Problem with oil tank shut off

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  #1  
Old 10-12-16, 06:23 AM
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Problem with oil tank shut off

I have a firomatic safety valve I think it's called. My oil tank and this valve was replaces 4 years ago. I went to turn off the valve to change the oil filer and well it was not off, I caught it in time before I spun the filter all the way off before I realized it was not turned off. Now I looked closely as I turned the valve to close the valve and it dose move up to turn off the tank/valve but I think it's not closing all the way, because I have it closed right now for the past three days and the boiler still running. Plus I spun the filer a little and it's still open the valve. Is there some type of trick to these things if they do this? I turned it back and forth and still it's the same thing. I was thinking of closing it so the pin goes in then tap in with a wrench to see if it goes up more but I'm worried if I do this, it mite stay closed. Do these valves go bad that fast? and if I need to replace it how do I do so with 330 gallons of oil in the tank?
 
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Old 10-12-16, 09:51 AM
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Mike –

I just replaced two old and leaky gate valves with firomatics a few weeks ago (I have two tanks). I had to open and close the new valves several times as I drained and shifted oil from one tank to the other in order to install the valves and test for leaks. I didn’t have problems with the opening and closing – but the valves are brand new so that doesn’t answer your question.

This description seems pretty good to me-

Oil Safety Valves, OSVs: how to open or shut a Firematic valve: which way to turn the valve knob

The last comment at the end of page says that the article was wrong and said counterclockwise when it should have said clockwise and vice versa, but I think that criticism is incorrect. I think the threads on the stem are reverse threads and so when you turn the handle clockwise the handle is working its way up the stem (towards you) allowing the spring to pull the stem down and hence close the valve. When you turn the handle counterclockwise the handle is working its way down the stem (away from you), hence pulling the stem up and opening the valve. At least I’m pretty sure that’s what is going on.

Now I looked closely as I turned the valve to close the valve and it dose move
up to turn off the tank/valve
I might be misunderstanding what you are saying but you may be opening the valve instead of closing it. The pictures in the above link I think may be helpful.
 
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Old 10-12-16, 01:39 PM
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thanks for the link, Yep, I have it the right way. The screw is about to fall off so that means it's closed. When I closed the valve I can see the pin go into the valve meaning it's closed but if it's closed why is the boiler still running? To me that means it's not closing all the way. If I tap it closed more is that a good idea? I do not want to do so and the valve gets stuck closed. So I guess is it a good idea to do so or not. When the boiler fires I can hear it drawing oil from the filter/tank so that's now I know the valve is open. Plus I have this little gauge that's always reads 0 and green right off the filter. I would think if the valve was closed that gauge would be in the red area.

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Last edited by mikecsti; 10-12-16 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 10-12-16, 03:50 PM
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Mike, that is a reverse thread on the firomatic. By unscrewing the wheel it pushes the stem down and closes the valve. If the wheel come off it's no big deal. When you're done just screw it back on and it pulls the stem up to open the valve. That gage is a vacuum gauge to let you know if the filter is getting plugged. After you unwind the wheel tap the stem to close it. It will snap shut with no damage. With the wheel back on it will pull it up.
 
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Old 10-12-16, 06:38 PM
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My vote is for what spott says.
 
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Old 10-13-16, 06:39 AM
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okay, thank you. So when the valve is shut and if I turn on the boiler the gauge would read in the red because the pump is sucking but it's not getting anything, is that right? So it would be a good safety on letting me know that valve is really 100% turned off?
 
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Old 10-13-16, 08:34 AM
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Mike-

I never used one of those gauges but what you are saying sounds right to me. Here is a link that has a very brief description of how they work and it matches what you said. Sounds like spott may be familiar with these gauges.

Vacuum Gauge - 30 psig ‚Äď INOV8

I also found this very short video where the guy opened one of the firomatics up to show how the valve works. Looks to me that maybe the spring could get gummed up if the valve isnít opened up very often and/or sludge is pulled through if the tank runs low. But Iím no expert on those valves. I plan to open/close mine a few times a year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B32HXeRELtA

Maybe Iím not seeing right, but in your pic it does in fact look like you can see that the spring did not snap the valve shut. Tapping it like spott says seems like a good thing to do IMHO.
 
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Old 04-19-17, 04:11 PM
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My Firematic valve is also only partially closing. Fortunately, the oil company providing me a service plan covers this. How they will change it out with a full tank of oil...better them than me.
 
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Old 04-20-17, 06:17 AM
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It's amazing to me that a valve that's designed to close automatically in a fire many times needs a tap or two to actually close. Mine's the same way. Steve
 
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Old 04-20-17, 07:28 AM
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How they will change it out with a full tank of oil...better them than me.
I saw a YouTube video a while back in which a guy changed the valve with a lot of oil in the tank. He recommended you donít try this at home, so I donít know why he made the video to begin with. I think he was a pro.

He created a suction at the fill pipe outside with some kind of vacuum device .I donít think it was a Shop-Vac or something that common, but I could be wrong. It must have had some real power to it. He kept it running while he changed the valve. He removed the valve and put the new one on in what seemed like 60 seconds. Probably much longer, but he didnít waste any time.

I donít know if thatís the way all the pros do it Ė but it looks real scary to me!
 
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Old 04-22-17, 05:28 PM
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change fireomatic

I've read about doing this with a shop-vac, and I agree it sounds scary! Steve
 
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