Storage of Used Oil for Burning

Small Burner Storage of Used Oils

There are numerous Federal, State and local laws regulating the storage and burning of used oil. It is best to check with your local Fire Marshall regarding the regulations that apply to you. This product is a “Special Waste” as defined by Federal and State EPA regulations.

A few things to remember:

  • No one can haul more than 55 gallons of used oil from another location. Any amount over 55 gallons must be transported by a licensed hauler (like Excel).
  • Generated oil belongs to the generator (that’s you) forever. If you give oil to someone (for example, to burn in his furnace) and he spills it or there is an explosion or other mishap, you, the generator, are responsible for damages.
  • Generated oil cannot be stored on site for more than 90 days. Again, local municipalities may have regulations specific to storage of oil. Speak with the local Fire Marshall to be safe.
  • Tanks should be clearly labeled “Used Oil Only”.
  • Tanks should be cleaned each year. Any bottom sediment and water in the tank will plug your filters and shut down your furnace. Every delivery will put these insoluble materials in suspension in your tank. Until settling takes place you will pull this dirt and abrasive material into your filter.
  • Not all used oil will burn in these small furnaces. That’s why we segregate better burning oil in our compartmentalized trucks. Also, filter fuzz, water, antifreeze and other particulates will interfere with clean burning. This is why filtered used oil purged of water and other matter is a better product to burn.
  • You cannot burn cold oil. Your preheater will not get oil to its flash point/ Let oil heat to at least 60º F.
  • Used oil viscosities are inconsistent by nature because it is comprised on many different hydrocarbons. Because of these variation you may need to adjust your burner to obtain maximum results.

Used oil can offer you valuable BTUs and is cheaper than #2 fuel oil, but there are trade-offs. Excel supplies a quality product that will burn quite well. However, it requires time and effort on your part to burn it successfully. Even though our oil is triple filtered there will always be some impurities left (it would have to be re-refined to clean it up completely. That would make the cost prohibitive.)


oil drum