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Distributors and Service Managers

How To Stop Fuel-Related Service Calls

Problems:


Today's catalytically-cracked #2 fuel oil generates solids at an accelerated rate, causing a significant increase in fuel-related service calls compared to the straight run fuels of just a few years ago. Microbial life, oxidation, water, changes in our distribution channels and other refinery changes also contribute to this rapid accumulation of gummy "black stuff" in today's heating oil. This chemical activity is called repolymerization. It also contributes to poor combustion, excess soot, and smoke. Water and microbial life also promote internal tank corrosion.

Fuel-related service calls are not only expensive, but they threaten the loyalty of our customers to oil heat. There is nothing like a cold house to have an Oilheat customer warm up to natural gas or some other alternative to oil.

Objectives:

  • Reduce service calls, therefore lowering operating costs. Stop internal tank corrosion.

  • Increase customer satisfaction through improved reliability and performance.

Solutions:

  1. Good storage tank maintenance practices at bulk plant and customer. Tanks should be measured for water and sludge. A zone sampler is effective in providing a visible section of the bottom 6" to 12". If there is an emulsion (a mixture of water and fuel), it will appear as a "milk shake" in the zone sampler or simply dots on the water-finder paste on your stick. Fuel Management Services' (FMS) additives will break the emulsion, providing a clear separation of water and fuel. Significant sludge and water should be removed.

  2. Use FMS' additive packages to address all of the problems identified above.

  3. Fuel tanks should always be kept as full as your customers will allow to minimize condensation.

  4. Random lab analysis of source fuels for the presence of contaminants.

Products:


FMS offers several packages of additives that will meet all of these needs: oxidation and repolymerization stability; microbiocide; corrosion inhibitor; detergent/dispersant; and emulsion dispersal. The additives are concentrated so that low doses will get the job done. The products are 100% soluble in fuel so they are easy to mix with fuel anywhere from the rack to the tank.

Procedures:

  1. Identify the problem tanks with repeat service calls for filters, nozzles and strainers. Stick them for water and pump off the excess water and sludge. Treat with a 1/7500 gallon dose of additive (4 ounces per 250g). Following this procedure during summer contract work will significantly cut down on callbacks when winter deliveries begin, as well as during winter service calls.

  2. Treat all fuel at a 1/15,000 gallon dose for preventive maintenance of all tanks and continued cleaning of the problem tanks. The additive will clean up the particulate suspended in the liquid fuel first and then slowly return small amounts of accumulated solids from the sides and bottom of the tank into the fuel. The additive disperses this particulate into microscopic size in the fuel so it can be burned without extra filter plugging.
As time goes on you will be protecting your fuel from the problems that accumulating solids cause in a liquid fuel system. You will also be minimizing internal tank corrosion, leading to fewer tank leakage problems.

FMS also has catalysts available that can be added to the additive package. These catalysts will reduce soot formation, making oil heat safer. The catalyst helps to maximize BTU conversion while cutting emissions. This will further improve the image of oil heat versus natural gas.

For more information call Fuel Management Services at (732) 929-1964 or contact us.

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