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copper fill and vent in mass.

PaulPaul Member Posts: 246
anybody ever see copper fill and vent pipes on basement tanks. i have seen a couple and i dont think they are to good and not normal, but are they code? no swing joints with this also.


  • Paul FredricksPaul Fredricks Member Posts: 1,542

    Our guys love finding them. They are not code, they should be repiped in black. Then our guys get the copper for scrap. Happy Day!
  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Member Posts: 2,938

    NFPA doesn't allow it,however the AHJ here does
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • PaulPaul Member Posts: 246

    found it in cmr for mass.,has to be steel or brass.... thx for reply
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Copper Vent & Fill:

    That must be on the Island Of Long where my daughter lives. She built a house 5 years ago and the oil tank is piped all in copper tube and fittings. Maybe its the "country". It's way out near the end.
  • LIBob51LIBob51 Member Posts: 20
    I've seen

    A pretty decent handful here on Long Island. I've ripped out two or three, which was a pretty decent bonus those days. The only time I didn't like them was the one time I had to replace a vent alarm with an 1 1/4 vent
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Copper Vs. PVC:

    I once saw a place where a HO re-did his on PVC pipe and fittings. Used DWV drainage fittings for better flow.
  • Mac_RMac_R Member Posts: 117
    NFPA 31

    NFPA 31 2006 Edition.

    8.2.1 Tank fill and vent piping shall be wrought-iron, steel, or Schedule 40 brass pipe.

    This means NO PVC or COPPER. 
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    Some of us knew that.
  • Mac_RMac_R Member Posts: 117

    Thought I would throw out the number.  Gives a reference point for searching.  I see a lot of PVC vents and some plumbers around here still pipe tanks with copper.  Just trying to drive the point home.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    I'm glad that you did. And I'm glad that you brought it up.

    Not being a wise guy.
  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,254

    new homeowners.....something that the home inspection probably won't catch.The vent for the tank should be as large or larger than the fill pipe.This helps prevent the tank from bursting when being filled. The oil man is standing there, waiting for the whistle to stop, so he knows the tank is full. How many gallons will he pump into your basement before he realizes something's wrong?
  • Ron Jr.Ron Jr. Member Posts: 527
    What about

    copper crossover piping ? Going back to change that and take out that dresser coupling on the vent .
  • PaulPaul Member Posts: 246
    dresser coupler

    can you use dresser coupling on vent pipe but not on fill pipe? in mass. ?
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Member Posts: 3,922
    Chris I saw a PVC install too

    Farmer owned rental property. The I said I could not work on it until it was repaired and I passed it on to the fire chief. I was never called back to work there.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • Ron Jr.Ron Jr. Member Posts: 527
    Not sure about Mass .

    Actually I don't think it's ok to use anywhere , even on a vent . We're going back and threading in nips and a union . 
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Dumb and dumber:

    The worst problem with that install is the first tank has no vent once it is filled and it is going through the crossover.  This isn't even safe.  At least the tanks don't leak. They must have used Teflon Tape on the joints. Otherwise, there would be signs of weeping on the first tank.

    I have a customer with two Shutz tanks, tied together with  a single vent and fill. Both tanks have whistles. The first tank would always fill first. The delivery person would wait for the second whistle to sop,. But the overfilling of the first tank would spill product all over the top of the tank. I re-piped to fix the fill leaks and told the driver to stop filling when he head the bubbles get to the first whistle. In a couple of days, the oil lines to the burner would make the levels equal in a day or so.
  • Ron Jr.Ron Jr. Member Posts: 527
    edited March 2012
    Isn't even safe ?

    So , NFPA31 is condoning unsafe piping practice in their standards book ? This piping arrangement is exactly how that book says to pipe 2 inside oil tanks . Except for the copper crossover and dresser coupling . Do you have firsthand experience of something wrong happening due to this piping arrangement ? Or is this your personal opinion ?

    I've replaced 2 oil tanks that were piped this way . Guess what ? Both leakers were the tanks on the vent side .

    And no , there is no Teflon used on these tanks . Or any other tanks or oil fittings my company installs . I would never use a sealing material that pump manufacturers specifically say not to use . I would never open myself up to that liability when a good thread sealant applied to both inner and outer surfaces works just as well as your magical Teflon . But hey ! If it works for you , more power to ya !
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Teflon Tape:

    The oil tank I just re-piped had been screwed together with that Blu-Mol of something like that that is for oil and gas. No teflon was used. It leaked all over. I had to use 3' pipe wrenches on most of the fittings to get them apart. 1 1/2" pipe and mal. fittings. Other than a few new nipples and ells, I used everything over. On the face of some fittings is dried blue paste. I can't get it off with a utility knife.

    Have you ever changed a fuel pump, went through hell to get the 1/8" ell out of the pump and put it back into the new pump? Turned it to where it needed to go and knew that you needed to take another turn or it woould leak? But you knew that it wouold break off before you got around again?

    Teflon Tape. It won't leak, and unledd you start it way over the ends of the threads, it isn't going to get into the pump. Next time you get a leak on an oil line and you can't stop it, give me a call. I'll put some properly applied tape on it for you and stop the leak.

    Rectorseal #5 is fuel oil impervious. It has bits of something in it. You can't wash it off your clothes or hands. There is another kind that has bits of Kevlar. They make bullet proof vests from Kevlar. Explain to me how debris the size of pipe dope, that can't get past a Suntec AV pump, is IMPROPERLY applied tape going to get into the pump?

    F$B and General filters will pass fines through the screen that will clog the nozzle strainer. Garbers won't pass it. So, how is it getting past the filters?
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Vents and fills:

    Back when I started, Massachusetts required a separate vent and fill for twin tanks.
  • Ron Jr.Ron Jr. Member Posts: 527
    Won't need to call

    because I just don't have oil leaks . If you know what you're doing with thread sealant , you wouldn't need Teflon on oil fittings . Period . We make up 9 or 10 oil carrying joints per day . The ONLY time we might possibly have a leak is right at a flare . So we put a small dab of sealant on the flare and that is that ! I haven't had a callback for an oil leak in years doing it this way . We use Pro-Dope now . We used to use Recorseal . Can't recommend it for oil though , The soft setting properties make it more easy to leak in my opinion . And I never had a problem getting it off my hands or clothes . Sure you're not thinking about Permatex ?

    When the end result is always the same ( no leaks ) I'll ALWAYS use the sealant that will not void a warantee .
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    PVC and Oil:

    Farmers have their own rules. They think that they are exempt from any other rules set out for the rest of us. A little oil on the ground never hurt anyone. They just dig the stuff up and place it in areas that they don't plant crops and don't want weeds to grow.
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Member Posts: 3,922
    The over flow piping is what is required

    by the Mass code now too for dual tanks. Just here 2" fill, cross over and vent are required.

    I know of several State properties where the oil lines to the burners are soldered copper fittings. They claim it is to code.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • SLO-115SLO-115 Member Posts: 196
    edited March 2012
    Lay off farmers we feed cities

    and have a hell of a time doing it!. NO Teflon on any oil connections, read suntecs pump know that little bag with the bypass plug that ends up in the trash. If a fuel pump seal leaks and makes an ugly mess, your on your own if theres Teflon anywhere on any fitting....even if the Teflon had nothing to do with  the fuel leak. A little side note we require separate fill and vents on both tanks or a common 3" vent pipe. Also must be bottom connected with 2'' pipe and 2'' shut offs on both tanks. Its neat to see what other areas will allow
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    I'm not picking on farmers, Just mentioning that they often have an independent streak that often gets in the way of good practices that some of us must follow.

    As far as Teflon, Why would I (I don't) put ANYTHING on an internal plug on a pump? There is absolutely no reason to do so.

    Maybe someday, before you retire, you will give Teflon tape and paste a try and discover what a wonderful and effective product it is and how much better it makes all our lives.

    I'm grateful I learned it years ago. Maybe 40+ years ago. I know that when I threaded well pipe and made the drive couplings on, it was a PITA using candle wicking. Teflon tape was hands down better
  • Mac_RMac_R Member Posts: 117
    Teflon Tape

    What you might not know is that pump manufactures WILL NOT! cover the warranty replacement when they find Teflon has been used.  I use Leak Lock.  The blue stuff.  Love it.  I have done some pumps without using anything, three years and still no leaks.  Now that I have said that I am going to get a call.  Talking with the SunTech Rep at O.E.S.P. you don't need to use anything on the fittings.  The pump is designed so you don't have to.  If you are they recommend Leak Lock or a non Teflon based pipe dope.  
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    The past person used LeakLoc on the leaking threads that I re-did. There is LeakLoc on the face of the ells I didn't use over. It is harder than the tar road and can't be removed with a utility knife.

    You may have changed more pumps than I have in your career. This is how I see it.

    With the cost of a Suntec fuel pump being netted out at well under $100.00, and I charge over that ($100.00+), if I got a leaker because I didn't use Teflon Tape, it would cost me an hour to fix it so it is cheaper to take a chance and tape it. Because I have never ever had a pump failure due to Teflon tape, its a safe bet.

    I don't think you really are experienced with using properly applied Teflon Tape. I think that if and when you used it, you applied it improperly and decided on one experience that it wasn't any good.
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