Pool heating is one of many ways fuel-oil dealers can diversify their operations


Warming to the occasion

Steve Adams, service and installation manager for Oil Services Inc., kneeling, Richard Levi, co-owner of OSI, standing left, and Jim Colwell, national sales manager for Diversified Heat Transfer Inc., check the water temperature of the pool at the Catalina Beach Club following the installation of DHT’s E-ZEE FLOW Heat Exchanger.

Pool heating has become another way for fuel-oil companies to expand their product and service offerings to their customers and it provides additional revenue during the warmer months. The pool shown in conjunction with this article is located at the Catalina Beach Club in Atlantic Beach, N.Y., and is maintained by OSI, Oil Services Inc. located in Oceanside, N.Y.

OSI started back in 1936 as a gasoline station and provider of fuel oil and is now entering its fourth generation as a family-owned business. No one understands better the opportunity for oil companies to diversify and grow by offering more products and services than Richard and Martin Levi, owners of OSI. They have expanded beyond most traditional oil companies with air-conditioning, plumbing, heating, air and water quality, snowmelt systems, pool heating and other related services for residential and commercial markets. OSI also owns a fuel oil storage facility with the capacity to hold approximately one million gallons.

The idea of heating the pool at the Catalina Beach Club had been a project in the works for almost three years. A Burnham series 1109 oil-fired boiler with a rating of 1.5 million BTUs/hr was installed three years ago to heat two 2,500-gallon hot water storage tanks, along with plans for it to heat the pool, as well. The commercial pool shown holds 136,000 gallons and presents problems with heat exchanger selection because of its close proximity to the shore. The high winds generate much higher heat loss than pools located inland. Calculations indicate heat loss up to 860,000 BTUs/hr.

Richard Levi, left, co-owner of Oil Services Inc., and Steve Adams, OSI’s service and installation manager, look over the E-Z FLOW heat exchanger from Diversified Heat Transfer Inc. that was installed at the Catalina Beach Club.

Richard Levi contacted Diversified Heat Transfer, manufacturer of various types of heat-exchange equipment, for help in selecting the right heat exchanger for this commercial pool application. It was decided that a stainless-steel shell and tube-type heat exchanger with a minimal pressure drop would be best. DHT’s E-ZEE FLOW model E-Z 1000, capable of transferring approximately one million BTUs, was selected.

The system design and installation was overseen by Richard Levi and Steve Adams, service and installation manager for OSI. The heat exchanger was installed near the pool, requiring more than 800 feet of 3-inch insulated copper piping combined for the boiler feed and return. For pump selection, OSI reached out to Wallace Eannace, a manufacturer’s rep for Bell & Gossett pumps.

Upon initial heating of the pool, test results indicated that the heat exchanger raised the cold pool water, at a rate of 60 gallons per minute, from 68 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit. The pool is now maintaining a very comfortable 82 degrees. It is estimated that fuel consumption will approximate 400 gallons per week with this application, at the beginning and end of the pool season.

This case clearly demonstrates the opportunity for fuel-oil suppliers to grow business and profits through diversification. There are many related products and services that will find a welcome reception among an existing and loyal customer-base.

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