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CoconutPete 06-25-2012 07:52 AM

Odd old filter found in wall of Cape from 1940
I was at my brother in laws this weekend - he has a cape from 1940 in southwestern CT. We were poking around and he goes "look at this thing I found" - his basement is somewhat finished, the walls are framed w/ studs and a vapor barrier and just wood panelling. He had pulled off this access panel which obviously had not been opened for a while - we had to cut a slit in the vapor barrier to even get to this thing, so I think the basement might have been finished after this thing was out of use. I will get a picture when I go back there, but here is what it looked like.

About 5' from the floor, 2 small copper pipes come out of the cement wall, turn down and run into the floor. About halfway down on one of them there was a blue metal filter cannister w/ a shutoff. THere was also a note from the guy who last changed the filter ...... in 1978!

I couldn't trace the lines since they disappeared into the floor, but I did find 2 similar sized copper lines coming out of the floor by the furnace - cut and capped!

Any idea what this thing would have been used for? When you compare the size of the 2 lines by the device, they are way smaller than the regular pipes for the rest of the house.

EDIT: I found this picture, it looks somewhat similar except for the shape being different and it being blue. Could it be for oil?

oh'mike 06-25-2012 08:15 AM

This thread might do better in HVAC--My guess---the house had an oil tank outside--and that was the old in line filter---just a wild guess----

CoconutPete 06-25-2012 08:26 AM


Originally Posted by oh'mike (Post 951068)
This thread might do better in HVAC--My guess---the house had an oil tank outside--and that was the old in line filter---just a wild guess----

Yep. My bad - I found the picture of the oil filter after I had already posted the thread - I really thought it was a water filter.

Maybe someone could "tow" this thread over there? :thumbup:

biggles 06-25-2012 10:51 AM

so he is heating with natural gas or heat pumps and the oil heat system was removed.not to be a doom..:(..gloom,but he needs to find out if the oil tank is still in the ground up long has he been in the home?.if he goes to sell 40 yrs from now an inspector will stop the inspection seeing those capped oil lines and filter...wondering "was the tank removed" or abandomed in place.if the tank is leaking oil into the ground he could take a $20K(todays prices) hit to clean it up with trying to sell.

CoconutPete 06-25-2012 12:22 PM

House is still heated w/ Oil, but the oil tank is in the attached garage which is right on the other side of the furnace, which is on the opposite side of the house where the "apparatus" is located.

I'm definitely going to see if I can find a paper trail of when the setup was changed and what was done.

He has been in the home for a year and change.

biggles 06-25-2012 12:39 PM

if the lines at the furnace were cut and capped then they ran new line(s) into the new furnace from the garage area could be a one pipe copper you have an "apparatus/canister filter" at the furnace oil feed.1940 the oil tank definitly went into the ground back then when it was built.

CoconutPete 06-25-2012 02:45 PM

Yep, new oil tank is just sitting in the garage in plain sight - you can see the filler pipes and the supply line going to the furnace w/ the new filter on it.

The strange thing about this ....... 2 lines coming through the concrete basement wall.
Now ...... assuming these are the lines that disappear into the floor and reappear at the furnace....
1 runs uninterrupted
1 has the filter installed w/ a shutoff valve.

Why the 2 lines?

biggles 06-25-2012 04:26 PM

some furnaces pull the oil out of the tank as it heats... others loop the oil around thru the filter past the furnaces and back into the tank...might be an antique way of installs somebody else might kick in why they loop the that makes you think about whats in the ground...:wink:.might inquire if your BIL ever hit a capped pipe while mowing or weed whacked..just foward of the item in the wall so standing there looking at it the tank would be straight out from there...imagine an oil delivery truck hosing over to do a oil fill?

beenthere 06-25-2012 05:15 PM

probably had an underground oil tank at one time., they were usually connected by a 2 pipe system, so the pump could pull he oil up out of the tank. As a 2 pipe system, the pump could pull a higher vacuum, and keep the oil flowing.

CoconutPete 06-26-2012 07:55 AM

Very interesting!

Well, he definitely never hit anything while weedwacking because there is a deck over that side of the house these days hehe.

I pulled out the little access panel there since the deck covers a window, if that tank is down there, it's DEEP and it almost doesn't make sense because where the pipes would exit the wall seems to be above all that. Hopefully that means the tank is gone ... I'm still going to have him to go the town hall and ask for permits anyway. I pulled his property records to see if it listed permits, but his towns website is not as cool as my town's hehe. I did get to see a sweet picture of his house with green 70's aluminum siding. Why are file photos always so old anyway?

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