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Using Diesel instead of Heating Oil

KC1
KC1 Member Posts: 14
Hi heating friends!

I am trying to save a few dollars...

My oil tank is 1/4 full, which is usually when I refill my tank.  My household is a low use household, as we use <15 gallons of oil in non-heating months.  We have a high efficiency Buderus boiler.

What I was thinking of doing is adding ~20 gallons of diesel to the oil tank to get me through the spring/early summer hoping that oil prices go down, then I would fill my tank.  

I have read diesel can be used in place of heating oil over a short term, but is there any risk with using over a few months mixed with heating oil?

Is another option finding a heating oil company that would put a few gallons of heating oil in a few smaller gas tanks?  

What do you think?

Comments

  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 332
    Diesel fuel is number two heating oil. They put red dye in it when it is sold for motor fuel use, to be sure that those with diesel engine vehicles pay road taxes.

    It should work just fine, as a temporary measure, if you think you can get it for less than home heating oil.

    Bburd
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,695
    Same stuff but may have some additives. If you're in a state that mandates bio diesel, then you're putting bio into the tank. Probably not much to worry about.
    But like @bburd said, you're paying the road tax when you buy diesel.
    20 gallons of diesel, a few times, will be more than 100 gallons of heating oil. If you're in a rural area, near farm land, there may be stations that sell off-road diesel, also the same, less road tax.
    steve
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,901
    Diesel fuel has over the road tax’s added that your fuel oil doesn’t. It will cost you more. 
  • KC1
    KC1 Member Posts: 14
    Thanks everyone--understand the cost difference which favors heating oil because of the tax.  Oil deliveries have minimums of ~100 gallons.  I guess my question is whether heating oil companies would be okay with filling a few small 5 gallon cans to help me?  I'll make a few calls tomorrow to check--I can't see any reason why they wouldn't help...do you?
  • DJD775
    DJD775 Member Posts: 145
    There have been times recently where diesel has been cheaper in my area but that is very rare. Add on the cost for physical therapy from pouring multiple 5 gallon cans of diesel and #2 oil is by far cheaper. Don't ask me how I know ☹.
    In_New_England
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,340
    do you know any excavators?  They carry  off road diesel on their refuel trucks
    Even many if the small guys that run skid steers and mini excavators have fuel tanks in their trucks. If you see a pickup running around with a fuel hose in the bed it is probably a diesel tank also
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,291
    Just go to a gas station
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,901
    SlamDunk said:
    Just go to a gas station
    Depending on where the OP is pay 10 - 50% more?
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 547
    Spend the extra ten bucks at the local gas station and be done with it.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,695
    I doubt any oil company is sending over a truck to fill up a few cans without a steep delivery charge.
    Really you should just get a 100 gallon delivery and be done with it for now.
    By the time you need more, the price may have come down.
    steve
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,291
    edited March 28
    pecmsg said:


    SlamDunk said:

    Just go to a gas station

    Depending on where the OP is pay 10 - 50% more?

    For twenty gallons?....a trip to the gas station would be time well spent. Plus, it will smoke less.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,739
    Don't be so sure it's more. My mother in southern upstate NY just called and it's $5 per gallon (150 gallon minimum) which is right about what it costs at the gas station.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    In_New_England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,873
    I doubt any oil company is sending over a truck to fill up a few cans without a steep delivery charge. Really you should just get a 100 gallon delivery and be done with it for now. By the time you need more, the price may have come down.
    Wouldn't it make sense to buy 20 gallons of diesel for now and not 100 gallons if the price may come down in the future?


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    wmgeorge
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,205
    I operated a gas station in a rural area during the 1970s and 1980s fuel problems, We sold taxed diesel and off road diesel from the same tank. we needed to put a separate tank in the ground when they started requiring the red dye. We added Green additive for diesel since we were an AGWAY branded fuel station. Same product, different additive for diesel. We also put different additive in the fuel for when we were delivering it to home heating oil tanks.

    Bottom line. If you can find a fuel station or dealer that offers "Off Road" diesel for non highway use, that is where you can go to get the best price without road tax.

    A lot has changed since we operated that gas station. But the fuel is still the same. Diesel is #2 fuel and home heating oil is #2 fuel. Same stuff different dye.

    If in a pinch, you can also use kerosene or #1 fuel (or A1 Jet fuel if near an airport) in a pinch. Usually more expensive and also less BTU per gallon. But in a pinch it will work. If you are going to use more than 200 gallons of #1, you should have the combustion tested and adjusted. For 40 gallons or less of #1, don't bother.

    Mr.Ed


    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
    bburdkcoppMikeAmann
  • ron
    ron Member Posts: 220
    edited March 29
    I am in CT, and years ago... not sure how true it was... but for filling up your boat at the gas station whether it was gasoline or diesel, if you saved your receipts you could submit to the state for a refund of the road tax that is on that gas station price for fuel. For a boat where the seasonal use was decent that could be significant dollars back...

    google says CT currently 40.1 cents per gallon on diesel, so 100 gallons would be $40, and 50 gallons would be $20 saved to give you an idea.

    I would think gas station diesel is better/cleaner than delivered home heating fuel, these days especially with diesel engines having sensitive injectors, catalytic converters, and a host of other crap that every one just ends up removing. Bottom of my new oil tank has decent build up now, any 5gal jug of gas station diesel I've never had any sludge or sediment settle out.

    I ran my old burnham boiler directly off a 5 gal jug, unfiltered, the copper line just cut and inserted into the container of gas station diesel, for about a month in the summer when I replaced my oil tank, had zero problems.
  • jpulls11
    jpulls11 Member Posts: 9
    ron said:

    I am in CT, and years ago... not sure how true it was... but for filling up your boat at the gas station whether it was gasoline or diesel, if you saved your receipts you could submit to the state for a refund of the road tax that is on that gas station price for fuel. For a boat where the seasonal use was decent that could be significant dollars back...

    google says CT currently 40.1 cents per gallon on diesel, so 100 gallons would be $40, and 50 gallons would be $20 saved to give you an idea.

    I would think gas station diesel is better/cleaner than delivered home heating fuel, these days especially with diesel engines having sensitive injectors, catalytic converters, and a host of other crap that every one just ends up removing. Bottom of my new oil tank has decent build up now, any 5gal jug of gas station diesel I've never had any sludge or sediment settle out.

    I ran my old burnham boiler directly off a 5 gal jug, unfiltered, the copper line just cut and inserted into the container of gas station diesel, for about a month in the summer when I replaced my oil tank, had zero problems.

    I’m in CT as well. I’m a burner guy. I’ve been buying diesel here and there waiting for oil to drop. No need to spend $500 on a minimum when heating season is basically over. You’ll be fine using diesel, the price is already going down, so oil should be soon as well.
  • ron
    ron Member Posts: 220
    well... 5/18/2022, diesel everywhere well over $6 per gallon at the gas station, Malloy's I'm helping by cutting the gas tax last month when it went from ~ $4.50 to $3.75 overnight, gasoline has been steadily rising about 5 cents every couple days, back at $4.45 for gas now, with no indication in sight of any kind of stability.

    a sincere thanks for those who voted for it. for kicks gonna look at the marina and see what's displayed at their pump
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 181
    Ran off-road (dyed) diesel for years from a source thats a bit cheaper, 8 jerry cans at a time. Set up a block and tackle kinda thing with a tieoff (boat cleat) to lift the jerry up high easily. Used a jiggle-hose to transfer. Worked well, saved money, boiler seemed none the worse for wear.
    100 jerry cans for a winter.
    Yep.. lol
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • bucksnort
    bucksnort Member Posts: 160
    bburd said:

    Diesel fuel is number two heating oil. They put red dye in it when it is sold for motor fuel use, to be sure that those with diesel engine vehicles pay road taxes.

    It should work just fine, as a temporary measure, if you think you can get it for less than home heating oil.

    Off road diesal is dyed red. That's how they catch people using it in their pickups and semis. Go to a livestock auction is where the diesel cops hang out and will dip your tank to check. Many farm co-ops will have a separate pump for off road.
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 184
    Just may be times have people paying more per gallon to get smaller quantities than what would be more normal to do during times of stability as inflation is insane right now... I'd use the fueling station in a heartbeat , Some are sticklers for approved containers and I'm not sure what that would be (Color Coded ) or not...it just maybe best to call ahead so you don't have any surprises.g/l
    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
  • BobRoss
    BobRoss Member Posts: 5
    fuel is going to be more expensive as september comes around. supply isn’t going to fix itself by then.it’s still going up right now. not enough time for production to ramp up. unless opec announces something 
    MaxMercy
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 291
    BobRoss said:

    fuel is going to be more expensive as september comes around. supply isn’t going to fix itself by then.it’s still going up right now. not enough time for production to ramp up. unless opec announces something 

    Unfortunately, that's correct. There's no relief coming in the near future.