I remember back when I was a little kid I used to play gas station with
the water hose and the oil filler tube. I know I watered many places,
neighbors, relatives. Seems the garden hose and the oil fillers were on
the same side of the house. I put a lot of water in oil tanks. How much
trouble did I cause?
I don't know, but no matter what you did, you weren't evil. Little kids
aren't evil, even when they do seriously wrong things. (And what you did
was a prank, it wasn't a major crime.) The kid's behavior just means that
they weren't taught the appropriate values and behaviors and need to be re-
educated. Children's minds have not developed to the point where they are
capable of fully reasonable thinking. They don't understand consequences to
other people when they take actions.
Adults (who understand the implications and consequences of their actions
and exactly how their actions hurt others) who choose to take actions that
hurt others -- perhaps they can be called evil.
But not little kids pulling pranks.
The concept of evil and mens rea (sp?) doesn't even enter into it. It
doesn't even rise to the level of a prank- it is just a kid playing, and
not understanding that just because something fits in a hole, it doesn't
mean it is okay to do so. See electrical outlets and butter knives for a
better example. Children are like monkeys- they love to mimic behavior
and explore their world.
Oil heat wasn't common in my childhood, but the filler holes I saw all
had padlocks on them, issued by the fuel oil company. Homeowner had one,
and the route driver had one.
I remember when I was young, the gas meter was on the side of the house,
and for some reason I liked to go over to it and pee on it. Luckily
there isn't any oil heat here. Some years ago, I went to upstate NY (my
Dad's home town) with my folks. My Mother saw the oil tank filler pipes
and said that the people up there were also lucky I wasn't around.
On Dec 6, 3:21�pm, email@example.com (Lp1331 1p1331) wrote:
I am 52 and still regret I didnt turn off a hated neighbors gas late
one nite. My mom heard of my plan:(
I figured then neighbor would wake up in the AM to a really cold
house, and find a old padlock just to slow them down a little
Since nobody's answered your question directly yet.... If you put more
than a gallon or so of water into someone's oil storage tank that would
be enough to raise the "water bottom" in the tank to the tank's outlet
port level,causing water to be sucked into the oil burner, making for no
The repair would have been a service call to remove the bottom drain
plug from the tank to get the water out, followed by disconnecting and
purging the water from the burner feed line. Not an inconsequential job.
About 35 years ago when I was Chief Engineer for The Scully Signal
Company I developed a combination tank gage and floating suction line we
named "The Scully Snorkel". It drew the fuel oil from about one inch
below the surface, effectively keeping water, ice and sludge from
screwing things up as long as you didn't let the tank level get to low.
They are still selling them:
PS Someone suggested we call that device "The Scully Topsucker", but the
world wasn't quite ready for that back then.
On my last oil tank which was inside the basement, the tank was slightly
tilted and the oil line to the burner went to the low point of the tank.
There may have been 1/2" of oil below it at the most. Never had a
problem, the dirt was filtered all the time so there was no build up of
sludge, and a bottle of... I forget what it's called... once a year kept
any water from building up.
Then again, I never ran the garden hose into it.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.