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Put sludge treatment in my tank and now have huge water in my fuel issue and burner problems.

Brian26
Brian26 Member Posts: 26
During filter changes the last year or so I saw signs of water and sludge in my filters. At my next oil fill I added the recommended amount of Hercules sludge treat on the bottle to treat the issue. I read good reviews on it but what a mistake that was. It appears this stuff does work but it turns any water in your tank into microscopic particles that will just suspend in the oil and pass through your filters. When I bleed the pump I can see the particles suspended in the oil its that bad. As a further test I put a small bottle of fuel I bled in the freezer and its loaded with water particles.

Its a Beckett NX Burner and I spent about a week trying to figure out why it wouldn't run right. Its pulses and bangs like crazy no matter what I do and I have literally changed every part on it before I figured out it was the fuel.

I know a new tank/fuel is the solution but I absolutely don't have the money to do that right now. Tank is about 5/8 full. Can I possible add some Kerosene or Diesel. Or would a small oil delivery maybe help solve the issue by diluting it?

Here are some pictures. Not the greatest but all those small particles are frozen water.





Comments

  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,672
    I don't see how that could possibly improve combustion as advertised.
    Have you seen any impact on the burner nozzle?
    The NX burner can be a touchy beast, combustion testing is mandatory.
    I would try to contact the manufacturer and get an opinion from them. It seems like an unusual problem.
    An oil/water separator filter can added to the oil line. Similar filters are used on diesel engines.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,197
    edited February 2018
    How old is your tank? If you have an underground tank, I'd suspect a leak.
    Regarding fuel treatment, you should find one brand and stick with it.
    If I were you, I would have the sample tested to decide how it needs to be treated.
    I would only buy heating oil from a company who buys their fuel only from the refinery and doesn't have their own storage-which is probably the number one reason for bad fuel. Also I would skip discounters and companies who pump out fuel tanks and resell the fuel.
    Your best solution may be to call a generator service company and find one who has a fuel polisher to clean the tank and the fuel. They do this a lot as they have generators with fuel that sits for very long periods of time. The fuel developes sludge, microbes, has water, etc., and needs to be rejuvenated, filtered and repolimerized.
    steve
    SuperTech
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,787
    try this company. http://www.fuelright.com/
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    I generally use a bottle of HOT.
  • Brian26
    Brian26 Member Posts: 26
    The tank is from 1958 and is in my basement. I just did a test this morning where I feed my burner off diesel fuel and it ran flawless. I have bad fuel no question. '

    I think at this point I am going to try and dilute it with some diesel or kerosene to get me through the rest of the winter. I have natural gas on my street and just want to burn this tank off and convert at this point.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,197
    You have to get rid of the water, not dilute it. Water will settle on the bottom of the tank. You could just drain off the bottom of the tank until the water is mostly gone.
    steve
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,651
    You pretty well have to drain the water off, or put in a filter (such as are used on diesels) which will trap the water. Even relatively small amounts of entrained water will mess up combustion.

    However. The water which you drain off is a hazardous waste, and must be treated as such. It does not go down the sewer. It does not go down a storm drain. It does not get dumped out on the back 40. Take it to an approved hazardous waste management site to get rid of it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • jimct
    jimct Member Posts: 10
    Not a pro, but a tank that old is probably a candidate for replacement. Several years ago I was having filter plugging issues and found the sludge in the tanks was an issue. Corrosion was also evident on the underside of the tank. I elected to replace the circa 1960 tank. Problems went away and the security of having a relatively new tank is comforting.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,766
    The water should settle to the bottom of the tank. You could pump it out but why not leave it for the disposal company when you scrap the tank. But disconnect and plug your existing oil line. Run a new temp oil line into the top of the tank and keep it up off the bottom
  • Brian26
    Brian26 Member Posts: 26
    The water is not settling to the bottom. It seems this sludge treatments bonds with water and keeps the molecules suspended. Bleeding the fuel into a glass jar you can see tons of microscopic bubbles. I put the fuel in the freezer I can clearly see all the water molecules freezing. There are basically a ton of frozen bubbles.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,651
    That's a nuisance. It probably also means that a fuel/water separator such as is used on diesels won't work either.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,766
    @Brian26 ,
    that really is strange. I mean water and oil have very different densities. I would think it would separate, it should. Maybe it just wont separate in the freezer when its cold. I would try a temp line into the top. Don't know what eles to try other than pumping the tank and putting new oil or a new tank in.

    Maybe you could sell the oil to someone that burns waste oil and get some money back
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,197
    I also don't see how sticking the oil in the freezer is any proof of anything, other than you can freeze oil.
    You're seem to be spending a lot of time and effort if you just want to switch to gas and are trying to save a couple hundred dollars.
    Like Ed, I don't think the particles (if it's one pipe) are sitting in suspension.
    Options...(again).
    1. Ed's idea of oil line in the top, or floating pick up line until tank is almost empty.
    2. Keep changing filters/strainers/nozzles until you are empty.
    3. Have oil tank completely drained/pumped out. Maybe a company will do it for free if they are using it in a waste oil heater, maybe not. Put in a new tank, new fresh heating oil. You can actually do that first if you have the space for the new tank.
    4. Have a company come out and polish the fuel/clean the tank like I stated earlier. I actually wouldn't bother with this if the tank is that old, only for a bad or stale load of oil in a newer tank.

    Whether you're sticking with oil (new tank) or switching to gas (remove tank) if you can't afford to do it now, maybe you can find a company to finance the install-most will. But to spend this much time trying to avoid the obvious solutions, to burn off that 5/8 of a tank seems like a whole lot of unnecessary aggravation, and a lot of wasted time.
    steve
    CTOilHeat
  • ModernOldTimer
    ModernOldTimer Member Posts: 2
    Hi Brian, before spending more money on additives or draining tank I recommend you try running a small electric heater in front of your oil pump/fuel lines. I had tried adding K-1 and several different additives to my tank with no luck, but I had great success getting my seized up oil pump to work smoothly burning old sludgy fuel that had water and biofuel, just by warming pump and fuel line with small heater propped directly in front of burner. My light bill went up by about $10 to $20 per month this winter, but I didn't have to replace oil pump and can decommission the old oil tank when I finish using up most of old oil.