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Discussion Starter #1
I finally reordered fuel to refill my tank. My last refill was over 7 years ago. I was wondering if the fuel ever goes bad and could be a problem for my heater.

My tank is in the basement and the only time I ever use the oil heater is when I first arrive at my camp and I fire up all my heaters in the house and then go and get something to eat while the house warms up. I turn on my propane fireplaces and turn on all the electric baseboard and then basically use the electric and fireplace for the rest of my stay.
 

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Check with your supplier but I know you can get conditioner for diesel fuel to prevent it from going bad.
 

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According to this article it's amazing your heating oil lasted 7 years. They say 18-24 months for the shelf life of heating oil!

https://www.pointbayfuel.com/heating-oil-delivery-tuckerton-nj-how-long-fuel-oil-last/

What Makes Heating Oil Go Bad?
heating oil shelf lifeIf you are going to store fuel oil for a long period of time, it can begin to degrade due to various reasons. First, the bacteria in your oil tank and in the oil itself can degrade the oil over time. Next, oil and acids can greatly decrease the shelf life of your oil. Water can also impede the combustibility of your stored oil. To keep these things from happening, you need to make sure that your oil tank is sealed properly. Thirdly, there are certain contaminants such as curd, paint, sludge, and rust that can make your oil go bad over time.

Before storing oil…

you should make sure that the oil tank is clean. It is best to use premium oil because it has additives in it that will reduce the amount of sludge and sediment that can accumulate in the tank. Also, you should never store motor oil in your storage tank, even if it is empty.

Typical Shelf Life Of Heating Oil
Typically, fuel oil can last between 18 and 24 months without decaying. This is true as long as it has the right additives blended in and if it is stored correctly. When the proper additives are put in the oil, it will stabilize it, increasing the shelf life. When the oil is delivered to your home, additives should then be introduced. High-quality oil also has additives already added to prevent sludge and sediment from building up.

It is important to understand…

that if your heating oil is already beginning to degrade, there is nothing that you can add to rejuvenate it.

As mentioned above, you need more than the right additives to keep your heating oil in good shape. The condition of your storage tank will also increase the shelf life of your oil. You should make sure that your tank is sealed well and free from anything that could contaminate it. Also, try to figure out how much oil you are going to need for the heating season. This will allow you to order just the right amount. If you have too much left over after the heating season and your tank doesn’t properly store it, your oil company might need to remove it, which will cost you more money.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It looks like I will be using the oil heater more than the electric heaters
 

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Interesting info. I'm in the same position as Joe.

I've been told the fuel oil can gel up like diesel fuel. I was also told that K1 will help prevent the gelling. Can anyone tell me that is true?

Is there anything you can put in the oil to prevent deterioration?
 

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"I've been told the fuel oil can gel up like diesel fuel. I was also told that K1 will help prevent the gelling. Can anyone tell me that is true?"

Yes, if heating oil gets too cold, like an outside tank might, then heating oil could gel. Many years ago K-1 was the go to product to eliminate gelling in diesel so you can add K-1 to your heating oil with no problems.
Today diesel is Winterized with any one of several different products. Here's what I'm using for my retail diesel fuel.

https://yourfuelsolution.com/products/diesel/awda-1500-2/
 
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"Is there anything you can put in the oil to prevent deterioration?"

I believe there is, a quick google search will help you out. If you suspect a bacteria problem in your heating oil tank the best bet is to use it up or pump it out and clean your tank.
 
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Keep changing the filter and it should keep working. I the filters end up waxed and clogged in a short time like each month than it is time to drain the tank and flush. Also a top feed will miss sludge on the bottom until you fill and mix it all up. But if you let it settle before use you will not even notice the sludge. Bottom feed whole new story. Waugh!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I had this house since 2010 and never did any maintenance to the tank. The heater was replaced in 2011 but like I said I hardly ever used the heater and still looks like it’s brand new. The heater was only used to initially warm the house up until the electric heaters would maintain the temperature
 

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Change the filter use K1 not number 2 oil change the ports in the furnace as well. Throw in a bottle of Hot Shot conditioner for good measure. No problems since 1961 with bad oil using this method at camp. Tank is also in the basement.
 

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7 years, that's a milestone. I'm not sure how long oil lasts but I do have a story that I was just reminded of.



My first house was oil heat - what a PITA, not only was the price a downfall but so was the smell. Anyway, the first winter my daughter was born the heat shut off around 8PM at night. I remember the time because my buddy was over to watch the Pens game that night. Knowing the heat shut off I went down the basement to find out what was going on, I just refilled the tank 3 days prior so I knew that the tank was full. Well, after removing the filter and priming the furnance 10x, the flame would not stay lit. I couldn't understand what could be going wrong. At this point it was 11 at night and my wife was starting to panic because the house was cold and we have a newborn. I finally called the service tech to come and look at it at 11pm, I felt bad for dragging him out of bed in the middle of winter but I had to call him. After looking at the furnance and seeing that was OK, he went and inspected the tank, sure enough it was full. "Your feed pipe is clogged he said". Popped a CO2 canister onto the fuel line and blasted air trough it, sure enough the was the issue. When the tank was filled apparently it disturbed whatever was at the bottom of the tank and clogged the fuel line. That guy deserves a special place in heaven for doing what he did for me, didnt even charge me for the service.
 

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condensation forms a water layer under the oil and anaerobic bacteria growth makes the fuel un-useable. filters will continually clog until the tanks is emptied and cleaned out. OP having the tank in the basement limits the temperature swings that condense into tank moisture like outdoor tanks do.
 
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I cant believe your electric prices are cheaper than your heating oil. I got rid of my baseboards and went with all oil. The other advantage is if you have a smart phone and sync your thermostat you can turn it on at home and warm house when you get there.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I cant believe your electric prices are cheaper than your heating oil. I got rid of my baseboards and went with all oil. The other advantage is if you have a smart phone and sync your thermostat you can turn it on at home and warm house when you get there.
I don’t have internet at this property
 
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