Plumbing and Heating Supplies

Supplies from Fueldump & Atkinson Equipment

Why install a Fire Valve

There is genuinely only one good reason to install a Fire Valve in your house if you heat with a furnace that burns either fuel oil or liquefied petroleum gas and that is to be safe. If you think about it furnaces are a blend of electrical and mechanical units developed to develop a fire that is very carefully managed to heat your home to the heat you want Even with how cold it gets outside. If any one of the many components fails it could possibly mean that the fire could escape the confines of the furnace leading to damage to your house. This might also mean that any people in the house could become victims of the fire resulting in either damage from burns or smoke inhalation. It might even, in the worst case scenario, result in death. Nevertheless, the good news is that steps can be taken to lessen the possibilities that this might occur

There are number things one can do to minimize this type of risk. An important one of these is to install a Fire Valve. The Fire Valve and the associated things needed to install appropriately are not terribly expensive and the serenity of mind you will get from knowing that you have made your house a less dangerous place is well worth the cost.

Here are the basics about how the Fire Valve works. no matter if your furnace burns fuel oil or liquified petroleum gas it should work within a certain fairly specific temps vary. If a problem within the furnace grows it will usually either shut down completely or refuse to shut down when it should. If it fails to turn off it will begin to get hotter than it is supposed to get. If you haven’t installed a Fire Valve this turn into a problem. If you have one a temperature sensor is triggered. These sensors are made to go off at a variety of different temperaturess to be relevant to differing types of furnaces. Generally these sensors trigger at 66 to 72 degrees celsius (approximately 155 degrees f) for most applications but also come configured to set off at a slightly higher rate for other higher temperature applications

This sensor is mounted inside the insulating casing of your boiler. It is connected by a capillary tube, just a thin tube, to a remotely functiond valve. This valve is installed in the fuel line that supplies No matter which certain type of fuel your furnace is designed to burn between the tank and the furnace. The capillary tube contains a liquid. If the heat of your furnace goes above the level expected for that furnace the liquid in the capillary tube expands. This causes the valve to shut which in turn closes off the fuel supply to the furnace. Your furnace will of course shut off but that is a Minor inconvenience compared to what might happen if you hadn’t installed a Fire Valve.

Once you have made the proper choice, to have a Fire Valve installed please make sure to have the work done by a qualified professional. Though some homeowners may have the necessary equipment and knowledge to effectively install this safety machine most people should at all times rely on the specialists for a job like this.

Guide to Non-Domestic Oil Storage

Guide to Non-Domestic Oil Storage

This guide applies to non-domestic oil storage tanks including those supplying commercial buildings such as offices, village halls, churches and schools. It also applies to domestic tanks over 3500 litres in capacity supplying single family dwellings. OFTEC recommends that tanks containing waste oil are treated in the same way as fuel supply tanks.

This guide does not cover forecourt (petrol station) operations or agricultural installations.

Construction and type of tank

Oil storage tanks can be constructed from carbon steel, medium density polyethylene or glass reinforced plastic. The shape and size (rectangular, horizontal cylindrical or vertical cylindrical) should be selected by taking into account the available space for the installation and the capacity required to serve the appliance(s).

Underground tanks should only be considered where no other options exist, as they are difficult to inspect and leaks may not be immediately obvious. Information on the installation, decommissioning and removal of underground tanks can be found in the Environment Agency Guidance note PPG 27.

Environmental Protection

To minimise the risk of pollution from an oil spill, non-domestic oil storage tanks exceeding 200 litres must be provided with secondary containment (bunding). This can be achieved by installing an integrally bunded tank or by constructing a concrete or masonary bund, to CIRCA Report 163, around a single skinned tank. The bund must be capable of containing at least 110% of the oil storage tank’s capacity.

It is important to provide facilities for measuring the quantity of oil in a tank. Sight tubes can be used as long as they are located within a concrete or masonary bundbuilt to CIRCA Report 163. They cannot be used on integrally bunded tanks and therefor, electronic or hydrostatic contents gauges are recommended.

Fire Protection

Externally sited non-domestic oil storage tanks should comply with the fire separation requirements in column A of Table 1. Where these separation distances cannot be achieved, a screen wall must be provided between the tank and the hazard (either building or boundry) in accordance with the specifications in column B.

Fire Protection Requirements

Additionally, where a tank contains more than 3500 litres any openings in the walls between 1.8 and 1.6m away from the tank should be fitted with 1 hour fire resisting glazing or 1 hour fire resisting self-closing doors.

Maintenance

Steel oil storage tanks, when properly installed, may require infrequent maintenance during thier useful life. however, they should be regularly inspected for any signs of corrosion or leakage.

Plastic oil storage tanks usually require little maintenance. However, it is important that they are also inspected for any signs of leakage, discolouration and deformation.

It is recommended that oil storage tanks and their ancillary equipment are inspected on an annual basis by an OFTEC registered Technician.

Bases

The need to provide suitable bases and supports for oil storage tanks is of paramount importance for reasons of both safety and environmental protection.

Tank Bases should be:

  • Adequate for the weight of the tank;
  • Non-combustable, imperforate and level;
  • Constructed of concrete, paving stones or stonework;
  • Large enough to extend 300mm beyond all sides of the tank.

Further information on preparing base foundations, erecting piers and laying platforms can be found in OFTEC Techincal Book 3

Internal Oil Storage

An oil storage tank sited inside of a non-domestic building must be fully enclosed within a fire resistant chamber. The walls, roof and doors of the chamber will require a fire rating of between 30 minutes and 4 hours, depending on the class of oil storage and capacity of the tank. Consideration should also be given to access, ventilation, fire extinguishing equipment and electrical safety within the chamber.

Fueldump supply industry standard oil storage tank hydrostatic level gauging and sight gauging from our contents gauge section on our website here :- Oil Storage Tank Contents Gauges

The fight for Bio-fuels heats up…..

The new B30K fuel will be a mix of 30% FAME bio-fuel and 70% kerosene, and can be used on existing oil heating appliances with very few system modifications. It is estimated that carbon emissions from the B30K fuel will be 28% lower than those from traditional heating oil. The provisional specification for this fuel is now available from OFTEC, and is called prOPS24.

Bio-liquid trials – organised by a task force headed up by OFTEC and the University of East Anglia – took place in Norfolk last year. Around 25 domestic and commercial properties were converted to run on several different blends of bio-liquid and kerosene, with very positive results.

Campaigning and consulting

Now that a provisional standard has been agreed, oil companies, distributors and government will be consulted on how to make the fuel commercially available at the right price for consumers. The government has indicated that bio-liquid fuels – such as prOFS24 – probably will receive support through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) after October 2012. Because of the possibility of political opposition to this funding from NGO’s, the OFTEC board has agreed to launch a campaign with ministers, MPs and the national media to ensure that bio-liquids do receive RHI support.Public affairs consultancy, Luther Pendragon, has been recruited to co-ordinate this campaign; they have already worked on campaigns for other heating organisations including HHIC. OFTEC members are being asked to contact their MP by letter or email to promote the new fuel. The board considers that there is a very short time in which to achieve RHI support and so this work is essential if the long-term future of the oil/liquid fuel heating and cooking sector is to be secured.

The Renewable Heat Premium Payment

Last month, the Department of Energy and Climate Change released details of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP).

Under RHPP, off-grid consumers can claim £1250 towards a ground source heat pump, £950 (biomass boiler) and £850 (air source heat pump) from a £15 million fund. Plus a £300 voucher towards solar thermal can be claimed by both on/off grid consumers. Worcester,Bosch Group and Plumb Center were quick to welcome the announcement which could result in up to 25,000 installations.

Commenting on the scheme, which started on 1st August, Simon Allan, director of renewables, Plumb Center, said:

“This is traditionally a quieter time for installers so it will bring them a much needed boost at a time when businesses across the board are being affected by the economic downturn.”

“This is excellent news,” said Neil Schofield, head of external and governmental affairs at Worcester, Bosch Group, although sounding a note of caution with timings. “RHPP will be cut off in March 2012, which means that until October, when the Renewable Heat Incentive tariff payments start, there will be no incentive for consumers to install renewable technologies.”

Bio-Fuels pass the test……

Two properties taking part in a trial of bio-liquids in Northern Ireland have  passed their second inspection with flying colours. Both heating systems have been converted to run on a bio-liquid blend, consisting of 70% kerosene and 30% fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), which can be made from waste cooking oil, animal fat or rapeseed.

OFTEC joined forces with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) to trial a bio-liquid mix in public sector housing. The project followed successful field trials in Norfolk last year where around 30 domestic and commercial properties were converted to run on bio-liquid blends. Demand for renewable technologies is likely to increase when the next phase of the Renewable Heat Incentive is introduced, says OFTEC, which is seeking the inclusion of bio-liquids as the B30 mix results in carbon emissions lower than those of natural gas. If included in the RHI, this would mean financial incentives for households converting and using the new fuel.

Guide to Flues, Chimneys and Ventilation

Guide to Flues, chimneys and ventilation

The guide applies to flues, chimneys and ventilation required for any oil fired appliance, including boilers, cookers and stoves used in the home, by the use of draught stabilisers and flue stabilisers.

Flues and Chimneys

A flue is a circular or rectangular pipe from which flue (waste) gases pass from an appliance to the external atmosphere. A chimney is a construction which contains a flue. Masonary chimneys should be always lined with a flexible flue liner, as specified by the appliance manufacturers and be fitted with a cowl to prevent rain ingress. Liners should be replaced whenever a new appliance is fitted.

There are two different types of flue system available – open, and room sealed balanced.

Open flues can be of the “conventional” type where flue gases are expelled through a lined chimney and air for combustion is provided within the room in which the boiler is located. Open can alsobe of a “low level discharge” type, typically found on external boilers, where the flue gases exit the flue at low level and air for combustion is supplied into the boiler casing through a louvered vent.

Room sealed balanced flues draw air for combustion directly from outside. Balanced flues are beneficial in that there is no need for separate combustion air supply, such as a chimney. With a choice of low level, left, right and vertical discharge, they also increase siting flexibility.

Air Supply

In order for your fuel to burn, oxygen is needed. Therefor, it is essential to provide a deicated air supply for combustion for appliances which are of the open flue type. The size of the openings required is dependant on the appliance location, output and where the air supply is to be taken from. Both open and room sealed balanced flue appliances will require additional air supply for cooling purposes where they are located within a cupboard.

Open flue appliances should not be installed in a bedroom, bathroom or garage. Appliances which are of the room sealed balanced flue type should be used in these locations.

Restrictions apply to extract fans where they are located within the same room as an open flue appliance. Your OFTEC registered technician can advise on the air supply requiremnets needed to ensure safe working operation of your appliance.

Safety

Every type of flue and chimney should comply with European and National Legislation with regard to materials, design, and flue termination point. Flue terminations should be positioned where flue gases will disperse quickly, will not re-enter the property via windoes, doors etc and will not cause nuisance to property owners or neighbours. termination below a balcony, carpot or any other area where flue gases might stagnate should also be avoided.

Extra care needs to be taken when selecting a suitable position for condensing boiler flue termination. When operating at their most efficient, condensing boilers can emit a “plume” of water vapour from the flue terminal. White in colour, this vapour is harmless, but should be considered when siting the boiler.

Where a flue terminal is located less than two metres from ground level or where it could be accessed by people, it must be protected with a terminal guard.

Annual Inspection

All oil appliance installations should be serviced at least anually to ensure safety and correct operation. This work should include the checking of flues and ventilation openings to ensure that they are in good condition and not obstructed.

See our range of Boiler and flue accesories at fueldump

Flue stabilisersdraught stabilisers from Tigerholm and Fueldump

Article from OFTEC 123 Home guide to….

www.oftec.org

Guide to Domestic Oil Storage

Domestic Oil Storage

This guide applies to oil storage tanks up to 3500 litres capacity supplying oil to single family dwellings for heating and cooking purposes.

Depending on where you live, regulations may vary slightly. The information here is a general guide, and you should check with your nearest OFTEC registered technician which regulations effect you.

Oil Storage Tanks

Modern oil storage tanks come in all shapes and sizes and can be made from plastic or steel. The size and type will depend on your individual requirements. It is recommended that your tank is manufactured to OFTEC standards (OFS T100 for plastic tanks or OFS T200 for steel).

Protecting the Environment

To minimize the risk of pollution from an oil spill, some installations must have secondary containment (a bund). This can be achieved by either choosing an integrally bunded tank or constructing a bund around a tank. The bund must be capable of holding at least 110% of the tanks contents. An OFTEC registered technician can advise whether you need a bunded tank using a standard risk assesment. Typically, installations near a river, well or any controlled water are likely to require bunding.

Tank Location

It is unlikely that a fire could be started by a domestic oil storage tank and its contents. However, tanks are required to comply with fire separation distances in order to adequately protect stored fuel from a fire or heat source, which may originate nearby.

Tanks should be sited:-

  • 1.8m away from non-fire rated eaves of a building;
  • 1.8m away from a non-fire building or structure (e.g. garden sheds);
  • 1.8m away from openings (such as doors and windows) in a fire rated buidling or structure (e.g brick built house/garage);
  • 1.8m away from oil fired appliance flue terminals;
  • 760mm away from a non-fire rated boundry such as a wooden boundry fence;
  • 600mm away from screening (e.g. trellis and foliage) that does not form part of the boundry.

 

If it is impossible to comply with these requirements, then a fire protection barrier with at least 30 minutes fire rating should be provided. A minimum separation distance of 100mm is required between the tank and the fire rated barrier unless a larger distance is specified by the tank manufacturer.

In some situations, the oil storage tank can be sited inside a building such as a garage or outhouse. Installations of this type require the tank to be self contained within a 60 minute fire rated chamber.

Back to Basics

The need to provide suitable bases and supports for oil storage tanks is of paramount importance for reasons of both safety and environmental protection. The base should be :

  • Adequate for the weight of the tank;
  • Non-combustable, imperforate and level;
  • Constructed of concrete, paving stones or stonework;
  • Large enough to extend 300mm beyond all sides of the tank.

 

If an oil storage tank is inadequately supported, the tank itself can be weakened leading to the eventual failure and escape of the stored fuel. During the life of an installation an oil storage tank base will need to provide continual structural support, even though ground conditions may alter from season to season and year to year.

Building Regulations

Oil storage tank installations need to comply with reginal building regulations. In England & Wales, OFTEC registered technicians can self certify their own work without involving local authority building control. But if you choose to use someone who isn’t registered with a ‘Competent Person’ scheme like OFTEC, then you will have to obtain a building control notice and arrange for an inspection which can be costly and time consuming. Similar rules apply in Scotland where you may need to apply for a warrant.

Annual Inspection

It is important that oil storage tanks are inspected annually, preferably by an OFTEC registered technician.

Article from OFTEC 123 Home guide to….

www.oftec.org

There are many additional componets connected to your oil storage tank that can make life easier that can be purchased from Fueldump. We supply oil storage tank contents gaugesoverfill prevention valvestank alarms and oil top off take valves. We also supply locking filler capsand vent caps to keep your heating oil safe from theives.

visit our Oil tank accessories page here :- Oil storage tank accessories 

Guide to Oil Fired Appliances

Domestic Oil Fired Appliances and Systems

This guide refers to all types of oil fired appliances including boilers, cookers and stoves and outlines the basic principles of these appliances.

Appliance Types

Designed to be strong and long lasting, oil fired appliances are some of the most efficient you can get. There’s a huge choice of floor standing or wall mounted boilers for installation inside and out side domestic premises.

Regular Boilers are basic in their design and simply heat water within a heat exchanger by absorbing the heat contained in flue gases created by the burner.

Sealed System Boilers include a circulating pump, expansion vessel and various components needed in a “sealed system” and negate the need for an expansion cistern in the loft.

Combination Boilers are capable of providing hot water on demand, plus heating. They can be space saving in that no hot water storage cylinder is required. However, minimum water supply pressures and flow rates are required for optimum performance.

Range Cookers have been available for many years. Some models have integral boilers capable of providing both central heating and hot water.

Hearth Boilers can have an electrically operated fire effect in front of them to warm the room, whilst providing central heating from an integral oil fired boiler at the back of the appliance. These can be used to replace solid fuel room heaters and LPG back boilers.

Room Heaters and Stoves are available with decorative effect fires burning oil through imitation coals behind a glass front. Some of these will have back boilers capable of providing hot water and /or central heating service.

Appliance Efficiency

Oil fired appliances have rated efficiencies which can be band rated (A-C) similar to white goods such as fridges and washing machines. An appliance/boiler may have a SEDBUK (Seasonal Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK) rating. In the Republic of Ireland a similar rating system known as HARP (Home Heating Appliance Register of Performance) is in place. Further information on appliance/boiler efficiency ratings can be found at www.sedbuk.com and information on range cooker boilers can be obtained from www.rangeefficiency.com.

SAP and DEAP

New build properties are required to meet regional environmental requirements to control and reduce carbon emmisions. In England and Wales this is referred to as SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure), and in the republic of Ireland as DEAP (Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure). These are calculation processes which dictate the efficiency of the appliance to be used. In existing properties, the minimum efficiency of replacement appliances must meet regional Building Regulations requirements. The use of renewable technologies such as solar panels for hot water production can be integrated with oil fired systems to further reduce carbon emissions and help reduce energy bills. This can be in addition to wall, floor and roof insulation, double glazing, draught reduction and use of energy efficient light bulbs.

Appliance Location

When deciding upon a location for an appliance, provisions for system pipework, oil supply pipework, electrical connections, flue terminating positions and ventilation must be taken taken into consideration. Open flued appliances draw air for combustion from the room in which they are fitted. They should not be fitted within, or draw air from, a bedroom or bathroom.

Room sealed balanced flue appliances are permitted to be installed within a bathroom or shower room providing that electrical connections are safe and any switches or controls are enclosed so that anyone using the bath or shower can touch them.

Modern condensing appliances will emit plume (water vapour) from the flue on cold days. Extra care needs to be taken when siting a condensing flue so as to avoid plume causing nuisance to the property owners or neighbours.

Garages are often used for siting oil fired appliances. To prevent car fumes being drawn into the boiler, a room sealed balanced flue appliance should be used as air for combustion is taken directly from outside via a flue system.

Some oil fired boilers are designed to be installed entirely externally. Others are available that can be installed “through the wall” minimising their impact.

Maintenance and Safety

Oil fired appliances should be serviced annually or in accordance with the manufacturers instruction and it is important that service access is provided. Boilers should not be placed where a ladder is needed for maintenance.

Systems and Controls

Modern high efficiency appliances require fully pumped systems, which use an electric pump to circulate hot water around your heating system. If you have an old heating system or perhaps one which uses gravity it must be upgraded to a fully pumped one.

Accurate system controls can save money by reducing heat wastage. Reducing room temperature by 1 degree C, you can save up to 10% off your annual fuel bill.

Minimum controls should include:

  • Room thermostats
  • Thermostatic Radiators Valves (TVR’s)
  • Cylinder Thermostat
  • Programmers to set ‘on and off’ time periods
There are a vast number of modern controls available to achieve compliance and promote efficiency.

Oil Fired Appliance Accessories

There are many accessories available to help make sure your oil fired heating appliance is able to run effectively and efficiency. One of the main causes of oil fired boiler breakdown is build up of sooty deposits on the burner jet nozzles. This can be caused by poor oil quality or excessive air particles in the oil delivered to the appliance. This can be prevented and the efficiency and effectiveness of the burner increased by the fitting of a deaerating device such as a Tigerloop. The devices remove the air from delivered oil to the burner, it also creates a two pipe system, meaning the burner only uses the oil within the two pipes rather than pulling for more from the tank. Tigerloops are also available with filters built into them, which again can filter out any particulate from the oil that would cause extra sooting at the burner nozzles. An extra inline filter in your oil pipework is always a good idea, as again this will filter out particulate before it reaches the burner. For all our Oil fired appliance accessories please visit our main website at www.fueldump.co.uk

 

Guide to Domestic Oil Supply Pipes

Domestic Oil Supply Pipes

This guide applies to pipe work systems supplying kerosene to oil fired equipment under 45kW output serving single family dwellings.

Oil Supply Systems

There are two types of oil feed systems; gravity and sub-gravity. Gravity feed systems are typically used with bottom outlet oil storage tanks installations and or/where a tank has to raised off the ground.

Sub-gravity systems are used for top outlet tank installations which are mechanical suction to raise fuel out of the tank.

The oil feed pipes for these supply systems must be correctly sized. An incorrectly sized pipe will result in the system operating inefficiently. An OFTEC registered technician will work out the correct size of pipe for your system.

Oil Supply Pipe Materials

Oil feed pipes are commonly run in plastic coated soft copper tubing which can easily be manipulated. If steel pipes are used they must be protected from corrosion. Plastic pipe systems are also available, but their use is restricted to below ground installation only. Fittings and joint materials must be suitable for the type of pipe and fuel being used.

External/Exposed Pipes

In order to prevent air locks, external gravity piping should be run in a continuous rise following the direction of flow. Pipes must be supported by purpose made clips and attached to permanent structures such as a wall. A garden shed or wooden boundary is not classed as a permanent structure because it will deteriorate with age, and any movement may damage the pipes.

Buried Oil Supply Pipes

Directly buried oil supply pipes should be suitably protected against the risk of accidental damage. Recommended installation is as follows:

  • A trench should be excavated to a depth of 450mm;
  • 40mm of compacted sand is laid on the bottom of the trench; the oil pipe positioned, and a further 40mm of compacted sand is laid above the pipe;
  • Builder’s grade polyethylene is laid above the sand; and
  • The trench is then backfilled, positioning an oil warning marker tape 150mm below the finished ground level.

Oil feed pipes should be buried at least 300mm clear of other underground services such as water and electricity. Joints in buried pipe work should be avoided if at all possible. If joints have to be made, a permanent means of access for inspection of the joint must be provided.

Pipes Running Through Buildings

Where an oil pipe passes through the wall of a building it must be run within a sleeve, such as a larger/outer pipe. Oil feed pipes should not be run underground directly into the interior of a building. Instead the pipe should rise externally to allow a remote acting fire valve to be fitted before it enters the building.

Fire Valves

A fire valve is an essential safety feature of an oil installation which will stop the supply of oil in the event of a fire. The valve must be located outside the building before the point where the oil supply pipe enters the building, and must be activated by a remote sensor.

Existing internal oil feed pipes that are not accessible outside of the building and do not have a fire valve, can have one added at the first point where the pipe appears internally. This cannot be done on a new installation, but can improve safety for an existing installation.

Fire valves are also required for external boilers.

Annual Inspection (Safety and Maintenance)

Oil feed pipes must be inspected regularly, and pressure testing may be necessary, especially for pipes underground. Records should be kept by installer and ocupier on the following:

  • Pipe Route
  • Material used
  • Size of pipe and sleeving if any
  • Buried depth if applicable

During your annual service any fire valves you have in your installation should also be checked to confirm they are still operational. A fire valve checking unit is available from Fueldump here :- Fire Valve Test Unit.

Fueldump also offer a complete range of remote acting fire valves and capillary fire shut off valves. These are available in both temperature trip ranges of 70 and 90 degrees. We also supply a complete selection of capillary length. See our Remote acting fire valve section on our website here – Remote acting fire valves