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Thread: Preheat oil for boiler

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default Preheat oil for boiler

    Hey guys, brand new to the site. I was checking out a couple of other posts and it certainly seems like there's plenty of experience on here. I'm working towards running my house on 100% biodiesel. *Note: I'm not running on vegetable oil...this is processed biodiesel from vegetable oil.* My Riello 40 burner didn't quite like the B100, so for now I'm running on a 50/50 (B50) blend with No. 2 heating oil. My heating guy was pretty confident with a couple of adjustments we can get the burner to fire just fine on B100.

    One of the additional measures I'd like to take is to preheat the oil before the burner. Given that the tank is located in a relatively cold garage and the fuel line passes through a cold crawl space, I think it will help quite a bit. I'm going to run some 3/8" BIP pipe to and from the filter and use that length to preheat. Rather than mess with the potential risks of heat tape I'd like to use the heat from the boiler.

    We're going to have the plumber add a zone on soon for room the boiler sits in (currently the room is only heated with the radiant heat from the boiler). While he has it drained and is working on it, what would you recommend be the best way to preheat the oil? Would it make sense just to simply wrap copper tubing around the return line and then around the oil pipe and filter...fill it with water and just let convection current do its work? Or would it be possible to add a zone just for this purpose and reduce it down to tubing size and then wrap it around the pipe and filter?

    We are set up with zone valves, so I would think adding a zone to preheat wouldn't be expensive. Is it even a good idea to run a zone on 1/4" copper tubing?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Computer Programmer Bill Arden's Avatar
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    I would run a zone fed copper pipe next to the oil supply line and use wire to hold them together and then wrap them in insulation.

    Running a zone using 1/4 pipe is fine since that would just reduce the amount of water flow in that zone. (this assumes a single pump, parallel zone system)

    FYI: I'm currently running my fuel oil furnace on diesel fuel since I ran out of heating oil. It's more expensive, however since my furnace is just a backup heat source it does not run very often.
    Important note Ė I donít know man made laws, just laws of physics
    Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Darwin awards.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, I thought about that option too. Only thing with using pipe rather than tubing is that I can't wrap the filter. I figure that's a good spot to use for preheating.
    Burnham V8 Boiler
    Riello 40 F5 oil burner
    Baseboard heat

  4. #4
    Computer Programmer Bill Arden's Avatar
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    You need to heat up the fuel before the filter and insulate the filter since the filter can freeze up. That is why I mounted my filter inside the house next to the furnace.

    Edit: Tubing would be fine as well.
    Last edited by Bill Arden; 01-28-2009 at 12:51 PM.
    Important note Ė I donít know man made laws, just laws of physics
    Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Darwin awards.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Arden View Post
    You need to heat up the fuel before the filter and insulate the filter since the filter can freeze up. That is why I mounted my filter inside the house next to the furnace.
    I have a filter by the tank and one by the burner. Garage is well insulated and I run a torpedo heater while working out there. It will not drop below mid 40's, so no worries there. I'm talking about heating the pipe and filter inside, next to the burner.
    Burnham V8 Boiler
    Riello 40 F5 oil burner
    Baseboard heat

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