Fuel Oil News

Fuel Oil News - January 2017

The home heating oil industry has a long and proud history, and Fuel Oil News has been there supporting it since 1935. It is an industry that has faced many challenges during that time. In its 77th year, Fuel Oil News is doing more than just holding

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Page 49 of 51

BIO: Charlie Bursey began his long career in the oil heating industry in 1963. He has deliv- ered coal, kerosene and oil and serviced heating and cooling equipment. He has also managed service departments, worked for a manufacturer and currently works with F.W. Webb, Warwick, R.I. He is a recipient of the Association of Oil & Energy Service Professionals' pres- tigious Hugh McKee Award for making an outstanding contri- bution to the fuel oil industry; having had an understanding and cooperation with his fellow man; and having unselfishly aided the industry in education and related activities. CONTACT: ChasBursey@aol.com Charles Bursey, Sr. SERVICE 50 JANUARY 2017 | FUEL OIL NEWS | www.fueloilnews.com OIL PUMP, TANK GAUGE AND VENT ALARM FAILURE SEVERAL TECHNICIANS AND SERVICE managers tell me that they have recently expe- rienced more than the normal amount of failure issues pertaining to the items mentioned in the title of this article. I must say that I too have had issues with some of the above. In order to visually try to understand these problems I have asked a few companies to save me some examples of the failed products. In most of the equipment I reviewed, sludge was the culprit. However in the case of pump failures I discovered in the course of visiting job sites that some tech- nicians are expecting the oil pump to do m o r e t h a n i t w a s designed to do. For example, trying to run 75 feet of 3/8" single copper line from the tank to the burner and with a lift that also exceeds the capability of the fuel unit, let alone taking into consideration the bends in the line. As an FYI, two of the best books on oil pump applications and specifications are those that have been out for several years produced by Suntec and Webster two of the three leading oil pump manufacturers. I'm also very surprised when I ask a tech about having the proper pump test equipment (vacuum and pressure gauge) which is a must and I hear the words, "I don't have one." I guess this is much the same as not having at least a wet kit to check the combustion efficiency, which I have also witnessed. I have also seen vent alarms and tank gauges that have failed and or have become totally plugged with what we refer to as sludge. I know that for generations everyone in the oil delivery and service business has had occasion to point to sludge as the cause of nozzle, filter car- tridge and pump strainer plugging that results in no heat calls. This is very true, but what causes sludge and how do we reduce it? Keep in mind that fuel oil in itself contains water. Further, water can also come from conden- sation within the tank, and poorly sealed piping. Condensation can occur in truck tanks and water can even get into customers' tanks when fill caps have been removed as an act of vandalism. The water will settle in the tank's bottom, along with air and existing bacteria. The bacteria feed on the fuel, creating h y d r o g e n , w h i c h then creates a slimy substance. This slime then binds with the water and fuel, which then becomes sludge. S l u d g e , i n m o s t cases, can become o n e o f t h e m a i n causes of the fuel delivery systems' component failure. I must also say that the fuel oil of today does not have a long life and will require treatment with additives in order to resist viscosity issues, sludge and oil tank corrosion. I believe person- ally that every tank should be treated on a regular basis at the supplying terminal or on an individ- ual company basis, as this will extend the life of the tank and reduce the failure of the components of the fuel delivery system. By now you have heard the term biofuel, which is produced at different levels, from B5 through B15 to B20, and on up to B100. You will continue to hear and read more about these blend levels and their advantages as we move ahead in the research and testing that is being performed at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y. l F O N AS AN FYI, TWO OF THE BEST BOOKS ON OIL PUMP APPLICATIONS AND SPECIFICATIONS ARE THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN OUT FOR SEVERAL YEARS PRODUCED BY SUNTEC AND WEBSTER TWO OF THE THREE LEADING OIL PUMP MANUFACTURERS.

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