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Old 01-08-2011, 05:15 AM
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Heating WVO with a Hot Water Heater...

Wondering if this is possible??

I am constantly in peoples basements with my business working on their well water systems and water conditioning systems. Occasionally I will do some other various plumbing work for them if they ask.

The other day installed an On-Demand DHW for a client in a house that is only 2yrs old. I removed the existing 80gal electric hot water tank. They said they didn't want it and could i take it out of there or use it somewhere else.

SOOOOO long story short i scored an 80gal HW tank that is 2 yrs old and looks brand new. I drained and flushed before removing it so it is completely cleaned. Can i used this as my pre-heater before my centrifuge? It should heat the oil to around 160deg with the elements turned to their hottest setting. So i figured if i set the flow rate slow enough the oil shouldn't leave the tank any cooler than 130-140 before it goes into the centrifuge.

Would this work in the place of an immersion heater?
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:11 AM
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yes. Thats the perfect way to heat your oil
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:38 AM
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thats what several members here do. nice score!
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:49 PM
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I would say Yes and NO.

It would make a good appleseed processor, pre-CF
I would not be especially useful to MAINTAIN oil temps because as the oil level drops, the WH element on top will become exposed, making its operation dangerous. If shutting it off after preheating, the temps may become too low for effective cleaning.

FWIW my 300 gallon batches process thru a 5 gallon WH..........
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:46 PM
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[QUOTE=vegginpsd;2281999]I would say Yes and NO.

It would make a good appleseed processor, pre-CF
I would not be especially useful to MAINTAIN oil temps because as the oil level drops, the WH element on top will become exposed, making its operation dangerous. If shutting it off after preheating, the temps may become too low for effective cleaning.

FWIW my 300 gallon batches process thru a 5 gallon WH..........[/QUOTE

Here's how i thought it would work...

1. Wire around upper element so i dont risk burning it up
2. Oil entering the HWH would be gravity fed at the top, heated ready to clean oil would be pumped out of the bottom and into the CF

This would allow the oil temp to be maintained as it passes through the HWH...
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:35 PM
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Here is what I see:

Heating 80 gallons via electric is going to get spendy

Gravity flow in top, "pump" out bottom? The bottom is where the water and sediment is.....Not to mention the cold oil will settle to the bottom. The warm oil is on TOP. Thats exactly what you dont want to put in the CF if it can be avoided.....COLD, heavily sedimented, WET oil.

"Pump" out bottom? Are you going to use a gravity feed CF, or pressure driven unit ala Diesel craft? Perhaps a peristalic pump and gravity???


Here is what I can recomend after running a little bit of oil in my day......
Use as small of a WH as you can find fed by gravity from an elevated vessel. The small WH acts as a mini appleseed processor. Trace amounts of water does appear in my 5 gal WH, virtually no free water visible in CF rotor.

The WH you have can be an awesome appleseed. Heat/settle in the 80 gal. Pump from bottom after draining water and sediment to an elevated vessel. Build up a "pipe bomb" type heater to be put inline before CF OR find a small 5-10 gallon water heater and use that after the appleseed and before the CF.

A good long hot settle and a 140 degree trip at about 8 gph thru the CF and you will have NO problems with fuel quality...........

Let me know if I can be further help
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegginpsd View Post
The WH you have can be an awesome appleseed. Heat/settle in the 80 gal. Pump from bottom after draining water and sediment to an elevated vessel. Build up a "pipe bomb" type heater to be put inline before CF OR find a small 5-10 gallon water heater and use that after the appleseed and before the CF.

A good long hot settle and a 140 degree trip at about 8 gph thru the CF and you will have NO problems with fuel quality...........

Let me know if I can be further help
With a free 80-gal HWH and some more space in my shed, I would do this, too...

Insulate the HWH so it retains heat better for a better heat/settle cycle. As you said, remove the top element, wire around it and then plug the hole. Use that removed top element as your CF's in-line heater. Remember to make it a sump design (oil goes into the bottom of the pipe w- the element and pushes out the top) so the element stays soaked and you don't catch anything on fire.

Bada-bing!
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