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Old 08-15-2006, 02:15 AM   #1
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How to get veggie oil?

There is a ton of great info on here about WVO. I have been reading for days and still have more to go. One thing that I don't see is how to find the veggie oil. So here are some rookie questions for you veteran veggie oil harvesters...

Where do you go? Restaurants? Fast food? Chains?
Who do you talk to? Managers? Owners? Bus boys?
What/How do you ask? Can I take your veggie oil?

Thanks again.
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Old 08-16-2006, 01:13 AM   #2
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Stay away from fast-food, or any place that uses hydrogenated oil. Its bad for your body, and your bus!


Locally owned restraunts, especially Asian food is the best. Sometimes chain-restraunts will let you take it, but usually the manager is a dick. Little cafe's sometimes have good oil. Italian restruants do too.

Talk to an employee FIRST, sometimes they will say "Go ahead" especially if no manager is around. Talking to the manager can be a bit of a pain at corporate chain restraunts, as they usually are ball-less and afraid to 'break' their contract with the oil collection company.


Heres what I do when Im on the road lookin for oil:

I find a bunch of restraunts all in one area. I drive up one side of the street, and drive behind every restraunt that is a possibility. I get out and look at the oil and decide if its even worth my time.

Then based on that I do the following:

If its too low or way too gross, I leave and go to the next restraunt

If it looks good, and there is a good ammount there I look around and see if Im gonna bother anyone by taking it. If not, I usually just take it. If Im in a particularly good mood that day, or if I see employees comeing out the back, I ask them for the oil, and explain what Im doing. Usually they say go ahead, or they refer me to the manager. Managers of locally owned business almost never say no. If its a chain restraunt, I usually resort to just taking it, if I can do it without anyone noticing.

If the oil is locked up, I go ask an employee, or if i see a cook or someone come out the back I ask them. Im usually refered to the manager, and explain what Im doing. If they say yes, then they pull it out, I inspect it, if its good I take it.


The tricky part is the managers of chain/corporate restraunts like chili's, applebees, etc, etc. They are usually completely ball-less cowards, and/or assholes (just ask the employee's, they'll tell you their manager is a dick!). If their oil isnt locked up, Ive resorted to taking the oil anyways when I was told no, because I was in a hard spot (like stuck in Knoxville all day looking for oil).

If I think Im gonna have a hard time with the manager, I usually put on some nicer clothes and clean up a bit as best I can. Come into the restraunt with a happy face and say some speal about how I recycle vegtiable oil for free, and wont charge. Sometimes this works, othertimes they are still assholes.


I bought my bus in Asheville NC, drove it to virginia beach, and then drove around the country until I got back to California. All together 4000+ miles. I stoped and hundreds of restraunts all along the way. Being given oil, taking oil, and once I took it after I had been told no (knoxville).

All together, stay locally owned if you can. Employees AND managers are friendly. Sometimes you can luck out at hotels that have their own restraunt too.. ALWAYS TALK TO THE EMPLOYEES FIRST!

Ive never had an employee tell me no, or be unfriendly to me. They always think its really cool. Its only when they ahve to ask the manager that you can run into trouble. The cooks and employees coming out the back are real friendly too.

ALWAYS ask if their oil is hydrogenated! If its hydrogenated use something else unless you are in a tough spot. If they dont know if its hydrogenated or not, look in the trash for an old container, or ask to see one, "if it wont be too much of a hassle". After a while you can tell if its hydrogenated just by stucking your finger in it and seeing how thick it is. Hydrogenated oil is usually darker/thicker, but it takes building of the skill to spot it. Again Ive stoped at hundreds of resturants. Id say it took me about 3000 miles until I really got any kind of system or science too this down.

Happy scavanging!... please dont take my oil ;)
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Old 08-16-2006, 01:21 AM   #3
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p.s. On hydrogenated oil:

I am experimenting with some hydrogenated oil. I mixed some gasoline in with it, to "thin it out" and drove a tank of it. It ran good, but in the end still clogs your filter faster with hydrogenated fats (clear gooey stringy looking stuff). However if its "thined out" with some gasoline or diesel, it will flow through your filter.

BE VERY CAREFULL IF YOU USE GASOLINE. Do not mix more than I dunno. 15% in with it!!! too much gasoline and not enough vegoil will **** your engine up. To be safe you can mix it with diesel, but it will take more diesel than it will gasoline. (Gasoline is thinner).

Basically I had about 30gallons or so in my tank, and mixed 4 gallons of gasoline with it. I mixed it very very very good, and I took some in a glass and poured it. It mixed well, and made the oil much thinner. I run the 30 gallons down, with no problems. When I took off the filter to check it. It did have hydrogenated fats on the filter, BUT the filter was not saturated with oil, and was still able to pass more fuel.

I know someones gonna say you shouldnt use gasoline to mix.. but as long as its not alot, its not bad.
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Old 08-16-2006, 01:41 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. Great info.
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Old 08-16-2006, 10:08 PM   #5
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I am planning on getting a deal with a couple of local restraunts. If they put the oil in a conatiner I provide I will take it when they call and tell me it is full. I will provide a update if this works out. The only problem I can see is I will have a constant supply and I could end up with too much.

I was going to burn any excess in our oil furnace but I am going to trash it for many reasons. If I end up with too much oil I can just burn it in a barrel or stop driving my car and use the bus around town.
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Old 08-17-2006, 01:02 AM   #6
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Hey if you have extra oil, just tell me where you are. Ill come take it off your hands ;)
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:06 PM   #7
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How about burning the oil to heat your home too ?
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Old 08-20-2006, 10:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoser
How about burning the oil to heat your home too ?
IT can be done, and there are those who do it. The biggest problem is that at atmospheric pressure diesel fuel (HHO) gives off enough vapor to ignite at about 120 degrees. This is the flash point. IT may vary a few degrees, but it's always above 100. (due to much higher shipping costs. Fuels that have an VP below 100 are considered flamable, while those above 100 degrees are only considered combustable.)

Anyhow....

Veggie oil needs to be around or even above 300 degrees to ignite. If you atomize veggie into a spray and try to ignite it at room temperature, which esentually is what a fuel oil boiler does, nothing will happen. The trick is finding an efficient method to heat the oil above 300 degrees. One more thing just to add to the complexity to the equationis that the standard fuel oil boiler pump can't handle liquids much over 100 degrees. There are not very many inches from the pump to the nozzle in which to increase the temperature of the liquid by 200 degrees.


Veggie works in a diesel engine due to the extremely high compression. The temperature at which a liquid will ignite decreases as the pressure increases.
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:49 PM   #9
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As Jason explained above WVO would be a big pain to make work in the furnace. I actually bought a nice used oil furnace to replace the old rusted junker that is down there right now. I was going to convert it to waste motor oil which is easier than WVO.

All the ducting in the house is in bad shape. The house was vacant for a long time before we bought it and mice moved into the duct work. I would have to tear all the ducting apart and clean the dead mice and mouse crap out. The old furnace is also in the center of the basement and the large duct work takes up a lot of room.

Since I am going to put an air handler in the attic for central A/C I will just put heat strips in that for heat. Electricity is actually cheaper than Propane or Natural Gas here. We also have a source of free firewood.

I also need to remove the old oil tank since it is underground. It does not leak yet but I don't want to have that liability.

So for all those reasons I decided to not heat with oil anymore.
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:52 PM   #10
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On another note my neighbor offered me a 500 gallon oil tank. He said it was in his shop and he does not need it and wants it gone. This will be perfect for storing filtered oil in my shop. I was able to score some 55 gallon drums from my friend that works at a feed lot. I will use them for the oil in the bus.

If I do end up with too much oil I would much rather give it away than burn it. If anybody is near Twin Falls Idaho let me know.
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