Oh, I thought you knew what you are talking about. Now you want me to go on an
egghunt for your
Oh you know the numbers are out there. Since you know, which sites did you find
Zero oil burner explosions? Here's a recent one in New Jersey (nobody was
killed in this case,
On March 21, 2005 at 8:44 p.m., the Teaneck Fire Department (TFD) responded
to a report of a loud explosion and smoke in the house at 501 Rutland Avenue.
Upon arrival, responding firefighters were guided into the basement to
a problem with the boiler; however they could not find an odor or smoke. The
firefighters, who combined have more than 100 years of experience, began
investigating the area. They found that the emergency switch of the boiler had
been shut off and later learned that the mother living in the home had turned it
The basement of the home was sectioned off to provide for various uses of the
area. There was a large portion that was used for a recreation/family room, an
area that contained two beds that were usually used by the house keeper and
one of the children, and two small rooms; one containing the oil fired boiler,
other utilized as a laundry room.
After investigating the basement area, the responding firefighters determined
a blowback of the oil burner had caused the reported explosion and smoke.
Blowback occurs when an accumulation of vaporized fuel oil in the combustion
chamber suddenly ignites due to a delayed ignition. This causes too much
pressure, which results in a loud bang and the release of smoke.
The firefighters found multiple problems with the boiler, including closed water
valves, a low water level, a non-functional low-water cut-off and a dirty flue
Fire personnel made the necessary adjustments to restore the boiler to a safe
and operable condition and advised the owner of the problems that were found.
The owner was also directed to have the boiler serviced as soon as possible.
The best numbers I have are the US produced 539 cubic meters in 2003, (exported
meters) and imported 114.1 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Compare those
No it's not, nevertheless middle east oil production has a huge impact on our
foreign policy and
On their web page, I noticed that it is "What can Natural Gas offer over my
Dependability. Versatility. Affordability. Convenience. Efficiency. Plus, it is
environmentally friendly! "
So oil heat is not "safe" under your definition.
Well yeah the reason not to use natural gas is to save a few bucks in non usage
to what you get with electric service) to save far more in higher efficiency.
Besides even in
those "zero use" periods, I'm still making hot water, and if I'm home there is a
good chance I'm
eating (using the grill, stove) or doing laundry (dryer.)
Oh I see. Good thing that same furnace wouldn't be needed for a/c in those
You made the claim. Which gas company(ies) did you check with?
I'm sorry, I thought we were discussing natural gas lines, not huge storm
drains, which often have
to be buried much deeper for gravity flow reasons anyway.
So if I could find an area in Texas where blasting WAS required, and some other
Connecticut where blasting was NOT required, that would pretty much "proove" the
wouldn't it? :)
Well there you go. Irrefutable proof that installing gas lines is always more
Connecticut than Texas.
So why does that no-colluding oil heat lobby advertise about "today's oil heat"
and how hot it is,
blah blah blah. Keep in mind this is not one dealer advertising against other
oil dealers, but an
obligarchy of many/all oil dealers.
Spend some time there, you might learn something.
I'm not sure at the moment, I have too many bookmarks to find it easily.
Suppose that rather defeats the purpose of bookmarks.
That is / was *not* an explosion, not even close. I don't think a
blowback on a residential boiler has ever injured anyone, much less
killed them. Certainly it will scare the shit out of them and perhaps
teach them not to keep messing with the thing if they don't know what
they are doing.
Oil burners do *not* have blowbacks on their own, they have had the
safety devices to prevent that for decades. Blowbacks occur when someone
keeps pressing the reset button ignoring the warning not to press it
more than once. Oil burner controls from the last couple decades have
incorporated a "three strikes and you're out" lockout to prevent this.
I'm assuming you forgot a billion on the US numbers. So importing
something like 18% nat. gas vs. 50% oil. Not that drastic a difference
and given the current trends the gap is likely to close further.
Our perpetually inept middle east foreign policy has less to do with oil
than the anti war folks claim. There are serious issues there that we
need to deal with that have nothing to do with oil. Those issues did
come largely as a result of oil, but not directly from US actions.
The sudden appearance of the oil wealth in the middle east contributed
to the downfall of their other economic sectors and the rise of their
corrupt / oppressive governments and the resulting collapse of most of
If we had not been in the market for oil when it was discovered there,
if there culture had advanced more and stabilized before oil was
discovered there, or if the Brits hadn't been meddling over there the
problems would likely have been avoided.
That campaign was a while back. Notice that safety is not included in
their current campaign either. Their claim that it is environmentally
friendly is more or less true, the implication that other options are
not is however untrue.
That is an interesting link however you probably didn't read it
"There are many possible causes of oil burner emergencies and fires.
Fortunately, despite human error and poor maintenance practices, the
millions of oil burners in use today function without a mishap year
after year. When they do malfunction, the fire department is called and
usually remedies the situation with little effort. But never forget that
these seemingly harmless emergencies can and sometimes do turn deadly,
whether it be from fire, explosion, or carbon monoxide poisoning, and
you must be ever on guard against such instances."
Additionally most of the failure modes they indicate are all but
impossible with burners and controls manufactured in the last couple
decades. Most are very unlikely with burners or controls even older. Due
to the longevity of oil equipment there are however some really old
units out there.
This other bit:
"Fuel oil comes in several grades, number 1 to 5 grade oil, and has the
following general fire hazard properties: a flashpoint of 1007F to
1507F, a flammable (explosive) range of 0.7 to 5 percent when mixed with
air, and an ignition temperature of 4947F."
should give a bit of a reminder on just how difficult it is to get oil
to burn and the near impossibility of igniting oil spilled from a tank
A 10% efficiency difference during a period when you were only heating
hot water (to keep the comparison fair) would amount to about $5 with
today's high prices.
A/C operation only affects the blower. There is no stress on the burner
or heat exchanger. Unless of course the POS unit leaks condensate into
the heat exchanger and it's rusted out by the time heating season rolls
I didn't because I don't use gas. I base that on construction knowledge.
This was a small storm drain on a road with a significant grade. No
issues with gravity flow, no excessively deep installation.
No, not really. An individual town may be an anomaly, but the regions in
general have notably different underground utility construction costs.
This is changing a bit with some scary new trenchers able to cut through
granite without blasting and leave nice cuttings to back fill with.
Find me any part of CT away from the shore where you don't have
significant boulders and ledge to deal with.
A cooperative advertising arrangement is not in any was a monopoly and
indeed it's the only way many of the small oil dealers could get
advertising outside local newspapers and direct mail. They little local
oil dealers don't have the deep pockets of the big state wide nat. gas
Yes all numbers are in billions sq meters. It's a huge difference in terms of
energy, as total gas
imports was estimated at 114.1 billion cubic meters total for the year. Oil
imports were 13.15 million
barrels per DAY average or 4.790 billion barrels .
To compare, 1 cubic meter of natural gas contains about 36 409.2241 BTUs, 1
barrel of oil contains about
5 800 000 BTUs.
(calculations by the Department of Energy website
4154293 billion BTUs natural gas imports
27782000 billion BTUs oil imports
Or to put it in another way, natural gas was about 1/7 of oil imports.
Please. I'm not an "anti war folk" but get real. The United States will spare
no expense to keep the
Straits of Hormuz open and flowing.
Which civilization was "collapsed" by oil? Saudi Arabia (formerly wandering
Natural gas burns much cleaner than oil. Don't take my word for it, super
efficient condensing furnaces
are common with natural gas but oil doesn't even burn clean enough for a
condensing application, all the
soot and sulfur and crap makes it a show-stopper. New electric plants are
favored to be gas because it
burns cleaner and has lower emissions, which is now important. Transit agencies
are even starting to
buy clean "natural gas" buses for the simple reason that they have so much less
emissions than #2 oil
(aka Diesel fuel)
No oil will generally not go boom, unless it is atomized, but that doesn't mean
that an oil burner
malfunction can't fill your house with soot or burn it down.
In Eastern Massachusetts last winter, a home had to be abandoned due to an oil
leak causing heavy fumes
and making the home uninhabitable. The family wasn't going home anytime soon,
and the last I heard
about it they were talking of demolishing the structure.
Efficiency difference? Read again, I was referring to your complaints about
"service charges" during
non-use periods (summer).
Yeah, except the main consumption of natural gas and reason for using it is
heating the HOUSE.
Yeah it only affects that "cheap" blower, remember???
But you're making claims about gas, which is what we're discussing.
What construction knowledge? And using that construction knowledge of yours,
please show the numbers.
Uh huh. So what does that have to do with natural gas?
Good thing natural gas is the only underground utility, right? And natural gas
is so expensive that
nobody can afford to install it, right? Good thing sending huge heavy trucks
with people driving them
around to everyone's house is so cheap and efficient.
If you're talking about new construction on an apples to apples comparison, it
is possible you might
need to do some blasting to install some utilities. However that also includes
sewer pipe (which is
generally a lot more deep than nat gas), water, maybe electric, telephone in
newer subdivisions, etc.
So to rectify that they collude together. Big deal.
But you don't provide any reference for you claim, so it is just rambling.
What didn't work? The lockout? There is no mention of the boiler being
new enough to have the lockout controls. Indeed from the long list of
problems mentioned it appears likely it was a pretty old unit.
Not really a valid comparison. Compare US oil production to oil imports
and US gas production to gas imports. In both cases we are importing
sizable amounts because we do not produce enough domestically.
I don't know about that. It's a different world and different US from
the 70s oil embargo days. I'd be rather interested to see what effect
another embargo would have. I also seriously doubt that any of the OPEC
folks would consider an embargo and indeed would fight one since they
have learned that it would not be in their interest and could do them
long term damage if people once again get serious about alternatives.
Why do you thing the 70s embargo ended? Couldn't have had anything to do
with people starting to look seriously at alternatives could it?
The whole islamic world which used to be a seat of learning and
knowledge but has now degenerated into a cesspool of violence and
Yea, that hindsight thing. A bit late now to undo the mistakes of many
Not really, there are a number of available technologies that make oil /
diesel burn cleaner however they are being largely overlooked due to the
political / emotional stigma of the word "oil" due to the middle east
What they do in the People's Republic of Taxachusets is hardly a model
for the rest of the world. Look at their big dig disaster.
I don't know about you, but during the summer months I am not heating my
house, I am only heating water.
The main problem with those low end gas furnaces is not the blower, it's
the thin, non SS heat exchangers. Rather like the couple very low end
oil furnaces out there with steel heat exchangers, not cast iron.
A lot. whether you are installing storm drains of gas mains you have to
get through the horrendous amount of rock and ledge in the northeast.
In those areas nat. gas, city water and city sewers are very sparse due
to the huge installation costs. Oil heat, wells and septic systems are
Generally it is a big deal.
In new subdivisions the developers are required to do all that work and
that is one of the reasons that new housing is more expensive in the
northeast. If the developer has to shell out the money to install all
those utilities they add it to the sales prices.
In all the existing neighborhoods where it is individual houses filling
in, not large developments, those utilities are not installed by the
builder and generally remain unavailable for a long time.
Cooperative advertising is not collusion by any stretch of the
imagination. I guess you think the various commercials from the egg
board, dairy council, etc. all represent collusion between all those
little dairies and egg producers eh?
Find some online prices for furnaces. They aren't out there online
(rather anticompetative) so it's not really possible to provide
Those are home pages. There is nothing on those home pages that support your
claims. So you don't even read
the pages you say proves your claim.
Oh, I'm sure you have all of those sites on natural gas deaths versus oil deaths
all bookmarked. I really am.
Are you serious? Earlier you just made the claim to wit, "So importing
something like 18% nat. gas vs. 50%
I give you the ACTUAL figures and now you say, oh that's "not really a valid
You'd make a helluva football official. Keep moving those goal markers around
until your guys could a ball in
the endzone. Or just keep changing your mind about what you are asking.
US Oil production 2.77 Billion barrels per year
US Net Oil imports 4.412 Billion barrels per yeyar
US Nat Gas production 539 billion cubic meters per year
US Nat Gas net imports 89.91 billion cubic meters per year
Embargo? If the USA was so dependent on middle east oil, it could get the hell
out of the Persian golf.
Instead we make pals with our "friends" the Saudis, sail nuclear carriers up and
down the persian golf, and
spend much of our foreign policy trying to "stabilize" that minefield as much as
Oh ok.. The "whole islamic world," right?
Yeah just blame it on the Brits running around almost a hundred years ago. US
oil dependence TODAY has
nothing to do with our foreign policy expenditures in the region. No siree bob.
The cleanest oil or sweet light crude comes from the Middle East.
And what is the Sales Tax in Texas again?
What does the big dig have to do with an abandoned house due to an oil heating
system? Please explain your
Irrelevant to the comments about "service charges" which is what I was directly
responding to. Another
Well? Can you show any information at all or do you just make your stuff up??
Yeah that just explains why there isn't any gas service in "the northeast."
Sure. I'll bet that ledge you
complain of only affects gas lines too. Good thing there is no sewers, water
service, underground utilities,
etc. "in the northeast."
Oh who can afford to blast through all that ledge to build their leach field "in
So what? Doesn't make oil a better fuel than gas, which is what your only
You mean like the interstate Dairly Compact, a sort of OPEC for milk? No, no
collusion at all, sir. No
gambling in this casino either.
Ok, that's not the case. You can reset ANY oil flame safeguard
relay control as many times as you like.
The nucleus of gas vs. oil residential heating safety lies in the
control methodology of the times.
Oil burners are direct fired. The full fuel output is ignited by a
strong arc. There is no pilot light. If it does not ignite, there is
approximately 10 seconds worth of atomized oil spray
inside of the combustion chamber. Flame detection is performed by a
Until recently, most all gas furnaces used a small pilot light to
achieve combustion, which in turn ignites the main burners. More of
today's furnaces are direct light off such as the oil burner, however
modern flame safeguards strategies are applied to bring an acceptable
level of safety to the gas burner.
There are better controls available for domestic oil burners
however they have not found their way into the residential product
Proportionally, there are many more instances of delayed ignition in
oil, then fuel gas.
Oh it won't burn pretty, but it WILL burn under far less stringent
conditions as these.
One of many examples:
"Serviceman Reset Protection ( Latch-up after three consecutive
Right, but what does that have to do with the three strike lockout?
If you're indicating that gas burners until very recently have had very
minimal controls with limited safeties you are correct. Many had no
electronics at all and relied on a thermocouple heated by the pilot as
the only safety for pilot loss. Most had no detection if the main burner
actually lit off properly. Most had no easily accessible emergency off
switch, you had to find the gas valve, etc.
Huh? Those features are on nearly every residential oil burner
manufactured in the last decade. They are certainly on the oil burner I
had installed this spring.
For pilot units probably. And for delayed ignition on an oil burner
rarely anything of consequence without human intervention overriding the
Yea if you get it on a wick and apply direct flame to it to get it
started ala oil lamp. An inch of oil across the basement floor has
little chance of ignition even if there were a burning pilot light
nearby. In the very unlikely event the oil level to make it to the pilot
light there is near 100% probability it would simply extinguish the
pilot. Nat. gas (or propane) if they leak and build until they are in
proximity of a pilot have a near 100% probability of exploding.
For the last couple of decades THIS is what came on a domestic oil
and before that, it was THIS;
As soon as you purge yourself of the "three strike/ decades" sales
blurb, only then can you move forward.
Many examples? I know you are greenhorn, thats OK, however now your a
greenhorn know-it-all. This will be my last post responding to you.
Yes, this is one of the better controls NOW available. I referred to
Read it again slowly and carefully starting from; "The nucleus of
Read it again slowly and carefully starting from; "Until recently,
most all gas furnaces..."
There is less risk involved in lighting off main gas fuel with a
supervised established ignition (a pilot), then there is lighting off
main oil fuel with a spark , unsupervised. This is probably beyond
you. Never mind.
* There are better controls available for domestic oil burners
Yes, you're new to this. So are the Carlin programmed controls.
There are no pilots on little oil burners Read it again..
You don't know what you are talking about regarding oil
burners/combustion and safety. All you know is what you installed this
spring. There's more to learn. Good luck.
Note that what you just mentioned re: pilots and igniters relates to gas
explosions (and possible resulting deaths), not CO.
CO deaths are a result of poor combustion adjustment combined with flue
leakage, both of which have a higher probability with a gas furnace due
1) People believing that a gas furnace does not require annual
inspections / service. This creates a greater probability of the furnace
falling into disrepair and the poor adjustment and leakage forming.
2) The fact that while CO has no small and is therefore not detectable
by humans, the other combustion byproducts produced by a burner
sufficiently out of adjustment that it produces significant CO are much
more human detectable with oil than with nat. gas.
People can and do die from CO poisoning from both gas and oil
appliances, but gas is a greater risk both from it's characteristics and
from the larger number of potential appliances (ever hear of an oil
stove or dryer?).
When you look at deaths due to non CO cause i.e. fires and explosions,
gas is by far the greater risk as there is essentially no such thing as
an oil explosion and oil spills rarely find a suitable ignition source
unlike gas leaks.
And I'm quite aware that the risk of death from either gas or oil is
vastly lower than that from driving a car. I'm not so sure about the
airplane though as there are more gas explosions each year in the US
than plane crashes. The total deaths numbers will be higher with each
airplane crash of course being in the 100+ range per incident vs. 1 or
And i think that the biggest single risk with gas furnaces is the lack
of annual inspections. The heat exchanger walls rust thru, then
combustion products fill the house, and CO death results. I expect that
THIS is the SINGLE largest cause of gas heat deaths in the US. Worker
leaving a rag in the flue is a very low probability event.
The issue for lots of folks is that replacing the furnace is the
solution to a heat exchanger leak and that is HORRIBLY expensive. Many
simply do not have the money to make it happen, so they die of CO poisoning.
My parents had an oil burner most of their lives. I remember the smell.
Natural gas or Propane for me.
I have never found any smell at all associated with either gas or oil
*inside* the living area with quality equipment. In the same service
room with the furnace I can readily detect either gas (more specifically
the odorant) or oil. If you smell it in the living area you have a
problem that needs investigation and repair.
I'd like to see the data that shows that home nat gas heating systems
actually cause far greater fires than oil heating systems. Does the
insurance company charge higher rates for gas furnaces based on payout
on fires and explosions? Again, you are making wild assumptions,
without any supporting data.
Sure there is a small additional risk from nat gas due to the
possibility of an explosion that you do not have with oil. But you
blow all this way out of proportion to the real risk. How many
people die each year in auto accidents compared to furnace systems of
any kind? It's 2 orders of magnitude or more higher. There are 40K
people killed every year in US auto accidents. 17K die in falls.
Only 3K die from ALL sources of building fire/explosion. While I
couldn't find actual data on accidental nat gas fire deaths, by the
time you seperate those out of the 3K, you will surely be down around
the level of deaths due to lightning or commercial aviation. So, who
besides you cares?
Find me a single case of an oil explosion of a home oil furnace in the
last 50 years.
It's not a small risk to the people who are killed in them or are lucky
enough to just come home to a crater.
Anyone looking at the complete picture:
Oil *is* safer than gas.
Oil *is* more reliable than gas (on site fuel).
Oil *is* more competitive than gas (multiple suppliers).
Oil does *not* have service charges when you aren't using it.
Oil equipment *does* on average have a much longer service life than gas
Bull Shit. I've run out of oil, I've NEVER run out of gas. When power goes
out, oil is useless but if you have a gas stove, you can use the burners to
cook. I've never experinenced a gas outage in 60 years.
Sure, you have Exxon, BP, Shell. Wow, what a great selection. Do the local
dealers vary in price by more than a penny or two? Nope, they don't. One
If you cook with gas, you use it all the time. Same with hot water. Not
much of an agrument there.
Really? I've not seen any big difference. Gas burners are pretty much
maintenance free. Once in a while a thermocouple or valve will need
replacing, sort of like an oil burner that needs a new motor, pump or nozzle
at time. Mechanical things break. In all my years of gas service, I"ve
only had two, maybe three service calls, but with oil, I must have $125
service and cleaning every year.
Do you happen to have ties to an oil dealer?
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