Phasing Out No. 6 Fuel Oil A Case Study for Conversion

 New York City law will phase out the burning of Number 6 fuel oil in the near  future.  

 Should you wait until the last minute until making the switch to cleaner fuel  oil in your own building? Does it make sense to do it now, or do it later?  

 The fact is that the sooner you phase out Number 6 fuel oil, the more money you  will save. There are several ways of phasing out Number 6 fuel oil. An easy way is to tell your fuel oil company that you want to burn the Number 6  fuel oil that you have in the tank until it is almost empty, pump out the  remaining Number 6 fuel oil, clean the tank, and fill it up with Number 2 fuel  oil. You would then disconnect the heater for the Number 6 fuel oil, set up the fuel  pump to run only when the burner is running, and change the burner nozzle and  replace the fuel filter. You could also do any other work that your service technician recommends at the  time.  

 While Number 6 fuel oil has more BTU per gallon than Number 2 fuel oil, l45,000  BTU per gallon compare with l38,700 BTU per gallon for Number 2 fuel oil, the  reduction in the  

 parasitic losses from handling the Number 6 fuel oil by preheating it and  running the fuel pump continuously would make up some of the difference in net  operating costs.  


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  • YOU HAVE FAILED TO CONSIDER WHETHER THE FUEL TANK WOULD HAVE TO BE REPLACED, & you therefore need to redo your numbers in regards to alleged cost saving
  • Great article Daniel, I leaned more than I knew before. The only thing I'd like to add if you don't mind. You made the process seem a bit like a walk in the park when getting anything done in NYC is anything but. Here in Manhattan the oil tank needs to cleaned, (sometimes x-rayed), lifted off the ground, then certified. But first the dirt under it needs to be tested for containment (removed if found.) Also, city enforced bench marketing requirements and local laws for the heating system and the oil tank for the EPA must be met. Heating system running on #6 are old as dinosaurs and so are the oil feed lines. Since #6 is so thick it naturally plugs up all the leaks that would be there otherwise. After oil supply lines are cleaned out they often leak and need to be replaced. When you get into any type of conversion for a old field fabricated boiler in NYC (Which are the only buildings running on #6) there are many things to do before a building owner can even consider switching the fuel oil. If anyone needs processional help with any type of heating system improvement or conversion in or around Manhattan we are glad to help. Thank you for allowing me to contribute. J Sullivan- H.E.A.T.
  • What about eliminating the boiler and have individual heat pumps for each apartment. Is that possible. I live in a 100 year old building with a worn out old boiler. Can each apt be retrofitted with a heat pump and tankless water heater? thank you
  • My Coop converted recently and this winter the heat goes on less time than it did last year. Our units are definitely more cooler where Shareholders are starting to buy space heater. It is not safe nor efficient and the Management just allows this instead of fixing the real issue with the boiler system.