How to Connect Oil Tanks

Written by cassandra tribe
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How to Connect Oil Tanks
Many pipes are made of copper, as they will not rust and contaminate the oil. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Any homeowner can connect an oil tank to an existing or new furnace system, as long as an experienced professional placed the tank and the feed pipes. Each part of the oil feed system is reliant on pipes installed at the correct angle to feed the furnace or draw from the oil pump into the system. The pipe and the tank outlet will already be threaded and ready for the installation of the compression connector.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Soft wire brush (if needed)
  • Teflon tape
  • Copper compression fitting
  • Pipe wrench
  • Pipe supports or hangers (if needed)

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  1. 1

    Make sure the furnace system is off and the shut-off valve on the oil tank is closed. The shut-off valve is a lever or hand-wheel controlled valve attached to the oil outlet connector at the base of the tank. Turn the hand wheel clockwise until tight to close it or move the lever so it is perpendicular to the connector to close a lever-operated valve.

  2. 2

    Clean the threads of both the oil tank outlet and the copper feed pipe with a soft wire brush. Gently scrub the threads to remove any dirt or debris. Follow the threads when brushing and do not brush across the raised threads, or the threads may become scored and a leak will develop.

  3. 3

    Wrap the threads on the oil tank inlet and the copper pipe with Teflon tape. Overlap each pass of the tape by 1/16th of an inch and pull it as tight as possible over the threads (without the tape splitting or breaking).

  4. 4

    Back the compression nuts on both ends of the connector as far onto the connector as possible. Turn the threads counter-clockwise to move them towards the centre of the connector.

  5. 5

    Place the compression connector between the threaded ends of the oil tank outlet and the copper pipe. Pull back on the copper pipe gently to make room to slide the connector between the two. Push one end of the connector onto the tank outlet and push the threaded end of the copper pipe into the other end of the compression connector.

  6. 6

    Spin the compression nut on each end of the connector clockwise over the threads of the tank outlet and connecting copper pipe until it is hand tight.

  7. 7

    Tighten the compression nuts further with a pipe wrench until they are hand tight.

  8. 8

    Open the shut-off valve on the oil tank and turn on the furnace system.

Tips and warnings

  • Add pipe supports or hangers on either side of the compression connector if the weight of the connector is pulling down on the pipe. This will prevent the weight of the connector from interfering with the angle of the pipe necessary for proper oil flow.
  • Don't force the pipe wrench past the point of hand tight or the threads on the pipe can become damaged and cause a leak.

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