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AGA owners who use oil fuel - do you use paraffin or kerosene with Topanol or Glowmax?

(27 Posts)
sallyjaygorce Fri 26-Jun-09 22:05:48

HAve bought a house and inherited a four door oil fired aga. The previous owners only used premium oil and stressed it is essential to the running of the aga. Their supplier (Goff) suggested that was too expensive and that standard oil topped up with Topanol would be sufficient. Now I hear that aga sanction the use of standard oil with Glowmax - an additive that cleans the oil produced and delivered by Total Butler. I spoke to Total Butler who said that Topanol is carcinogenic and they are surprised it is still used at all. Obviously the kitchen will the the heart of the home for our three young children - am I exposing them to risk or am I being paranoid? I have successfully given up smoking so don't want to start inhaling toxic oil additives instead!

MaggieC2 Fri 07-Aug-09 21:56:44

Recently made the mistake of having the oil tank filled with Glowmax oil - the Aga stopped working and we had to call out the engineer to fix it - even though we'd just paid to have the regular service. The only way he could get it going again was to 're-calibrate' the oven. He said that he had several other customers who had the same problems - all had bought Glow Max from Total Butler. Very, very expensive mistake because we then could smell fumes - about £400 to sort out the problems. My advice is - don't touch this stuff!! I would be interested in hearing from any other Aga owners who have had problems because I am certainly going to claim re-imbursement fees from Total Butler.

ShakeyJ Thu 26-Nov-09 18:14:27

I also made the expensive mistake of filling my Aga tank with Total Butler Glowmax. Three days later the Aga 'died', and after being re-started it now keeps getting colder. The engineer (who's been back 4 times now) said the oil is too thick. I'm trying to get Total to remove their oil and give me a refund. No luck yet, and also I want to speak to the people at Aga to see if they really ARE endorsing this product..

said Thu 26-Nov-09 18:18:21

Pretty sure all hydrocarbon oils are carcinogenic

BrokenArm Thu 26-Nov-09 18:25:37

Old thread...
Read here or Phone Aga direct.

wernie Mon 07-Dec-09 19:43:20

i am an engineer and have worked on Agas,rayburns, well most oil fired appliances for the last 13 years.firstly to sally that as long as there is not a problem with your flue there will not be any fumes to worry about in the house and if there was you would be able to smell the burnt fuel so you can turn the cooker off. I have seen and heard alot about the GLOWMAX fuel and none of it is good (unless you speak to butlers!!!!) from what i have seen it leaves carbon deposits in the burner blocking the inlet. that may not sound unusual but the burners are only lasting 6 to 8 weeks not the usual 6 to 12 months. i also heard that mole valley farmers have stopped selling butlers fuel because of the problems (although this is only a rumour!!!) all i can say is do not touch glowmax fuel if you have an apliance that has a vapourising burner normally found in all agas some rayburns etc. it would be interesting if anyone else has any comments on this subject.........

DevonGill Tue 15-Dec-09 15:57:07

In September our Aga started making a popping sound with an unstable flame which looked as if it was about to go out. We turned it off and my husband cleaned out the burner although it had been serviced only 3 months earlier. The malfunction continued and since the Aga is a good age we were thinking it might need a complete replacement of the oil control mechanism. Then I remembered we had recently filled the tank with a ‘wonderful’ new product called Glowmax from Total Butler. I googled Glowmax, read MaggieC2’s comment and phoned Total Butler. They immediately said they would come and take a sample and test it, which they did. The delay in the resolution of the problem has been our fault as we have been away from home for two months, having first turned the Aga off although we would have preferred to have been able to leave it on low fire. On our return we filled the house with fumes trying to re-light it and then the Aga carried on popping and producing little heat. Total Butler admitted that the oil was ‘out of spec’ and had the tank emptied and then refilled. They also said that if we needed to call an engineer to re-light the boiler/Aga then they would reimburse us. When the tank was emptied the Aga went out so it was serviced again and there was a more than normal carbon build up. It is now a delight to have the Aga burning quietly again at the temperature of my choice and a nice warm kitchen. I don’t know whether the fault is with Glowmax itself, or that particular delivery or the mix with the oil in the bottom of our tank but my advice also is – don’t touch this stuff.

EcoFuelPlus Wed 07-Apr-10 14:54:43

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EcoFuelPlus Wed 07-Apr-10 14:55:51

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Triathlonwannabe Tue 28-Jun-11 11:54:30

We inherited an Aga when we moved into our house 18 years ago and it worked perfectly on premium kerosene until a couple of years ago when the EU changed the regulations on fuel.

It started losing heat due to sooting up after only 6 to 8 weeks and then we would have it cleaned out, put on again, and go through the whole cycle again. We have tried all the different fuels and additives and only just found one that works, called Aderco.

In February, we added it to an almost empty tank just before it was filled up and the Aga has been roaring away ever since. Just about to buy our second lot and have recommended it to everyone we know with Agas. Thought you should all know smile You can buy it at

Chookster Tue 27-Sep-11 23:18:05

Is it still working? Am about pulling my hair out with our Rayburn. Serviced every 6-8 weeks is costing a fortune. Butlers recommending Glowmax however am very mistrusting. Does anybody else have recommendations for other additives? I have just had a 1000litre top up and would hate to 'spoil' the oil that's in there? Any help appreciated! hmm

nowwearefour Wed 28-Sep-11 21:09:34

Never heard of this issue at all- we have an oil fired AGA. it has seemed to cool down though so we'll look into this.l

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BettyBolognese Wed 09-Jul-14 15:33:45

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akanora Mon 06-Oct-14 18:10:35

I'm rekindling this thread in the hope that amongst you AGA owners out there someone might have a useful update on the pros and cons of oil additives. Butlers claim that after the disasters of a few years back, their Glowmax product has been completely reformulated and is now 'recommended by AGA'. Others continue to recommend Topanol. Anyone using either with any success? Another product out there is ADERCO 5000 - any feedback on that?

Whatdoiknow31 Tue 07-Oct-14 21:19:14

No experience on additives in oil for Aga's etc, but boilers do not like it. I have heard it can leave a film on the photocell which prevents the boiler firing up when cold. Would also invalidate any manufacturers warranty.

akanora Tue 07-Oct-14 23:20:44

Very helpful tip. Thanks. As not heard any negatives thus far as regards the boiler, only the Aga. Don't think I need hear anything more - it's a definite NO to additives!

whojamaflip Tue 07-Oct-14 23:28:11

We use Callow Oil and I'm afraid I just ask for Kero for our Aga - no idea of any brand name, they come and fill up and the Aga chugs away quite happily in the corner. Doesn't soot up the burner either and we only have it serviced once a year.....

<<not sure how helpful that is grin >>

akanora Wed 08-Oct-14 00:01:46

By Kero assume you mean standard Kerosene heating oil. Chugging away happily is all any of us can hope for (for ourselves as well as our boilers and cookers!) and we know what introducing chemicals additives to our own bods can lead to... what you've said has just convinced me further!

Downsman Mon 20-Oct-14 13:19:01

I have had experience of all these events! The change in the regulations dud create a fuel which deposited carbon residue and choked agas to death long before services became due. The early Glo max was a disaster.

We run a 4 oven aga and found Topanol added to the fuel worked very well. We have also tried the new formulation Glo Max and it also runs well. I user either combination depending on price. Sometimes kerosene + Topanol is cheaper than Glo Max. Many of the firms that deliver will not handle Topanol although if you take the appropriate steps it is an easy and safe process. Many of the firms that won't add Topanol do sell Glomax. Funny that isn't it ?

Remember too that many of the brands you might use are owned by Certas. They own Total Butler, CPL., Southern Counties etc to name a few. It is likely that they will push Glo Max in lieu of Topanol.

akanora Mon 20-Oct-14 16:25:37

Thanks Downsman and others. In the end I elected for no additives and managed to secure a very competitive price with a local depot. What you say is encouraging but the chief problem as I understand it is finding an additive that works both for the Aga wicking system and a jet stream boiler, what works well for one seems not to work so well for the other. Is your oil with its Toponal/Glowmax also feeding a separate boiler by any chance or only the Aga?

Downsman Mon 20-Oct-14 16:44:33

A good point - our oil boiler is a Perrymatic and runs very well on additive fuels. I switch off the aha when the weather gets warm and if anything I have noticed that the boiler works slightly better with the additive fuel. I don't know of anyone who has had a bad experience with their boiler and additive fuels as they seem to be less sensitive than shad. This is borne out by the servicing intervals - yearly for boiler and ideally twice yearly for an aha but the I guess the age of the boiler must have a bearing on things.

Downsman Mon 20-Oct-14 16:55:32

Sorry, and to be clear: the same oil feeds the Ava and boiler

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