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Two line system, no shut-off = Oily mess?

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360dean
360dean Member Posts: 3
For my oil furnace, I have an outside oil tank above ground, two line system. From the tank oil runs up then down under patio slab into house then up under 8’ ceiling in unfinished basement.Part of it runs through and add-on finished room. The filter in "furnace room" is about 5’ high outside the unit and above the pump.I can’t find a shutoff anywhere!? I’ve checked everywhere pipe is visible. If it is in the 6‘ run in the finished area it does not seem where you’d expect a shutoff. A good time to add a shutoff, I guess, before the filter;

But what is the best way to prevent oil flow when I disconnect the filter? Can I just temporarily stop the flow coming out of the line? With the distance and elevation changes from the oil tank to pump I think the oil flow will be so minimal and no extraordinary additional steps are needed? On the back end, I believe I won't be priming this as the two line system will take care of that? Is that correct?
Thanks
Anybody? Bueller? Anybody?

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,455
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    What is the level of the filter relative to the oil in the tank? If it's even slightly higher, you may be able to get away with just holding a bucket under it... and a bunch of rags on the floor and some kitty litter!

    But I can't believe there's not a shut off on it somewhere... one would think... oh yeah, What is it Steamhead says? "Can't fix stupid"!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    Does the oil line come out of the top of the tank? You said it was 2-line and usually (hopefully), they used a duplex bushing in the top of the tank. If so, pull the supply line up higher then the fuel lever. Or cut the supply above the tank and put a ball valve in (flared fittings).
    Option 2 is drain the tank.
    Option 3 is the vacuum cleaner trick-not for the faint of heart, but in your case it wouldn't be that hard to have a ball valve with fitting at the filter ready, vacuum, undo oil pipe on filter and put ball valve on pretty quickly with no fuel spilled

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  • 360dean
    360dean Member Posts: 3
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    Thanks for your help guys!,
    Oil comes out of the tank top, has a duplex bushing, so it sounds like that's the easiest solution to prevent oil flow if I need to spend time to flare pipe, prior to adding ball valve.

    Not sure how to determine which of two is the supply? Can I just pull both lines up from fuel level.

    FY amusement:
    If you think the no shut-off valve is stupid, there was NO filter on the unit for the twenty years prior to me buying the home. Not too long after, my young stepson was playing and for some reason was putting a large stick down the tank vent pipe, perhaps mimicking me checking the oil level with my calibrated stick. When I yelled "Joe", I scared him and he dropped the stick into my tank! Funny if it wasn't my tank. 15 years later furnace still works, (I had a filter added) and Joe is still around, now a hard working man!
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
    edited November 2015
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    If you had the room you could take both lines out and put them in a bucket. Have someone turn on the furnace for only a second or 2. Whichever line fuel comes out of is the return.
    Or if you can remove the fill, vent or gauge from the tank (whichever is closest to the fuel lines), lift the lines a little, turn on the burner and see which one is returning fuel.
    The better solutions would be to change it back to a one pipe, remove the bypass plug from the return port of the pump. Then power purge it.

    No filters aren't as uncommon as you would believe. Around my way there was a large company in the late 70's/early 80's that put furnaces in with Webster pumps and no fuel filters. Or just relied on the pump strainer w/Suntec pumps to do the filtering. Lots of plugged nozzle/nozzle lines.

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