Heating oil tank vent and fill pipes repairs

8 Replies

Hi Everyone

I have fixed the oil tank air/vent pipe with rubber coupling and fill/service pipe with aluminum tape and compression coupling, but I have not tested it yet by filling it with the heating oil.

Is there a code violation in this repair? And secondly, will the fix last or will this cause an oil spill?

Thank you for your feedback.


From a plumbing standpoint, your fixes should work as long as the fittings were done correctly and don’t leak. Neither is really under pressure, so it shouldn’t take much to fix

BUT - I don’t know much about heating system codes when it comes to oil tanks... so I can’t say if it’s code compliant or not.

You might look up the part number on the compression coupling, and see if it's rated for oil.  The main concern would be the rubber rings in the end; some types of rubber are OK with oil, and other types will break down over time.  You can do a similar thing with the rubber coupler for the vent pipe.

I feel like the 100% right thing to do for both pipes would be to cut the ends off square, thread both ends, and install a union.  Or, if possible, disassemble the pipe run and just replace the cut pipe with one of the proper length.  Home Depot will cut and thread pipes to whatever length you want, either for free or for a couple of dollars.  (Don't forget that some of the length of the pipe threads into the elbows/couplings.)  If you think a $50 piece of new pipe is expensive, wait until you find out what an oil spill costs...

If you want another opinion, without incurring the wrath of the county or city, you might ask the oil supplier.  They may want to inspect the tank and pipes anyway, if you're a new customer.  If they decline to fill it until the pipes are repaired to their liking, it's better to find that out in August than in October.

Whats the worst thing that could happen ?  The first time it works , and the second time when the oil driver fills the tank something blows and you have 100 gallons of oil in a basement .  That will be on you . 

I drive an oil truck on occasion . I wouldnt fill if I knew that . The pumps on the truck are high volume 200 gallons in less than 10 minutes . Remember the oil company isnt responsible for your equipment .

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