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  1. #1
    Elite Member
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    Kubota L3240HST, KX-121-3S

    Default Cutting air line over kero tank

    For backup heat we have a kerosene-fired Monitor heater in the dining room. It doesn't heat the house, but does manage to keep pipes from freezing in bitterly cold weather if we happen to be out long enough for the woodstove to go out.

    There are a pair of 275 gallon tanks in the basement, with a fill pipe and vent pipe at the front of the house for the fuel company to use. In the vent line, right on top of one of the tanks in the basement, is a whistler; as kero comes in the fill pipe, air escapes from the vent and the whistler squeaks, telling the oil company guy that the tank is not yet full. When the whistle stops, so does the fill.

    The problem is the whistler is plugged and makes no sound, so the fuel delivery guy won't give us any kerosene. And the whistle was installed in such a way that to remove or inspect it, the fuel company says every fitting and section of pipe has to be removed from the outside in. They want $400 for this!

    In looking at the situation it seems to me I should be able to cut the 2 foot section of iron pipe just above the whistler, remove just that section of pipe, I/R the whistler, then replace the cut section of pipe with a union so next time all I need is a crescent wrench to do the job. Make sense?

    But my question is will the metal filings be so hot from the Sawzall that I run the risk of fire or explosion from them dropping into the kero tank? Is there a safer way of cutting a pipe? And is there any reason I couldn't replace that short section with PVC instead of iron?

    TIA, Pete

  2. #2
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cutting air line over kero tank

    Cut a little farther away if possible or use a pipe cutter.

    Egon

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Sep 2005
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    JD 2210

    Default Re: Cutting air line over kero tank

    BOONDOX
    When I first bought my house there was no whistler in my 275 gal tank. In the attached pic you will see how I solved this not pretty but only took about 15 mins compared to removing the mortar and rethreading pipe. A friend of mine who is a plumber got the fitting for me I think he said it was a coupler that well driller's use. I do know it is a compression fitting.
    Hope this help's. By the way I didn't have any problems with the shavings because I cut the vent on the horizontal pipe. If you can't cut it there I don't think the shaving's will be a problem if you let them settle to the bottom.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Gold Member
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    JD 2210

    Default Re: Cutting air line over kero tank

    another
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  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Stowe, Vermont
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    Kubota L3240HST, KX-121-3S

    Default Re: Cutting air line over kero tank

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Cut a little farther away if possible or use a pipe cutter.

    Egon )</font>

    Whynot: Thanks for the pics. If I remove the old unused heating duct over the horizontal section I could do as you suggest.

    Egon: The only sort of pipe cutter I know is the type used on copper tubing. Is there a different type for iron pipes?

    Pete

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Cutting air line over kero tank

    Boondox,
    My first reaction is that kerosene is not that volitle. In my experience, it takes an open flame to light it. I seriously doubt it would light.

    With that said, I completely understand your reluctance to cause a fire in your home. A chain style pipe cutter similar to what a muffler shop uses or one of these should do the trick.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Lancaster PA
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    Yanmar 186D

    Default Re: Cutting air line over kero tank

    Boondox, the pipe cutter I have came from my grandfather. It is a rigid brand tool. I think it is the same type of tool as the little ones I have seen for copper. They work on soft iron too. It is about 6" long an clamps around the pipe. You tighten it down and turn it around the pipe a couple of times and tighten it down and turn it around till the pipe is cut. A pretty cool tool, but you have to have room to turn it around the pipe so it won't work if the pipe is on a wall.

    Chris

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: Cutting air line over kero tank

    Pete, they make pipe cutters for steel pipe that basically look like the ones for copper tubing; just bigger, heavier, etc. Here's one that Home Depot sells for pipe up to 2" but you can certainly get bigger ones.

  9. #9
    Silver Member beagdog's Avatar
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    SE Kansas
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    Kubota L5030, ZD21, Cub Cadet 1250

    Default Re: Cutting air line over kero tank

    I would suggest, as others have, that you use a pipe cutter and then mend the cut with a "dresser" coupling (as shown in WhyNot's post). The couplings are readily available, and you don't run as big a risk of filings in your tank if you use the pipe cutter rather than a sawzall, but the sawzall would do the trick too.




  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Cutting air line over kero tank

    Here is the other type I mentioned... This will probably be the best option..

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