Thursday, September 08, 2005

Got the oil, now what?!

So, you've collected your oil and your wondering what to do next. What ever you do DON'T PUT IN YOUR TANK YET!

I, as well as others, recommend that you purchase 2 55 metal gallon drums. One drum you are going to use as settling and collection tank. If you want to limit the amount of large chunks that settle to the bottom of the tank and limit your cleaning I would recommend filtering the oil with a t-shirt. The t-shirt will do just fine for collecting the big chunks. For those of us that live in cold climates it is highly recommended that you install some type of pre-heating device to keep the oil temperature in the 70 to 90 degree range. Cold oil will coagulate and thicken up making it difficult for the particles to settle and pump. Make sure to wrap this drum with proper insullation to prevent as much heat loss as possible.

Another alternative to a 55 gallon drum is to use a salvaged electric water heater. Some have been able to contact plumbing shops and taken the water heaters that were removed from homes. My only question about this is most water heaters that are removed are due large quantities of buildup that caused the failure. Doesn't seem logical to put oil in an already gunk filled container and cleaning seems way to much effort. One alternative is to remove or buy the heating element and thermostat and install in on the 55 gallon drum.

The second drum can be used to for your final or usable oil that goes into the car. Transferring the oil from the first drum can be achieved by using various transfer pumps. Whe pumping this oil make sure to not put the siphoning tube to close to the settled sediment at the bottom of the drum. As your transfering the oil into the second tank you should pass the oil through a filter to remove the smallest particles. Here you want to use a filter rated 10 microns or less. You can use a diesel filter like the golden rod filter. Now another option is to create a poor man's bag filter from a pair of denim jeans. Take the leg of a pair of jeans and close the bottom, be sure to leave no gaps for sediment can escape. At the top fashion some type wire hoop to support the bag filter and to attach some type of handle. Now it is said that the micron rating is guessed to be around .5 microns. Whether this is or not I don't know. I do know it worked damn good for me!

Here are some pictures of my first attempts at filtering using the denim bag filter. Pictures are out of sequence so bare with me. Frist image picture shows the clean filtered oil dripping out of the denim bag filter . Second shows the fat and crud that was filtered out of half a jug of unsettled oil. BIG MISTAKE! This took 45 minutes to clean outside. Third shows the unfiltered oil in the filter, notice how cloudy it is compared to image number one. Forth picture just shows my setuppicture . The last image shows how I used the second leg as a final filter as a precaution. The filter is supported by two juice bottles tapped together. You get an idea how time consuming this set up is and how the method above can save you time.