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Thread: Oil line valve open/closed?

  1. #1
    Network Engineer rmelo99's Avatar
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    Default Oil line valve open/closed?

    I just replaced the nozzle and filter on the furance at my mother's house. Now I'm not sure which way the valves on the line is open.

    Is it the same as water valves? It's such a stupid thing but there are 2, on by the tank and another by the burner and each are a different style.

    They have the little screw in the center but I can't tell if clockwise is opening or closing the valve? Anyone?

    TIA

  2. #2
    In the Trades maintenanceguy's Avatar
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    I can't see the valves from here but I've never seen a valve that opened "backwards" except on the cold side of a faucet.


    I would strongly suspect that they work the same as any water valve.

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    Network Engineer rmelo99's Avatar
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    I'm not crazy here but need a sanity check. They are weird in hoe they feel when turning, especially since the handle comes off if u twist enough in one direction. Water valves don't usually do that.

    So for my sake is the center screw supposed to be protruding in the open position above the handle? See pic attached.
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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmelo99 View Post
    I'm not crazy here but need a sanity check. They are weird in hoe they feel when turning, especially since the handle comes off if u twist enough in one direction. Water valves don't usually do that.

    So for my sake is the center screw supposed to be protruding in the open position above the handle? See pic attached.
    If I remember correctly from BPE school 40 years ago, the protruding stem means the gate is open ... but if you can screw the wheel (handle) off the stem, then something is wrong and the wheel cannot push the gate closed.

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    In the Trades maintenanceguy's Avatar
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    I've never seen a valve quite like that one.

    I have seen lots of OS&Y (open stem and yoke valves) with the exposed stem. Stem out means open, stem in means closed. Handle screwing off valve means you've got a problem. Maybe there's a set screw at the handle base to re-attach the handle to the valve body. Maybe it's just broken and needs to be replaced.

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    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Counterclockwise is open, stem out. Counterclockwise is closed, handle fall off.

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    Network Engineer rmelo99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhmaster View Post
    Counterclockwise is open, stem out. Counterclockwise is closed, handle fall off.

    Thank you....is it just me or is there something weird about those valves?

  8. #8
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    No, they have an inner sleeve that is soldered to an outer sleeve and if it get's hot enough the solder melts and closes the valve. They are code required at the tank and at the oil burner. They are there to shut off the flow of oil should a fire occur. There should be a similar such electrical device mounted above the boiler that shuts off the system in the event of fire also.

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    Network Engineer rmelo99's Avatar
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    Ok, that's good to know.

    I did all the troubleshooting that I could on this stupid burner.

    Installed new filter, oil nozzle, cleaned the ignitors and ceramics. Tested the transformer, cleaned the CAD sensor.

    I gave up!! Called in my furnace guy and he'll fix it!!

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