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What you should know before buying a waste oil heater...

By Larry Gainer Head Service Technician Industrial Solutions Group.


     Many people don't really know what to expect when purchasing a waste oil heater. We here at Industrial Solutions Group hear the same questions over and over again, and they are probably the same questions that you yourself have been pondering.


What kind of oil can I burn?


Used petroleum oil under fifty weight, synthetics included. Here are some oil you can use that will work well... diesel fuel, fuel oil, kerosene, automatic transmission fluid, hydraulic oil, used engine oil, synthetic used engine oil,  limited amounts of gasoline, and limited amounts of brake fluid.  Some sales people have suggested you may burn gear lube and fryer oil;  these will burn, but they create a whole lot more maintenance, and are really not worth it.  Things that will not burn... antifreeze, water and any water based substances.  If you happen to have water in your tank or accidently mix a water based substance in with your other oils; these can easily be removed with the ball valve at the bottom of your tank. Waste oil furnace


Will it smoke?


Properly adjusted, modern waste oil heaters such as the Lanair Waste Oil Heaters from Industrial Solutions Group will not release black smoke from the chimney or into your place of business. If your heater is emitting a black smoke this typically means that your burner it getting too much fuel in the fuel to air mixture. In many cases this can be easily adjusted, see your manual on how to do this for your particular model.  Or if you like, we are happy to help our customers directly over the phone, feel free to call us at 877-283-7635.


Does it require maintenance?


YES.  Your fire box should be cleaned at least once a year, this includes the heat transfer tubes and the chimney.  Industrial Solutions Group (ISG), as a part of our unique brand of service, provides the only clean out tool made specifically for waste oil heaters.  Every heater from ISG comes equipped with this unique tool. 


The burner should be reconditioned every 1,000 to 1,500 gallons of used engine oil. Burning other, not recommended substances can cut this time by more than half.  Turning your oil preheaters off during summer months, will keep you from cooking down the oil which creates a sludge that hastens the need to recondition the burner. 


Filters should be washed as indicated by the vacuum gauge on the tank.  This could be as often as once a week. Industrial Solutions Group has come up with a unique solution that can make this a task you will only have to do every five years.  The ISG filter pan assembly significantly reduces unwanted particles that enter you tank and shorten the life of your burner.  This accessory is only sold through the ISG website;  Ask your sales representative about adding this to your order. 


How much time should I plan to do the annual maintenance?

Cleaning your fire box should take a about 2 man hours (especially with the help of the easy to use clean out tool sold only by ISG).  If you are reconditioning your burner, it should be sent to ISG for a more professional outcome.  This service costs a reasonable $200.00 plus the cost of return shipping. 


How much does it cost?


When everything is added up, most waste oil heaters (tank and chimney included) run around $5,000. Different sizes of heaters may cost a little more or a little less depending on the size, but for most shops $5,000 will get the job done. 


Is a waste oil heater right for me?

Do you have a reliable source of fuel for your waste oil heater?  Most shops go through about 500-2000 gallons a year depending on the size of your building, climate, and size of your heater. 


There are typically three reactions to the thought of owning a waste oil heater. I love 'em; I hate 'em; I don't have a clue.  Most people who plan their budgets, do the recommended maintenance, and carefully control what types of fuels they burn are very pleased with the purchase and the subsequent thousands of dollars they save every year (dollars that they put in their own pocket and not in the pocket of the Gas and Electric Company).  People who hate waste oil burning furnaces usually expect the low maintenance that comes with the natural gas systems, usually have not performed the annual maintenance required and likely have not addressed the massive budget surpluses that having a waste oil furnace provides.  And, I don't have a clue... Well hopefully, if you been reading this article this now doesn't include you.  But it's possible you may have further questions concerning your individual situation and needs; well here's the answer... Call and talk to one of our knowledgeable sales representatives at 877-283-7635 or you can even ask for me  (Larry) directly and If I haven't got my head stuck in a fire box, I'll be happy to step you through the ins and the outs of getting started with your free heat.