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North, VA
reply to PSWired

Re: Heating oil filter deposits

This is a transparent view of a typical underground residential fuel oil tank. It shows how the pipes are usually connected to the tank. The three main connections are; the FILL PIPE, the VENT PIPE, and the FUEL OIL LINES. Each will be explained in more detail below.

The FILL PIPE is normally a two(2) inch pipe which is screwed directly into one of the two-inch fittings on the top of the tank. Notice that the pipe goes DIRECTLY into the tank. A DIRECT FILL PIPE is imperative for both measuring as well as testing, as our tests can not be performed/certified without precise measurement of the oil and/or water in the tank.

The VENT PIPE allows air to escape from the tank when fuel is being added. The pipe originates at another of the two-inch fittings at the top of the tank. Vent pipes can measure from 3/4-inch to 2-inches in diameter. It is normally buried underground, comes up next to the structure, (see diagram above), and is topped off with a cap that allows air to escape. This pipe usually has to be sealed or plugged during our test.

The FUEL OIL LINES are copper tubing which allow fuel to flow from the tank to the furnace and from the furnace to the tank. The lines are secured in a fitting at the top of the tank by a duplex bushing with flare nuts or compression nuts. The supply line carries fuel from the tank to the furnace. The return line allows unused fuel to flow back to the tank from the furnace.
Actually the supply line should be a little shorter than shown here. A considerable amount of sludge and water can accumulate in the bottom over time.