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					            OIL TANKS
            OIL TANKS         by
                          Bob Mulloy




  527 CMR 4.00 A permit is issued by the FIRE DEPARTMENT.
  527 CMR 4 00 A permit is issued by the FIRE DEPARTMENT
Many “Fuel Oil Permits” can still be found in the basement and if 
      legible will help date the tank and / or the house.
266 CMR 6.00: Standards of Practice
266 CMR 6 00: Standards of Practice
(6)   System: Heating.

                          Identify:
(b)   The Inspector shall Identify:
      1.   The type of energy source (Coal, Electric, Gas, Heat Pump, Oil, Wood).

(d)   The Inspector shall:
(d) The Inspector shall:
           Note:
      1.   Note:
           e.   The existence of abandoned oil tanks.

        f.    Any observed evidence of underground oil tanks. 
              (Exposed abandoned oil lines, meters, etc.) 
               Abandoned oil tanks and associated piping must be 
               removed per 527 CMR.
               removed per 527 CMR.
  266 CMR 6.00: Standards of Practice
  (6)   System: Heating.


(e)Exclusions: Including but not limited to 266 CMR 6.04(7)(e)1. 
   through 7., the Inspector shall not be required to:

    7.  Observe, Identify, or Report On:

       f.      Active oil tanks.
 Because oil tanks corrode from the inside
 outward, and the interior of an oil tank is not
 readily accessible and observable for inspection.


This protects the home inspector, but the client
should be informed of why you did not inspect
the oil tank, and what consumer protection
options they may elect to pursue for security.
 • Tank‐sure warranty insurance
 • Tank ultrasonic testing



527 CMR 4.00 Oil Burning Equipment
Web Resources:  www.granbytanks.com
www.tanksure.com (Ultrasonic Testing)
Standard basement oil tank




        275 Gallon Tank 
        Dimensions
        Height: Approx 5'
        Depth: 27"
        Width: 60"
Business risk decision:
Business risk decision:
Sadly, if you elect to Report on the above ground oil 
tank, then you absorb all risk associated with the tank.
tank then you absorb all risk associated with the tank


Regardless of whether you Report on the oil
tank or not, you need a knowledge base on oil
tanks,
tanks just like every other components in the
home in order to be recognized as a
professional home inspector.
 Unprotected and neglected storage tanks 
 can potentially ruin a life‐long investment. 
 can potentially ruin a life‐long investment


You must make a business decision
You must make a business decision
Thermal Valves shall be of the Hand
Wheel Type. One shall be located at
the burner and one at the tank.
In addition to the Thermal Valves, a
manual shut off valve shall be installed
in the oil supply line near to the tank.
             pp y

The valves shall be installed in the
following order: manual shut off,
         valve,                 line.
thermal valve filter and supply line
Missing Filter
Missing Filter
                                  Fill pipe
Vent pipe




                         stains




                 Vent alarm

    Fill gauge
                                              11
Oil tank fill gauge required




                               New remote gauge can 
                               be placed anywhere in 
                               be placed anywhere in
                               the home.
     pp gj
Good piping job, 
   no leaks!
The vent pipe shall be at 
least two (2) inches 
higher than the Fill Pipe. 

                                Lockable Fill Cap
                                Lockable Fill Cap




                             g
        Must be 3 feet above grade
Fill pipe is                 Vent pipe
buried in snow




                 Six inches of snow
NEW BASEMENT TANK




                    16
Typical basement tank
INDOOR TANK REQUIREMENTS:

 Tanks shall be installed on the lowest floor of the building. 
 Inside tank(s) shall be located not less than 5 feet from any
             ( )                                             y
 fuel‐fired appliance. 
 The tank shall be placed in an area where it is unlikely to
 be adversely affected by normal household activities. 
 b d         l ff t d b            lh     h ld ti iti
 Tanks shall be placed in an area where they can be visually
    p
 inspected from all sides if feasible.
 Tanks located in garage bays shall be provided with
 adequate protection from vehicular traffic. 
 The supply line and filter shall be protected from damage.
 Min. 1 ¼” dia. fill & vent pipes must terminate outdoors.
 Manufacturer’s label, with UL standard or code.  
 M      f t      ’ l b l ith UL t d d           d
 Piping materials
 Piping materials
  ll b           d i i      h ld be iron or steel. Prior to a
All above ground piping should b i                  l   i
revision of NFPA 31 in 2001, copper and brass were also listed as
acceptable piping materials, and installations completed prior to
     p      pp g                                  p       p
2001 using copper or brass are considered to comply with the
standards.

Unfortunately, there have been a number of tanks incorrectly
installed with plastic fill and vent pipes; plastic (including PVC)
  i                i bl because they will b
pipes are not suitable b              h                    d (more
                                             ill burn, and (
important from our point of view) because the become brittle in
cold weather and more likely to crack while tanks are being
filled.
Vent Piping                                              Scully Vent alarm is best




"Vent pipes shall be installed so as to drain towards the tank without
sags or traps in which liquid can collect.“




Vents which trap liquids create a situation where the tank cannot be
filled without spilling some oil because the air coming out of the tank
blows the trapped oil out of the vent long before the tank is filled. If oil is
frequently spilled when you receive an oil delivery, it is likely that this is
the reason.
  Vent Piping
Another common problem with vent
  i i is h installation of too narrow a
piping i the i    ll i    f
vent pipe; according to NFPA, "Vent pipes
shall not be less than 1 1/4 in. nominal
inside diameter."

                          narrow,
When vents are too narrow they allow
excessive pressure to build up inside the
tank during filing, which can cause
damage t th t k or th piping, and
d         to the tank        the i i    d
result in spillage of oil.


 Good Web Site:  http://www.carpenterandsmith.com/oil_piping.html
New double wall tanks offer 
  the greatest protection
  th      t t     t ti
Coated tanks   Fiberglass tanks
Containment tray
C    i
Stains on the surface of an oil tank
are a frequent problem, caused by
insufficient pipe cement on the
threads of fittings, and slight
leakage during filling.




                                       25
Excessive staining 
may be an issue.
may be an issue




                      26
                    Fill pipe may not be 
Min. 1 ¼” piping    larder in dia. Than 
vent pipe           the vent pipe.
Observation: The oil fill and vent pipes are too close to the ground.
Analysis: Oil fill and vent pipes are required to terminate at least three
from grade to avoid being obstructed with snow & ice. Repair is needed.
Recommendation: You should hire a HVAC contractor to correct this
problem.
                                                                         28
  VENT ALARM
  VENT ALARM
   Every above ground oil tank should be 
   equipped with a vent alarm system.

   This is a simple device installed inside your oil tank where air is vented.

   The vent alarm emits a audible whistle while the tank is being filled.
                                                                g

    When the oil level reaches (and covers) the bottom of the vent alarm, it 
stops whistling, there by alerting the delivery man that the tank is full, and 
to shut down. 
          filling,
‐‐ During filling fuel is delivered at an average rate
of 60 gallons per minute. Improper venting can
place excessive stress on tank seams and piping.

‐‐ Is the vent line properly capped with a screened
weather resistant cap to prevent water entry or
clogging by mud or insects?

‐‐ Is the vent next to the filler so that the delivery
person can listen to the vent alarm (also known as
a ‘’tank whistle’’) and determine when the tank is
full?

                                                         30
How does a vent alarm work? When oil is pumped into your tank, air is
displaced from inside the tank through the vent pipe. As the air passes
through the vent pipe, it makes a whistling sound as it passes through
the alarm. When the level of the fuel reaches the end of the tube the
whistling stops, which indicates that the tank is full.




 Missing “red colored” VENT ALARM
R PORT
REPORT 
ABANDONED 
TANKS


 Observation:  There is an abandoned oil tank on the property.
 Analysis:  Be advised that an oil tank is classified as hazardous waste.  Removal & 
 disposal costs can be high due to potential environmental pollution.  At a 
   i i        ll fill &    i i
 minimum, all fill & vent piping should have been disconnected prior to fuel 
                                   h ld h       b     di         d i        f l
 conversion to prevent accidental oil delivery & spills.  
 Recommendation:  In my opinion, the oil tank should be removed NOW for safety.  
 Consult a licensed tank removal contractor for estimate.


                                                                                    32
     REPORT ABANDONED OIL TANKS

       NOTICE:
       After two years, a tank is considered abandoned.
       Old fill and vent pipes should be removed.


 If
"If a tank and its related piping is abandoned for
whatever reason, the tank and all piping connected
to it, including the outside fill and vent piping and
any piping connected to the appliance, shall be
emptied of all contents, cleaned, removed from the
      i             t      d disposed of i accordance
premises or property, and di        d f in        d
with all applicable local, state, and federal rules and
regulations.
regulations "
                                                          33
   Sometimes, you will find that the 
   basement tank was removed, but 
   the fill and vent pipes remain!
   the fill and vent pipes remain!
                Removal or secure capping of both ends of 
                the fill and vent pipes is required. 4.03 (1)(i)
                the fill and vent pipes is required 4 03 (1)(i)

Observation:  The home was converted to gas, but the old oil fill and vent 
pipes are still present
pipes are still present.
Analysis:  This is a potential safety hazard as there is a risk of a mistaken 
deliver oil into a basement without a tank.  The fill and vent pipes should 
have been removed or sealed at each end during fuel conversion.  URGENT
                                                   g
repair is needed to prevent a potential fire and environmental hazard.
Recommendation:  You should hire a tradesman to remove the old fill and 
vent pipes and to seal the former pipes holes through the building. NOW
THE INSTALLATION OF HEATING OIL TANKS OUTDOORS, OR IN UNCONDITIONED SPACES 
THE INSTALLATION OF HEATING OIL TANKS OUTDOORS, OR IN UNCONDITIONED SPACES
IS NOT RECOMMENDED.  Heating Fuel begins to cloud (the fuel becomes opaque from 
the formation of small wax crystals) at about 20° above zero. In addition, high viscosity 
fuel caused by cold temperature has an adverse affect on burner performance causing 
th b         t      i ffi i tl
the burner to run inefficiently and unreliably. I t lli
                                   d                        l     di   t t li l t d
                                         li bl Installing a large diameter steel insulated 
fuel line (as opposed to small OD copper tubing), and a large capacity oil filter, and the 
installation of a fuel de‐aeration device. Outdoor tanks should also be enclosed and 
                       Bottom feed valves should never be used
                       Bottom feed valves should never be used 
insulated whenever possible
insulated whenever possible.
on outdoor oil tanks, or tanks in unconditioned spaces.
            y      q
Accessibility is required

People finish their basement and enclose the oil
tank. Above‐ground oil tanks must be accessible so
they     be inspected, monitored and maintained.
th can b i          t d      it d d       i t i d
The code sets out minimum clearance distances:
(18 inches) clearance along one side and one end of
the tank, and (2 inches) clearance from a wall on
the other end and side.
A tank cannot be concealed unless approved by the
head of the fire department.
MUST BE ACCESSIBLE 
Standard UL 80
Inspect the underside of the oil tank




                                        39
Look for 
 t l tit
stalactites
CHECK THE BOTTOM OF THE TANK FOR LEAKS




                                         41
Obsolete “drop‐lever” fuel cut‐off. 
Oil filter
Obsolete oil line with no pollution protection (no sleeve)
Obsolete oil line with no pollution protection (no sleeve)
Improper tank support
Overhead lines must be protected 
Overhead lines must be protected
by a plastic sleeve, and must be 
secured in place by clips attached 
to and traveling with the floor 
to and traveling with the floor
joist. 
If the lines run perpendicular to 
the joist, they must be attached 
by clips to strapping or other 
suitable means of support




                   A new oil line must be installed if a burner 
                   A new oil line must be installed if a burner
                   or heating system are replaced.
                   An overhead oil line is acceptable.
Residential Heating Oil Tank Checklist
Residential Heating Oil Tank Checklist
Here are some basic items that can be inspected when an interior or exterior 
   k i i ibl      d       ibl
tank is visible and accessible: 

  There should be a fill pipe AND a vent pipe.

  Is the tank exterior sound, without leaking seams or excessive rust?

  The tank should be more than 5 feet from the burner or heating unit

  Are the "Fireomatic" or fusible linked valves properly located?

                                           p
  Is there evidence that the tank has been patched?

  Is there evidence that the tank is leaking or has in the past leaked?

                                   527 CMR 14
                                   527 CMR 14


                                                                          44
Tank Support
T kS       t
Are the tank support legs sound and on firm footing?
Are the tank support legs sound and on firm footing?

If required by local ordinance, is other tank support in place?

A standard 275 gallon tank weighs about 2,000 lbs. with 260 gallons. 

Tanks without proper support and/or foundation could tip and spill if placed on
wood or dirt.
wood or dirt

If the tank is outside, is it protected from falling ice and snow from roofs?  (to
avoid accidental shifting, tipping, and spilling of tank contents)

Tanks in flood zones should be anchored to prevent damage to property 
and/or spills



                                                                                     45
Fill and Vent Piping
     h     k i i     i h l kf           dd     i d i f l b k di               h     k?
 Is the tank piping tight, leak‐free, and does it drain freely back and into the tank?

 There should be a tight fitting cap on the fill pipe.

 Are all the tank plugs and piping tightly in place?

 The tank vent should terminate more than 2 feet from a window or opening.

 Does there appear to be any low points or 'traps' in the fill or vent piping where
 fuel can settle?  There should not be any.

 Has the piping been equipped with a "vent alarm" or "whistle" to signal the
 delivery person when the tank is full?

 Has black or galvanized iron or steel piping been used for to construct the fill and
 Has black or galvanized iron, or steel piping been used for to construct the fill and
 vent lines? Plastic lines may come apart at the seams during a fill up, and some
 plastic lines can shatter or break in extremely cold weather.  Plastic cannot be 
 used.

 Are the fill and vent pipes 3 feet above grade?  Are the caps present?
                                                                                      46
Outside Fill &Vent Pipes
Outside Fill &Vent Pipes
o Vent pipe must be 2’ from anything that opens into the house.
o Vent pipe should be equal to or greater than the diameter of
  the fill pipe.
o Vent pipe must be higher than the fill pipe.
  Vent pipe must have an approved weather cap.
o Vent pipe must have an approved weather cap.
o Vent pipe must be at least 3’ from ground level to prevent
   winter freezing and/or snow cover.
  Vent pipe must be in view of the fill pipe to prevent overflow
o V t i          tb i i        f th fill i t          t     fl
  during deliveries of oil.
o Fill & vent pipe openings into the buildings must be caulked to
  prevent oil seepage.
o Fill pipe must have a cap capable of being screwed on.
  Oil line from tank to burner
    Cast iron, steel, brass or copper
    Flexible hose may be used to prevent jarring
    Flexible hose may be used to prevent jarring
    Threaded pipe with pipe compound, NO TEFLON TAPE
    Minimum 3/8 inch OD tubing
    Lines must be protected from injury and corrosion
    All      li     i            ih             b      l d ih            i
    All new lines in contact with concrete must be enclosed with a continuous non‐
metallic sleeve that extends out of the concrete or earth a minimum of 4 inches on 
each end.
                            g       ,                   p     ,            pp y
    Whenever an existing burner, boiler or furnace is replaced, the oil supply line 
must be replaced as listed above.
    Oil lines exposed to freezing temperatures must be connected to the top of the 
tank.
    A listed filter is required.
    A listed filter is required
    Readily accessible hand‐operated, fusible, spring‐loaded valves shall be installed, 
one near the tank and one at the burner so as to shut‐off the flow of oil in case of 
fire.
Oil Lines
o The oil line from tank to burner MUST be one continuous piece with NO
 couplings in the line.
o Hand operated valve with automatic shut‐off (Fireomatic w/ lead wheel) 
  at base of oil tank.
o Hand operated valve with automatic shut‐off (Fireomatic w/ lead wheel) 
  at base of burner.
o An oil filter must be located at either the oil tank or burner.
o All oil lines MUST be protected from injury by ONE of the following:
   _ By either cement casing (old way) or secondary containment sleeve (new  
   way). Newer containment sleeves resemble copper tubing encased in rigid plastic, 
   usually orange.
   _ By an Oil Safety Valve (OSV) for older single copper lines with no secondary 
   containment.
   _    Overhead oil lines are permitted and do not require secondary containment.
WILL YOU MAKE A RECOMMENDATION?




                                  50
Look for the sleeve
over the oil line. It
must project 4”
above the floor on
each end.




                    51
Report:  Obsolete oil line beneath the floor lacks a 
p                     p         p
protective sleeve for pollution protection.




If an old line is being used that is not enclosed in plastic and is 
                                                l f
in contact with the ground or concrete, an Oil Safety Valve  l
shall be installed according to Manufacturer Specifications.
An Oil Safety Valve (OSV) can be
installed instead of a sleeve. The
OSV valve on a gravity feed oil
system prevents the flow of oil
should the supply line to the burner
           break.
rupture or b k
Observation: A i typical f the age of the h
Ob       i     As is    i l for h       f h home,
there is a functional but unprotected copper oil line
beneath basement floor.

Analysis: The older oil line installation does not
             today s
comply with today’s construction practices as a leak
could go unnoticed causing pollution hazards.

Recommendation: Whil no repairs are required, I
R           d ti     While            i        i d
advise that you ask your serviceman to install a
vacuum valve (Webster Oil Safety Valve) or protective
sleeve in addition to the oil line shut‐off.



                                                        54
Tanks installed in a garage shall
be protected from vehicle
     p
damage.

A four (4) inch cement
filled    post shall be used,
extending four (4) feet above
the floor and two (2) feet below
 h floor.
the fl



Observation:  The oil tank for the heating system is located in the garage and lacks vehicle 
impact protection.
Analysis:  **** Safety Hazard ‐ accidental impact from vehicles could damage the tank 
  d         l k       h
and cause leakage. When tanks are installed inside a garage or other area subject to 
                              k           ll d    d                 h           b
vehicle impact, physical barriers must be provided.  The barrier may consist of steel 
columns, substantial pipes, bollards or similar barriers.  Safety repair is needed.  
                         y p      ,            p
Recommendation:  In my opinion, vehicle impact barriers should be installed NOW as to 
protect the tank.
                                                                                        55
 THIS TANK WAS WELDED TOGETHER IN THE HOME 
BECAUSE THE BASEMENT ENTRANCE WAS TOO SMALL
                                              56
Obsolete drop lever fuel shut‐off, oil line not shielded, legs corroded,
Ob l t d      l     f l h t ff il li          t hi ld d l           d d
                 And live wire with an open splice!
                                                                           57
      Improper tank 
      support and oil 
      stained floor




Tanks must be securely supported by rigid noncombustible 
supports to prevent settling, sliding or lifting.
supports to prevent settling, sliding or lifting.
   p
Inspect the 
circled areas 
for leaks
for leaks
             5 ft. clearance required




Or a vault
Emergency shutoff switch required outside of the furnace room.  In old 
homes, it will be found on the wall of the basement staircase. Recommend 
relocation.  (RED COVER PLATE)
Recommend annual tank inspection

Aboveground Tank Inspections: 

• Are the tank legs unstable? 
• Are there signs of rust, wet spots, or excessive dents? 
  Are there any drips or signs of leakage around the fuel lines, filter, valves,
• Are there an drips or signs of leakage aro nd the f el lines filter al es
  or fittings? 
• Is there danger of snow or ice falling on the tank? 
  Is the tank vent restricted by ice, snow, or insect nests? 
• Is the tank vent restricted by ice snow or insect nests?
• Is the overfill whistle functional? (Ask the delivery person) 
• Are there signs of spills around the fill pipe or vent pipe? (The oil
 distributor can install a spill basket to catch spills that may occur during
                             p                    p            y             g
 deliveries) 
• Is the fuel gauge functional and are there any signs of leakage around it? 
• Is more fuel being consumed than expected? 
       ABOVE 
      GROUND 
       TANKS
Outdoor tanks must be mounted on a continuous 
Outdoor tanks must be mounted on a continuous
concrete pad 4” deep and 8” beyond the tank.
EXPLAIN ABOUT OUTSIDE TANKS


                              66
Filter and oil line buried in the earth!
REPORT visible oil tank fill or vent pipes protruding from the ground or flush
with the ground anywhere on a property. Oil fill pipes may be directly over a
tank,         tank, l       to building       ll    located t
t k near a t k close t a b ildi wall, or l t d at a considerable     id bl
distance from the building and from the tank as well.
$
72
LOOK FOR THE OBVIOUS:
LOOK FOR THE OBVIOUS:
 Posted recent service tag
 Clearance to combustibles
 Cl        t     b tibl
 Cleanliness
 Oil leaks
 Support
 Corrosion
 Tampering with the wiring
 Oil line cut‐off valve
 CAD cell (FF / TT) at wiring connections
74
75
Heating oil in liquid form must be turned into vapor
Heating oil in liquid form must be turned into vapor
and mixed with air before it can burn. 

When the oil from the storage tank reaches the burner s nozzle, 
When the oil from the storage tank reaches the burner’s nozzle
it’s broken into small droplets. This process is called atomizing.

          p
These droplets are mixed with air and then
ignited by the burner.
                                                                     76
The efficiency of the oil‐air mix achieved by a burner 
  p                 g
depends on its design. 

The biggest difference between old burners and modern 
ones is the air handling step of the process & RPM.
ones is the air handling step of the process & RPM
                                                          77
An electric motor that drives the fan 
and fuel pump.

The fan pushes air to the burner’s air 
tube to support combustion.

The pump draws oil from the tank and 
delivers it to the nozzle.

The regulating valve, located in the 
pump housing, produces the right 
amount of pressure to atomize the oil.

The ignition/transformer produces a 
high‐voltage spark that provides 
enough heat to vaporize the atomized 
  il f    h      l    d hi
oil from the nozzle and achieve 
ignition.

                  y
The drawer assembly holds the nozzle 
and electrodes.

                                     78
               Flame Retention Burner

In the late 1960s, the manufacturers of
Oil heat equipment introduced the
flame retention burner, which produced
a smaller, more compact flame.

Burns cleaner. 
Has an efficiency level that’s 5% – 15% 
higher. 
higher
Produces a hotter flame. 
Maintains an airflow pattern that results in a 
more complete mixing of fuel and air.

               3450  RPM                          The flame retention burner gets 
                                                            f             p
                                                  its name from the compact
                                                  flame it produces as illustrated.

                                                                                      79
           Older burners 
           produce a less 
           controlled, less 
           efficient
           flame.


1725 RPM


                          80
Thermal Switch or Fire‐o‐matic switch:



    l    i l h        l i h
An electrical thermal switch
fused to break the ungrounded
conductor in the main circuit at
165°F, shall be installed in the
main power line within six feet
over the top of the burner‐boiler
or burner‐furnace.

    h    ili    b      h burner‐boiler or b
If the ceiling above the b        b il           f
                                          burner‐furnace
exceeds 12 feet in height, an additional thermal switch
shall be installed on the ceiling and connected in series
with the lower switch.
                                                            81
Oil Burner Inspection
o Oil Burner Emergency Shut‐off switch. Usually at the top of cellar stairs or can be 
outside of an enclosed boiler room. Emergency and serviceman shut‐off switches must 
be RED in color.
o Serviceman Oil Burner Shut‐off switch. Must be within 3 feet of burner.
  Over burner Fire Protection  MUST HAVE ONE:
o Over‐burner Fire Protection – MUST HAVE ONE:
_ Sheetrock with1‐hour fire rating (5/8” min.); must extend outward 4’ from the  
     center of the burner.
_ Sprinkler Head (250°f to 300°F rating)
    AFUE Rated Burner (Will be labeled on the boiler, no label – no AFUE Rating.)
_ AFUE R t d B          (Will b l b l d   th b il        l b l       AFUE R ti )

o Over‐burner Thermal Electrical Shut‐off switch must be installed within 6’ above the 
         (                       ,                      p
burner. (aka: Electric Fireomatic, looks like a lead or plastic wheel attached to an 
electrical junction box.)
o There shall be no combustibles within 5’ of the oil burner; however clearances may be 
reduced for certain direct vent/air intake burners provided the installer produces the 
manufacturer s spec sheet. 
manufacturer’s spec sheet
o Electrical wiring to burner must be protected by either metal conduit or medal clad 
wiring (ie. BX).
o Oil burners should have sufficient air space in the cellar area or make‐up air must be 
provided; except as provided in the manufacture's specification sheet for direct vent/air 
intake burners.
Oil burners shall have an electric switch for emergency stop. This switch 
 h ll di        t        t b th th b         it lf d                  ti
shall disconnect power to both the burner itself and any power venting 
device (if present). The switch shall be located outside of the room 
enclosing the burner unit. Wires must be protected by metal conduit.

An electric switch shall be located at the burner so service personnel 
may view operation of the burner. This switch shall disconnect power 
only to the burner, not the power venting device (if present). Power 
only to the burner, not the power venting device (if present). Power
venting device must purge for a minimum of three (3) minutes.

If a forced draft fan is installed, burner shall not fire if the fan is 
inoperative.

A thermally protected electrical shut off switch shall be located over the 
burner (fire‐o‐matic preferred).

Electrical panel must be properly labeled.


                                                                              83
SERVICE SWITCH


A service switch MUST be present on 
the side of the boiler or furnace.

Shut the switch “off” before
Opening any port to the fire
Chamber.

Inspect, then ask the realtor to
raise the thermostat.
raise the thermostat
Smoke pipes
  Must have a draft control regulator; this is the swinging vent door on the smoke pipe, 
o Must have a draft control regulator; this is the swinging vent door on the smoke pipe
except:
_   Where a direct‐vent burner is installed; direct‐vent burners will have two ducts
    leading from the burner, directly to outside air, or
    leading from the burner directly to outside air or
_   Where a power‐ventilator is installed; a power‐ventilator will vent directly through 
    and outside wall and will have a metal cover over the exterior exit point.
o The draft control regulator swinging door must be able to move freely. A powered 
booster fan (aka: draft inducer) does not replace the draft regulator, it is used to 
supplement a poor ventilation condition.
o The smoke pipe must pitch toward the burner.
o Each smoke pipe joint must be secured with at least three (3) sheet metal screws.
  A small drill hole for serviceman testing MUST be present in the smoke pipe. The ¼” 
o A small drill hole for serviceman testing MUST be present in the smoke pipe The ¼”
drill hole will be located in the smoke pipe between the top of the burner and the draft 
regulator. No hole, no test done.
  Smoke pipe must be securely cemented into the chimney to prevent movement and 
o Smoke pipe must be securely cemented into the chimney to prevent movement and
vapor release.
      Level & clean     Balanced & working




Fresh air in a can    Damper not level
Report deteriorated furnace cement at the connector pipe / chimney 
intersection.

Report the presence or absence of a THIMBLE!
THIMBLE
IS THE 
IS THE
CHIMNEY 
CHIMNEY
SAFE?
Excessive length and wires on pipe
SAVE A LIFE!
Check for an uphill pitch 
Check for an uphill pitch
 and 3‐screws per joint
NOW PROHIBITED!
     y
Verify a CAD CELL
     (FF / TT)
Stack relay thermal switch verifies or cuts of burner ignition
Stack relay 
           Recommended preventative 
           maintenance tune‐up procedure:
           maintenance tune up procedure:
Visually inspect the entire heating system
Vacuum clean all heating surfaces
Vacuum clean all heating surfaces
Check the flue pipe and chimney flue to be sure it's clear and in good 
condition
Clean all burner parts including the air fan and housing, ignition 
Clean all burner parts including the air fan and housing, ignition
electrodes, and burner head
Replace fuel and air filters and bleed all the air from the fuel system.
Seal air leaks around the burner and heat exchanger.
Use combustion test equipment to measure efficiency
Adjust the burner for high efficiency.
Record final combustion efficiency for tuned system
Start and Stop the burner several times to ensure satisfactory 
operations
Inspect the oil tank


                                                                           99
Gas leaks
Gas leaks
Can t be ignored!
Can’t be ignored!
           Safety Hazard?
Is there a Safety Hazard


                            Good old 
                            soap and 
                            water test 
                            is reliable

   Use your nose first
                                          A Tiff 8800 gas leak 
                                                                 ,
                                          detector is nice to own, 
                                          but is not required.
 Is the Gas 
 Is the Gas
Meter Readily 
 Accessible 
    in an 
emergency?




                 103
                                     GAS
      CMR: RULE 13: GAS SHALL NOT BE TURNED ON TO NEW OR EXISTING SYSTEMS
      WHICH HAVE BEEN RENOVATED UNLESS THE INSTALLATION HAS BEEN APPROVED
      BY THE GAS INSPECTOR.



    NEVER LIGHT A PILOT, OPEN A VALVE, SWITCH A BREAKER ON, 
    OR ENERGIZE A SHUT‐DOWN SYSTEM.

    SIMPLY   REPORT WHAT YOU OBSERVE.
 b                    f              h l          h        heater was out.
Observation: At time of inspection, the pilot at the water h
Analysis: Home inspectors are not authorized to light gas pilots. As there was not
fuel, the true operational condition of the water heater is undetermined. Further
i      i i is      d d
investigation i needed.
Recommendation: You should ask the owner to have the gas company or plumbing
inspector to inspect the water heater and light the pilot if approved. Ask for a copy of
the     k d
th work order or an affidavit f
                          ffid it from th owner attesting th t th appliance i
                                        the             tt ti     that the     li     is
functional.
                                                                                      104
 GAS PIPING NOTES
ALL RESIDENTIAL APPLIANCES SHALL BE CERTIFIED BY
THE AMERICAN GAS ASSOCIATION OR OTHER
NATIONALLY     RECOGNIZED    TESTING    AGENCY,
CONSTRUCTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE
AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARDS (ANSI).
               LOOK FOR A LABLE!




         TRUST YOUR NOSE !

                                                   105
FLEXIBLE CONNECTORS:
• Must meet the requirements of ANSI Z21.24
• Maximum length shall not exceed 36 inches.
  Shall not be installed where it will be subjected to physical or thermal  damage.
• Sh ll     b i     ll d h     i ill b      bj    d     h i l       h    l d
• Shall not be used on gas pressure in excess of ½ pound per square inch gauge (psig)
                                                        g pp g p
• An accessible shutoff valve shall be located on the rigid piping upstream of the 
flexible connector.
• Only one flexible connector shall be used for connecting each appliance.
  A flexible connector shall not be re‐used except for disconnecting and connecting 
• A fle ible connector shall not be re sed e cept for disconnecting and connecting
the original appliance for servicing.
• A connector shall not extend from one room to another nor pass through any walls, 
partitions, ceilings or floors.
partitions ceilings or floors
• May be used on RANGES & DRYERS, but NOT FURNACES or WATER HEATERS.




                                                                                       106
CPSC WARNS ABOUT DANGEROUS FLEXIBLE GAS
  CONNECTORS USED ON HOME APPLIANCES

The CPSC warns that older, uncoated brass connectors, which have not been 
   manufactured since 1977, were soldered onto a corrugated brass tube.  The 
   solder can fail, causing a break in the connector and resulting in a gas leak.  
   The connectors are most often used with gas ranges, ovens and clothes dryers.  
   Moving an appliance, if only to clean behind it, could cause a weakened
   Moving an appliance, if only to clean behind it, could cause a weakened 
   connector to fail.

The CPSC recommends that ANY uncoated brass connector be replaced
   immediately by a new stainless steel connector or a new plastic‐coated brass
   connector.
Recommend: Inspection by a plumber NOW.

Source: CPSC release #97‐003 and release #97‐187




                                                                                  107
108
REPORT LOOSE OR  MISSING SWAY BRACE

                                      109
REPORT A MISSING SWAY BRACE
                              110
   THE FUTURE IS HERE!
  TITEFLEX INTERIOR CSST
        GAS PIPING
      AGA APPROVED




Stainless steel gas piping consists of a continuous,
flexible, corrugated stainless steel tube with an exterior PVC covering. The
piping is produced in coils that are air‐tested for leaks. A flexible gas
                          f                f
piping system consists of a central manifold with "              "
                                                      "home run" lines that
extend to gas appliances. Flexible gas piping is lightweight, requires fewer
connections than traditional gas piping, and can be bent easily or formed
   hand.
by hand The CSST MUST BE BONDED!

                                                                           111
LINES RUN FROM A CENTRAL MANIFOLD AND 
LINES RUN FROM A CENTRAL MANIFOLD AND
 THEN HOMERUN TO EACH GAS APPLIANCE      112
WHAT ABOUT PIPE SUPPORTS?
                            113
114
115
116
GAS PIPE – NO PLUG
                     119
SAFETY HAZARD ‐ FLEXIBLE GAS LINE 
      THROUGH SUBFLOOR               120
GAS PIPE – NO PLUG
                     121
REPORT PITTED GAS PIPES   122
123
124

				
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