oil lines

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Does anybody have opinions on which is best for the copper pipe between an oil tank and the boiler - standard brass compression fittings or the SAE fittings that one has to flare with a special tool ?
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G&M wrote:

Standard olive-type compression fittings have worked fine for me. I used copper loives to get a better seal. No problems.
--
Grunff

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I wanted to replace a section of oil line the other day. As the pipe is quite old there was a chance that it is 1/4" rather than 10mm so I range the local CH specialists. They suggested that I used a solder joint, I enquired about safety (not wanting to start a fire), they did not appear to think that the procedure was particularly hazardous.
I've been considering replacing my boiler so I requested some installation instructions from Boulter Buderus a brand recommended by above CH specialists.
In the installation check list it says "Ensure that solder connections on copper pipes have not been used." I rang the technical department of Boulter to enquire about this and was told that heating oil could disolve the solder joint. I was also told that the regulations say not to use compression fittings - because the copper pipe is soft and it is hard to get a good seal between the pipe and the olive.
I then decided to buy a non return valve for my return pipe (2 pipe system). The local plumbers merchants enquired if I wanted to buy some compression irons at the same time. I enquired if I should not use flared fittings and was told that they only sold compression joints for this purpose.
www.bes.ltd.uk sell a flaring tool for 100 with VAT! If anyone knows of a cheaper one that just does 10mm I could be interested!
Michael Chare
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Michael Chare wrote:

While it's true that you shouldn't use solder fittings on oil pipes, it isn't because oil dissolves the solder - it doesn't. It's so that the joints don't undo themselves in case of fire. Solder doesn't dissolve in oil.

This is just not true - oil fittings (fire valves, ball valves etc.) all use compression fittings.
--
Grunff

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That seems to be a common belief which I've heard a couple of time. But I've poured through the regs and couldn't find a thing about it. Hence I came to the font of all knowledge - this site.
And the tank came with a compression fixing anyway so I'm not sure what the BCO could say anyway when he inspects it.
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G&M wrote:

Not just the tank - the filter housing, the fire valve, and any ball valves you have will also be compression. They seal up very nicely. There is really no conceivable reason why compression fittings should be problematic with oil.
--
Grunff

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See :http://www.oftec.zenwebhosting.com/publications/ofg106.htm
A guide for the inspection of existing domestic oil firing installations OFG/106
Section 2.4 Oil Supply Lines
Are its fittings of the flared manipulative type?
N = Risk of environmental contamination, additional fuelling of fire and personal injury.
BS 5410 should contain the definitive answer, but I have not managed to find free online access..
Michael Chare
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Michael Chare wrote:

Ok, so does this mean that the vast range of oil fittings which come with compression joints contravene these regs? Including most oil tanks etc.?
--
Grunff

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Well apparently not!
After much searching I found http://bsonline.techindex.co.uk but 110 (almost 2 per page) for a copy of BS 5410 struck me as a bit expensive, so I went to our local public library where I was able to download a copy and email it to myself for free.
The relevant section says:
8.2.2 Materials and jointing Pipework carrying oil within a building or above ground externally should be constructed of steel or copper or some other material with an equal degree of fire resistance except where it is inside an appliance casing which is protected by a remote fire valve in accordance with 8.3.2. Approved types of plastic pipe, single or double skinned, can be used externally below ground. See also 8.2.4.
NOTE 1 Information on plastic oil pipe requirements may be obtained from the Institute of Petroleum Performance Specification for Underground Pipework Systems at Petrol Filling Stations [16].
NOTE 2 Approved plastic pipe is referred to in the OFTEC List of Oil Firing Equipment [8].
Galvanized pipe and fittings should not be used. Fully annealed copper tubes are recommended with mechanical type fittings or brazed joints. Soft soldered joints should not be used.
If steel pipes and malleable fittings are used these should be inspected and cleaned before use. Taper threads should always be used. Running joints, long screws or connectors should not be used.
Pipework and fittings should be oiltight. Hemp, red lead, boiled oil and hard setting jointing compounds should not be used. Petroleum resisting compounds and PTFE tapes which remain slightly plastic make the most satisfactory joints. However, when applying these materials, care should be taken to avoid excess materials breaking away and causing blockage. All pipework should be rigid and firmly fixed, and protected where necessary against damage.
8.2.3 Pipework Pipework should be run so as to provide the most direct route possible from the tank to the burner. Joints should be kept to a minimum and the use of plastic coated malleable copper pipe is recommended. Inside buildings every effort should be made to avoid the use of joints between the entry point of the pipe and the boiler connection.
Where pipework is run above ground externally, care should be taken to locate it where it will be protected against damage.
All bends should be formed to reduce resistance to flow.
Where pipes pass through the walls of buildings they should be sleeved.
Pipes should be adequately supported to prevent sagging.
8.2.4 Buried work Where fuel feed pipework is buried precautions should be taken to locate the pipe run where the chance of damage from digging or other such activities is minimal. Where this cannot be done the pipework should be protected, e.g. by covering with tiles. Pipework below ground should be jointless; where joints are unavoidable the pipework should be tested for leaks before backfilling. Steel tube should be protected against corrosion by suitable wrapping or by other means of at least the equivalent reliability. Copper tubing should be of the plastic coated type.
Where joints are buried these should always be provided with means of access for inspection.
End Quote.
Michael Chare
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Many thanks for the extract.

I'm using copper pipe but am now wondering - should I have bought taper rather than normal 1/4" BSP connections into the fire valve ?
BTW thanks for all the advice everybody else.
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Grunff wrote:

I found that they take very little mechanical movement to start weeping. The pipe is too soft.
Use thatr red stiff liberally smeared around - that helps.
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Hermetite red? An oil fitter I spoke to recently suggested Hawk Blue (not Water Hawk)
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RED STAG just enough to lubricate the olive and allow it to slide into the compression cone.
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leakage. Flared joints are perhaps slightly more durable but it would be a close run thing to decide. Oh and a flaring tool will set you back about eighty quid
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Hi All. I have worked in Petrochemical for the last 35 years, never had any problems with compression fittings, these are used all over the world in refineries. Baz
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We've just had our oiltank moved and the plumber extended it using a flexible white plastic pipe. Looked like the most sensible and easy option to me.
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Jeremy wrote:

Erm, no - that wouldn't be a sensible option at all, in any way.
First off, are you sure it wasn't plastic sheathed copper pipe? Copper pipe used for oil is plastic sheathed.
Assuming you are correct and that he did use flexible plastic pipe, this should be rectified straight away. It's very bad indeed. It's prone to mechanical damage, will slowly dissolve in the oil, will melt in the event of a fire, etc. etc.
--
Grunff

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whatever it was), it says you can. ..
SJW A.C.S. Ltd.
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He is Corgi Registered, so I'm gonna trust him I think. As for mechanical damage, I reckon this pipe would be tougher than the thin copper line that it joins into - and there is no problem with cement.

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Jeremy wrote:

And CORGI has what to do with oil exactly?
--
Grunff

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