This is going to be one of the shortest articles I’ve ever written because most of this has already been said several times in articles and it seems only a few are listening, the choir if you will. So for the rest of you here is another chance to understand the real benefits of booster pump operation.
As many of you know, I’m absolutely convinced that there is probably nothing needed on any burner running under 20 gph other than a single-stage pump and a single-pipe system. Most people think that I’m nuts, but most of you live with the problems that two-stage pumps and two-pipe systems create, not me. I also think that the industry may have lost a lot of accounts over these two items. But again, someone has suffered the losses other than me.
Two-stage pumps are considered a panacea by many along with two-pipe systems and check valves, another unnecessary curse. The truth is that when you take oil to over 10 inches of vacuum, nasty things start to happen. Add in sulfur; a solid by nature, whose content has been lowered, and now we’re adding bushes and twigs and plants in the form of biofuel and you have a mixture that may not behave as you planned. When you take oil over 10 inches you begin to rip apart the oil and essentially begin to aerate it. The problem is that fuel pumps were meant to pump oil, not air or hydrogen, which is what happens when you begin to separate oil under vacuum.
Figure 1 and Figure 2 are pictures you’ve seen before, either in my seminars or articles. They show, in Figure 1, oil at 10 inches of vacuum and at 20 inches of vacuum, Figure 2. In Figure 3 you can see the oil doesn’t even look like it’s moving, has no bubbles and foam in it, and the pump is just merrily pumping away. At zero vacuum a pump may be in operation, but it’s not really working. To make a pump work, you need to put it under vacuum. One of my favorite quotes is “under pressure you can pump oil to China, but with vacuum you are very limited.” That’s one of my own and something I’ve been saying since the 1970’s. Pressure gauges can be purchased with scales as high as 10,000 psi, but vacuum only goes to 30 inches, because vacuum is absolute at 29.99999 inches, period. Is any of this boring to you? Good, let’s move on.
If you really are into this and just want to read more of my rantings and ruminations on the subjects of vacuum and boosters, search my article file. Just put my name in the search box and watch the magic of the Internet. For the rest of you, this sermon is almost over.
So, what’s this new love of mine? Well, it’s the cutie in Figure 4 and Figure 5. This is a brand new boost pump from Suntec called the Bx-xxxxCM. You’ll replace all the little x’s with the pump and pressure ranges you need and get from Table 1.
# Waste Oil Unit for replacement of exact model only!
I’ve been waiting on this pump for five years, but it seems like 40, and I can see a lot of applications for it. It has a small footprint, compact size and is a tiny giant for applications where you want to deliver oil from a storage tank to a burner pump that is vertically or horizontally challenged; how’s that for a politically correct phrase? It has a fan cooled PSC motor for reliable and energy efficient operation, and is available with Suntec’s proven A & B Series pumps. Depending on the application, it will come with either a 1/6 hp motor or a heavier ¼ hp motor. Pressure ratings run from as low as 10 to 20 psi up to 300 psi, and this pump will replace just about any in the field and do a better job, but that’s just my opinion.
So, stop agonizing over those problem jobs and put one of these next generation booster pumps next to the oil tank. The accounts you save and make happy just might mean your job and remember, it’s a lot easier to work smart than work hard.
That’s it, short and sweet.
*George Lanthier is the owner of Firedragon Enterprises, a teaching, publishing and consulting firm. He operates www. FiredragonEnt.com and is the author of books on oilheating and HVAC subjects. He can be reached at 608 Moose Hill Rd., Leicester, MA 01524. His phone is 508-421-3490, fax at 508-421-3477 and his e-mail is FiredragonEnt@charter.net