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Is Heat Tape on Fuel Lines OK?

topic posted Mon, December 19, 2005 - 2:53 PM by  grey
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I asked this in a previous thread and didn't get a response so I'm not sure if people didn't see it or if nobody knows (or maybe just isn't interested).

The problem is this:

We switched our oil-furnace to B100 this year. The tank is buried so there's no problem with gelling in the tank but the fuel lines are exposed for about 4 feet of their run as they come out of the ground and into the furnace.

And, as luck would have it, the fuel gelled in the lines during the first good freeze and we didn't have a furnace for awhile.

We've got a small space heater in the equipment room (where the furnace is) and that's doing the trick for now. But I'd like a more permanenet solution and heat-tape seems like the way to go.

But...

All of the heat tape I've found seems to be geared for water-lines and specifically says on the package *not* to use it on fuel lines. Is that just cover-your-ass legal bullshit on the part of the heat-tape mfgs or is this really a big problem?

Is there heat tape specifically made for fuel lines? I've found some "heated fuel line" products for vehicles but they run off of DC power. I'm hoping to find something that I can just plug in.

Thanks for any info!

- grey
posted by:
grey
Seattle
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  • Re: Is Heat Tape on Fuel Lines OK?

    Mon, December 19, 2005 - 6:05 PM
    hey grey,
    I feel pretty comforable with heat tape on metal fuel lines with insulation. Its a cheap smart and obvious solution and I'm sure the "don't use for fuel lines" line is to cover the asses of the heating tape companies, but really its very hard to light biodiesel with a spark and if its inside a pipe and you keep everything clean, i can't imagine having any problems. Heat tape doesn't get very hot either.
    If you want another opinion or a more active biodiesel chat, check biodieselnow.com
    Cheers and let us know if you survive!!
    • Unsu...
       

      Re: Is Heat Tape on Fuel Lines OK?

      Mon, December 19, 2005 - 6:43 PM
      you could use a timer on the A.C. soket . set timer to 8/9 p.m. until 5/6 a.m. if you suffer extreme temperatures in winter . if i remember there is no thermostatic control on water line protection , that is the problem , as heated fuel can turn to gas and so expand and so rupture fuel tank and lines (but less true with diesel ) so if you have sealed fuel lines (under presssure ) from tank to furnace , expansion due to heat may cause a problem . the wattage of the heaters and local situation needs to be borne in mind . but there is good insulation available today that ought to keep fuel lines above freezing without the need for electric heating devices .

      i think you people need advise on anti-slaking too it was introduced into diesel fuels to assist winter starting .
      • Re: Is Heat Tape on Fuel Lines OK?

        Mon, December 19, 2005 - 8:42 PM
        Hey Ray,
        Have you ever used heat tape?
        It really does not get that hot as to make the fuel expand. I don't even think it will get the biod to room temp, even insulated, cuz the main thing its for is to keep exposed water lines from freezing....I doesn't make hot water.

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