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Anti-Gel Agent

MattyMadore Member Posts: 2
I have used Low Sulfur Diesel in the past, as I have an outdoor tank. Now i'm being told to get decent pricing I need to get #2 Heating Oil. I understand this requires an anti-gelling additive, which they state I must add.  What are some suggested products that I should use? I'm up here in the cold winters of Vermont, so need something good to keep my oil flowing well.

Thank you,



  • Greg Maxwell
    Greg Maxwell Member Posts: 212
    #2 fuel

    I dont know where you are located, but #2 fuel should not be used in an outdoor tank. I would at best use a 50/50 mix of #2 and kerosene.
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997

    may cost more but it's worth it. Last thing you want is to pay someone to come out and try and unfreeze your tank and lines January 1st..
  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    I agree with Ichmb and Greg.

    The money that you save per gallon will easily be spent having a technician come out and thaw out your gelled and frozen tank during the winter. Believe me, I do this a couple dozen times a winter for pig headed home owners that just don't get it. I am sure that Ichmb has had the same experiences in NH.

    There are no additives on the market that can prevent this. It is a matter of the tank temp reaching the gelling point of the oil.

    Put in the kero and you won't have to worry about it. Besides, I find that the burner runs much better on kerosene.

    Good Luck.
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    funny though

    It's the same people every year. Almost like clock work, temp drops, they call, and generally a Saturday night..."sigh"
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385

    I found that after it became dyed, it was creating more problems with mobile home units. We have been treating #2 in all outside tanks for at least 8 years with no problems. Less than with the dyed kero. Granted here on Cape, we don't get quite as cold as other parts, but it do get chilly here too. The key is to start treating before winter, and not when it is already gelling. Too late the. The tanks should be top feed to start with also, and checked for condensation  early fall.
  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678

    I understand your point about the dye Bill. But at -10, kero still burns and #2, regardless of additives, still gels. I have even seen the mixes start to gel. Not to mention what happens when it gets really cold and stays there.

    I have a buddy up in Fort Kent, he has stories of kero starting to gel. I believe that is -44? Burrrrrr.
  • MattyMadore
    MattyMadore Member Posts: 2

    Thank you all for the help. I've decided to stick with the low sulfur diesel instead of risking it with the regular heating oil and additives.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Edmonton, Alberta

    My niece lives in Edmonton, Alberta. I have no idea what she heats with. But I just looked up a temperature chart there.


    Record cold there is -51F. I do not know the design temperature there; it is probably higher than -55F.

    But assuming they heat with oil and have their tank outside (I have no idea), what should they do? Convert to burning alcohol? (not serious) At some point, design temperature has to take into consideration more than the number of BTU/hour to heat the house. If liquid fuels are to be used, they must be warm enough to remain liquid. At some point, do you design  a system to heat the fuel tank?

    Here is a place I would never want to live, but people do live there.


    Record cold there is -93.6F. In 1961, I took a course in the geography of the Soviet Union, and learned that civil engineering there is different from here. They run the liquid utilities by digging a deep trench and putting crushed rock in. Then a layer of sawdust. Then they run a water pipe, as sewer pipe, and an uninsulated steam pipe to keep the others warm. Perhaps they heat the buildings with the steam too; I do not know. Then they put in more sawdust and gravel or rock. Now it gets warm too in the summers and the area gets muddy. They cannot pave the roads with asphalt or even concrete because the temperature range (99.1F record high in the summer) is so great that that would break up. So they pave the road with wooden boards.
  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    JDB, they don't put the tank outside.

    And for tanks that have to be outside, they use tank heaters and thermal blankets to keep them "warm".

    I lost some skin once and a buddy spent 6 months out of work after trying to un-gel an outside tank up here. The air temp was -20 and it had been cold for weeks. When oil that cold hits skin, it is just like a burn, only it is frostbite.
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