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  • immovable oil tank plug

    I wanted to remove this plug from my steel oil tank so I could connect in a gauge. No way can I remove this plug. Used an 18 inch pipe wrench with a cheater pipe. Won’t budge. Tried liquid wrench. No dice.

    Haven’t tried heat yet. I can’t see how that would hurt, but….lol

    Can anyone tell from the picture what might have been used to seal that plug into the tank threads? I was thinking it might be some kind of super sealant.

    I guess you can’t tell too much from the picture, but any help would be really appreciated.

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  • #2
    Get a bigger pipe wrench and eat your Wheaties.
    sigpic

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    • #3
      It may be no sealant was used and it is just rusted or electorlitized in to place,

      one can try to tighten it, first and then loosen,

      I opened up a plug on a1000 gallon NH3 tank one time, put a 36" wrench on and a 12 foot cheater and it was all I could do to break it loose, (no heat)

      heat would probably work, if it is safe to heat the tank. (but being a oil tank it may not be safe to heat, with out purging it of all oxygen with an inert gas), take it up to cherry red and let it cool back down to black and 98% of the time it should come, reasonable easy.
      going boom is not fun either,

      what kind of oil tank, is it? (looking some what like a fuel/heating oil tank? the oil would be all most the same as a penetrating oil.)
      or is there a float level gauge,?

      don't know how long the cheater was, but I would probably consider 24" and a three or four foot cheater,

      If I am miss under standing and this is for a pressure gauge, ~~
      the other option is to drill into the plug, and thread with a tap, either a 1/8" or 1/4" pipe thread and be done,
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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      • #4
        From an old diesel Mechanic friend . 1st tighten more , then loosen. He said He never understood why but it often works . Good Luck
        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
          Get a bigger pipe wrench and eat your Wheaties.


          I was about to recommend my 36" propress, whoops, I meant pipewrench.

          David

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          • #6
            Get a bigger pipe wrench and eat your Wheaties.
            hahahahahahaha …. Good one NH. But I get your valid point. Thanks, good idea!


            Thanks BHD . Very good information.

            My home heating oil supply tank setup is an atypical setup from what I found out. It is actually two 275 gal steel oil tanks connected with a cross-over pipe. That is, the left tank has the filler pipe but also a cross-over pipe on the top which crosses over and connects to the top of the other tank on the right. The vent pipe is on the right tank.

            So when the left tank is filled then the excess starts to cross over to the tank on the right and that tank is also filled and then the vent whistle then signals both tanks are now filled. From what I found out no one does that anymore and oil suppliers don’t like it because there is a lot of pressure on the first tank when it’s full and oil is being pushed to the second tank.

            So these days I just use the tank on the left and never order more than 200 gals at a time, so oil is never pushed to the tank on the right. The gauge on the right tank is broken.I just wanted to take out the plug on the left tank and put a tank fullness gauge in that hole, since I keep guessing at the fullness – and I’ve been wrong a lot. Froze my tail off. lol

            I was just guessing that the guys who set this up wanted to make sure that the plug on the left tank was REALLY plugged since it would most likely be under high pressure , and thus did something supernatural to the plug. lol

            But I think you guys seem to think that’s probably not the case.


            From an old diesel Mechanic friend . 1st tighten more , then loosen. He said He never understood why but it often works . Good Luck
            Maybe I gave up too soon on that toolaholic – I make sure to give that another shot. Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              is there a valve between the tanks? (maybe this is not what you are saying) but there is a bottom cross over pipe? and a top venting cross over pipe?

              if there is not a valve then both tanks are now being partly filled each time with the "200 gallons" the liquid seeks it own level, and most likely (depending on the size of the cross over pipe, it is nearly instantly and very little pressure should be building, (I would think the tank is less then 4 foot high, should be less than two pounds of pressure in the bottom of the tank, 0 at the top, all it is doing is displacing the air, out of the second tank, the first is displaced around the filling nozzle from the suppliers truck , (unless the nozzels is different than I am know of,

              Unless there filling it differently than my diesel tank here on the farm, they take off the cap (or open up the fill cap), and put in a nozzles like is used on semi trucks tanks, (larger than the ones at the gas station) and kick the pump on the truck on and pump and the nozzle is designed to auto shut off when full, there should be no added pressure to the tank when is just sitting there all by it self,

              the only thing I can see is they may not like waiting for the second tank to fill and seek level as if the cross over pipe is small it will take a little more time to do a complete fill.

              (another option is to put a second fill on the secondary tank),

              (also with out a picture I not positive that I am understanding your full set up),
              Last edited by BHD; 07-02-2014, 05:38 PM.
              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
              attributed to Samuel Johnson
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes BHD, sorry I left out an important point, and I also found the picture below. There is in fact a valve at the bottom of each tank, on a tee, and the oil supply line to the oil filter (and on to the burner) also comes off that tee. The oil in the two tanks can move across the oil line at the bottom of the tanks and as you say the two tanks will settle to equilibrium.

                But my understanding is that the oil line at the bottom of the tank can’t keep up with the fill rate from the supply truck and oil will be in fact forced over the cross-over pipe at the top and under a lot of pressure when the system is being filled. If there is a weakness in the tank there can be a catastrophe. But I can’t swear that’s true and maybe I misunderstood.

                But I ran out of oil more than once and the gauge on the right tank (the only gauge) no longer works. So I figured that gauge is probably history, all sludged up, and the bottom of that right tank is probably all sludged up.

                And since I really don’t like the idea of the oil being forced over that cross-over pipe on the top anyway, I shut off the supply valve at the bottom of the right tank and only use the left tank. But that leaves me with no gauge. That’s when I saw that plug on the top of the left tank and said “piece of cake”, just take out the plug and buy a new gauge and problem solved. Haha!

                If I had the bucks I’d change things. I’d put in a new tank(just one) and in some kind of spill container to begin with.That copper vent pipe is not to code and I have no idea why someone used copper. The filler pipe comes into the top of the tank at the far left. The cross-over pipe on the top is 1 ½ inch.


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                • #9
                  According to NFPA 31 Section 7, your setup is correct and to code, provided your vent is at least 1.25" in diameter and the 3 required valves are thermally activated. If the tanks are weak and cannot handle a pressure above 2 psi, they will fail and oil will fill your cellar during filling. Your tanks appear to be in good condition.
                  Last edited by Plumber Punky; 07-05-2014, 08:04 AM. Reason: type on nfpa # , should be 31, not 30
                  ~~

                  ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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                  • Plumber Punky
                    Plumber Punky commented
                    Editing a comment
                    the nfpa guidelines for oil tank venting do not specify material types, only sizes. my copy of the mechanical code specifies copper as an approved material.
                    Last edited by Plumber Punky; 07-03-2014, 07:52 PM.

                  • NHMaster3015
                    NHMaster3015 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yes they do. Tank piping must be done with swing joints which obviously copper won't do. NFPA 54

                  • NHMaster3015
                    NHMaster3015 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Also, the vent pipe has to have be the same inside inside diameter or larger than the cross over pipe

                • #10
                  Well thanks Plumber Punky, makes me feel better. Didn’t know about the thermally activated valves however. Something else on the todo list. But not too bad-lol.

                  Thanks again!

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by oldguy44 View Post

                    hahahahahahaha �¢���¦. Good one NH. But I get your valid point. Thanks, good idea!


                    Thanks BHD . Very good information.

                    My home heating oil supply tank setup is an atypical setup from what I found out. It is actually two 275 gal steel oil tanks connected with a cross-over pipe. That is, the left tank has the filler pipe but also a cross-over pipe on the top which crosses over and connects to the top of the other tank on the right. The vent pipe is on the right tank.

                    So when the left tank is filled then the excess starts to cross over to the tank on the right and that tank is also filled and then the vent whistle then signals both tanks are now filled. From what I found out no one does that anymore and oil suppliers don�¢����t like it because there is a lot of pressure on the first tank when it�¢����s full and oil is being pushed to the second tank.

                    So these days I just use the tank on the left and never order more than 200 gals at a time, so oil is never pushed to the tank on the right. The gauge on the right tank is broken.I just wanted to take out the plug on the left tank and put a tank fullness gauge in that hole, since I keep guessing at the fullness �¢���� and I�¢����ve been wrong a lot. Froze my tail off. lol

                    I was just guessing that the guys who set this up wanted to make sure that the plug on the left tank was REALLY plugged since it would most likely be under high pressure , and thus did something supernatural to the plug. lol

                    But I think you guys seem to think that�¢����s probably not the case.




                    Maybe I gave up too soon on that toolaholic �¢���� I make sure to give that another shot. Thanks!

                    I had a similar setup in my old house, two 275s in the basement paralleled together top AND bottom with 2" crossovers. If there is no connection at the bottom I believe there should be.


                    Looking at your photo I would say the problem is that undersized connection between the two tanks which is probably sludged up. You can blow that out and clear it up but it will plug up again (someday, might take a couple years) unless the tanks gets cleaned. If you do clean the tank then take advantage of that and install a full size crossover connection between the two tanks.

                    By full size I mean whatever the size of that tap you are using off the bottom of the tank now is, looks to be 1/2", maybe 3/4".
                    Last edited by Bob D.; 07-04-2014, 04:39 AM.
                    "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
                    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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                    • NHMaster3015
                      NHMaster3015 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Bob, there isn't any problem except his gauge doesn't work. The tanks of that age were generally tapped 3/8 ips at the bottom outlets. The crossover at the top is piped correctly although the copper vent is undersized. It should be a minimum of 1-1/2" IPS and done in iron pipe, not copper as NFPA calls for swing joints on the fill and vent pipes. Both tanks appear to be at least 30 years old and probably closer to 50 so crossover filling can be dangerous if the tanks are rusted (and they most likely are). Most oil companies can do a sonic tank test that will verify the integrity of the tank and it's well worth having done because a tank blow out in the basement will cost thousands to clean up.

                  • #12

                    The connection between the 2 tanks at the bottom is definitely a lot smaller than the 2 inch crossover at the top. I think the tappings in the bottom of the tanks are 3/4 - not sure. I never even thought about using the largest size possible to connect the 2 tanks at the bottom. That is a real good idea! Thanks Bob.

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                    • #13
                      The bottom outlet size doesn't matter. The tanks will equalize in time regardless. However, both tanks should have firomatic valves installed after the shut offs that are there.
                      sigpic

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                      • #14
                        Bob, there isn't any problem except his gauge doesn't work. The tanks of that age were generally tapped 3/8 ips at the bottom outlets. The crossover at the top is piped correctly although the copper vent is undersized. It should be a minimum of 1-1/2" IPS and done in iron pipe, not copper as NFPA calls for swing joints on the fill and vent pipes. Both tanks appear to be at least 30 years old and probably closer to 50 so crossover filling can be dangerous if the tanks are rusted (and they most likely are). Most oil companies can do a sonic tank test that will verify the integrity of the tank and it's well worth having done because a tank blow out in the basement will cost thousands to clean up.
                        Good info NH and very helpful, but one question. Isn’t it the case that regulation has backed off from the minimum 1 1/2 inch vent pipe size and reverted to the prior 1 1/4 minimum requirement? At least that was my understanding from many pros. It seems that the requirement for a 1 1/2 vent caused more problems than it solved, so it was reversed? At least that was my understanding.

                        But I haven’t heard anything to the contrary in terms of copper vent being a code violation. It does seem like there is unanimity there.

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                        • #15
                          It depends on what state you live in but, for awhile there was a 2" vent requirement that went away. What is code now is an 1-1/4" fill with an 1-1/2" vent in most states.
                          sigpic

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