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Bill P.
Bill P., HVAC Mechanic
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 338
Experience:  Oil / Gas / A/C / Hydronics
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does fuel oil go bad

Resolved Question:

does fuel oil go bad??
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Bill P. replied 7 years ago.
Hi there. Fuel oil can go bad, but not if you are thinking like gasoline. Fuel oil will last for a long time, same as gasoline though, certain factors help make it last longer. Like where it is stored, obviously a cool basement is far better than a tank out in the sun. Also putting additives in can make it last far longer. Normally oil will start to grow algae rather than becoming gummy like gas can. I have burnt 20 year old oil in my shop furnace before without problems, however there was a lot of algae sludge in the bottom of the tank i got it from.
I would say at least 2 years without any problem whatsoever, beyond that putting additives and possibly cleaning filters a lot more often, you would get many more years. Hope that helps.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

its in a tank outside and im guessing 20-25yrs i want to get rid of the furnace and tank but i figure why not burn it out do you think it will burn where do you start to get the furnace to run im a electrician and a whole lot more so any thing will help me get it goin

Expert:  Bill P. replied 7 years ago.
Well that could be a different story lol. This furnace hasn't been on in 20 yrs? Do you mean burn it all at once to get rid of it or to heat wherever the furnace is. I guess the first thing to do would be to see if the burner works on the furnace, put power to it and turn up whatever thermostat it has. See what happens? Or is this furnace not even hooked up?I guess let me know what the situation is
Expert:  Bill P. replied 7 years ago.
You would be better off to find someone that can burn the oil in their existing system, pump the tank out but leave the bottom 6 inches or so in the old tank as it will have water/sludge/who knows what in it. A furnace that has been sitting there that long I doubt it worth trying to get going, the chimney pipes may not be safe etc.
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