Dual filters on oil tank

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  #1  
Old 01-10-19, 08:33 AM
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Dual filters on oil tank

My oil fired boiler is gravity fed from a 275 gallon tank in my basement. It is currently equipped with a spin on type filter right before the boiler. Past few oil filter changes I have noticed that the top holes on the spin on filterare partially plugged with sludge. I plan to fix this by installing a traditional type of cartridge filter. I was wondering if it makes sense to install the cartridge filter right before the spin on filter? This way the cartridge captures any heavy deposits and the spin on filter will be filtering the finer particles. Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 01-10-19, 09:57 AM
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Whether they are spin on or cartridge they are both going to provide the same basic function.

With the cartridge filters I suspect you have a better option to choose your filter micron size vs a spin on!

Starting with a large micron then stepping down to a smaller micron sounds like the best option, if there is large size sludge it would quickly plug up the finer down stream filter!
 
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Old 01-10-19, 10:24 AM
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Y

The problem with the spinon filter is that any large pieces of sludge need to pass through the holes in the top plate of the filter. Thats where the filter isgetting gummed up, not the actual element. The cartridge filter doesnt have any restrictions like that. I planned on just replacing the spin on with the cateidge unit, but then I started thinking that the two filters in line with each other may be an even better option.
 
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Old 01-10-19, 11:05 AM
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I'm not one of the experts, but I don't think you should be seeing a lot of sludge. Maybe a sludge treatment additive is in order. If the sludge problem was mostly resolved maybe your current filter would be OK.

Just a thought.
 
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Old 01-10-19, 11:12 AM
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Only had a serious issue one time when the tank was ran extremely low. The other times there was only a little bit of an issue. Boiler guy says the spinon filters donít work well with a gravity fed system and recommended a cartridge filter but beat around tge bush providing more info. Boiler guys tend to he pretty tight lipped to keep their trade going. I plan on replacing the line with a coated copper line to bring it up to code. Just trying to figure out what the best filter arrangement would be.
 
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Old 01-10-19, 11:16 AM
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Maybe one of the pros will jump in, but I have some kind of recollection that a filter at the tank, and another at the burner is a good way to do it. But I'm not sure. I may be mixing that up with something else.

I just have one at the tank. It's a gravity fed system also.

(maybe I'm thinking of those Firomatic shutoff valves, where it's recommended you put one at the tank and one at the burner. )
 
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Old 01-10-19, 12:48 PM
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Im just trying to figure out the best setup. I have gotten few different recommendations from professionals. How do I know which one to listen to?
 
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Old 01-10-19, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Handy_man32
Im just trying to figure out the best setup.
I have gotten few different recommendations from professionals.
How do I know which one to listen to?
I'd listen to the recommendations of the oil-service-person with the highest combination of experience and proximity. -But only listen to the professional who tells you to skip "the filtering o' the sludge" and just clean the sludge out of the tank

Only two real options-
A) clean the sludge out of the bottom of the tank
B) switch the tank from an absolute-bottom-of-the-tank-feed to a top-feed-siphon set a few inches above the bottom of the tank. This creates a space where sludge can settle out without clogging the line.

Might be worth doing both-
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 01-10-19 at 02:20 PM.
  #9  
Old 01-10-19, 01:49 PM
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As Z pointed out, the best thing to do is deal with the sledge problem itself.

That being said no cartridge filter is going to filter as good as a spin on. The fact that the sludge is being picked up in the filter and not getting through to the burner and clogging up the pump is a good thing.

If you think about it does it really matter how many filters you put in, if you have a sludge problem. Once the first filter gets clogged it's kind of a moot point how many other filters are in the line.

Another thing to consider is if the problem is that bad it most likely could plug up the firomatic or shutoff valves at the tank before it ever gets to the filters.

All the extra filters are going to do is add more restriction and make the oil pump work harder, thus shorting its life.

As far as a spin off not working on gravity feed systems I have a Garber spin off on mine and have since they came out and have had zero problems.

The job of the filter is to protect the pump and nozzle from debris.

If you were going to do anything I would move the filter to the tank so your new oil line will also be protected. Much cheaper to replace cartridges than pumps and lines.

Just my thoughts. Hope it helps a little.
 
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Old 01-10-19, 02:53 PM
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Ok sounds like some great advice here. It appears to be the original tank which means its 30 years old. Looks good condition on the outside, but who knows about the inside. I plan to replace the tank just as a preventative maitnance thing after this winter. I didn’t want to start the project in the dead of winter and risk being without heat for an extended period of time.
 
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Old 01-10-19, 03:12 PM
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An indoor tank shouldn't rust.

I'm guessing that the cost to clean the tank is- low-hundred(s);
while the cost of a new tank and installation is: high-hundreds;
I would have the tank cleaned.

And set out a $40 bottle of brandy or case of good beer, as an incentive for a clean tank and no oil drips on the basement floor
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 01-10-19 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 01-12-19, 02:47 PM
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In my opinion, there's no such thing as "too much filtration". Obviously getting rid of the sludge would be the best thing but that's a lot easier said than done. Something I've done often is to abandon the bottom feed by dropping a single line in from the top followed by a felt filter, spin-on, then a Tiger Loop.
 
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Old 01-12-19, 06:39 PM
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In my opinion, there's no such thing as "too much filtration". Obviously getting rid of the sludge would be the best thing but that's a lot easier said than done. Something I've done often is to abandon the bottom feed by dropping a single line in from the top followed by a felt filter, spin-on, then a Tiger Loop.
Thanks. I planned to put the felt filter at the tank and the spin on right before the burner. Ends up that the valve on the tank is a make flare. Oil linecis buried in the concrete. I need to order coated copper line and replace the whole line. Im not sure if i can put a short aection of line from the tank to the new filter. Not enough room.
 
  #14  
Old 01-12-19, 10:40 PM
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It is easy to clean sludge out of 275 gallon tank. There is probably only a few gallons of water and sludge.

I have used a small electric pump with small pipe tube going to bottom of tank. Discharged into 5 gallon plastic water jug so water/sludge level could be seen. Stopped pumping when discharge was only fuel
.
Fuel oil sludge and contaminants should be expected. While regular/annual replacement of filter is a nice idea, contaminants are a random thing. Annual filter replacement is wishful thinking.

Once sludge is removed then good filters and sludge treatment should be used.

Replaceable elements are the best filters because when changed can see what they stopped.

With today's smaller nozzles it is recommended to double filter under .75 gpm.

A vacuum gage on line to burner pump is a good way to monitor oil filter status. When the gage reads over 12 psi replace coarse filter. Then run burner. If vacuum gage is above 5 psi replace fine micron filter.

Before and after oil fill, I dipstick with water detector paste. Also before fill add proportioned amount of fuel oil sludge treatment.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/32-oz-Fu...5310/100145488
 
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