How to Repair a Leaking Oil Tank Filter

Written by danny donahue
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How to Repair a Leaking Oil Tank Filter
The filter keeps the heavy particles out of your heating system. (tools image by CraterValley Photo from

Your oil-burning furnace is a basic system consisting of a tank, supply pipes, a burner and a series of heat distribution ducts. There are numerous components on this system that require a professional touch, but the storage tank is something that you, the homeowner, can maintain with confidence. The filter located on the outflow pipe of the storage tank captures contaminants that can clog your pipes and furnace. The filter is also the weak link in the storage section of your system. A filter that leaks because of damage should be replaced immediately. A leaking seal can be repaired.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 5 gallon plastic bucket with lid
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Oil filter wrench
  • Rags
  • Razor scraper
  • Automotive gasket making paste
  • Shovel
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses

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  1. 1

    Remove the lid and place the plastic bucket under your oil filter. Grasp the shut off valve on the pipe with your adjustable wrench. Turn the valve so that it's perpendicular to the pipe indicating that the flow is shut off.

  2. 2

    Slip the oil filter wrench onto the filter and spin it counterclockwise to loosen it from its housing. Dump the contents of the filter into the bucket. Wipe the filter and the receiver clean with dry rags.

  3. 3

    Use your razor scraper to remove the gasket on the filter. Take your time and remove all of the old rubber while holding the filter on its side to prevent pieces from falling inside.

  4. 4

    Apply gasket maker to the area where the old gasket was located. Avoid getting the paste into the filter. Let the gasket maker cure for 15 minutes in the open air.

  5. 5

    Twist the filter onto the receiver by hand. Turn it until it is hand tight and then snug it in place with your oil filter wrench. Avoid over-tightening the filter.

  6. 6

    Wipe the outside of the filter assembly clean with dry rags. Turn the supply valve so that the valve is parallel to the pipe indicating that it is fully open. Observe the assembly for leaks.

  7. 7

    Shovel the contaminated soil under the filter into the bucket. Place any oil soaked rags into the bucket. Put the lid on the bucket and dispose of it in a legal and environmentally friendly manner.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid oil contamination by cleaning up any spills immediately with your rags and shovel. Keep all contaminated materials in the bucket for proper disposal.
  • Work gloves and safety glasses are required when using hand tools.

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