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  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I'm thing of moving the 275 gal. basement oil tank to have more room near the existing boiler and flues. What are the different issues involved? I can see letting it go nearly dry so it gets light enough to remove iron fill and vent pipes and move. Might have to take an outage there (dhw as well as heat). Problem with new location is that exterior grade is on a slope - would have to drill through concrete; I'm assuming that could be done cleanly with the right rental tool. Could install a new tank with piping and tie in, which would require virtually no outage, and could transfer oil from old tank to new. Thing is, a new tank can't be cheap, and I'm not so sure salvage on the old tank would be a lot.

    Any ideas from those who have done this?

    Please excuse me if I put this in the wrong forum.

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  2. You could always buy a used tank on Craigslist, install it outside and then sell your existing tank. A decent tank goes for about 100 bucks here. Make sure you protect the filter from falling ice, kids, lawnmowers etc.
  3. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Wouldn't an outside tank with No. 2 fuel oil gell up in the winter?
  4. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Outside tank means you're gonna buy Kerosene instead of #2. There's a cost there. I put in twin 275s when I built.. was using Biodiesel. Wish I had that floorspace back now. :)
  5. NSDave

    NSDave Member

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    How old is the tank? It may not be worth moving. Here in Nova Scotia Insurance has clamped down on oil tanks, usually having them replaced every 10 years depending on location, and metal thickness.

    The big issue is the crud that builds up on the bottom from years of moisture both environmental and some in the fuel. They won't let any of the old oil go into the new tank as it "may" be contaminated. There's so many regs on them here; I wouldn't bother with used, but then again one oil spill will cost the insurance company many many thousands to clean up.

    I spent a year doing oil tanks and went on a few "no heat" calls where a brand new full tank leaked out. Also replaced many 20 year old tanks that looked just fine; we had to cut them in half and clean em out before disposal. I've taken tanks inside and moved them outside and the opposite, both for requirements of the respective insurance companies.

    I guess one way to look at this would be "IF" there was a spill who would be liable for any clean up costs. Here the insurance companies have made it so that its not worth messing with for the average handy person.

    Sort of a rant, and largely depends on local rules; but maybe food for thought.

    I would:

    Get a new tank, and have a pad put down for it, so it'll be level and secure.
    rent a hammer drill and run your new line,
    get a valve protector for the tank, and run the old one till it was pretty empty.
    Get the new one filled with fresh fuel, hook it up and remove the old one.
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    So if I read this you would suggest an outside tank?
    I don't think that'll fly.

    I guess I'll check into local rules and see how much a new inside tank would cost, if they're different.
  7. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    Just curious - what was wrong with the new tanks? seams or fittings?
  8. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    You can use a 5 gallon can of fuel oil or off road diesel as a temporary tank while you're doing the juggling. The pump will pick it up.
  9. NSDave

    NSDave Member

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    My mistake, I assume it was to be moved outside.
  10. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    I'd consider the outside tank as a last option as well. More likely to have condensate problems. Consider a cool night and 100 gallons of oil in an outdoor tank cooled to say 50F. Now the sun comes up and it gets humid and a nice 75F outside. That cool oil along with it's extremly short vent on the tank pulls a small amount or warm humid air in and the moisture condences on the cooler steel just above the K1 in there. The water sinks to the bottom of the tank (heavier than oil) and corrodes the inside of the steel. Next day, same thing, year after year. Generally a tank inside is pretty much the same temp most of it's life, and the long vent and fill pipe keep that warm outside air out of the tank.

    There is a local housing authority that runs twin tanks and twin boilers in all of their (state funded) housing. They change all tanks every 15 years along with the boilers. I scored some free tanks from the plumber who contracts with them. These are the older heavier 10 gauge steel tanks, rinsed the sludge out with gasoline, pulled the top plugs and inspected, painted it up and installed it.

    You can have the old tank inspected for metal thickness if you think it's still ok, but there are alot of variables on oil tanks life as NSDave said. In a humid basement with water in the fuel and 12 gauge steel, 20 years tops. My parents house has a 45yo tank......... I keep telling them they need to get that outta there!

    Just my .02

    TS
  11. NSDave

    NSDave Member

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    It was a lighter 14 gauge tank. There was a hole about the size of a pencil eraser in the bottom. So I would say it was a defect in the metal This was back in 2002 I don't think they will even sell them anymore. Now I think it has to be a double bottom tank. Fiberglass tanks are also an option
  12. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    That's true, I didn't think of that.
  13. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I set my two tanks myself including rigging them down trhu a bulkhead. They arent that heavy. I actually got to do three tanks as one of the tanks leaked when it was filled for the first time. I got a new one but had to swap it myself. If there is any age on the tank I would go new, Home Depot has them. Now that I have hot water storage, I am thinking of taking one of the two tanks out once I run a full season.

    I helped someone that had an outside tank to make it so he could run #2. We enclosed it with an insulated box and used a 100 watt lightbulb for a heating source hooked to a line voltage thermostat. Enclosing he tank is good as you want to make sure that the discharge piping is protected from external damage.
  14. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    People have outside #2 fuel tanks here.
    Usually homes with no basements.
    They have to have a containment structure now so if the tank leaks it doesn't spill into the ground.
    Most I've seen have built a shed over them for a number of reasons, including for theft of oil.
    Copper supplies have to have the plastic liner, no more bare copper touching concrete.


    Then there is fuel for tractors .....
  15. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    You have 550 gallons of unpressurized storage? That's not the two 275 fuel oil tanks, is it? :)
  16. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    Nope, one of Tom's unpressurized tanks.
  17. ROVERT

    ROVERT Member

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    I'd stay away from outdoor tanks if at all possible unless you want to spend the big bucks on something like a Roth DW tank.

    As far as putting in a new tank, make sure you run an 1 1/4" vent (a lot of older installations used 1" vents). Also of utmost importance is to remove the old fill and vent lines that go through the wall as soon as the old tank is disconnected. I've heard horror stories of the oil co. showing up and dumping oil into an abandoned fill pipe that simply dumped into the basement. Never leave oil tank lines sticking out of your house if they are not hooked up to a tank. Even if you don't use oil any more, all it takes is a delivery driver to get the wrong address.

    The new vent and fill should have fall back to the tank and must be properly capped outside. Be careful when installing the vent gauge/alarm. With most gauges, you need to remove the glass and hold the float up while you thread it in. If you don't, you'll bend/break the float arm when it hits the side of the tank. Also make sure the float arm is aligned properly so that it can go through its range of motion without hitting the wall of the tank.

    As far as the new lines to the oil burner go, I would recommend using plastic coated lines even inside. If the new tank location requires the lines to go over head, you will need to install a return line as well.
  18. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks very much.
    As I recall one of the fill/vent pipes is bigger than the other-not sure which one.
    Do you know how heavy a standard inside oil tank is?
  19. ROVERT

    ROVERT Member

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    The fill should be 2" and the vent should be 1 1/4". The oil tanks are not all that heavy, just awkward because of their size. I'd guess they are somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 lbs.
  20. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Around here they want 1.5" for both. you can get away with 1.25" for the vent.

    TS
  21. ROVERT

    ROVERT Member

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    It's crazy how much things vary in different parts of the country. I've never seen a fill that wasn't 2" around here. I've also never seen a vent that was 1 1/2". I guess you'd better check with your locality as to what is preferred/required. Thanks for pointing that out TS.
  22. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    About 10 years ago the oil companys (everyone burns oil here) were removing old 1" vent installs and putting 1.5" on for FREE. I guess the trucks can now pump it in under pressure and the 1" was causing the tanks to be under pressure. The only test the things at 5psi when new.

    TS
  23. For a while the nfpa code required 2" vent. Caused lots of complaints when people had to replace tanks with 1 1/4 vents. So they changed the code back.

    When I did my tanks I used 2" for the fill and vent. Figured there was no way the tank could be pressurized during a fill up that way.
  24. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    I just checked the fill port on mine and the tank has a 2" weldment, I just put in a 2x1.5" bushing. But they make it possible for 2" but the other weldments are 1.5", only one 2"

    TS
  25. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I just went down and looked too: 2" fill and 1.5" vent.

    Are there codes that say how close a wood boiler can be to a oil tank, or is it a matter of staying the same amount away as the boiler mfr. says about combustible, for example, 3 feet?

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