Outdoor oil tank heaters

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Old 07-17-10, 06:38 AM
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Outdoor oil tank heaters

I finally removed my underground oil tank and installed a Roth tank outside above ground. Its going to be the first time dealing with cold oil. I did pre-filter tigerloop set up so hopefully that will help a little.

My question is does anyone have experience or opinions on tank heaters. here is a link at ones I am looking at.

Rollie Systems - Tank Heaters & Equipment
 
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Old 07-19-10, 08:53 AM
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I live in the Northwest Territories here in Canada and I have yet to see one fuel oil tank with a heater. If you keep up with draining off any accumulated water from the bottom of the tank it shouldn't be an issue. We see temperatures as low as -45*C and very rarely does the fuel oil gel up. Mind you I'm sure they run winter blend here but in NJ I'd imagine it would be the same.
 
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Old 07-20-10, 06:25 PM
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Hi

From what I was told around here, you have to pay extra for an additive (I guess it comes in quarts, gallons?). I also heard you need an honest fuel driver to really add what you paid for.

When I had my tank put in all three companies that gave me estimates said it was better to put the tank inside to avoid problems.

One thing I do not like about the Roth tank is there is no port on the bottom to drain water out. I guess I will have to by a pump to suck out the bottom of tank.

Maybe I will try first winter without anything to see how it goes. But I do like the heater idea instead of paying for additives.

Thanks
 
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Old 07-23-10, 10:56 AM
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Mike, I'm in NJ also and have a Roth tank. Never once had a problem in the 7 years the tank has been in service. According to my friend who works for the big oil company, they treat the oil at the plant with additives so it won't gel in the winter. He told me of a chemical they use that costs them 15K for a 55 gallon drum but it treats something like 100,000 gallons of oil. Stick with a name brand oil company and not one of those cheap "cash" oil type companies and you'll get quality oil and have no problems.
 
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Old 07-23-10, 01:00 PM
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Outside oil tank

I'm in Hunterdon County and have had my tank outside for 13 years. I do have a Tiger Loop installed and so far have had no issues with gelling. It's a standard steel tank but I ran the oil line out of a top tapping. If you do decide to use an additive start treating it before the weather gets real cold otherwise you're playing catchup.
 
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Old 07-23-10, 03:28 PM
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I work for a small oil company in South Jersey, and we regularly install oil tanks of all kinds outside. I've never seen a tank heater in NJ. I've only even heard of them being installed in Alaska and Canada. You're better off with an additive, which should come at no extra cost from a reputable oil dealer.

Also, you should never have to drain water from your tank. If you do, you have a more pressing issue; finding out where that water is coming from.
 
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Old 07-23-10, 03:54 PM
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I'm in central NJ... Roth tank in the garage (unheated, but of course protected somewhat), boiler in the next room (also unheated except for what is shed by the boiler and piping, temp usually around 45-50 in the boiler room). Usually around mid Jan when the wx turns real cold, and the oil temp dips down below about 45 I get a real rough running burner. It's probably a combination of the cold oil, and the cold air...

The oil isn't gelling, but it does get cold enough to cause combustion problems. I've got a Tiger Loop also... I ended up solving the problem by building an insulated 'compartment' around the T-Loop, and heating it with a 25 watt light bulb... I know, you guys are freaking out right about now... that I'm gonna start a fire or something... I guess that's the chance I take to have a burner that runs in the winter. In my defense, there is a thermostat inside the box set to 65 and using a relay to turn the lamp on and off. Heating the oil in the Tiger Loop itself is enough to keep the burner happy.
 
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Old 07-24-10, 08:14 AM
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Hi Joe C

I am up in your neck of the woods. I don't think I should mention company names so I will just type a few letters of the names.

I have always used Fr----ks. I believe they are located in your town also. Large company easy to deal with but expensive. After doing a lot of work on my boiler myself. I realized I haven't always been getting the best service. So I dropped their service contract 2yrs ago.

I never noticed any problems with their oil so I continued to pay their high price. Now that my underground tank was removed. I was expecting to pay the low price of $35 a year for above ground tank insurance. When my bill came it was $75. To cut to the chase basicly the oil company is charging $40 for clerical work. I can get the same EXACT insurance from the same insurance company through another oil company for the $35 a yr. So I am trying a different company.
Hopefully there oil is good. They seem to always charge 2 cents less a gal plus the $40 cheaper tank insurance. They are M---O E----gy. If I see a oil quality issue I will go back to my old company.

Since most posting here are from NJ. I joined NJCAOG. Anyone heard or them or using them. Might be worth checking out for the NJ folks.

Heatpro
It's a standard steel tank but I ran the oil line out of a top tapping
The Roth tanks are only top tapped tanks. So I am out the top also.

Jones1
Also, you should never have to drain water from your tank. If you do, you have a more pressing issue; finding out where that water is coming from.
Water comes from tanks sweating on the inside in the summer. I was told I shoudn't be concerned with it for quite a few years. Not sure though?

NJ Trooper
If the bulb is working why not. I think you might have given me awhile back or somebody else advise about raising the oil pump pressure for dealing with the cold. If that's still recommended maybe I will give that a shot.

Most likely I guess I should wait to see how it goes this winter before doing anything.

Thanks All
 
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Old 07-24-10, 08:35 AM
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Higher pump pressure might give an 'edge' to better combustion with cold oil, but it didn't really help with my system.

Theoretically, a smaller nozzle with higher pressure yeilds the same firing rate, with smaller oil droplets... and should be better combustion. Probably all true, but it didn't make any difference with the cold oil issue.
 
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Old 07-24-10, 08:48 AM
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OK, thanks. I guess I won't fool with pressure anytime soon if I don't have to. By the way I had much better luck with my underground tank then you did. My tank was still in perfect condition looks like it could have lasted another 50yrs under there. I am glad it is out though. Your pictures scared the heck out of me. Hope you are all done with it.

Thanks as always
 
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Old 07-24-10, 11:03 AM
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A bit of digression... about underground tanks...

I had a few things going against me. We have a high water table here. Normally about 6-8 feet down you hit water. So, the bottom of the tank was often sitting in water. OK, there's not much O2 down there, but enough.

And I have a theory. My house and the one across the street had their tanks installed at the same time in 1952 by the same persons, same exact tank. His was removed the following year as mine, and NO PROBLEM... like yours might have gone another 50.

Here's the theory: ELECTROLYSIS

My tank was located within 4 feet of where the electrical service enters the home, and of course the required ground rod for the service was very close to the tank.

Neighbors service was at the opposite end of his home, maybe 35' away.

I have no proof... (how do you prove that?) ... but I am CERTAIN that electrolysis caused the demise of my tank.

And, no, sadly... it ain't over yet. There's no big hole, it's all filled in, my property is clean, but the oil traveled under the private road that I live on... and there's still a pool of oil under there that the EPA says needs to be cleaned. Logistics of closing a road that provides the only access to 5 other homes is 'problematic', so I have no idea if I'll EVER get my NFA letter from the EPA.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming...
 
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Old 07-26-10, 12:59 PM
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I'm getting my oil from a suburban propane company. Before I switched to them my burner would run rough when it got really cold just like Trooper's does. That expensive additive that they use has totaly eliminated the rough running burner, I'll try to get the name of it from my friend. I don't add anything extra to my oil, I just use it the way they give it to me.

mikeevan, it never occured to me to get tank insurance on a Roth tank, I also had a 550 buried and removed, that was covered but not the Roth...
 
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Old 07-26-10, 01:15 PM
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Roth tank insurance

The Roth tanks come with 10 year insurance. Is the extra coverage necessary?
 
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Old 07-27-10, 05:18 PM
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NJ Trooper
My electric service enters about 15 feet away but I do have soil that has excellent drainage. I know because I have to replace my septic system and just had soil test done. My tank was 1954, was told it was a good one because the ends of tank protruded out and not in. Well good luck to ya. Your story is one for the books alright.
Joe C,
I will look into suburban propane company, did not even know they delivered oil. I would be interested in the additive if you find out. I really do not want to deal with a rough running burner or other problems.
Heatpro and Joe
As far as insurance goes the Roth is covered with insurance but I would think only for strictly workmanship defects with the tank itself. Not sure what the details are for coverage of above ground tanks from progaurd. I know my homeowners insurance offers something for newer above ground tanks also. I do remember that insurance mostly covers you for damage to your neighbors property. Example your neighbors well, and you would not be covered for your own well if contaminated. If I find out what all the fine details are I will post them.

Thanks
 
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Old 07-28-10, 06:36 AM
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Roth insurance

Without getting into too many details, basically the Roth coverage is for the tank and any damage resulting from a failure of the tank that occurs to your property, max $1 million. This is provided you dot all the i's and cross all the t's. You also have to have a certified installer do the work in accordance with their instructions. If you go to the Roth website you can register to be able to view all manuals, warranties, etc.
 
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Old 07-28-10, 04:11 PM
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Heatpro is quite right about the dotting and crossing... the terms and conditions of the warranty must be read and followed explicitly.

The installers should have given you all the paperwork to fill out and submit to Roth for purposes of the warranty/insurance. If they did not, then I might suspect that they are not certified Roth installers, and you might find that the insurance is null and void... I would call them and ask for the paperwork.

Your story is one for the books alright.
Maybe... but from what I've read and seen in the past few years, I'm more of the opinion that I'm actually gettin' off pretty easy, believe it or not! Sure, there are plenty of open and closed situations, but there are way many that are in far worse shape than I !
 
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Old 07-28-10, 06:19 PM
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Thanks NJ and Heatpro

I did have a certified roth tank installer. They did give me all the paper work and I did send it to Roth. I never did hear anything back from Roth. Is that normal? I guess I should call to make sure I am covered. I was in the process of selling my house at the time and misplaced all my copies. I am no longer selling my house so I better follow up on it. If I could find some low priced insurance to cover freak accidents, things like a tree falling on the tank I would most likely purchase it. I will also check out the Roth website like suggested.

Thanks
 
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Old 02-17-15, 04:53 PM
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I'm on the coast of CT and have an outside tank with no heater.. This thing has gelled up 5 times this winter. I am getting so SICK of it. I also broke a rule and insulated the oil pipes on the outside and ran heat tape through it. It has the two lines that you were talking about, one in, one out.

I can tell you I'm about ready to pay someone to MOVE the tank inside..
 
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