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Oil Line Clog & CO2 Cartridge

CEP Member Posts: 9
Can using a CO2 cartridge to clear a clogged subslab fuel oil line cause an oil leak?  Is there any literature on this?  


  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
    There are plenty of posts on this here.

    Yes, of course it could, will, and most likely did.  There's just too much pressure in a cartridge.

    I, and many others here will tell you, never use a CO2 cartridge to clear a leak.  If I cant clear it with a hand pump (which I almost always have), I replace it.  My thought is if its that clogged, the tank is going to need to be treated, or cleaned, or even replaced, and hopefully you have, or will move, the first filter to the tank.

    One Wallie here, Icesailor, has told us he uses a compressor with very low air pressure with much success.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385

    As Steve said, a push/pull pump would be the better procedure. Cartridges are only a one shot at a time, and only move the blockage a little further down the line. My air compressor is 3 Phase, so I would rather not haul that around. Ice must have a portable one 
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Air Compressors:

    Make something that you can connect an air hose to a flare fitting. Adjust the compressor regulator (not the pressure switch) to 0# PSI (Zero Pressure). If you are blowing under a floor, disconnect the burner end from the burner and add something so that you can put the end into a container. Slowly open the regulator. Watch the gauge on the compressor. It will "let go" soon. If it doesn't go right away, leave it at 15# and watch the end. Once the scuzz starts to flow, open the regulator and let the air flow. It won't get too high.

    Sometimes, the obstruction is at the tank piping. Blow from the other end. Blow the scuzz into the tank. Put a spin-on filter on the tank and have one on the burner. The tank filter will collect the tank scuzz and keep the line clear. If the line is under the floor, install a Tigerloop and run the line overhead.

    A CO2 tube can put over 1000# on an obstruction. That's how you blow oil lines. If you put 15# of air pressure on the line, sooner or later, it will move. Use the air to clean out the sludge in the oil line. The turbulence of the air will make it as clean as almost new.

    In my experience.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Portable Air Compressors

    Every truck should have a portable air compressor in it. There is no linit to what you can do with one. If you have a water leak in plumbing and heating pipes, you can blow all the water out of the systems in a fraction of the time it takes to look around to make the water stop dripping.

    I drained houses for the winter for years by just draining and opening up water heaters and pumping. When I switched to an air compressors, I could drain a 80 gallon water heater in 10 minutes or less and use it as an extra air tank.  There is a large amount of water held in the piping. The turbulence of the air will suck up all the air. If you get a leaking tire on the truck, blow it up. I use it for air guns. The best PEX expander I ever used was an air powered one.

    If you winterize houses and don't use an air compressor, you are working too hard. Lightweight airless compressors with hot dog tanks that weigh less than 75# will rule.
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