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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    6
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    New oil tank and some sludge got pumped in

    Hello all,
    I recently bought a new house and as a condition of the purchase of the home there was to be a new oil tank installed. I had my HVAC tech up a few days ago for a boiler cleaning and he noted that the new filter on the oil tank was dirty already. The new tank had the old tank oil pumped in and it appears some of the sludge was pumped in as well. My HVAC tech suggested trying some sludge removal treatment but didnt have a specific product recommendation. Would anyone happen to have experience with sludge removal products? I was also thinking as its a new tank that the sludge might just get diluted and burned off over time. Any thoughts/recommendations are appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Broomall, PA
    Posts
    2,877
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    Sorry to be harsh, but you got f*c**d. Anyone with any sense (or who read the manufacturer's instructions) should know to NEVER pump the old oil into the new tank. In many cases it voids the warranty.
    But the bigger problem is now all the sludge and microbes and moisture that were growing in the old tank and attacking the metal for 40-50 years, now just gave your new tank a head start on failure-just to save a few bucks and because the tank installer was too lazy to pump it out.
    If it were me, I'd have the oil pumped out, or run the tank to almost empty. Then blow back the oil line with a push/pull pump, and change the nozzle/filter/pump strainer. Dump in a bottle of additive, and have the tank filled. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then properly bleed the oil line and fire it back up.
    If you can't have the tank pumped out, a full bottle of additive (following the instructions) dumped in with a fill up of the oil tank would be a start. Then run it to almost empty and repeat. The tank should be pitched toward the outlet. Might want to change the filter again mid season, along with the pump strainer and nozzle. Keep doing that until your filter contains no sludge, and your pump strainer is clean. Ultra Low Sulfur Heating Oil and maybe up to 5% bio will clean that tank too, and foul the filter/strainer/nozzle.
    For additives, pick one and only use that one. I like Hot Oil, 4 in 1.
    https://www.amazon.com/FPPF-Chemical...31674139&psc=1

    Another thing you can do until it clears up. When you get a delivery, shut off your heater, dump in the additive, have the tank filled. Leave the heater off for at least 20 minutes so all the crap settles.

    ---boring true story---
    Had an issue years ago with a customer. Father switched to gas, had full tank of oil. Despite my adamant pleas about what will happen, the customer HAD to use the used oil (it's free after all).
    For the next 4 years the customer had problems. Luckily for him he was a mechanic. After maybe 3 or 4 service calls, in one season, especially right after an oil delivery, clogged nozzle/filter/strainer, I just sold him the parts and showed him how to change them. He spent way more in service than he saved in oil.
    If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 30 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    25,542
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe85 View Post
    Hello all,
    I recently bought a new house and as a condition of the purchase of the home there was to be a new oil tank installed. I had my HVAC tech up a few days ago for a boiler cleaning and he noted that the new filter on the oil tank was dirty already. The new tank had the old tank oil pumped in and it appears some of the sludge was pumped in as well. My HVAC tech suggested trying some sludge removal treatment but didn’t have a specific product recommendation. Would anyone happen to have experience with sludge removal products? I was also thinking as it’s a new tank that the sludge might just get diluted and burned off over time. Any thoughts/recommendations are appreciated. Thanks!
    Find the contractor that pumped the old oil in there pump it out and dispose of it. Make them clean the tank as well

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    State College, PA
    Posts
    2,894
    Post Likes
    I like running my oil tank dry once a tear to run the sludge out. I keep 10 gallons of diesel fuel handy to get it heating again if it runs out in dead of winter. I change filter, strainer & nozell after fill up again.

    Seems to work for me.

    Never used additive, might try that.
    Can someone please explain to me -
    Why is there never enough time to do it right the first time, but plenty of time to do it twice?


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    6
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    Thread Starter
    Thank you all for the replies. Yeah I was not happy at all when I found out, I contacted the prior contractor so we will see if they are willing to do anything. If not, Ill probably give the product that was recommended a try for the winter. If it isnt looking better over the spring/summer then Ill get it pumped. Thanks again.

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