Click on any question below to see the answer!
#1 Do I need a waste oil heater?
Yes you probably do, especially if you have a big shop / if you have large heating bills / if you generate a large amount of waste oil. Think about it before it's 10° below zero.
#2 Will a reconditioned heater pay for itself?
Yes! Most people have a return on investment of 1 - 2 years. It depends on the amount of oil you generate, the size & type of shop, type of insulation etc. Your competitor down the road probably already knows this, so don't give him your oil! You'll just have to pay big gas bills.
#3 What size heater will I need for my shop?
A 145,000 BTU furnaces may heat shops up to 3,500 square feet. It depends on what type of shop you have. A 220,000 BTU furnaces may heat shops up to 5,000 square feet. It depends on what type of shop you have. A 350,000 BTU furnaces may heat shops up to 8,500 square feet. It depends on what type of shop you have. A 500,000 BTU furnaces may heat shops up to 12,500 square feet. It depends on what type of shop you have.
Call us for assistance.
#4 How many gallons of oil does a heater use?
One gallon of waste oil makes 140,000 BTUs of heat. Most heaters may average 50 - 70% daily run time. Some variables include: amount of insulation in ceiling (open truss, or flat insulated), what type of walls you have (cement block building), thermostat settings, and days of winter etc.
Every gallon contains 140,000 BTUs of heat.
Example: 140,000BTU heater will burn approximately 1 gallon/hour. 280,000 = 2 gallons/hour etc.
#5 What kind of oil can I burn?
Most heater manufacturers recommend burning used crank case oil, #1 & #2 fuel oils, hydraulic fluid, ATF, and synthetic oil (up to 25% blend). Never burn unlisted, wild fuels, parts washer fluid, or chlorinated solvents (like clorinated brake fluid or brake clean) etc. (See the owner's manual.)
#6 Do I generate enough oil to justify a purchase?
Typically you should generate 500 - 700 gallons a year. The more you generate, the more you save.
#7 How long will it take me to pay off my investment in a reconditioned waste oil heater? Thoughts to consider:
How much do you pay for your heat in a winter? How much will it cost for a reconditioned heater? How much return on investment will I generate in 5 - 15 years? Are you paying oil removal costs? #8 What is the current method of calculating my savings from a waste oil heater? #1 Present price of your fuel x gallons used per year = your present heat bill. #2 Consider different prices of different BTU fuels. Fuel oil $2.50 for 140,000 BTUs; Propane $3.50 for 140,000 BTUs; Natural gas $2.00 for 140,000 BTUs; Electric $4.50 for 140,000 BTUs; Free waste oil gives 140,000 BTUs per gallon. #3 Estimate number of gallons used in a year and BTUs needed for a year. Then figure how many gallons of waste oil you will need to eliminate most or all of your heat bill. #4 Deduct the cost of waste oil removal, from your winter's heat bill. #5 Even if you get paid $0.30/gallon for your oil, you should burn it, because it is worth up to $3 a gallon when used to heat your shop. Think seriously; your competitor's shop knows how much savings it is.
#9 Why recycle on site?
- It is environmentally responsible.
- It will eliminate or reduce your heating costs (free fuel).
- You'll have an outstanding return on investment.
- It is an EPA approved method of recycling.
- It will eliminate your oil-removal cost.
- It will save valuable resources.
- It will eliminate your liability in the event of an oil spill by some hauler off site.
- It will give you peace of mind.
#10 Do I have a 'cradle-to-grave' liability on my used oil?
Yes, if you are generating used oil, you are responsibility for it until it disappears off of the earth! This is in effect whether you burn it or send if off, and includes accidental spills or intentional dumping done by a used oil hauler. When you burn your own waste oil, you also save the expense of LP / Natural Gas and get free heat at the same time.
#11 Has burning waste oil been approved by the EPA?
Yes. There are 3 requirements. #1 The heater should burn only oil generated by the owner / operators. (You can accept oil from local do-it-yourselfers.) #2 You should not produce more than 500,000 BTUs per furnace. #3 Your combustion gasses must be properly vented outside. Note: It is illegal to burn waste oil in New York City and California.
#12 How does a Waste Oil Heater work?
#1 Oil is pumped from your tank to the burner. #2 Oil and air are precisely heated and mixed in the burner's preheater block and nozzle. When the wall thermostat calls for heat, it turns the burner on, and efficiently sprays oil, air, and ignition at the correct ratio, producing a smoke-free flame. When the heat exchanger warms up, it turns the big fan on and warms the shop until the thermostat is satisfied. At that point, the flame automatically stops, and the unit cools down.
#13 How long should a reconditioned waste oil heater last?
It is like a vehicle, the better you care for it, the better it will last. With good care, you may get at least 10 years of life from it. Bad care includes: Neglect, not cleaning out the ash, overfiring etc. Doing so will shorten the life of your heater. It is very important to clean out ash at proper intervals & fire it properly in order to make your heater last.
#14 Do I need an emergency vent on my used oil tank?
Yes! You need a UL approved tank, with an emergency vent. See our Clean Burn tank system on the bottom of the Clean Burn page. Also see tank vent; Click here for picture.
#15 Do I need to preheat the oil in my tank?
No. The oil is completely heated at the burner.
#16 Can I have an outside tank for storing my oil?
Yes, but only if it is done properly. Your pump needs to be inside, and it can pump oil at least 100'.
#17 Can I duct the unit into my present duct-work?
Only if the heater has a squirrel-cage blower on it.
#18 Do I need a 'Class A triple wall' (high temp. all-fuel) stainless stack?
Yes! Note: You don't want to use an old chimney from a gas heater; it is not the right kind of stack.
#19 Does a used oil heater smoke black?
No, not if you are burning approved fuels and have your furnace adjusted properly. For help adjusting, go to our Technical Help page.
#20 Do you have warranty protection?
Yes, we cover the parts on the entire machine for 2 years (for most units). You will also receive a copy of this at the time of the sale. Ask a competitor if they will cover all the parts on the entire machine for 2 years!
#21 Should I remove my old source of heat?
It is not recommended, because:
#1 You may run out of waste oil sometime. #2 Keeping your old heater will eliminate future emergencies. #3 You can't reuse the stack from any other heater, anyway. #4 Just keep the thermostat down so it doesn't come on except in emergencies.
#22 How often do I have to clean the ash out of a waste oil heater?
#23 Where can I order parts after the sale?
Central Ohio Heaters, Ltd. has almost all parts in stock for all major brands of heaters, and even most obsolete parts are available. See our Parts page.
#24 How long will it take me to install my heater myself?
Maybe a day. It depends on the location of your heater and tank, the type of building you have, where you put the stack, and air ducting needed etc. Even if you choose to install your unit yourself, Central Ohio Heaters, Ltd. recommends that you get your unit inspected by a licensed heating contractor to make sure your installation is safe, and that all codes are met etc.
#25 Can I use a waste oil heater in my house?
No, waste oil heaters are only approved for commercial applications.
#26 Why do some people have so much trouble with their waste oil heater, and others have nearly none?
- Some people just plain over-fire their furnace (like 1 1/2 to 2 times the correct flame size).
- People do not have a meter pump to control the flow rate. In the old style system, when the fuel got thinner, the flame would burn faster, because the thin fuel went through the nozzle much faster, at the same pressure, and therefore made a bigger flame (without touching any adjustments)!!! Do yourself a favor-- see new style cruise control meter pump on the bottom of our parts page.
- People do not clean the ash out of their heater exchanger at proper intervals. When it is plugged, the heat can't get out, it will destroy, warp, blister, or crack their heat exchanger. See #13 above. Clean ash out of heater at proper intervals.
- People stir up the dirt in the bottom of their tank. Do not rush-fill your tank. Use a second settling tank. This will help everything to stay cleaner. (Some people fill the tank really fast while the heater is running; this stirs up the fine silt and mud in the bottom of the tank which plugs filters, wears out pumps, and plugs up burners Ever wonder why some people need to clean the nozzle daily? See pix of dirty internal parts from inside of burners and damaged/dirty flame retention heads, at bottom of our technical help page. Also see #11 on the same page. We have burned at least 9,000 gallons without plugging filters etc. Some people may need to clean once a week----get real!!!)
#27 Do you have mobile/on-site service?
No. We don't have time. Normally people use their own mechanics. We provide a technical help page, for all waste oil furnaces. We also provide telephone help free, to our customers, for 2 years after purchase. Also, we repair burners here in our shop, if you UPS them in. Also See our tutorial videos at the bottom of our Clean Burn, Shenandoah, Reznor, and Lanair pages. Is there still a question we are missing? Give us your requests for consideration. Tell us what question you think we should be answering. Send it to: SiteDesigner@CentralOhioHeaters.com. Thank you.