Summer-grade fuel left in tanks over winter can start to ‘wax’ as a result of cold weather. Winter-grade fuel is gas oil that has been enhanced with an additive that lower the temperature where fuel would normally begin to wax. This helps to protect your fuel and machinery, even in freezing temperatures, the distribution of winter-grade fuel in the UK typically begins in November and ends in March. Remember you can use winter-grade fuel all year round, however, the summer alternative should only be used during warmer periods!
All diesel fuel contains paraffin, it is the paraffin content that gives diesel the high cetane number that makes for efficient combustion.
When gas oil is cooled, the paraffin molecules start to form crystals and solidify, if the temperature is low enough, larger crystals can form and cause filters to become blocked.
In severe cases, the 'wax' may completely block the pipes, when this happened the engine will no longer receive the fuel needed to run it.
An indicator that the paraffin has crystallised in your gas oil may appear cloudy.
Winter fuel can be used all year round as it is more resistant to cold (-12°C CFPP min), meaning it can be used throughout all seasons.
Fuel certified for use during the summer period is only fit for use during these months (-4°C CFPP min) as it has limited resistance to cold.
Exposure to wind can accelerate heat loss and reduce the temperature of the fuel, so provide shelter and protection for tanks, pipes, pumps, and vehicles to prevent them from cooling quickly when exposed to wind and decrease the likelihood of wax
Running down your summer-grade gas oil When ordering your winter-grade fuel, it is important that you check there is no summer-grade fuel still in your storage tank. As the summer fuel will have poorer cold properties than the winter-grade product, it is recommended that the entire volume of the tank meets winter specifications before the start of any cold weather.
Planning and keeping a note of how quickly you use your fuel will help you to prevent being left with summer fuel at the end of the season. In the event, that you have summer-grade fuel still in the tank, please let us know at the point of ordering as we are able to supply additives to improve the winter protection. Please note that these, only work if added while the fuel temperature is 13 degrees or above. If you only need one top-up during the year, it is better to order winter-grade fuel as this can be used throughout the year.
For the latest commercial fuel or gas oil prices please get in touch and our dedicated team will be happy to arrange a personal quote. Call our team at 01476 584123 or email us at email@example.com.