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Old 12-23-2008, 10:18 PM   #1
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Less heat from SVO

Previously I was planning on buying a diesel, but with the scare of diesels in California, I decided to wait. I did find a sale on some SVO, so I added it to my heating oil. I noticed when I mixed it at 1 quart per 5 gallons there was a signifigant drop in heat produced by my furnace. So I dropped it to half that and even with a cup of SVO, my Beckett oil burner won't trip the thermostatic limiter on my house radiator system. The system will actually run longer, burning more oil to get the radiators up to tempurature. So I stopped putting in the SVO and the furnace is back to a hot house in less than an hour.

Mythbusters tested a 300D with SVO and saw a few less mpg, I think compression ignition is different than spark ignition on a heating oil injector. Perhaps it changes the flame spray pattern?
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:48 AM   #2
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I would not put SVO into an oil heat burner. Even a car must be modified to run properly on SVO in the long term, and cars are far more tolerant of wacky fuels than heating burners.

You should probably clear that stuff out of the system. If you can afford it, drain the tank, rinse it with a solvent (biodiesel would be perfect), then have someone come to clean the burner and lines. Donate the oil to someone with a waste oil burner (perhaps your mechanic). If you can't afford the oil, run your tank down to empty and have someone on-call to come and fix it if it clogs or fails.

I ran B5 in mine without any ill effect, and you probably could too, but no amount of SVO should go into that type of system.

I looked it up, and it seems that Mythbusters didn't modify the car, they just dumped the oil into the fuel tank.
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Old 12-24-2008, 05:19 AM   #3
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It's probably because it starts thickening up at 10C or so, (Put some in the fridge and see) whereas heating oil should be okay down to -10 to -14C until additives are needed. Converting it to biodiesel breaks up those heavier waxy chains. Also unconverted fatty acids may cause corrosion issues in the burner.

I don't know if it would actually be using more fuel, or its just thickening up and can't spray a good pattern.
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Old 12-24-2008, 11:35 AM   #4
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My 1939 boiler

The system is a 1939 coal boiler, all original with new pipe put in through the house and a Bekett oil burner conversion. The oil tank outside the house is a 1972 and rusted out the bottom, so for the last year I use a 10 gallon fuel barrel and go to the Shell station and pick up 2, 5 gallon cans every week. I just did a purge on the system last week after running out of oil and cooking the nozzle. So I burned off all the SVO.

As soon as I can I'm switching the Bekett out for a natural gas conversion. I currently beat the price of heating oil by using diesel at a 40 cent savings. Plus the heating oil company will only sell me 100 gallons at a time. Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:35 AM   #5
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Interesting... Heating oil is generally about 40 cents under the cheapest diesel pump price due to the lack of federal and state "road use tax".

Veg oil (straight or waste) contains about 25% glycerin which has next to no heat value available from the combustion technology used in compression ignition engines, or from the open flame combustion of home oil burners.

Veg oil (and de-glycerined biodiesel produced from veg oil) have far lower vaporization rates that further hinder the ability of it to burn in open air. A greater proportion of the heat produced from combustion is needed to start the next bit of fuel burning.

<edit: Got it the second time through. It's Natural Gas that is a 40 cent saving from diesel, not heating oil that is less cost than diesel.>
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:43 AM   #6
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Oddball

Strange as it may sound, my local Shell station has a heating oil pump here in Baltimore and when the prices came down, it took a week for the price on the heating oil pump to go down. The price at that pump fluctuates, sometimes it's close to diesel, but latley it has been more expensive than diesel. It has the giant nozzle so you can't get it in a modern diesel tank.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Strange as it may sound...when the prices came down, it took a week for the price on the heating oil pump to go down.
How is that strange? They probably bought the fuel at a higher price. When the price later dropped do you think they got a rebate check from the House of Saud?
What's worse is when they bought fuel at a low price, mark it up for resale at their profit, then their cost for the next shipment goes up to more than the price for which they are currently selling. They buy for $1.50, sell at $1.75, their next load will cost them $2. They won't have enough made from this sale at $1.75 to pay for the next load, so they have to raise the sell price of fuel they have to pay for the next fuel they need to buy. You get annoyed.
They buy for $2, sell to you for $2.25, then their next load price drops back to $1.50. What do they do? They paid $2, do they resell that for $1.75?
And what if their cost of their next load had gone to $2.25 instead?
Nope, Not a business I'd like to be in, thank you very much.
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