How to get sediment out of heater oil tank?

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1,079
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Berks County/Pa.
Wondering how to remove sediment out of oil tank in basement? When there oil tank is run low and they get new oil put in -- sediment is clogging there lines. I know -- dont let it get that low in the first place right.
 
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7,951
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
I've wondered that too. Some fitting needs to be above the expected level of sediment/water....as stated above. Design a clean out port into the side of a tank. It cannot possibly pay to retrofit one to an old tank. What stinks is that water goes to the bottom of tanks and can rust. Maybe a valved drain like on airplane fuel tanks?
 
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15,234
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N.H, U.S.A.
Funny you say this, i just had a logged pump screen on my oil burner this past friday. Dropped the tank filter and there was gritty crud and water blobs in the cup. The cart foam filter looked OK - no sludge. I've been keeping the tanked topped up to to prevent moisture condensing in there since its open to the outdoors.. and the temps have been yo-yo ing something terrible. 20f then 45f, then rain then 10f next 40f then rain ... 50 degrees forecast today ! ? ! Back to the tank Now I think you can get an environment company to vacuum it. They have to clean them for removal and disposal A couple jugs of alcohol should suck up the water. Look at some HD Diesel additives for this They making poly tanks now?
 
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BAJA_05

Thread starter
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1,079
Location
Berks County/Pa.
Originally Posted by ARCOgraphite
Funny you say this, i just had a logged pump screen on my oil burner this past friday. Dropped the tank filter and there was gritty crud and water blobs in the cup. The cart foam filter looked OK - no sludge. I've been keeping the tanked topped up to to prevent moisture condensing in there since its open to the outdoors.. and the temps have been yo-yo ing something terrible. 20f then 45f, then rain then 10f next 40f then rain ... 50 degrees forecast today ! ? ! Back to the tank Now I think you can get an environment company to vacuum it. They have to clean them for removal and disposal A couple jugs of alcohol should suck up the water. Look at some HD Diesel additives for this They making poly tanks now?
Same crazy/unpredictable weather here. I was wondering if they made an additive to break down the sediment but also not damage the lines or heater???
 
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1,080
Location
Maryland
FYI a few years ago I had a customer with sludge in their oil tank. They put in an additive to break up the sludge and it made a terrible mess. Made the plugging worse. The burner lines and oil nozzles are too small on residential to handle all that. I knew one other person with a tank that plugged things up after refilling and they would shut the oil burner down when filling and then leave it off for an entire hour. That solved their plugging problem.
 
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444
Location
Long Island, N.Y.
Wait........maybe I'm missing something here. You say it's an Indoor tank (assuming it's in a controlled environment) and your getting sediment/water inside the tank? Sounds like it's coming from the Oil delivery company. Do you have a contract with a fuel company or do you get Cash on Delivery oil? Tank needs to be vacuumed out and refilled with pure Number 2 Fuel oil. Get yourself some "Howe's diesel treat" and treat at double the dosage first with a maintenance dose to follow.
 
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431
Location
Daytona Beach
You might be dealing with bacteria growth. There are additives for that, but they are not normally needed in vehicles, so they are not included in the fuel for home heat either. Introduce just a little bio-diesel that is left in the delivery truck from a previous customer, and bang, bacteria. The only way to clean a tank is, well, to clean the tank. The suction truck/environmental guys are the experts. They've seen it all before, trust me. Don't be afraid to do a rinse with a garden hose with high pressure. Suck the water out (same guys, same time) ventilate outside with hoses. They make a vortex suction funnel that is air powered, or just use the vac truck to get the water out. Refill, and add bacteriacide if you can find it, done. You can even save to fuel that is in the tank if you get the right guys. They can just drum up the clean stuff and give it back to you when finished.
 
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228
Location
Litchfield, Ohio
If the tank is old the last thing you want to do is try to clean the tank out. Not only will there be a lot of junk in it but also a good chance you will cause it to leak. Tanks rust from the inside out.
 
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431
Location
Daytona Beach
Quote
If the tank is old the last thing you want to do is try to clean the tank out. Not only will there be a lot of junk in it but also a good chance you will cause it to leak. Tanks rust from the inside out.
If it's that bad, It would be better to clean it and inspect it. The last thing anybody needs is a basement full of smelly diesel fuel! The environmental guys can also do Non destructive metal thickness tests AFTER the tank is clean. If it's badly pitted, its time is up. So now you have another option, don't clean it, just replace it. Done.
 
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7,951
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
1) A friend lived in a hollow where the oil truck had to go up and down steep hills. He swore that action stirred up whatever was in the truck's tank and got real good at cleaning/replacing orifices. I always thought oil delivery trucks pumped from the bottom so their trucks stayed as contaminate-free as possible Gasoline trucks dump from the bottom. 2) Steel tanks have to have a generalized lifespan. I grew up in a house with an inside oil tank. I remember my parents telling me that the cost of replacing the tank was factored into the cost of converting to natural gas. There has to be a rule of thumb about tank life. 3) +1 on not going the "solvent shortcut route". Send no bad stuff to your burner. 4) In Germany I saw framed plastic totes in basements for home heating oil. That made me lift an eyebrow. Punctures anyone?
 
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8,990
Location
MA
Originally Posted by Kira
1) A friend lived in a hollow where the oil truck had to go up and down steep hills. He swore that action stirred up whatever was in the truck's tank and got real good at cleaning/replacing orifices. I always thought oil delivery trucks pumped from the bottom so their trucks stayed as contaminate-free as possible Gasoline trucks dump from the bottom. 2) Steel tanks have to have a generalized lifespan. I grew up in a house with an inside oil tank. I remember my parents telling me that the cost of replacing the tank was factored into the cost of converting to natural gas. There has to be a rule of thumb about tank life. 3) +1 on not going the "solvent shortcut route". Send no bad stuff to your burner. 4) In Germany I saw framed plastic totes in basements for home heating oil. That made me lift an eyebrow. Punctures anyone?
Basically oil tanks last 40-60 years but I've seen some that were original to the house that were older than 60. Oil tank itself is around $640. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Vertical-275-Gal-Oil-Tank-275VOT/300636041 Pricing to swap them out varies, sometimes around $1000 depending on the company doing it and removal of the old one. I've heard of some people doing it DIY. Run it dry, stick the rest in a bucket swap the tank. You can find used oil tanks on craigslists that aren't that old from people switching to natural gas.
 
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15,234
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
Originally Posted by incognito_2u
Wait........maybe I'm missing something here. You say it's an Indoor tank (assuming it's in a controlled environment) and your getting sediment/water inside the tank? Sounds like it's coming from the Oil delivery company. Do you have a contract with a fuel company or do you get Cash on Delivery oil? Tank needs to be vacuumed out and refilled with pure Number 2 Fuel oil. Get yourself some "Howe's diesel treat" and treat at double the dosage first with a maintenance dose to follow.
Its indoors. Basement is about 55deg in the winter. When you get 90-100% humidity in a rain storm, the tank vent is open to ATM outside. Quarts of water will condense on the wall of a 1/4. 1/2 full tank in a couple hours. Then it settles on the bottom. I think there is at least 5 gal on the bottom below the bung.and supply spigot. Bet its mostly water.
 
Messages
15,234
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
Originally Posted by Kira
1) A friend lived in a hollow where the oil truck had to go up and down steep hills. He swore that action stirred up whatever was in the truck's tank and got real good at cleaning/replacing orifices. I always thought oil delivery trucks pumped from the bottom so their trucks stayed as contaminate-free as possible
Im on a steep hill. But im sure the stop ligts and snakey roades around here still thing up just fine. Of coures it teh fill of teh home tank thts stirring up sediment. Age old problem with gas and oil and Service Stations. Remember the old guys telling you " dont get gas when they are filling the tanks!" Now you have E10 then if that get jat a a little water in it, now ALL of that is on the bottom! and you have 85 or less octane regular phase separated on top. Happens many time a year to me. An this is an engine killer.
 
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15,120
Location
Upper Midwest
Originally Posted by ARCOgraphite
Happens many time a year to me. An this is an engine killer.
You have the worst luck of anyone I've ever seen on here, or anywhere for that matter. As far as I know in over 40 years of driving I've never had that happen but you have it happen "many times a year." And I've never killed an engine, ever. Not from this and not from the 100 other things that have killed your engines. It's downright baffling to me.
 
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6,206
Location
New England
Originally Posted by Wolf359
Originally Posted by Kira
1) A friend lived in a hollow where the oil truck had to go up and down steep hills. He swore that action stirred up whatever was in the truck's tank and got real good at cleaning/replacing orifices. I always thought oil delivery trucks pumped from the bottom so their trucks stayed as contaminate-free as possible
Basically oil tanks last 40-60 years but I've seen some that were original to the house that were older than 60. Oil tank itself is around $640. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Vertical-275-Gal-Oil-Tank-275VOT/300636041 Pricing to swap them out varies, sometimes around $1000 depending on the company doing it and removal of the old one. I've heard of some people doing it DIY. Run it dry, stick the rest in a bucket swap the tank. You can find used oil tanks on craigslists that aren't that old from people switching to natural gas.
@wolf Is your experience $1000 to change out tank including the tank or is that the labor? I ask because I am in NH(seacoast) and have one as old as me 1972 which is okay but rusty at bottom especially at legs. They can walk or roll the tank out with three stairs.
 
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Messages
8,990
Location
MA
Originally Posted by madRiver
There is a warlike oil filter
Originally Posted by Wolf359
Originally Posted by Kira
1) A friend lived in a hollow where the oil truck had to go up and down steep hills. He swore that action stirred up whatever was in the truck's tank and got real good at cleaning/replacing orifices. I always thought oil delivery trucks pumped from the bottom so their trucks stayed as contaminate-free as possible
Basically oil tanks last 40-60 years but I've seen some that were original to the house that were older than 60. Oil tank itself is around $640. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Vertical-275-Gal-Oil-Tank-275VOT/300636041 Pricing to swap them out varies, sometimes around $1000 depending on the company doing it and removal of the old one. I've heard of some people doing it DIY. Run it dry, stick the rest in a bucket swap the tank. You can find used oil tanks on craigslists that aren't that old from people switching to natural gas.
Is your experience $1000 to change out tank including the tank or is that the labor? I ask because I am in NH(seacoast) and have one as old as me 1972 which is okay but rusty at bottom especially at legs. They can walk or roll the tank out with three stairs.
That's the labor. The tank alone is $640. Typically just a tank removal is in the $300-$500 range.
 
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14,515
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...
A lot of the cost of tank removal are fees. Environmental regulations do that. Another cause of tank rust comes when a tank sits empty for a period of time. If a tank is filled regularly then rust has to come from contamination. Empty tanks that sit around start the process.
 
Messages
15,234
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
Originally Posted by kschachn
Originally Posted by ARCOgraphite
Happens many time a year to me. An this is an engine killer.
You have the worst luck of anyone I've ever seen on here, or anywhere for that matter. As far as I know in over 40 years of driving I've never had that happen but you have it happen "many times a year." And I've never killed an engine, ever. Not from this and not from the 100 other things that have killed your engines. It's downright baffling to me.
Its downright aggravating to me! It was really brought home to me when i was picking up a new Grand AM coupe stick car years ago at the GM dealer. A mechanic was running up to the service manger yelling about something. Then I heard him tell the writer that "this garbage gasoline at the Shell station next door (Haverhill , MA) is killing all these cars!" Then over the years I see every station get new poly tanks. Things were not bad during the MTBE period. Then when E10 came around - back to the horror stories. They even closed a HESS near my work(Salem NH) , article in the local paper talked about water in their tanks. and multiple claims of ruined engines. When i pick up the Pontiac it wouldn't start. But that ended up being a bad ignition cylinder. A couple times after getting bad fuel, I have an emergency and I drive the car too hard on the throttle to get to the hospital or Veterinarian. My theory is Running the car in enrichment mode ( read: heavy throttle ) where it cannot provide enough fuel and there is no combustion feedback - will toast that engine. Plus sometime i just get mad at the whole situation and run the engine hard with the poor fuel - and that doesn't help things either. Also I don't go to the dealer to get the fuel dumped out. as the car is under warranty and bad gas damage is NOT covered.
 
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