7 things everyone should know before purchasing
a waste / used oil burning heater or boiler!
1. How often will you have to clean waste oil burning boiler or heater? Look beyond a "clean one time per season" claim. In some cases, units carrying this claim must be cleaned after every 50 hours of use or even more often. Who has the time to do that? The efficiency of the burner and the clean nature of the burn determines just how often you will need to clean your waste oil burning equipment. The waste oil burners we offer (for both: waste oil boilers and waste oil heaters) burn cleanly and efficiently utilizing a very well balanced waste oil atomization combined with dual stage fuel pre heating.
2. CONVERTED Oil Burner vs. a TRUE Waste Oil Burning Unit. Every other waste oil burner company EXCEPT us does the same thing. They take a stock oil burner and convert it into what they call a “waste oil burner”. This just simply does not work well. The major reason for that is that they use a standard pressurized fuel heater block heating the fuel to burn to a set fixed temperature. The average heater block can hold a few ounces of fluid at best and it can not handle any sort of sustained flow. Waste vegetable oil (WVO) can not be burned efficiently if at all in this condition. We have tested several major burners using waste vegetable oil and found them all to be ineffective for burning it. Our waste (used) oil burner is the only burner on the market that will effectively burn waste vegetable oil and we challenge anyone in the industry to prove us wrong. We accomplish the burning of waste oils by a combination of several engineering principals. The fuel is first pre heated in a 20 gallon holding tank (Day Tank). From there is pumped to the main heating tank which holding approximately 1/2 of a gallon and will heat the fuel up to 150 Celsius degrees (302 Fahrenheit). From that point the fluid is pulled from the tank utilizing Venturi effect. Compressed air passing through a specially engineered nozzle(s) creates suction pulling the fuel from the high temperature pre heating tank and atomizes the fuel at the point of discharge. The discharge is a finely atomized mist of properly preheated fuel which burns completely and very cleanly. It is the cleanest and the most efficient burn possible.
3. Stainless steel burner chambers. Stainless steel heat exchanger is standard for waste oil heaters (furnaces) we offer. Stainless steel is the longest lasting, most durable material available for high temperature applications. Others use lower cost materials trying to compensate inferior steel by thicker walls of combustion chamber. The heat exchangers of waste oil heaters we offer consist of formed 304L 16 Ga stainless steel plates with double rolled pressed seams. The pressed seam construction eliminates the possibility of stress cracks that can occur from welding. Also consider that most heaters use a single pass system which further decreases the efficiency of the unit. The best waste oil heater or waste oil boiler units utilize a triple pass steel combustion chamber / heat exchanger which boost the heating efficiency. To benefit from utilizing stainless steel properties we use it for some of our waste oil heaters (furnaces). Even though the fuel may be free, it doesn't mean you should waste it!
4. Burning Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO). Some manufacturers claim their waste oil burners can do it. Please, read the fine print! Most units will not burn vegetable oil unless the oil has been processed somehow besides filtering it and naturally removing excessive moisture. The oil must be purified before it can be used as fuel. Only our product will burn unprocessed vegetable oil. Don’t be fooled. We have been dealing with these issues for a very long time. Our waste oil burners will burn vegetable oil, animal fat, renderings, tallow, bio diesel resin as well as mineral oils and locomotive oil.
5. Compressed air. All waste oil burners require it to atomize the fuel. Most of the burners on the market require an air source to be piped into the waste oil burner. On the other hand, there are also waste oil burners with built in air compressors. The cost involved to pipe air into your oil burner is a big consideration when making your purchase. The other consideration is the cost of replacing a built in air compressor for a waste oil burner. Some manufacturers charge as much as five hundred dollars for a compressor replacement because they are the only ones you can get it from. With our waste oil burning equipment you can use a compressor almost as small as you want and we all know how inexpensive they are.
6. Stack temperature. Some waste oil burners have it in excess of 900 degrees while others have stack temperatures of less than 500 degrees. Obviously the higher the stack temperature the less efficient the waste oil burner. Also, the higher the stack temperature the greater the potential for fire hazard. Some manufacturers will go as far as trying to convince you that single wall exhaust pipe is acceptable. You need to know that single wall exhaust pipe is 100% legal to purchase and 100% legal to install. However, once you turn that waste oil burner on and start to exhaust fumes you are in violation of almost all local fire codes and risk being dropped by your insurance carrier. Don’t let an overzealous manufacturer sell you something that is a potential fire hazard and will put you in violation of local fire codes. Waste oil burning equipment (heaters and boilers) we offer have double or triple walls and our very efficient burners and heat exchangers give you the lowest stack temperatures available on the market. Our waste oil boilers and waste oil heaters keep stack temperatures well under 500 degrees.
7. BTU Rating. Many manufacturers intentionally over rate their waste oil burners to give you a false sense of value and worth. Other manufacturers intentionally under rate their waste oil burners in order to give you what you really need and then some. You have the right to know who truly has the best deal. Here is a rule of thumb for calculating BTU's for a waste oil burner (for a boiler or a heater). Take the GPH (gallons-per-hour) of the nozzle and multiply that by 140,000. 1 GPH equals approximately 140,000 BTU's for waste oil burner in your heater or boiler. This also gives you the BTU's before the burn. The after burn rating of your waste oil heater or waste oil boiler is 80 to 90 percent of the total depending on the unit. With all of these in mind please remember that onle we offer Adjustable Output Rate waste (used) oil burners allowing to precisely match your heating needs / requirements. Such adjustments done by you by a simple turn of a knob!
The last and most important piece of information you should know is that at Burns All we have dealt with all of these issues and we want nothing more than to give you good, sound, solid advice about what waste oil burner, waste oil boiler or waste oil heater unit would be best for you. It is never just about price. It is much more than that and money poorly spent is money wasted. You might have waste oil to burn but not money and time to waste.
We would appreciate very much the opportunity to help you with your purchase, a purchase that you will be living with for a very long time.
Experience And Patented Technology...
In order to accommodate our customers with industry leading, cost-efficient products, we've devoted a significant amount of time researching company's that could deliver such quality. Our burner has been found to be the most cost efficient and effective burner on the market for burning all waste oil products including waste vegetable oil, waste oil, mineral oil, synthetic oils and many others.
Why our equipment? The answer is really rather simple than it is complicated. Our waste (used) oil burner was developed with one goal in mind: to service the needs of a wide range of applications including industrial processes. We analyzed the flaws in all the products on the market that just did not make sense to us. Our findings were that none of the products stood up to the claims made about them. We are customers of our own products. Waste oil burning appliances we offer are used to heat our own warehouse. While developing the family of waste (used) oil burners we offer, our number one goal was to satisfy the needs of our customer base and really solve the issues our customers were faced with and we are constantly striving to continue improvements of the waste burning equipment we sell.
When a business considers purchasing a new asset, their decision is often driven by the calculated return on investment (ROI). That basically means how long it takes for the investment to pay for itself. Our customers tell us they see such significant savings that they often cover the price of the waste oil burning equipment we offer, burners, heaters (furnaces), air conditioners, or boilers, in the first year if not in the first 6 months of operation.
Hazards & Difficulties of Burning Used Oils
In order to achieve a significant contribution to environmentally clean combustion, it is necessary to convert through combustion all of the carbon and hydrocarbon molecules of the base oil and the sludge to the gaseous form of carbon dioxide, water and heat. There are many substances in waste oil which are not combustible and which cause substantial environmental and combustion concerns, particularly when associated with unburned organic residue associated with incomplete combustion. Automotive engine oil is highly viscous and contains many additives to meet lubricating requirements. However, this viscosity causes difficulty in heating the oil to ignition temperature, as well as in obtaining small particle atomization for proper combustion.
In continuation of this problematic review, it should be noted that chemical breakdowns occur in the synthetic additive polymers as well as the base oil molecules. Many different contaminants are generated by the engine itself, such as: unburned fuel, water, acids, sludge, road dust, antifreeze and many different wear metals. Due to the high amount of detergents used in automotive oils, the contaminants are retained in suspension and are thus removed from the engine at normal oil change and must be considered throughout the preparation for combustion and combustion itself. In addition, the oils collected from winter driving will significantly differ from those of summer driving. Preheating is absolutely necessary and, this in itself, introduces numerous related problems:
Black dirty combustion is prevalent in the waste oil industry, as is an incidence of explosions. The industry standard is now Underwriter's Laboratory 296A that, in our opinion, gives rise to the opportunity for misfire and explosion. In particular, UL296A allows use of a primary combustion control that uses a cadmium light sensor and includes a safety timing of 45 seconds. In particular, this type of primary safety control is prevalent in the residential oil furnace industry, and does a good job in protecting homes. However, the waste oil industry would more closely relate to an industrial application and should require appropriate safeguards.
- Heating oil at through velocities of less than one foot per second will cause nucleate boiling with related graphite precipitation into nozzle blocking nodules.
- The waste oil contains air, water and gasoline in solution that will gas-off during the heating process. The gas will interrupt the steady flow of oil to cause erratic and dirty combustion.
- Pressure regulation is required to maintain uniform firing rates. This is difficult due to the extreme variations in viscosity and the low flow rates involved. The problems of pressure regulation are magnified with the entrained vapors to give pulsating pressure and erratic and/or dirty combustion.
A cadmium light sensor is responsive to daylight, incandescent or fluorescent light and, as such, can and will pick-up on random lighting to continue to deliver oil when the flame was struck out by any number of reasons. If spark ignition or flame could be subsequently re-established, the residual liquid oil in the combustion chamber could produce dire consequences. A valid list of adverse conditions could but will not be presented to elaborate the peril of using a simple residential cadmium sensor for an industrial waste oil application. The use of a 45 second timing sequence for a trial ignition period and for oil interruption upon flame interruption provides a quantity of oil that can fuel a substantial explosion under attainable conditions. The INOV8 sequence is much shorter as explained later.
General Information on Federal & State Approvals
The manufacture and marketing of waste oil burning equipment is covered by both federal and state regulations. These are generally separated into environmental and safety issues, respectively. Although there is a certain amount of overlap between federal and state, the states usually administer these regulations through various approval processes. Individual installations are monitored by local inspectors through the process of reviewing applications, permitting, assessing fees and follow-up inspections.
As with any heating device waste oil furnaces are expected to meet certain national codes involving safety, performance, endurance testing, and adherence to installation and electric codes. States, municipalities and insurance companies rely on independent third-party approval agencies such as Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) to regulate equipment design issues. The following information details the regulations addressed in the first paragraph and discuss the national standards that are imposed on the design, manufacture, installation and use of waste oil burning equipment.
Federal Regulation (EPA)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes the rules that allow for the burning of used oils for energy recovery and publishes the pertinent regulations in the Federal Register. The section that pertains to the waste oil burning industry is covered in 40 CFR, part 279. After several years of debate and uncertainty regarding listing or not listing used oils as a hazardous waste, the EPA handed down their final decision explained in this section in September, 1992. It was a very favorable determination for the manufacturers and users of waste oil burning equipment.
Rather than monitoring the air emissions, the EPA has written the regulations from the premise of what is being burned. If the oil is acceptable, they then believe the emission will be acceptable. They've divided oils into two categories, those that are relatively benign and create little concern when burned are called "on-specification oils", and those that contain more than the allowable limits of heavy metals, halogens, or the presence of low volatile fuels are called "off-specification oils".
The EPA regulations allow the burning of "on-specification" used oils in equipment designed for energy recovery, generally without limitation. "Off-specification" used oils are also allowed to be burned, but are limited to devices that are 500,000 BTUs or less, the devices are vented to the outside, and they burn only oils generated on-site. People often misinterpret these regulations and apply the above limitations to the "on-specification" oils, so there is some confusion. There are few restrictions if the oil is burned in boilers by small generators, or when burning oils that were originally intended as a fuel (such as jet fuels). There are no permits or licensing requirements on the federal level for the burning of used oils by small generators.
National Standards & Approval Agencies
States, municipalities and insurance companies require that a third-party agency certify that they have tested the equipment to ensure that the construction standard has been met and is maintained in the assembly and operation of the equipment. Underwriter's Laboratory is recognized as the industry leader in testing agencies though there are several other smaller national laboratories capable of doing the same. PFS Corporation in Madison, Wisconsin provides different companies with a "listing" for our furnaces and our waste oil storage tank. We are familiar with two other laboratories performing similar testing, Environmental Test Laboratory (ETL) and Environmental Test Laboratory of Maine (ETLM). These four agencies worked together over six years ago to establish the standards for waste oil burning equipment, now known as UL 296A. This standard requires end-user compliance with other national codes, such as :
These codes are enforced by local authorities, usually by representatives of Building Inspection Departments or Fire Departments.
- The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) - for heating system installation requirements,
- The National Fire Protection Associations (NFPA) section 31-1987 - for the storage, handling and burning of used oils, and
- The National Fire Protection Associations (NFPA) section 70-1990 - for the national electric code.
Each state has their own administrative agency that is responsible for regulating various used oil situations. In Minnesota it is the Pollution Control Agency (MPCA); in Wisconsin it is the Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations (DILHR); in Michigan it is the Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).
Some states, such as Maine and Wisconsin, require that companies register their products and pay fees for selling in their state. Wisconsin requires heating systems be given "material approval". This involves submitting necessary documentation to an administrative body who determines if the equipment meets state requirements for safety and usage. Approved equipment is then placed on a list and disseminated to state purchasing agents and heating contractors. The only purpose it serves is as an aid to selling.
Most large cities have departments that monitor the installation of heating systems in commercial buildings through application, permitting and the inspection process. Most cities require that a heating contractor licensed with their city install any heating system. That contractor is responsible for obtaining any relevant permits by submitting applications, building and heating plans, and paying appropriate fees. The general purpose of an application and approval process is for fire protection. The requirements vary from city to city and are best known by the local heating contractor.
Some administrative agencies of large cities require heating systems be approved
prior to their sale. We should be notified as soon as possible to begin the
approval process (if there is one). In most cases, the process of gaining approval
to sell in a new city is relatively simple and doesn't take but a couple weeks.
Most of our approvals have been obtained via telephone calls, fax and mail correspondence.
Owner of Watertown eatery rebels against fuel costs
By Peter J. Howe, Globe Staff
Like every small business owner, Don Levy was eager to escape crushing increases in the cost of energy this winter.
The owner of Deluxe Town Diner found a way to slash his fuel bill for heating and hot water to $0 during some weeks this winter: a new system that runs on the 30 or 40 gallons of vegetable oil he uses every week for cooking fries, plus oil he collects from a nearby pizzeria and a pair of Chinese restaurants...more
See how used oil
technology can save
you from burning a
hole in your wallet.
By Thom Elmire
Buying waste/used oil heating equipment is a smart move, but it is an investment that requires research and thought.
A steady supply of waste oil is almost as valuable as gold in today's economic and energy-strained environment.
Operators fortunate enough to have either a conjoined quick lube operation or access to a reliable supply of waste oil are in an enviable position considering...more
by Jocelyn Park
It's been a blustery winter. If you don't believe me, ask my car. Along with the many others out there hit by snowstorms, I couldn't find my car for a couple days, and when I did, well, let's just say I wasn't happy.
Or, you might also want to ask your technicians, who, no doubt, like to keep just as warm as you, especially while working. Waste oil heaters solve many problems: they heat your work space, help the environment by recycling used oil, and save money on heating costs...more
Frequently Asked Questions
How much used oil should I generate per year
to make my decision about buying a used-oil furnace or boiler practical?
The average minimum volume of used oil you must generate annually is between...more
Don't used-oil fired appliances (boilers, heaters, evaporators etc.) smoke and pollute the air?
Absolutely not! Waste oil appliances we sell burn as clean as a...more
Will various viscosities of oil affect the combustion efficiency of my used-oil burner (furnace, boiler, evaporator)?
No. The state-of-the-art burners we sell are designed to accommodate the...more
How often will I have to clean the ash from inside
my used oil appliance (furnace, boiler, evaporator)?
The required cleaning intervals on average are approximately...more
Are the appliances you sell backed with a warranty?
Yes. Waste oil burnerning equipment we offer is covered with an excellent warranty conditions - please call for details.
When can I expect to get any return on my investment to used-oil burner?
Depending on the climate (average annual temperature) of your region,
with our heater you'll receive a...more
"Cradle-to-grave" liability: what is it and how can it affect the way I dispose of used oil?
The federal government directly and irrevocably holds you responsible
for pollution management, cleanup and disposal control of...more
If I am not an owner and just renting, am I still liable?
How long am I liable?
Forever. Even if you sold your business a...more
Is it more convenient to hire a hauler/refiner to transport my used oil?
This is what waste oil haulers would like you to believe. Remember, your
liability extends to...more
Are the used oil appliances you sell ductable?
Yes. All of the used-oil appliances we sell can be ducted, and are...more
Do you follow up the sale with parts and service support?
Yes. For your convenience, when you buy any used-oil appliance from us,
you will be provided a...more
What does the EPA suggest?
Since 1985 the EPA issued a final rule for disposal of used oil by burning...more
Is it possible to get pollution insurance?
Underwriters will charge astronomical amounts and will...more