Of course not. We'll just take your word for it, since you appear to be so
If you think that an oil spill and petroleum contaminated soil is merely
"killing some bacteria" than you don't have
even a remote clue at what you are talking about. Soil removal and remediation
is mandatory by law. Just because you
don't mind living atop a toxic site doesn't mean that it is safe for everyone
else or legal.
Yeah the "eco-nuts," like the oil industry that came up with MTBE.
Cite for your 'same emissions' theory? Come on, don't be shy. I"m sure you
have it "bookmarked!"
Which technologies are you discussing? Cite?
The federal government never mandated the product, they mandated the outcomes.
In fact some companies (e.g. Getty)
chose to meet their goals without using MTBE. MTBE was one way to meet these
outcomes. I don't really have a
problem with MTBE per se by the way. I *DO* have a problem with leaking tanks.
"At any rate, there is no requirement under Use Group R-3 to provide secondary
containment for fuel oil storage in the
basement, regardless of the amount of fuel oil stored inside the building.
For Use Group R-4, Section 2701.2 of the CABO code states that the maximum
amount of fuel oil stored inside of a building shall be 660 gallons with no
mention of any
requirement for secondary containment."
Yep. Well you are right about one thing. Gas explosions only happen with gas.
Good thing houses with oil never
Yeah, it's just my claim that natural gas burns more cleaner than oil.
"Natural gas burns cleaner than other fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, and
produces less greenhouse gas per unit
energy released. For an equivalent amount of heat, burning natural gas produces
about 30% less carbon dioxide than
burning petroleum and about 45% less than burning coal"
You can "prove" anything with anecdotal evidence. From your cited articles:
"Now, bomb and arson investigators are calling the blast suspicious and have
declared the fire a possible arson."
"Authorities blamed the blast on a gas leak that opened when a line was hit
during an excavation. "
"A natural gas explosion that killed three people last December was due to a
metal pipe connector that failed because
it was not designed for use on plastic pipe, state officials said Wednesday."
"Officials said preliminary investigations showed that a pit dug by construction
workers who were trying to remove an
underground oil tank collapsed and pinched a gas line just before 9 a.m."
The price differences between oil suppliers are negligible, as they are all
their oil in the same local market from the same common carriers, unless your oil
company also has a terminal to import the middle east crude and refine it. Or
some distributors are jacking up the price. Last year, oil companies jacked up
prices for non contract customers in a hurry and they went down very slowly. Our
NG prices rised a little a few months later and then tapered back significantly
mid way through the winter. Our gas service is still cheaper than the "cheap"
companies, and our furnace is a lot more cleaner burning and efficient too.
If you are against regulated monopolies, than your argument is also the same for
opposing electricity service (and maybe water too).
Hope you're around to do that and not on vacation. Oh by the way, if we do have
power failure, we can still take lots of hot showers and cook on our stove
Oil is a great choice if you have no natural gas service available and your
climate is too cold for heat pumps.
Price differences are not negligible. During the peak of price gouging
season one small company was about $0.15/gal cheaper than another larger
one and the small company didn't even have their own storage terminal
where the big company did. They also offered more discounts (senior and
COD) than the larger company making the effective difference more like
$0.25/gal. I consider that pretty significant when oil was running
Not at all and not even the same comparison. First off I can choose
between more than a dozen electric suppliers and second off the monopoly
status is only one of the reasons I won't use nat. gas. Also unlike nat.
gas, electricity is far less likely to have periods of no use while
still being charged a service charge. Additionally the last time I
checked you could disconnect and reconnect electricity without large
service charges, unlike gas.
If you're leaving for vacation and don't review the house status and
things like turning off the water and looking at the level on the oil
tank then you're an idiot. If I'm getting ready for vacation and the oil
tank is low I just call my supplier and ask them to deliver the next day
(before I leave). Doesn't cost me any extra and is no more effort than
turning off the water or unplugging some appliances.
Same here. With my diesel generator and oil heat I can go for weeks.
Oil is indeed a great choice under those conditions and it is also a
very good choice under many more conditions, particularly if you are in
a cold area even if gas is available.
By the way, no climate is too cold for geothermal heat pumps, you just
have to get the coils below the frost line where you have a nice
Oh I always turn off the water too. After all any furnace (including oil with
red RESET button) could sense a fault and shut down or the power could fail, or
everything could work perfectly and a pipe breaks etc etc. Someone posted a neat
picture (link in this newsgroup I mean) of a house that had been vacant in the
and the oil company had not filled the tanks with the expected amount of oil and
pipes froze in zero degree F weather. Cool glacier coming down the garage doors.
A natural gas generator could keep you going too, offer auto start (and auto
the batteries weekly, monthly, whenever you prefer) and burn much cleaner than a
That would be nice but unfortunately there is more to geo heat pumps than just
coils below the frost line.
That picture was attributed to not turning off the water before going on
vacation when it got very cold and a pipe froze and burst in the ceiling
over the unheated garage. I've never seen any reference to the type of
heating system in the house or a fault with it.
Diesel generators offer auto start, exercise cycles etc. as well. As for
burning cleaner that depends on the particular engine. Larger and more
expensive units will be cleaner than small inexpensive ones. Run it on
biodiesel or WVO and you have yet another comparison.
Such as? A properly sized and installed geothermal heat pump will
operate just fine in most any environment.
No kidding, except it wasn't a "vacation" and if you did you see you'd know it
the garage. If you read what I wrote above, you would also know that I was
generally why it was a good idea to shut off your water when you're away in the
because I wrote, "furnace could sense a fault and shut down or the power could
everything could work perfectly and a pipe breaks etc."
I'm glad you have room for a diesel generator. No way it can burn as cleanly as
gas engine can, and that doesn't require stored fuel either.
Yes, but that "properly sized" part can be a show stopper if you don't have a
bunch of land,
or a pond nearby, or can use wells.
Right and that situation can occur with both gas and oil and even
electric for that matter.
Room? A diesel generator doesn't require any more room than any other
type of generator.
Not really. Vertical loop is workable most everywhere, "wells" typically
refers to the old style open loop geothermal which is rarely done these
days. The newer trenched vertical coil also doesn't require a lot of
One contractor here in Houston TX recently completed a project for a
RESIDENCE that used SIXTY FIVE wells, 300 feet deep. The contractor
sizes the project at one well per ton of installed capacity so this was
65 tons of HVAC. Considering that most of us can get by with a ground
source heat pump in the 3 ton to 6 ton range, one wonders just how big
this house is.
The contractor has a 3000sq ft house deep inside the city limits and
uses geothermal himself. Lot sizes are small so clearance to neighbor's
property line is only a few feet in many cases. One of the wells for
his house is under the slab!! He keeps the house at 65F year round and
has cooling bills of under $175 Heat in Houston is just not a big
concern as there are so few days a year that the temps fall below 40F
and almost never get below 25F. What we worry about is keeping cool.
65 tons certainly is a huge house, a commercial building or a deep
I'm north of Dallas and currently all electric. When I look to replace
the older A/C in a year or two I will likely go with a geothermal heat
pump. I've got a few acres so the newer trenched vertical "slinky" loop
configuration will probably be most economical given the modest ~3 ton
Pretty unlikely not to use gas for cooking, hot water and clothes drying
Then there is that tank you have to buy and install and need to
There is no such thing
Maintenance is a lot more involved on an oil burner. You need to replace
nozzles, oil filters and clean the flue passages. When I looked at our
natural gas boiler after the first year there was no need to clean
anything and there are no filter or nozzles to replace. This has been
true for over 30 years. And since it doesn't need a high pressure pump
to atomize fuel electricity costs are lower.
I have a friend who only has gas heat. I noted to him the like $8/mo
he's paying from about April - October for the zero gas he's using.
Tanks are cheap (at least indoor ones), and indoor ones do not require
periodic replacement, nor do newly installed double wall underground
Maintenance is not "a lot more involved", replacing a $6 nozzle and $2
filter is pretty damn negligible and they really are only needed every
few years. They are commonly done annually simply because they are so
cheap. Cleaning isn't generally necessary annually either with a modern
oil burner that is correctly adjusted as there is very little soot.
Electricity costs to run the burner motor are quite negligible and both
oil and gas systems need electricity for blower motors or circulator
Perhaps "cheap" is a relative term. I paid $750.00 CDN for the
installation of my indoor tank four years ago and this was a
discounted price that required a minimum one-year commitment with my
fuel oil supplier (Scotia Fuels).
More to the point, good friends of mine own a ski chalet in northern
Nova Scotia. Their oil tank was located outside and two years ago
someone had been stealing their heating oil by disconnecting the
bottom feed line. Unfortunately, they didn't properly reconnect it
and some 500 to 900 litres of heating oil leaked into the ground and
contaminated a number of neighbouring wells. And as luck would have
it, they also stole from the church next door, with the exaxt same
So, the long and the short is that they were sued and the insurance
company covered only part of their legal and clean-up costs and now
they can't buy homeowners insurance. Moreover, they're can't sell
their home because there's still evidence of ground contamination
(which might very well be from the neighbouring church). Needless to
say, you don't discuss "the high cost of home heating oil" in their
For more information on heating oil tanks and the potential risk of
oil spills, see:
Natural gas here in Nova Scotia is available to probably less than
1,000 homes at this time (virtually all of the natural gas produced in
this province is shipped off to New England, which is kind of a sore
point for many Nova Scotians).
Be that as it may, according to Heritage Gas, our local distributor,
natural gas currently costs $11.31 per GJ. On a heat content basis,
that's said to be the equivalent of paying $0.43 per litre for fuel
oil, $0.29 per litre for propane and $0.0407 per kWh for electricity.
On Friday, my heating oil supplier (Scotia Fuels) quoted me $0.819 per
litre, which puts the relative cost of home heating oil at nearly
twice that natural gas. As of my last propane delivery this past
January, I paid Superior Propane $1.009 per litre, which places
propane at roughly 3.5 times the cost of natural gas. Lastly, Nova
Scotia Power charges $0.1013 per kWh, so electricity works out to be
about 2.5 times more costly (conversion efficiency aside).
Funny, I could have sworn you were complaining about the "monopoly" of the
local natural gas distribution company, as opposed to all of those price
choices you get with oil. What good is a monopoly if you're not jacking up
the price, right?
Well, if the theft of heating oil could expose me to this kind of
liability it would certainly be of concern to me. My friends are now
estranged from their neighbours (it didn't do much for their own
marriage either), their property and that of their neighbours has been
torn-up to remove the contaminated soil, they're out of pocket a
considerable amount of money, they can no longer get homeowner's
insurance and they can't sell this property because the Department of
Environment won't sign off on the clean-up (apparently they're still
detecting traces of oil). It's just one big mess.
Be it related to theft as in this case, a leaking tank or falling ice
damaging the supply line, the consequences of a fuel oil spill are
pretty grim no matter how you look at it.
Generally speaking, an inside tank is your best choice. That said,
thirty years ago, my mother's oil tank, which was in located inside a
finished basement, began leaking while she was away on holidays. The
stench when she returned was unbelievable and all the carpets on the
lower level had to be replaced. They brought in big fans to try to
clear the smell but it lingered on for months; when you walked through
the door, you just wanted to gag.
My home is Toronto is all gas (heat, hot water, cooktop, wall ovens,
fireplaces, dryer, patio heater and BBQ) and, quiet honestly, if
natural gas were available here in Halifax, I would be pushing my way
to the front of the line.
Funny isn't it how any incidents involving oil just get dismissed,
while anything bad that happens with nat gas gets carefully logged as a
matter of great significance?
In addition to the story of outside tanks leaking and causing big
problems, every so often I see news reports of the old wrong delivery
address incident. This happened again last winter on Long Island, NY.
The oil company delivered oil to the wrong address. Turns out where
they delivered it the home once had oil heat, removed the basement
tank, but did not remove the fill tube. So, they pumped a couple
hundred gallons of oil into the wrong home's basement. On TV they
showed the huge cleanup underway, the family was forced to leave the
home for an indefinite period until the house was declared safe again,
Now, this can be traced to stupidity. I wouldn't say it makes oil
unsafe, or a bad choice, depending on the other options available, etc.
But the difference is, I see this and put it in perspective. While
Pete sees anything go wrong with nat gas, and it's suddenly a big
issue, blown out of proportion, while oil gets a free pass.
My home here in Nova Scotia is heated with oil. The boiler when I
purchased this home four years ago was then thirty-four years old (so
too the separate oil-fired hot water tank) and I suspect neither were
all that efficient. If natural gas were available, I would have
switched immediately, without a second thought. Since that wasn't an
option, I installed a high-efficiency oil-fired Slant Fin boiler, a
SuperStor Ultra indirect hot water tank and a Tekmar boiler control
system. I chose this particular boiler because it can be easily
converted to natural gas when that happy day comes (it's certified to
operate on either fuel).
Last year, with the addition of a small ductless heat pump, I was able
to cut my fuel oil consumption by more than half (from 1,973 litres to
828 litres). Of the remaining 828 litres, I'm guessing roughly 500
litres or so are related to domestic hot water production (an average
of 1.4 l/day x 365 days/yr). Given the relatively modest space
heating demand, if I had to do it all over again I would have
installed an electric boiler as a backup to the heat pump and
eliminated oil altogether. With heating oil and electricity here in
Nova Scotia running at about par, there would be little or no economic
penalty to going with electric and I could eliminate the need to store
fuel oil on my property.
I should add that the previous homeowners used 5,700 litres of heating
oil in the year prior to my purchase (and that happened to be a fairly
mild winter). By upgrading the heating and DHW systems, careful air
sealing, window and door replacement and adding more insulation (e.g.,
the attic went from R6 to R60 and the walls from R6 to R22), I was
able to reduce my fuel oil consumption by 65 per cent. With the
ductless heat pump, I've been able to cut that by more than half
again. At current prices, I'm now saving over $4,000.00 a year on my
heating and DHW costs.
On 6 Aug 2006 06:14:41 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
Indeed regardless of the fuel source, when you upgrade a decades old
system and more importantly address deficiencies in insulation, windows,
doors, etc. you can make a big difference in total efficiency and
I would suggest that before considering a fuel switch or equipment
upgrade for the same fuel, anyone with oil equipment manufactured in the
last couple decades would be better served to properly address
insulation, window and door issues first and wait a month or two to see
the change. In many cases the non equipment issues can losses 25% or
If you have equipment (oil or gas) that is more than say 40 years old
you should be looking to replace it unless it's a particularly high end
model and efficiency testing shows decent numbers. The 50 year old
boiler that was replaced at my mother's house had been testing in the
79-80% range which while not as good as a modern unit wasn't bad at all
for a 50 year old unit.
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