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  1. #1
    Whenever my oil company delivers and fills the tank, the gauge only goes up to between 3/4 and 7/8ths. I am told by the oil company that this is due to sludge build up in the oil tank. It's a 275 gallon tank. Is that amount of sludge normal or should I be concerned? Has anyone had any luck with the quart size jugs of fuel oil sludge remover that you pour into your tank? I'm wondering if it might cause more harm than good.

    Let me know.

    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    1,874
    Sludge sits on the bottom of the tank.
    The float assembly in your tank doesn't.

    So I'd say unless your float assembly is bent or stuck and will not float to the top, then they aren't filling it up.

    If it were due to sludge. It would still show the tank being full, but it would be acouple gallons from it in real life. The sludge will sit at the bottom and take up space that should be taken up by oil.

    [Edited by Toolpusher on 02-16-2006 at 03:00 PM]
    If you try to fail, and succeed.
    Which have you done ?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996
    Usually the gauge is a bit off. Problem with sludge remover, it will break up the sludge and clog your filter or nozzle. If your tank is tapped off the bottom, you shouldn't have too much sludge. I would only use the additives if my filter and nozzle were clogging frequently. Then put a good spin on filter unit on the boiler and expect to change a few filters in a row until most of the stuff is filter trapped.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    717
    Most fuel float type gauges will usually always show a little less than what is actualy in the tank.The reasoning behind this is you have a better chance of NOT running out of fuel, and seeing it so dangerously low you will order more.
    Some oil delivery company's have a "monitor" chart(degree days) to avoid you from ever running out.They make oil delivery automatically before you ever get too low. If there actually is an extra large accumulation of sludge in your tank(I highly doubt it) and you let it get too low, then you are just asking for trouble.

    The normally small amount of sludge in the tank would play a very trivial part in altering the level indication.

    Fuel additives, periodically used, do work and will eliminate most (not all)of the sludge, water,etc..
    Routine maintenance service like oil filter changes, nozzles, electrode service, air/fuel ratio set-up, etc,etc, certainly help to keep your unit running good.

    [Edited by deejoe on 02-16-2006 at 03:19 PM]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    186
    I'm no expert but depending on the age of your tank you may have a prob. I have seen guages in old tanks coated in sludge. The best thing you could do to asure your self with out guessing is to get a pro out there and do a sonagram on your tank and they will be able to determine what is going on inside. It isn't very costly and could save alot of problems down the line. Just my $0.02

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    717
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by homeownerplus
    [B]I'm no expert but depending on the age of your tank you may have a prob. I have seen guages in old tanks coated in sludge.
    ***********************************
    ok, IF suspected it was coated, the float assembly can be unscrewed and lifted out, examined and perhaps any (Idoubt it) sludge wiped off, and re-inserted.
    This job could take all of 10 minutes to perform.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    186
    Not to be abrasive but, why hide the symtoms when their could be a larger prob. Wiping the guage arms off would help temporarily but if there is alot of sludge in the tank, wiping the guage arms may be a regular ritual. You may want to find out how much sludge is in the tank. If the tank is very old it may need replaced if there is that much sludge. once again just my $0.02

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    sounds like your buying 100 gallons and only getting 90.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    522
    I have seen on brand new tanks that are installed and filled the gauge only reading 3/4 to 7/8. our company fills the tank so i know we are not getting screwed. Im not an expert on the oil delivery process but i remember it being discussed that you should not fill an oil tank up all the way to leave room for expansion etc. Just a thought.

    We use a fuel treatment called HOT. It displaces water and moisture and breaks up sludge in the tank. Depending on the age of your tank you might want to consider a tank cleaning or a new tank. The sludge problem in the tank is only going to get worse as the tank ages, which leads to clogged filters, nozzles strainers and annoying No Heat calls.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    393
    The meter that measures the amount you pay for is on the delivery truck, so you are only paying for what you get, whether there is buildup in the tank or not.

    If you are paying for 275 gallons because that is the size tank you have, that is where there is a problem. Unless you are completely empty, you should never require more than tank capacity.

    BTW, a tank with a rated capacity of 275 gallons may hold a few more gallons than 275, or a few gallons less than 275.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,666
    The whistle tube is about 4 inches long. When the oil reaches that level , the driver knows when to stop filling.
    The tube is 4 inches below the top of the tank so unless he "tops it" after the whistle stops, which is dangerous, the oil level should be about 7/8.
    The float can also be saturated or bent. They get bent if the gauges' arm is near the fill pipe(installed incorectly). Most likely the float is just saturated.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,666
    I've been in the oil biz for going on 7 years and the most oil a tank ever gets when its empty is around 240 gallons.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    654
    Assuming the guage isn't 'trimmed', a brand new 275 NOMINAL gallon oil tank might take 255 gallons max to fill it. That would probably register 7/8 on the guage.

    Don't worry about.......it's fine.

    The sludge comments are comical.


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