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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    9

    central home oil heater, pump cavitating, what to do?

    I had to move the tank 3 feet further down towards ground. So, now the heater pump needs to pull fuel up 3 more feet. There was already a long distance from tank to pump. About 40 feet. The tank was at the same height as the pump. fuel got pulled up about 5 feet, over about 30, then down about 5 feet. Its been working like this for 26 years. However, I had to move tank down 3 feet. So, its now pulling up 8 feet, then over 30 feet, then down 5 feet. However, now it keeps cavitating. What to do? Last resort is to move the tank back up. Someone said a small low pressure automotive fuel pump mounted at the tank to push the fuel. This work?

    tks,
    pa

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,349
    Most likely a leak. Your lift is only 3'. The 5' up, then 5' down balance each other. Has your contractor looked at it?
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by comfortdoc View Post
    Most likely a leak. Your lift is only 3'. The 5' up, then 5' down balance each other. Has your contractor looked at it?
    I dont think a leak would cause cavitation of the oil.

    pa

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    17,012
    Quote Originally Posted by paulmars View Post
    I dont think a leak would cause cavitation of the oil.

    pa
    I don't think a three foot suction head would cause cavitation.

    However, if you now have a restiction in your suction line, which could be caused during backfilling around the tank and lines, or during diptube replacement, then you could have cavitation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    17,012
    Note:

    At 70 F, the Reid vapor pressure of #2 oil is .009 psia. If you can measure your suction line to that range of pressure, cavitation can occur.

    My sense of this is that you have a different problem.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    4
    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum. In order to post a response here, you must have verified qualifications and have been approved by the AOP Committee. You may ask a question by starting a new thread.

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    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 02-19-2013 at 05:32 PM. Reason: non AOP member

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    9
    A restricted line might be the issue. Im trying to think of an easy way with my limited supplies to blow it out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    17,012
    Quote Originally Posted by paulmars View Post
    A restricted line might be the issue. Im trying to think of an easy way with my limited supplies to blow it out.

    Occam's Razor.

    Look at the line. It is unlikely that you have a sudden blockage that can be "blown out."
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    Occam's Razor.

    Look at the line. It is unlikely that you have a sudden blockage that can be "blown out."
    Will looking at it clear it out?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Pavilion, NY
    Posts
    2,015
    My suggestion is to have a contractor blow out your oil line and install a tigerloop ultra inside. You will gain many benefits.
    ...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    24,953
    think twice

    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum. In order to post a response here, you must have verified qualifications and have been approved by the AOP Committee. You may ask a question by starting a new thread.

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,512
    you might need a two stage oil pump,would be best to ave your contractor repair it for you
    We really need change now

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Powell River, BC, Canada
    Posts
    762
    If the line was coated with gunk inside some of it may have been dislodged during the work and is now clogging up the pump strainer. Or there could be a kink in the line. What size is the line? At that distance you may need 1/2" vs. the usual 3/8". Have someone who is experienced with oil do a service on the unit. They should have the proper tools to check the pump pressure & vacuum. That will tell you if it's too restrictive. Also has the unit been properly set up using a combustion analyzer?
    Where are you? Are you done yet? I got ONE more call for you.....

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