Originally Posted by rocketman2440
I have no clue how to post pictures, but if you send me an email I can send you a picture of my setup.
Go to photobucket.com and start a (free) account. Upload pics to there and select the 'img' link, then paste that link into your post. Very easy, really!!
Here's a blurry pic of the last 'still' I built using a water heater:
I didn't use that 3-filter manifold long. It was designed to use a 30mic, 10mic then 2mic filter, but I found the 30mic was not very economical at ~$15ea. I was getting the 10mic goldenrod elements for $5 and as long as I 'pre-settle' the oil for a couple weeks before going in the still - they last a long time.
Some of the advantages to using a WH are:
- it already has fittings in good places for this application
- it is insulated
- it has heating elements and thermostats in it (we only use the lower element and typically run it at 110V)
- since it is a pressure vessel, we can use compressed air to push oil out of it thru filters
- this is soooooo much better than any 'affordable' pump!!!
- we can also pull a vacuum in the tank to fill it and also for 'vacuum dewatering' (effectively boiling the water off by reducing the boiling point to ambient temp). This can be effective for really stubborn oil that is partially hydrogenated or high in fats.
- They come in a variety of shapes and sizes from 30gal to 80gal
- best of all, you can usually get 'discarded' WH's for FREEEE!!
I collect oil using a 275gal tote on a trailer. When it comes home, I park it beside the 'grease shed' until I'm going to collect again 2-3 weeks later. Then, I pull the oil 'off the top' of the collection tote and pump it thru the ~200mic strainer bag into the 'dirty' tote in the shed. Its already pretty clean and dry at this point... After that settles a couple days, I start pulling oil off the top of the dirty tote using a floating suction and fill up the still. Heat still to 110-120*F (3-4hrs at 110v), turn off heat and let settle for 48hrs. Drain a couple gals (at most) off bottom and test for water. If its dry, use air to push the oil thru goldenrod and 2mic BioTek filter into trucks. Finally, enjoy 15-20k mile filter changes on the truck with a total investment of about $0.10 - $0.15/gal including gasoline for the collection pump, electricity and filters.