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Ran out of oil

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awa2022
awa2022 Member Posts: 1
edited December 2022 in Oil Heating
Hello, 
I have recently moved into a property. It has just ran out of oil….meaning no hot water or heating. 

I can order oil but it is saying 22nd/23rd for delivery…..

Can anyone recommend what I can do on the interim? Can I buy a few litres from some where? 

Thanks

Adam

Comments

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
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    I'd go get 20 - 40 gallons of diesel for now.  I guess that's 75 liters but I'm not sure what size cans you can get there.  Please only use approved containers to transport fuel.

    You'll have to bleed the air out and hope things didn't get plugged from whatever was in the bottom of the tank.


    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
    kcopp
  • Waher
    Waher Member Posts: 253
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    Unless you are locked into a contract I would reach out to other oil delivery services in your area. You could also try https://www.ordermyoil.com/but they will likely deliver later than if you called a local supplier directly.

  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,211
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    It won't be as easy as just dumping some diesel fuel or oil into the tank. The lines must be purged, and the filter and nozzle changed. That burner sucked up some nasty stuff. Failing to do this can have bad results...
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,881
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    Who’s your service provider?
    call them, they’ll deliver 10 or 15 gals and get you running. 
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
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    It won't be as easy as just dumping some diesel fuel or oil into the tank. The lines must be purged, and the filter and nozzle changed. That burner sucked up some nasty stuff. Failing to do this can have bad results...
    Maybe it did, maybe it didn't.

    We don't know what it did.  What bad results other than the burner shutting down?


    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
    MaxMercyEdTheHeaterManCLamb
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    I assume you’re somewhere rural and up in Canada (liters)?
    Can’t believe it takes that long to get a delivery. My will calls almost always get a delivery in less than 24 hours.
    I’d keep calling around and see who wants a new customer.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    Long Beach EdEdTheHeaterMan
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,211
    edited December 2022
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    Most likely mung has been sucked into the filter, the lines and the nozzle. Unless it's properly cleaned and restarted it can burn very poorly resulting in dirty combustion, flame failure, soot or a puff back.

    That's been my experience. We do that and a combustion test whenever a tank runs empty.

    Now if it's a new clean tank and system you won't have any problems dumping fuel in it, bleeding the air out of the line and starting the burner. If it's got a return line, just press the switch and watch. Good luck.
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,708
    edited December 2022
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    I'm just gonna leave this here, watch to the end
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmr9dOjyQHo
    known to beat dead horses
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 514
    edited December 2022
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    awa2022 said:

    Hello, 
    I have recently moved into a property. It has just ran out of oil….meaning no hot water or heating. 


    I can order oil but it is saying 22nd/23rd for delivery…..

    Can anyone recommend what I can do on the interim? Can I buy a few litres from some where? 

    Thanks

    Adam
    Diesel is nearly identical to #2 heating oil. I intentionally ran mine out of oil when I was going to change my failing oil tank and then threw in 30 liters of diesel to get to me to Saturday when I could do the swap (I already had the tank ready to go). Adding the diesel was all I needed as it started right up after a bleed. I did a nozzle, screen, and filter later in the fall as part of my yearly routine and checked the combustion as I do every time I change the nozzle.

    You *will* have to know how to bleed the pump at minimum or it won't restart. Unless the tank is really mungy, there's a good chance that just adding diesel and bleeding the pump will get you going until you can get an oil delivery.

    I would *still* have it serviced though. The filter, pump screen, and nozzle should be replaced after it's run a few hours and the combustion tested and adjusted.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,037
    edited December 2022
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    My family ran an oil business for as long as I can remember. There were over 5000 automatic delivery customers and half again as many will call and/or COD customers. With over 7000 oil tanks to keep full of oil, you can imagine that there were a few "Out Of Oil" service calls each year. There was no "Filter Strainer, Nozzle and combustion test" policy in place for that occasional Out Of Oil. Put oil in the tank, then prime the pump. observe the flame and move on to the next customer. There were even cases where the delivery driver was authorized to "Prime the Burner" with nothing but a 1/8" Allen Wrench or 3/8" bleeder wrench and a coffee can.

    The gloom and doom of running out of oil will always cause a clogged nozzle is an old service tech's wive's tale. A way to make an extra dollar on an unnecessary service call. On the rare occasion when this does happen, then the service tech can be dispatched for a fee to get the burner running. That is when you need the "Filter, Strainer, Nozzle and combustion test" and some instructions to the consumer to be careful, not to run out of oil and perhaps sign up for automatic delivery.

    @awa2022 should just get some kerosene or diesel and put it in the tank and prime the burner. If there is so much tank bottom deposits that they get a clogged nozzle, then they can deal with that IF it happens.

    And that is a big IF

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    ethicalpaulChrisJDJD775
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
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    My family ran an oil business for as long as I can remember. There were over 5000 automatic delivery customers and half again as many will call and/or COD customers. With over 7000 oil tanks to keep full of oil, you can imagine that there were a few "Out Of Oil" service calls each year. There was no "Filter Strainer, Nozzle and combustion test" policy in place for that occasional Out Of Oil. Put oil in the tank, then prime the pump. observe the flame and move on to the next customer. There were even cases where the delivery driver was authorized to "Prime the Burner" with nothing but a 1/8" Allen Wrench or 3/8" bleeder wrench and a coffee can.

    The gloom and doom of running out of oil will always cause a clogged nozzle is an old service tech's wive's tale. A way to make an extra dollar on an unnecessary service call. On the rare occasion when this does happen, then the service tech can be dispatched for a fee to get the burner running. That is when you need the "Filter, Strainer, Nozzle and combustion test" and some instructions to the consumer to be careful, not to run out of oil and perhaps sign up for automatic delivery.

    @awa2022 should just get some kerosene or diesel and put it in the tank and prime the burner. If there is so much tank bottom deposits that they get a clogged nozzle, then they can deal with that IF it happens.

    And that is a big IF


    I've known quite a few who ran out of oil several times a year.
    None of them ever had an issue other than getting the air out of the line. In fact, I'd bet if you do it from time to time it ensures you won't have an issue.

    My own tank, when we bought the house was out. It was Easter weekend and we went and got 20 gallons of diesel to get hot water for the weekend. No issues with sludge etc. It fired right up. Unfortunately the chimney was junk and the boiler was rotted but no problems with the filter or burner.
    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
    DJD775
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,211
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    Guess my stuff and the junk I services was older and in worse shape than yours. I always had problems after running a tank out. And you would not believe what was in those tanks when we removed them. But that's the landlord business...

    Maybe the stuff on which I worked was the exception rather than the rule. Depends on "what you've got" I suppose!
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
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    Guess my stuff and the junk I services was older and in worse shape than yours. I always had problems after running a tank out. And you would not believe what was in those tanks when we removed them. But that's the landlord business...

    Maybe the stuff on which I worked was the exception rather than the rule. Depends on "what you've got" I suppose!

    I don't think anyone here think's you're lying.

    Just, it's not always the case.
    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
    EdTheHeaterManCLamb
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 594
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    I used to run out of oil a couple of times per season. Just add oil and bleed it to start.
    Unless it's a seriously old tank, a steel tank will be tipped toward the bottom port and doesnt collect sludge. A newer Roth tank will be sucked upward, so it "runs out" when the end of the pipe is no longer in liquid.
    In either case, road diesel (or coloured/dyed) is fine.
    Dont try to fill a jerry can with the large diameter nozzles meant for slip-tanks, they typically dont fit the hole in the jerry and you end up with a big mess. A smaller nozzle should be available.
    Dont try to jam the jerry can pour spout into the oil tank hole. You might get lucky and slam it in there, but more often you will make a mess (and did I say, diesel in the eyes is a serious medical issue ?). Use a large funnel.
    Priming the unit to start it might require a heating guy, if you've never done it before.
    But at least you'll have the oil.
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 514
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    I'm not a pro, but it seems to me that heating oil is much cleaner than it was years ago. If a filter wasn't changed yearly, it wouldn't last the heating season. I've seen filters not changed in 5 years recently that were still working (more or less).

    I also agree with Dave above that a bottom feed tanked properly angled doesn't collect much if any sludge. I wonder if the Roth tanks will collect sludge.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,037
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    MaxMercy said:

    I'm not a pro, but it seems to me that heating oil is much cleaner than it was years ago. If a filter wasn't changed yearly, it wouldn't last the heating season. I've seen filters not changed in 5 years recently that were still working (more or less).

    I also agree with Dave above that a bottom feed tanked properly angled doesn't collect much if any sludge. I wonder if the Roth tanks will collect sludge.

    Don't wonder to far Max, you might get stuck in the mud :*:):p

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?