5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Does heating oil go bad?

About 16 months ago, we needed to replace our fuel tank. The tank was drained, and about 40 gallons of oil was dumped into two plastic, covered buckets. We filled the new tank with fresh oil, and my husband put the buckets out in our shed. Here we are, months later, getting ready to move. My niece just purchased a home, and my husband wants to give this oil to her. How do we know if this oil is good? We did have temps below zero over the winter....the oil was not treated with anything prior. Hubby says its fine, but, I want to be sure before I pass it along. Does anyone have any info on fuel oil?

Re: Does heating oil go bad?

Just mix it in with a partially full tank and you'll be just fine.

As a Texan, I'd like to personally thank you for using that oil. :cool:

Re: Does heating oil go bad?

Heating oil is basically diesel fuel, with red dye added to show that you haven't paid highway taxes on it. (Don't put it any on-highway vehicle, you could get hit with huge fines and jail time.)

Over time, diesel fuel can start to gel as volatile compounds are lost, and that can clog filters and nozzles. But that takes many years; 18 months should be insignificant. As long as it's still liquid, you should be OK mixing it with fresh fuel and using it. Oil burning furnaces are usually more tolerant of bad fuel than a diesel engine would be.

Re: Does heating oil go bad?

Thank you both for your replies! I feel comfortable passing it along to my niece.

Re: Does heating oil go bad?

#2 Heating Oil (essentially low-grade diesel fuel) can grow a fungus similar to mildew but that is almost never a problem with home heating systems. Same goes for gumming. It does make a difference in diesel auto engines, the newer ones being more prone to clogging issues than the old 'pintle-pump' types. If you DIY a fuel filter replacement every year before heating season you'll see the service life of your equipment improve noticeably, even though many HVAC folks tell you it's overkill and unneeded.


Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.