Insulation Query

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Ninn, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. Ninn

    Ninn Custom Crochet Queen

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    Can I safely insulate the feed line from my fuel oil tank to my furnace? For some reason that I do not understand, my fuel tank is positioned on the windward side of my house. (Not my doing) The feed line is exposed for about 8 feet outside, and then across the entire width of my home to the furnace! ( go figure) We have been blessed with extraordinarily warm weather this season, but the wind has been picking up and cold is beginning to settle in. I don't know why I didn't think about this before, but that exposed stretch of line is likely to freeze from the moving cold, etc. Had it happen at the house we used to own several times before we moved the tank. Since the tank is currently full, moving it is not a viable option at this time. Can I safely insulate that line with pipe insualtion like we would use for water pipes? Or should I stick with old towels, bubble wrap and duct tape? Please help quick. Old man winter is rearing his ugly head and I want to beat him to the punch!
     
  2. ericjeeper

    ericjeeper Well-Known Member

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    but yes it could gel. Yes you can insulate the copper line. with the split open type black foam pipe insulating wrap,. Just cut it so it is a tight fit length wise.
    I would suggest if it is going to get sub zero temps.. Go to a truckstop and buy a gallon of antigel. that the truckers use. Dump in the correct ammount andtry to stir it with a long clean 1x1 stick.
     

  3. Ninn

    Ninn Custom Crochet Queen

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    Thanx, Eric. That's all I needed to know! All set, then. Getting more pipe wrap tonite. Got hot shot in there already, provided by fuel company when they delivered. Just makin sure.
     
  4. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    Hey, Ninn
    Just put a five gallon can of kero in the tank and it wont gel up on you. It will burn fine in the furnace and it's cheaper than anything else.
     
  5. Ninn

    Ninn Custom Crochet Queen

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    I'm currently running a 50/50 mix of fuel oil and kerosene. However, with the winds being what they are lately, anything is possible. I'd rather be a step ahead of the game, just in case. Replacing our beat up old kero heater this week too, just in case.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    The only snag to insulating the line is long term. The insulation will trap moisture and the line will rot out starting a leak. The other thing is you're keeping the heat out too, so if there's any solar gain on the pipe it's shielded out. What size line is it? Where is the filter?
     
  7. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    If it is coming like that you wont have any issue's. It wont gel. I'd infact ask if you can get a 25% mix as the kero burns at a lower temp. so it takes more for the same heat.

    How are you liking the new weather.
     
  8. Pouncer

    Pouncer Well-Known Member

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    Ok I am confused....Is this #1 or #2 heating oil? Both grades are fine to about -30, and one is good to -40+. Up here in Alaska, the heating oil companies supply the appropriate blend for the time of year so it isn't an issue. Only had problems with it once, at -46. I don't know anyone who delivers and uses kerosene (up here) so I honestly don't know how it burns.
     
  9. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    Well here it just doesn't get as cold; first off.
    So they probably use additives to reduce the gel temp. where you are.

    #2 fuel oil or diesel would gel at around -10 without an additive.
    #1 stove oil or kero would gel at like -50 without additive.

    In a diesel truck or car you can add 10% gas for extreme conditions >-60.
    But for home use this is rarely required.

    Her fuel company has per mixed the #1 with the #2 to give her good protection to about -30. This would be really cold for this area.
     
  10. Ninn

    Ninn Custom Crochet Queen

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    Well, I had planned to beat mother nature to the punch and insulate that line today. It was a good thought, too. I found that it is not one continuous line, but has a connection about 2 feet from the tank. Guess what happened overnight? Yup. Froze. Checked to be sure I still had fuel-have a half a tank, so no problem there. Warm water and blow dryers have not helped. Called the furnace man-he will come remove the line from the tank and blow heated air into it to melt the frozen spot, which he is sure is at the connection. Then I will be insulating the daylights out of that stretch of line, and covering with plastic to keep moisture out. I will leave enough of an airpocket that condensation will have a place to go, and plan to remove the insulation the minutes temps are back up over 40 degrees and staying there. Next summer, I am planting a windbreak back there and putting a fence around 3 sides of that tank to deflect wind, etc. Live and learn, right?
     
  11. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    Be sure he also puts a anti-water treatment in the tank . That is the most likely cause.

    Hey, get ready NOAA is saying we could get a good storm by the end of next week. They said from WED. on.
     
  12. Ninn

    Ninn Custom Crochet Queen

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    OK-furnace guy was just here. He said both red and white 911 treatment into tank this week, as well as the insulation. Also said to get heat tape made for fuel lines, as it will keep freezing right where it just did-the connection and the crest at the top of the line where it curves down to go under the house. 15 bux to thaw the line and restart the furnace. Education was free.