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NORA Oilheat Technicians Manual

Chapter 3 Oil Tanks and Piping Chapter 3—Oil Tanks and Piping 3-3 Introduction The comfort, cleanliness and efficiency of today’s oilheat systems rely on clean, uncontaminated fuel reaching the oilburner. To achieve this: • Install tanks properly. • Maintain tanks by regularly inspecting them and fixing minor defects before they lead to major problems. • Replace aging tanks before they fail. The proper installation of an oil tank is a relatively easy process, provided it is installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and applicable codes and regulations are followed. Local codes normally require you to install tanks in accordance with either their own code, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) or the International Code Council (ICC). It’s best to check with the local authority having jurisdiction to determine which regulations you need to follow. This chapter gives an overview of oil tanks; for more detailed information, we recommend that you read NORA’s oil tank manual, “Heating Oil Storage Tanks, Guide for Quality Installation and Maintenance.” Why tanks fail The most common cause of failure is corrosion—the deterioration of the tank due to reaction with its environment. External corrosion is caused by electrical activity that occurs between different parts of the tank; between the tank and its piping; or between the tank and other metals in the area. For external corrosion to occur, there needs to be: 1. an anode— something to give up electrons (the tank); 2. a cathode— something to accept the electrical flow (piping, metals in the ground, etc.); 3. an electrolyte— something for the electricity to travel through (water). There is not much you can do to prevent external corrosion in existing unprotected underground (buried) tanks. Later in this chapter, we’ll show the types of tanks that can stand up to the corrosion factors that exist underground. To reduce exterior corrosion for aboveground tanks, make sure that: • The tank has clearance on all sides so that debris can’t accumulate and hold moisture against the tank. • There is sufficient clearance under the tank so that plant growth does not come in contact with it. • Scratches and rust are repaired immediately. • The tank is painted on a regular basis. Internal corrosion is caused by sludge produced by bacteria. For internal corro- Chapter 3 Oil Tanks and Piping


NORA Oilheat Technicians Manual
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