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Piping needed for fill pipe on fuel oil tank

Wish to move fuel oil tank to different location in basement.
What type of piping is needed? (Galvanized, black iron, PVC?)
Is it permissable to locate just the fill pipe in an attached garage leaving the vent pipe outdoors?
We live in WI.

Re: Piping needed for fill pipe on fuel oil tank

I would not recommend putting the fill pipe into the garage. You would have to leave access for the oil company to get in when no one was home if you have automatic delivery. I know most people can be trusted but you never know. Not sure about the piping I think you just would need to use black pipe.

Re: Piping needed for fill pipe on fuel oil tank

Galvanized pipe is fine. Don't use PVC it's to easy to damage. I would run the fill outside so the oil company has access.

Re: Piping needed for fill pipe on fuel oil tank

I would agree with the other posters.

There are a number of recommendations and regulations to be followed when installing an oil tank and its piping---this type of install is classified as an indoor, above-ground installation (as opposed to an outside, or buried tank).

Inside tanks are much better in the way the oil is kept warmer (burns better) and much less condensation (water) enters the tank to cause problems.

The biggest problems with an inside, above ground tank are:

1) the fill process by the oil dealer is often on an automatic basis & the delivery person may not even know if a delivery causes a burst tank or fill pipe---it's always best to have someone home at delivery time to make sure nothing happens to the tank during refill--especially if it's an old tank.

2) The pressure from a pumped oil truck reaches 80 gal. per minute on high cam; ask the driver to fill the tank on "low cam" if the tank is old.

3) Over the years, sludge & a mild sulfuric acid paste settles at the bottom of the tank & gradually eats out the lower quarter of the tank--check for even minor leaks on the bottom of the tank---it's best to flush out the dregs at the tank bottom every few years.

Oil tanks & associated piping are covered under the NFPA 31 Section 7.10 regulations, usually adapted by most city goverments, the city often has their own additional codes aimed at fire prevention & safety.

Many of the guidelines are noted in the inspectapedia site & the Canadian site---the Canadian site may not apply to WI, but the regs and diagrams are informative

Most regs recommend that the fill pipe be black steel, & at least 1 1/2" in diameter with an outside cap to prevent water entry; the vent pipe be black steel at least 1 1/4" diameter with an outside whistle to indicate to the oil dealer when the tank has filled up so he can stop the refill process, & also a screen to prevent insect infestation.

A large plastic or fiberglass containment tub or drip pan placed under the tank is a good idea.

Plastic or cast iron pipe is not allowed; most towns allow galvanized steel or "brass" or copper in the indicated sizes---most burst tanks during refilling are because of too small refill or vent piping is used that causes excessive pressure inside the tank---a screen should be on the vent opening to prevent insects or vandals from clogging the vent line, which would cause a pressure build-up.

A 180 degree "gooseneck" (see diagrams at inspectapedia) must be installed on the outside vent pipe.

Most towns require at least 5' of clearance from the oil burner, some require 7' or 10', unless a concrete/block wall is put up between the tank & burner (local option).

The tank should be right against the outside foundation so that the vent/refill pipes are as short as possible to the outside; the pipes should have at least a 2" drop in 5' for easy oil flow.

The tank, when filled with oil weighs 2000 lbs---the four steel legs must be firm & straight & stand on level, 3" or thicker concrete, or an equivalent firm floor that will not allow the tank to tip over, causing a spill and/or fire hazard.

Click onto the "side bars" at the inspectapedia site for more info.

Google "NFPA 31" "Section 7.10" for specific regulation language.

Also Google:

"oil tank installation instructions"
"oil tank installation requirements"
"oil tank installation guide"
"oil tank installation regulations"


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