heater

    I installed a few Oil Tank heaters a couple of years ago. No problem with gelling or a frozen line since then. This is a probe that goes into the top of the tank down almost to the bottom. There is a low voltage transformer that heats the probe and it keeps the oil moving. You have to have the oil lines or line top fed and they have to near the probe. Also it has to be plugged into an electrical socket and then a low voltage wire runs to the oil tank.
  • Marcus the Frozen.... Marcus the Frozen.... @ 9:14 PM
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    Ed, it is underground and I'm in North NJ(morris county). We have had the occasional cold blast, although the latest one may be the longest stretch of 0-10 degree weather. Point being, this has never happened before. What is a foot valve and how does one unclog it?
  • oil-2-4-6-gas oil-2-4-6-gas @ 9:52 PM
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    check your e-mail i left a phone # --just dont call too late -
  • oil-2-4-6-gas oil-2-4-6-gas @ 9:31 PM
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    is your oil line exposed aboveground between the tank and the house?
  • ed wallace ed wallace @ 9:38 PM
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    frozen oil line

    a foot valve is like a check valve it could be clogged oil line or it could be frozen if you cannot push air down the supply line you need to put in a temporary line till oil company can respond
  • oil-2-4-6-gas oil-2-4-6-gas @ 9:16 PM
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    call your local oil guy I guarantee hes been doing frozen oil lines all day --i had a few ---some i was able to get going others are on a jerry can for now ,others i had to run temporary lines --every supply house i called today was out of chemical to help with frozen lines ---
  • Marcus the Frozen.... Marcus the Frozen.... @ 9:20 PM
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    Temporary

    I did get a bunch of PS 911 and dropped that in, no change as of yet. How would I run a temporary myself until I get someone here? Keep in mind the tank is underground... At this point, I am will to try anything...thanks
  • ed wallace ed wallace @ 3:07 PM
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    frozen oil line

    unfortunately its not a crime altho it should be when you go back add some denatured alchohol to the tank to absorb any water thats in the tank
  • N/A @ 5:12 PM

    Is it a COD company ?

    For our customers with outside oil tanks ( many of the are ) , the drivers dump an additive in before every fillup . Very rarely will there be a gelling problem . Water on the bottom of the tank is a different story . A few years ago my oil line froze solid from the tank into the house . I never treated the oil before that . I do now .......... My momma didn't raise no dummies :)
  • GW GW @ 10:38 PM
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    dont know

    the guy really doesn't seem like he's the cod type; he dropped some good money with us 5 yrs ago. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
  • Jim Jim @ 8:40 AM
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    kero

    When i did oil service and the temp drops espicaly at the trailer parks and out side 275 they would get treated with either heat or 911 if they where running straight #2 but better yet was kero really never had jelling with kero ,i think i would increase the oil line to 1/2 with scully float type pick up and if it's a 2 pipe switch to a single and install tiger loop and try to rerun your oil lines to leave very little exposed .Get some good tracer heater tape and cable tie it and insulate well ,The reason i say get away from the 2 pipe set up on a above ground tank is condensation from the oil picking up temp from the re circ and that if the return has moisture or water in it it may freeze and blow the seal on the pump then it's more work .i have done this on alot of outside 275 and it ended all return related calls due to moisture and fuel jelling peace and good luck gary clammy
  • ed wallace ed wallace @ 10:09 AM
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    frozen oil lines

    Gary you need to repipe the oil tank do top take off from a floating pick up run single 1/2 line indoors then tee off to 2 tiger loops then to the burners each burner should have a separate filter keep oil line that is exposed to a minimuim add heat tape if needed put a cover on tank to keep snow and ice off of oil line
  • GW GW @ 3:00 PM
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    Thanks for the tips I went back today and slapped on a new filter at the tank. Everything ran fine. The HO will call again to re-pipe the oil line and bring filters indoors. Isn't it a crime for an oil co to deliver oil to an outdoor tank and not tell the Ho that he needs kero or even additive? the oil co did neither. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
  • John Abbott John Abbott @ 12:45 PM
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    solution

    with an outside tank the best way I have found is to use what we used to call a sludge pot ahead of the filter right off the tank an FB4 shell less the element will do the trick.The water being heavier than oil goes to the bottom and stays there and it can freeze there and not affect the oil flow. Just dump the water out when you service the burner.I like to use a bracket mounted westwood cartidge filter at the the equipment. John
  • GW GW @ 8:28 AM
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    iced up

    Hello, Good frozen morning. Outdoor oil tanks are not my thing; can anyone offer me a hand? I went out to get a customer going last night. In the end I needed to run and get a 5 gal jug of diesel. It's an outdoor 275 steel tank, there is a basic filter out there, it tees into two 3/8 lines (about 15' of sheathed tubing running on the ground....) before it pokes through the foundation (this is a raised ranch). There is a bsic oil furnace and an oil fired WH When I got there the heat run was junk; I could not pump and oil with my hand pump. The WH did run. What's the best short term and long term fix? The 5 gals won't last iong! Thanks, Gary To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
  • dana dana @ 8:43 AM
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    FROZEN OIL LINE

    if the h2o heater is running,then the problem is on the furnace side of the piping.you can thaw with a heat gun,repipe from the tee to the furnace.remove the outside filter at a later date. for now change the cartridge.add a bottle of hot oil treatment to the tank. make sure there using a blend oil mixture(kero/oil) or straight kero for outside tanks. also i would use the heat gun on the outlet piping off the oil tank for possible sludge/water jelling. good luck dana p.
  • Mark Custis Mark Custis @ 8:40 AM
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    Heat tape

    I have seen oil lines with heat tape and fiberglass insulation work. If the fuel in the tank has gelled it may be too late to include an anti-jelling additive. The supplier may have a few hints.
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