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Old 04-22-2009, 08:17 AM   #1
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Oil Boiler Maintenance


I couldn't figure out what other forum I should put this in.

Anyway I have a solar heating system with an oil boiler as a backup. My solar handles my needs almost exclusively but I do use the oil boiler about 12 days/year in part to keep it loosened up and there are rare occasions the solar has extended cloudiness and the boiler is required.

I have an oil maintenance guy come every year to maintain my boiler and have to ask myself does it require yearly maintenance if it's actually been used only 12 days since last cleaning? It's a Peerless tankless oil boiler with a Beckett pump. Maybe my question is more, should it be maintained regardless of use or am I maintaining it too often since I hardly use it? Thanks


Last edited by Piedmont; 04-22-2009 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:36 AM   #2
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Oil Boiler Maintenance


It should be checked for safety once a year. The internals are exposed to moisture from the chimney and you want to get the safety control checked. My concern would be the quality of your oil. If it is several years old it can possibly start to degrade. In large hospitals where they store diesel underground for backup generators they run a bunch of it out and replace it with fresh oil once a year or have additives added to keep it up to snuff. I would talk to your oil company about that. Gasoline loses its octane after a year. Our pro Beenthere may know more about this.

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Old 04-22-2009, 09:01 AM   #3
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Oil Boiler Maintenance


Hmm... what type of fuel/boiler can be used 12 days/year? I didn't know oil can expire (I keep thinking it's like my car oil but now that I think of it heating oil is diesel fuel). With solar costing me $35/year to run and requires no maintenance except replace the fluid every 5 years (easy for a homeowner) I don't want to go back to the $1,500+/year it cost me for my oil & maintenance. What are my options? You see, I think my oil boiler is on its last legs and I'm close to being out of oil, but need something besides solar (and wood for that matter) by my insurance company. Just curious what others would do for something to heat 12 days/year. Thanks

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Old 04-22-2009, 10:04 AM   #4
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Oil Boiler Maintenance


Get a smaller oil tank or just buy the oil as needed and fill it yourself. Burn it out occasionally. Figure out how much oil you burn. If it is only 50 gallons then I would fill it myself and buy it at a filling station (diesel).
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:17 PM   #5
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Oil Boiler Maintenance


Fuel oil is a distilate.
And does begin to break down over a relatively short time.
A fine silt will begin to float in the oil, and even a bacteria.
Startsaround 12 to 18 months. Depending on storage temps.

If you don't store more then 2 to 3 years worth. You should be ok.
But, some lower quality oil, will begin to break down quicker.

Once that silt starts to develope. You got troubles. Oil nozzles foul out quickly. Sometimes as quick as almost daily.

There are additives that you can put in when you get your oil, that will prolong the oils life span befote it starts to deteriorate.

Oldest oil I ever dealt with, was 45 years old(may a little older).
We took it directly back to the terminal. And got paid pennies on the dollar for it. It didn't smell like fuel oil anymore.

They reprocessed it, and sold it to someone.
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