new oil tank question

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Old 05-29-08, 01:12 PM
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new oil tank question

I now have a new 275 gallon oil tank in my basement. I;ll be switching over soon. Is there anything that should be done before filling it with oil for the first time?
 
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Old 05-29-08, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tomfmal View Post
Is there anything that should be done before filling it with oil for the first time?
Make sure you have lots of money!

(sorry... couldn't resist)

As long as it's all connected properly... nothing special that I can think of.
 
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Old 05-29-08, 01:51 PM
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lol - ya I shouldn't have said fill it. I'll probably order 100 gallons and that;s going to hurt!!

By the way, I should go over my piping just to be sure. I am putting the new tank in a new location so that I can have it up and running and then be able to remove my old dual tanks at my convenience. I plan to have the new tank about 6 feet from the boiler.


I am going to take the copper feed from tank to boiler off the top, just like the existing. I am using one pipe with a tigerloop near the boiler. Near the boiler I have a good filter and my shut-off. I figure I should have another shut off just above the tank.
The new tank will be about 15 feet from the point where the 2" feed enters the basement (hope that's not too far for any reason). I'll pitch the feed downhill into the tank. The vent will be 2" also until just where it goes through where I'll connect back to the existing 1 1/2". Any problems - missing something?
Thanks again
 
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Old 05-29-08, 02:07 PM
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If you haven't done so already, you should check your local building codes, etc ... you might should pull a permit and have it inspected too... what if ... something should leak, or worse, burn ... and your h/o insurance discovered that you didn't have permits/inspections ? willing to take that risk ?

I would look into OIL SAFETY VALVE also. That will prevent siphoning the tank into the basement in the event of a leak.

I would use a felt filter near the tank, a General 25 or equivalent, and then a spin-on 10 micron ahead of the Tiger Loop.
 
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Old 05-29-08, 02:18 PM
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Thanks! I'll check into all that...... you said -
"I would look into OIL SAFETY VALVE also. That will prevent siphoning the tank into the basement in the event of a leak."

Where would this valve go and how does it stop siphoning? Can you give me an example using a hypothetical leak?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 05-29-08, 02:49 PM
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An OSV is a valve that won't open until there is appx. 3" of vacuum downstream. So, if there were a leak downstream of the valve, there would be no way you could develop enough vacuum for it to open.

They would typically be installed near the tank, but for proper operation, not more than 3 feet above the burner. That way, the vulnerable part of the line that might run along the floor would be downstream and you would be protected.

Without one, it might be possible for a leak to siphon the tank into the basement. Although, I'm not entirely sure it would be possible with 3/8" line, but better safe than sorry!

Go to www.patriot-supply.com and plug "OIL SAFETY VALVE" into the search box and you should get some examples of what they look like.

This filter holder has one built in ... ( Suntec )

 
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Old 05-29-08, 06:14 PM
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Why the top of the tank and why a tiger loop? Basment tank, basement boiler, gravity feed.
 
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Old 05-29-08, 06:38 PM
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Top or Bottom

Unless codes dictate coming off the top, as some do, I would agree with rbeck. In any case, the tank should be sloped aprox 1" toward the bottom tapping. This is easily done by putting 1" shorter legs on the outlet end of the tank. The purpose is to ensure, as much as is practical, moisture does not accumulate in the tank. If the copper line is going to be in contact with concrete, be sure to use the plastic coated copper. If you drop a line in from the top be sure to install a capped valve in the bottom tapping for drawing off water & sediment.
 
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Old 05-30-08, 04:34 AM
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Grady and rbeck,
The reason I was going to come off the top is that I hate the darn copper running accross the floor where it can be stepped on. The one good thing is: I want to put the new tank much closer to the boiler (only 6 feet away from it). The existing tanks are about 15 feet away. Is there any method to keep from stepping on and crushing the copper? I guess I could run a 2x4 across the floor with a slot in it - has anyone done this? I was also thinking that coming off the top was a way to limit the crap which sinks to the bottom of the tank since I could keep the tubing an inch from the bottom. Am I not thinking clearly about this?
If coming off the bottom is better I should do that and deal with the pipe on the floor. It would allow me to get rid of the tigerloop and go back to a 1 pipe feed into the burner. I would need to find that darn plug and remember where it goes
Thanks for the advice!

Is there a minimum distance from tank to boiler by code?
 

Last edited by tomfmal; 05-30-08 at 07:15 AM. Reason: forgot something
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Old 05-30-08, 06:47 PM
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It is common to bury the line in the floor. A small cut, some sand, coated line, cement on top. Line-be-gone.

Before the tank has oil in it, it needs to be pressure checked.

Just a couple of psi for a few hours. If it holds, then good to put some oil in it. If the air gets out, so will any oil. Not a good thing.

Al.

{edit: Is there a minimum distance from tank to boiler by code? Usually. Should check. }
 
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Old 05-30-08, 08:21 PM
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New tank

There is a minimum distance from the burner to the tank & I think it is 8 feet but it could be less. Maybe rbeck knows for sure. I've used plastic cord protector available from any electrical supply house, many office supply stores, & home centers (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) to protect oil lines run across the floor. I believe the same thing is available in aluminum.

If you do elect to come off the top, stay 3-4 of inches off the bottom, come in on the high end of the tank & be sure to install a capped drain valve on the low end.

TIP: I like to use nipples instead of ordinary tank legs since legs are only threaded on one end. By using nipples, you can install floor flanges giving you one more adjustment, not to mention a more solid base.
 
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Old 05-31-08, 05:56 AM
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I don't know if it is the same in all states but in NH and Mass. the distance for the oil tank to burner is 6'.

I definitely agree that renting a small jackhammer for a 1/2 day and chipping out the cement while using plastic coated copper oil line is the best way to go. Just make sure the plastic coating is sticking out of the cement on each side. Then cement over line. This way you have no lift condition, causing headaches if a gasket on a filter is not just right (example). Gravity is the way to go.

If you still choose to pipe from the top, you should use a hard pipe into the tank. When using soft copper it has been known to curl up some and you end up with less usable storage in your tank. They make a special fitting for this.

Piping the tank...
1 1/2" is allowed for the feed
2" min. is allowed for vent (provided that hasn't changed back)

Once again, These specs are for NH. You may need to check with your local building dept or fire dept for exact codes for your area.

Also, I agree with NjTrooper that even though you may not want to get an inspection, if there was ever a bad situation, your homeowners insurance can refuse to pay.
 
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Old 05-31-08, 06:18 AM
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thanks - to wrap it up........

Thanks everyone,
I guess I'll come off the bottom. I can probably chip out a groove with a hammer and chisel. Does the copper come with the coating on, or is this something you buy separatly and slide it over? I've never seen this product.

So, I should come out the bottom and have a valve, then a General filter, then go to the plastic-coated into the concrete , then coming back out of the concrete I would put another valve and then a spin-on filter ahead of the burner. Is this correct? What type valves would you use in each location?

Two more questions -
1. Is "Permatex sealant 2B" the thing to use on all threads??
2. Are there any other clearance distances for the tank besides that one between tank and boiler? I have water drains above and the 4" main drain will be nearby.
 

Last edited by tomfmal; 05-31-08 at 06:38 AM. Reason: forgot
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Old 05-31-08, 07:06 AM
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Hi again,
As far as clearances go, there are no others I can think of except 3' from your electrical box.

The copper comes with the coating on it. I know in NH we can buy it at the big box stores or plumbing and heating supply stores.

Some states require a positive shut off on the tank first, then a firo-matic type valve. I then usually put a spin-on type filter (the only one I have seen is Garber...Excellent filter), then an angled adapter from 3/8" IPS thread to 3/8" flared. Then copper to the burner. At the burner you do not need an additional filter. I have never seen 2 filters on a system in 25 yrs. I then put an angled burner firo-matic valve on the burner and attach the copper to it with a tiger loop.

I am not saying not to use a OSV or an additional filter.
I have just not come across this procedure where I live.

As far as the thread sealant is concerned I would only use a soft set sealant. Some Permatex sealants are hard set and if something moves it can cause a leak. NEVER use anything Teflon. Tape or sealant, because, if you have a pump problem and the manufacturer finds any type of Teflon in the pump the warranty will be void.
 
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Old 05-31-08, 11:50 AM
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I believe the national code is 5 ft from burner and 3 ft from electrical panel. If you don't want the dust from cutting the floor I have uses a 2 x 6, routed the bottom and painted it yellow with black anti-skid tape so not as slippery. I also have cut the floor and laid PVC in trench with 45's so I could replace line if needed. Also lets you know if the line is leaking as both ends are open above the floor
 
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Old 05-31-08, 12:14 PM
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The Permatex 2B is non-hardening so I think it should be OK. I think someone recommended it to me in the past. Thoughts on this?

rbeck, When you used the 2x6, did you fasten it to the floor?
It seems if the line was placed on the topside in a 1/2" groove , there would not be a need for the coated copper as it would not contact the concrete but rather just rest along the wood.

NJ trooper recommends 2 filters but another said he has not seen it very often. I wonder what I should do about this.......

Today I am pressure testing the new tank before I do anything!!
 
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Old 05-31-08, 12:46 PM
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If the permatex says on the package that is OK for oil installations, and is non hardening, I would say it is fine.

I would rather see you put the oil line in the floor, but as long as your building code allows it I guess you can put it under a board. It is protected that way.

As far as the filters are concerned, I understand what NJTrooper is trying to do by using 2 filters. One string or felt filter at the tank to keep the oil line clean and pre filter for the burner, the other spin on. more refined filter is to make sure to catch small particle contaminants before entering the burner.
What he is saying is not a bad idea, but I am just saying that I have been in the field and cleaning systems for 25 years and have never seem a system with 2 filters on it. That does not mean in other areas of the country people don't do things different than we do. I am saying it is not needed but it is a better system.
My only concern is, pulling through 2 filters. Will that cause to much vacuum on the pump?
 
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Old 05-31-08, 01:49 PM
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That is a good point - pulling through two filters. I would not want to hurt/strain my pump. Maybe I will just use the good spin-on and change it more often.

This may seem like a stupid question but: Can I use galvinized with Black? I know that dissimilar metals cause problems (from my plumbing days). I always wonder about mixing metals - like why is it OK to connect the brass fire-o-matic to black pipe? So, I have some galvinized nipples in helpful lengths and was wondering if I can use them. Is there a simple answer to "what can be connected to what"?

Thanks again for all the help with this proect.
 
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Old 05-31-08, 03:15 PM
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Oil Line

The idea of a felt or 'gear tooth' filter as a pre-filter works & works very well. Anytime I install a spin-on it is preceded by a cartridge type filter. My own spin-on has been in place for about 5 years without a change yet the cartridge type is changed annually. Spin-ons are not cheap +/- $15 vs $2-3 for a cartridge. Works for me.

Permatex 2B is good stuff. A little hard to get apart but seals better than anything else I've ever used, is approved for use with fuel oil, & does not get hard & brittle. DO NOT APPLY ANY PIPE SEALANT OF ANY KIND TO THE FLARES.

Mixing black, galvanized, & brass should not be a problem, particularly black to galvanized.
 
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Old 05-31-08, 03:22 PM
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Thanks Grady - looks like I just need to get started now - darn. I'll let you all know how it goes......
tom
 
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Old 05-31-08, 04:59 PM
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Wink Time to Work

We all love pictures. When the job is done, or even in progress, take a few & post them.
 
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Old 06-01-08, 04:50 AM
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I put the oil line under the board. I do not use two filters but I leave the old oil filter in place less cartridge as a sump. The oil moves very slowly through the lines and it is amazing how much moisture and dirt drop out into the old filter tank. As stated above a good spin on is changed normally every 5 - 6 years. Use a vacuum gauge as your way of determining when to change the spin on filter. Drop and clean the sump every year.
 
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Old 06-01-08, 06:17 AM
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Sorry - 2nd thoughts again

Everytime I look my plan over, I keep thinking "why not just go back over the top"?? I wouldn't need to chop into the floor or use a board across the floor. This morning I looked for the burner plug and I can't find it - so that's a problem.

It just would be a whole lot simpler, easier, and cheaper (would not have to buy the coated copper) to leave everything alone at the burner end and just re-route the overhead copper to the new tank location.

I would like to put a hard pipe into the tank from the top as plumbingods suggested.

So, my million dollar question is: Is coming off the top and keeping the tigerloop an inferior system? The only problem I ever had was getting it to flow initially (I had to use a hand pump). How often would I need to drain from the bottom to get rid of moisture and sediment?

If I do this - would I use black pipe to drop into the tank? plumbingods said there is a special fitting to do this so I wonder what this is. I can't visualize it. My existing drop was just copper tubing slid through a compression fitting which was screwed into a 2 inch plug with a 1/4" tap.

I'm beating myself up with this decision.
 
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Old 06-01-08, 05:24 PM
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Beating Hurts

No need to beat yourself up. Coming off the top certainly has it's advantage. If that fitting in the tank has tappings for two lines, at least one of them will also be tapped from the bottom (usually 3/8" pipe thread). Screw in a 40-42" piece of black pipe & you have it made. See how easy that was?

If your's is just a bushing, you can get a double tapped bushing at any plumbing supply house. You will need a 3/8 pipe plug for the second tapping.

I suggest draining some fuel off the bottom every few months.
 
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Old 06-01-08, 06:45 PM
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OK - so I am leaning towards going over the top. It would be so much easier. If the pro and cons are 50/50 then why not?
I could always switch to bottom feed at a later time anyway. I will come out the bottom with black pipe and install a positive shut-off.
What do you do with the oil that you drain out every couple of months?
 
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Old 06-02-08, 02:22 PM
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Waste Oil

Being in the trade, we have a waste oil tank into which we dump our oil. Every so often a certified hauler comes & gets it. As a homeowner, I suspect you could take it to a local service station. If you only have a gallon or so & you have the burner professionally serviced, maybe your service person would dispose of it for you. You usually only need to drain about a quart each time.
 
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Old 06-02-08, 02:41 PM
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help

Thanks Grady.
I am doing a pressure test on the tank right now and I can't seem to even get 1 psi into the darn tank. My compressor is only a 2 gallon - is this the problem? I was pumping for about 3 minutes with nothing at all showing. Air is not escaping anywhere that I can feel. I open the valve an alot of air shoots back out of the tank.
Do I need to spend 10 minutes??
 
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Old 06-02-08, 02:51 PM
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Pressure test

A 275 gallon tank holds 36.76 cubic feet. I doubt your compressor will pump 12+ CFM. Are you sure the gauge is good? I've seen tanks spilit because of a bad gauge. Be sure & be careful.
 
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Old 06-02-08, 03:04 PM
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The gauge is good. I shoot directly into the gauge and it reads exactly where I have the compressor set at. Do you think I should spend more time pumping into the tank or just cross my fingers that it is good?
 
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Old 06-02-08, 03:08 PM
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I don't know about where you are, but if you look on the tank, it should have a metal rating plate stating, manufacturer name and address, thickness of tank, date of tank, and pressure test of 5 psi in order to get the tank approved for sale. Knock on wood, I haven't had a problem yet.
 
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Old 06-02-08, 06:37 PM
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Of course I have the tank laying on the side with all the labels as I don't have the leg length I am happy with yet. Tomorrow I will get 2 - 1 1/4" x 10" nipples and will flip it over. At this point I am not going to worry about a bad tank - I don't think I'm that unlucky (oh boy way to jinx, right). I'll flip it tomorrow and let you know what the labeling has to say about any testing done.

I have one more decision to make. The best place to put the new tank (strategically, to make the most of space in the basement) is right under my drain pipes. It does not seem to be a problem code wise, but is it sensible? It would work but be somewhat congested.
 
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Old 06-02-08, 06:43 PM
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I usually put the tank where it is out of the way, but still accessible for filter changes. You also want to take into affect the piping to where the oil man needs to go as most oil company's will ask you to shovel a path if it is not accessible.

One more thing, The tank must be 6" min. from oil burner and 3" min. from electrical panel. You can be around plumbing pipes.
 
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Old 06-03-08, 04:51 PM
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location change

I am starting to think it is better to put the new tank right where the old ones are. I was going to put the new tank closer to the boiler and have the luxury of piping the service feed and vent while the old tank was still hooked to the boiler - this would keep the boiler running and the indirect water tank hot.

The problem with this is: it will take at least 10' of 2" black for both the feed and vent and quite a bit of my time. If I put the new tank where the old ones are, I pretty much reuse the existing feed and have very little in material and time hooking the vent back in.

If I do this, I will need to get both old tanks out of the way. This means draining the oil and pushing them out of the way for the new tank. Later on I can worry about getting rid of the old tanks which I think I would do by cutting each one in 1/2 with my sawsall. The downside is that the family will be without hot water as long as it takes me to do this job - and - I am not so fast.

Is there anything I can do to temporarily keep the boiler running while I do this job? Is cutting each old tank in 1/2 a big job? It was a tough squeeze getting the new one down so I can't imagine doing it in reverse with 2 tanks.
 
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Old 06-03-08, 05:31 PM
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Get a five-gallon bucket with a lid. One that has a small hole (or pouring spout) is idea. Fill the bucket with fuel oil and then make a new pump suction line from the burner into the bucket through the lid. Depending on how much oil you burn for hot water this may last a couple of days or more. You can always add more oil if necessary.
 
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Old 06-03-08, 06:27 PM
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I was wondering if something like that might work - but where can I get such small amounts of fuel oil?
 
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Old 06-03-08, 08:40 PM
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Diesel fuel from the gas station will work just fine. Of course it will cost more due to the road taxes.

You could also just use a standard gasoline can of whatever size you might have. Don't use any gasoline, of course, but if it is empty it won't hurt to refill with Diesel and when you are done pour any extra Diesel into the boiler fuel tank and then you can use the can for gasoline again.
 
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Old 06-04-08, 03:29 AM
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thanks Furd - sounds like I have a plan
 
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Old 06-04-08, 08:30 AM
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I read a previous thread that remarked that cutting with a sawsall is safe. Please stop me if this is wrong - going to try one today. Thanks
 
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Old 06-04-08, 03:11 PM
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Sawzall

Using a recip saw is perfectly safe from a fire or explosion standpoint. I've cut up hundreds of tanks & used a recip saw on each. Be sure to wear eye & ear protection.
 
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Old 06-05-08, 05:16 AM
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For inside the tank:

I am having a hard time finding 3/8" black pipe in long lengths. Blackman - nothing, home depot- nothing. Can I use copper, with a 3/8" flare fitting. Someone said it might curl - but why would it curl if I use a nice straight piece and screw it into the bottom of the 2' double tap bushing??
 
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