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Oil Line Safety Valve (OSV) control types & definitions: this article illustrates & defines the different types of controls & valves used on heating oil piping systems, including check valve, fusible link valve, fire-o-matic type valve, vacuum operated valves, quickstop valves, solenoid valves, and oil delay valves. We include links to details about the proper installation, use, & troubleshooting for each of these devices as well as manufacturers, brands, product sources.
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Question: What is the difference among all these different kinds of valves used on oil piping and at the oil burner or oil tank
What is the difference among all these different kinds of valves used on oil piping and at the oil burner or oil tank: check valve, fusible link valve, fire-o-matic type valve, vacuum operated valves, quickstop valves, solenoid valves, and oil delay valves. It's really confusing. - Anon 1/13/2012
[Click to enlarge any image]
We agree that there are enough valves and enough similarity in their names that the controls used at oil tanks, on oil piping, and at the oil burner to manage the flow of oil can be confusing. Worse, valves that do different things and have different purposes may all be called "oil safety valves" in marketing and technical literature.
Don't confuse the built-in check valve in the fuel unit with external check valves, fusible link oil safety valves, solenoid operated quick-stop oil valves, and their sisters, solenoid operated oil delay valves.
Here is a list of the different types of controls & valves used on heating oil piping, oil burners, and at oil tanks in order to assure proper and safe flow of heating oil to oil-fired heating equipment such as boilers, furnaces & water heaters. Oil line valves, check valves, oil safety valves or fusible link valves (OSVs), and de-aerators or air removing devices are all defined. We include links to individual articles giving details for the installation, operation, and troubleshooting of each of these oil line controls.
Anti-Siphon Valves on Oil Lines
This anti-siphon valve is installed on the suction line exiting an above ground oil (or other liquid) storage tank to prevent accidental siphoning out of the tank should a leak occur in the piping downstream from the valve.
The valve is normally closed but will open when a dispenser pump is switched on. This product is provided by Envirosafe Above Ground Fuel Systems, 901 12th St., Clermont FL 34711, Tel: 800-555-4754, Website: http://abovegroundfuelstoragetanks.com, quoting:
These [anti-siphon] valves are suitable for the dispensing of a variety of fuels including gas, oil, methanol, diesel, and alternative fuels. See OIL LINE CHECK VALVES
Check Valves on Oil Lines: in-line check vales
An in line oil piping check valve is a simple one-way valve installed on an oil line to prevent backflow or leakage.
Installers often place a check valve on the return line to the oil tank in two-pipe oil system.
Watch out: as we explain in our OIL LINE CHECK VALVES article, some equipment manufacturers prohibit the use of these check valves in their systems.
Details about the uses & prohibitions of check valves on heating oil piping systems are at OIL LINE CHECK VALVES on Heating Oil Lines
Some oil piping safety and valve controls combine features and use confusing names. Webster's OSV is a vacuum-activated check valve that both protects against overpressure at the fuel pump and protects against spills in oil piping by preventing oil flow if a leak is large enough to prevent the oil burner fuel pump from drawing adequate vacuum in the line .
De-Aerators or Air Removing Devices for Heating Oil Piping & Lines
De-aerators or prime protection fittings are special devices are available to protect heating oil piping and oil burners from loss of prime. The oil burner on an oil fired heating appliance can lose prime and thus stop working if there is air in the oil piping system.
Oil line de aerators operate by automatically removing un-wanted air from the oil piping system.
Air in the oil piping is likely to cause improper oil burner operation and can lead to loss of heat and also to dangerous OIL BURNER SOOT & PUFFBACKS
Details about oil piping de-aerators are at TIGERLOOP™ or similar oil line de-aerator/prime-protection devices
Foot Valves in Oil Tanks
For some oil piping installations using No 2 home heating oil a foot valve may be installed at the suction line inlet in the oil tank; the foot valve acts much the same as a water well piping foot valve, keeping the oil piping system from losing prime by back-flow of oil out of the suction line into the oil tank when the fuel unit is not operating.
Fusible Link Oil Line Safety Valves - OSVs: fire protection device
Fusible link oil safety valves (OSVs) are installed in the oil piping to stop the flow of oil in event of a fire.
They are also a convenience for heating oil service technicians, allowing the service tech to turn off oil flow to change an oil filter or service the oil burner without creating an oil spill and a mess.
Details about OSVs are at OIL LINE SAFETY VALVES, OSVs and valve operation details are at OIL LINE SAFETY VALVE TURN DIRECTION to OPEN or SHUT
Really? the term OSV or oil safety valve can be a bit confusing because in addition to the fusible link type valve described here - a fire safety device - some companies use the term OSV or oil safety valve to refer to vacuum-operated devices intended to prevent oil line overpressure or to detect and stop oil line leaks.
We describe vacuum-operated oil piping valves below in this article; and for details about them see OIL LINE VACUUM-ACTIVATED OSVs & PRVs.
Oil Storage Tank Overfill Protection Valves
This device, available from abovegroundfuelstoragetanks.com (800-555-4754), is described by the supplier as follows:
Designed for use on low profile tanks that require a high level shut-off. The valve terminates the fill when the product reaches the preset level. The valve can be retrofitted on existing tanks and fits into a 2″ opening.
A tight fill connection is required for operation. Sold with either a 2″ Part F Male Threaded Adaptor or a 2″ Part A Female Threaded Adaptor.
Typical flow rate is 53 GPM at 30 PSI.
The company also provides a 9095A Series AST overfill prevention valve that is used i a "tight fill" application terminating flow into the tank when the tank reaches a pre-set warning level (90-95% full). The company notes that spill containers can be used for added spill protection around the oil tank.
Quick Stop & Oil Delay Valves at Oil Burners
Quick-stop valves and oil delay valves improve oil burner operation by eliminating the delivery of oil to the oil burner nozzle at low pressures.
Details about quick-stop or oil delay valves are at OIL LINE QUICK STOP VALVES
Vacuum Operated Check Valves, OSVs, or PRV Valves Prevent Oil Flow When the Oil Burner is Not Running
A PRV valve, such as Suntech Industries Inc.'s Model PRV-38 is an oil safety valve that prevents oil from flowing out of an oil tank by gravity, or by siphoning action, when flow is not desired.
At the inlet side of the PRV valve, oil can be supplied under pressure or under a vacuum (depending on whether or not the oil burner fuel unit is running). But the PRV will not open to allow oil to flow unless it senses a vacuum.
This means that oil will not flow past this valve unless the oil burner and its fuel unit are operating. The effect is that this valve prevents oil from flowing out of an oil tank under any other conditions.
Really? These vacuum operated valves are called OSVs - a term used also for fusible link fire safety valves discussed above. But vacuum-operated OSVs are leak and oil line pressure protection devices, not fir safety devices.
What's the difference between a fusible link "firematic" OSV valve and a vacuum-operated OSV?
In short, while a fusible-link Fir-o-matic type OSV valve provides fire protection at the oil burner, a vacuum-operated OSV or PRV provides protection against oil leaks and for some applications it protects against excessive oil pressure at the fuel unit.
Details are at OIL LINE VACUUM-ACTIVATED OSVs & PRVs
[See OIL TANK PIPING & PIPING DEFECTS for a table of normal running vacuum levels in heating oil piping installations.]
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the definitions & functions of different valves & controls used on oil piping systems & at oil burners
Question: Freeing up a stuck oil line control valve?
I think I have a valve that doesn't seem to turn off when fully turned counter clockwise. Any idea why? - P.C.
If you have a fusible link valve that doesn't seem to turn off you might try tapping the exposed end of the valve stem. I have found a stuck, or slow to close OSV on a few rare occasions. A gentle tap, not hard enough to damage threads, loosens it after which I open and close the valve a few times to convince myself it now moves freely. A burr on the brass interior or more likely internal sludge or debris could be the culprit.
Because at the oil burner the OSV is likely to be used at least once a year during service, that's a good opportunity to discover if the valve is not closing fully.
Questions & answers or comments about the definitions & functions of different valves & controls used on oil piping systems & at oil burners.
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