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hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner


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  #1  
Old 04-18-2019, 07:52:46 PM
DustyBar DustyBar is offline
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Default hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner

Has anyone else experienced problems burning used hydraulic oil in their gun type waste oil burners? We think thats what caused some issues in our furnace. Is there some hydraulic oil with a water base? I'm just curious since I have several hundred gallons to burn. The oil I have will burn in a pot with a rag for a wick. The oil is from servicing farm tractors, nothing new or hi-tech as far as I know.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:03:38 PM
Jake Jacobs Jake Jacobs is offline
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Default Re: hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner

There is a very high temp grade of hydraulic oil. It is going to be hard to ignite and keep going without diluting it with something more volatile. It is used in high temp apps like the cylinders on a rolling mill.
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:12:45 AM
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Turbo Turbo is offline
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Default Re: hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner

Hydraulic oil is designed to dissipate heat. It will burn but not as readily as motor oil and with far less BTUs. I worked in a farm equipment repair facility that used a waste oil burner and I do remember the owner having problems with the burner and him blaming it on too much hydraulic oil in the tank.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:11:46 AM
ronm ronm is offline
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Default Re: hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner

One of my farm customers got a waste oil heater for the shop, they had several hundred gallons of oil to burn, engine & hydraulic mixed. Started having problems right off the bat, it just wouldn't work right. They called the factory, & the first question was if they were trying to burn hydraulic oil...they had to start keeping it separated & only burn engine oil. Factory told them hyd. oil will gel up in the preheater that the oil furnace uses. Kind of took the advantage away, they actually had more volume of hyd. than engine oil in a year. The thing does make good heat though, it will run you out of the shop in about 15 min...
I had one neighbor that ran a bus company, he would take all the oil I had, until he retired & shut down...now I can't give it away, everybody with a waste oil heater has too much already. Had to pay to have it hauled off...
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:39:36 PM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner

I have a drip type waste oil burner and I have never had problems with hydraulic oil but I don't burn more than 50/50 mix.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:28:09 PM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner

I wonder if some hydraulic oils have chemistry the "soaks up" water. I do know that I put some kind of conditioner into the snowplow's oil a couple of years ago.
So, when I drain it. and, if I tried to burn it as you say, wouldn't it have to give up that water sooner or later?

And, for sure, there IS going to be water getting into hydraulic reservoirs every time it heats up, then cools back down sucking in air, which contains humidity, right?

I say all that just to consider whether its just the hydraulic oil that's the problem of is it the water that's in the oil?
When I use waste oil, of any oil, for that matter, in my blacksmith quench tank, I always heat it to at least 150°F to drive off water before using it. If I don't do that, it's easy to get an explosion. That used to happen at the heat treating company I worked at now and then.
Maybe, if one could preheat the hydraulic oil with a coil wrapped around the chimney, and the let it run in an open tank so the water could evaporate before being sent to the burner, one could eliminate the problem?

Pete Stanaitis
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:42:54 PM
Heins Heins is offline
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Default Re: hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner

My oil stove will burn hyd oil.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:57:01 PM
cornbinder89 cornbinder89 is offline
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Default Re: hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner

There are other types of hyd oil other than petroleum based, so first question is what type are you trying to burn? Glycol based stuff is used where fire is a problem, then there is Skydrol, (ester based) which is pretty much non flammable.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:56:39 PM
DustyBar DustyBar is offline
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Default Re: hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornbinder89 View Post
...so first question is what type are you trying to burn?...
Just the oil from farm tractor maintenance. I doubt its anything exotic.
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:54:18 PM
cobbadog cobbadog is offline
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Default Re: hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner

If water is in the oil it would be a milky looking oil so easy to identify. Maybe a solution is to do what was mentioned in an earlier reply, blend them. This could be done by storing your oil in 2 different drums hydraulic oils separate to other oils that are known to burn. Then start your heater on the oil known to burn and once hot slowly introduce the hydraulic oil via a drip or slow drizzle into the mix. Sort of like running a TVO tractor engine start on petrol then once at running temp switch to kero.
Might be a PIA but it just might help.

P.S. TVO is a pommy thing and stands for Tractor Vapourising Oil (petrol/kero).
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Old 04-20-2019, 10:03:04 AM
Tony Rye Tony Rye is offline
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Default Re: hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner

there are serval fire resistant hyd oil used in equipment(Boom trucks and misc. eq.)used in the field. steel mills electrical rite away and plants,
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Old 04-21-2019, 06:23:14 AM
DieselAddicted DieselAddicted is offline
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Default Re: hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner

Any waste oil burner will benefit greatly from a large holding tank separate from the furnace draw tank. It does two very Important things. It provides for settlement of dirt and water, and allows for blending of feed stocks. I use the 200 gallon totes because I get them free for the asking. I spread large amounts of any type oils between several totes. That being said I burn at least 50% hydraulic fluid in my Lanair. Half of it is aw32 type from a contractor and the other half is the trans/hydraulic type from several local farmers, Hytran, Torqueguard etc. I also burn synthetic 15w-40 diesel oil from a local trucking outfit that inherent lore says you cannot do. If the oil will burn outside the furnace in a pot I can't think of a reason why it is giving you troubles in the furnace,, interesting,.
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Old 04-21-2019, 12:44:13 PM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner

Water in a waste-oil fire will usually cause no problem, and in many cases, tiny droplets will actually accellerate the fire. Why? Because when a water droplet lands in a 1100-degree fire, it flashes to steam, which expands a whole lot. In a well-designed chamber, this creates a quick rise in exhaust pressure... you hear the momentary 'puff', but draught velocity increases, which immediately after, sucks in more oxygen. As long as there's sufficient heat, having water go in won't change output.

Fire retardant and aqueous hydraulic fluids, however, don't count. IF there's sufficient difference in specific gravity, a settling tank with sight-glass is your best bet... when you leave it sit, eventually, the heavier type will settle, and you can drain it off (just watch the level drop).

IF your system is not gravity-only fed, Aqueous and fire-retardant fluids MIGHT cause problems with your feed pump. You may also find that the contaminants in your mixed-bag supply have gotten together to form wierd waxy plaque that doesn't burn. Best bet there is to hook up a nurse tank of really good stuff, and mebbie a little light-fraction to thin it really, really good, and hope that running it through hard for a bit will clear out the worst of the plaque.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:48:51 AM
kwfiggatt kwfiggatt is offline
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Default Re: hydraulic oil - problems for waste oil burner

I have a homebrewed gun type waste oil burner that I built and I've probably run 4-5000 gallons of waste oil (some of it hydraulic oil, some synthetic, new and used) through it in the last 3-4 years. I started with a ckburners heating block for those who are interested in building their own.

I work at an oil test lab and sometimes get new, unused oil. Unused oil is by far the most difficult to get to ignite reliably, but the key for me is to increase the burner block temperature. I think I normally run mine at ~200°F, but sometimes need to kick it up to 250~260 'F when running new oil to get reliable ignition.

I guess the used oil has some fuel in it, or has degraded somewhat from being used that causes easier ignition.

For those folks who run commercial waste oil burners, can you increase the heater block temperature to accommodate different oils?

Hope this helps.

Kevin
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