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Old 12-27-2009, 09:28 AM   #1
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Oil tank whistle valve install


Good morning.

I have a slight issue; I have oil heat/hot water, am almost out of oil, and my delivery company refuses to give me more than 30 gallons at a time due to a lack of a whistle valve. I bought this house in August and had a different company give me 100 gallons in September without issue. We switched to a more local company and the troubles began.

My house is old (around 120 years). Everything in this place is an anachronism.

I bought the part I was told I needed and figured how to install it. The issue is that I cannot for the life of me move the vent pipe. I have had my entire body weight plus everything I could muster on this thing and the TANK will rock, but the pipe does nothing. Could this be welded in? Soldiered? If so, how do I get rid of the stuff so that I can unscrew the pipe?

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Old 12-27-2009, 09:55 AM   #2
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Oil tank whistle valve install


NO welding or soldering allowed due to the flammable fumes. Get a 18" or 24" pipe wrench and put a 24" piece of steel/plastic ABS pipe on the end of the wrench to give you more leverage. Did that all the time removing them and when I worked on steam. If all else fails you may have to rent a Ridgid black iron pipe cutter and cut the pipe and unscrew the nipples etc. I don't envy you the job. Try not to rock the tank too much or it may spring a leak, no joke! Perhaps it is time for a new tank, they have fibreglass/poly square vertical types now. Won't corrode internally and leak like a old metal one.

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Old 12-27-2009, 10:21 AM   #3
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Oil tank whistle valve install


Ayuh,... What are you using for wrenches,..??
Try Bigger 1s, with a cheater pipe like yuri says...
You may also need to use 2 wrenches, 1 to hold,+ the other to turn the pipe/ fitting...
Are you starting at the outside termination of the vent line,..??
You can't disassemble it from the tank end, nor anywhere in the run, unless there's a Union fitting...

Last edited by Bondo; 12-27-2009 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:02 PM   #4
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Oil tank whistle valve install


Are you trying to turn out just the pipe in the tank. Without removing the other parts of the vent pipe first?

Post pics of vent piping.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:14 PM   #5
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Oil tank whistle valve install


Righty/tighty and Lefty/loosey. LOL
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:02 PM   #6
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Do you already have a whistle installed??? if so it's likely sludged up and only needs cleaning-

all you need to do is put a quart of kerosene down the vent pipe and with the fill cap off blow real hard into the vent pipe, this will dislodge any sludge in the stem of the whistle-
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mainah View Post
Do you already have a whistle installed??? if so it's likely sludged up and only needs cleaning-

all you need to do is put a quart of kerosene down the vent pipe and with the fill cap off blow real hard into the vent pipe, this will dislodge any sludge in the stem of the whistle-
And if any oil/kerosene is left in the vent pipe when the driver starts to fill it. It will blow out the vent.
They will stop filling and leave a bill. And won't return until they are paid to fix the vent pipe.
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Old 12-27-2009, 02:29 PM   #8
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Oil tank whistle valve install


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Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
And if any oil/kerosene is left in the vent pipe when the driver starts to fill it. It will blow out the vent.
They will stop filling and leave a bill. And won't return until they are paid to fix the vent pipe.

ok my bad, only do this if your tank is installed to code, your vent pipe will need to have the proper pitch back to the tank-
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Old 12-27-2009, 04:56 PM   #9
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place the wrench right above (not on)the theads into the top of the tank put a piece of pipe on the handle of that wrench......has to be minimum 24" one...place the wrench so you pull down the lenght of the tank not from the side so it doesn't rock as before
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:35 PM   #10
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Oil tank whistle valve install


After yarding on the pipe for about an hour to nothing happening, I called my equally handi (read not at all) dad. He showed up 45 minutes later with a case of beer and a metal cutting blade for my sawzall. Sliced the pipe that was screwed into the top of the tank in half, got a cheater pipe for the wrench, yarded the hell out of both now cut ends, and somehow got it all out. Whoo hoo.

Cue beer drinking.

Took new whistle valve (none was present previously), got new vertical pipe cut and threaded, went home. Drank a beer.

Bit of wrenching, twisting and sealant spreading later, and we have half an empty case of beer and a half new vent system with a whistle.

Wow....took half a day. Crappy job. Not fun. We figured that the tank and fill/vent system were installed circa 1950 (my wife was able to find the original documentation when the house was converted from gas). The rest of the system will be replaced in two years or so...I have to finish the other big job going on in the house first (wife and I have already completely gutted out one bathroom and are down to the studs).

thanks for your help! It was very much helpful!
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:42 PM   #11
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Oil tank whistle valve install


Nothin that a case of beer and some power tools can't solve. Good thing the sparks from that blade didn't ignite anything. Glad you got it going.

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