Heating Oil Tank Fill Pipe Information

The Oil Fill Pipe for Heating Oil Tanks (HOTs) provides access to refill a tank. In almost every case it goes straight down into a tank. That means if there is an oil fill pipe in the yard there is almost certainly at least one underground oil tank. Second tanks are present in about than 1% of houses with tanks. That is enough to warrant performing a Heating Oil Tank Search if one has not been done.

Rush Locates presents: Oil Tank Signs - if a circle of metal is found in the yard that says 'oil' on it; chances are there is an underground oil tank and possibly more than one.

The cover plate

Often found with fill pipes are plate covers, these 6-10″ metal discs that often say: “OIL”, “CARSON”, “MONTAG”, etc. Moreover, a fill plate can cover a sewer cleanout or control box. However this means they still got the plate from somewhere, which may be an out of use tank underground nearby. These covers for oil tanks outside are a dead giveaway of USTs. Beware of houses with 2 underground tanks and one fill!

picture of a metal disc cover saying OIL

The Cap

The fill pipes usually have a compression cap, a 4 winged cap that unscrews with the option to use a padlock. If a fill pipe or plate cover is found it is very highly recommended to get an oil tank scan if one has not been done. Tanks and even second tanks can take time and money.

The Oil Fill Pipe

The fill pipe itself is a 2′ pipe that sticks straight up from the tank to the ground. Contrarily, in very rare circumstances a fill pipe goes around an added deck or addition after replumbing. In almost every circumstance, if this pipe is found then at least one underground tank is present.

Cutting this pipe at least 6″ underground is standard practice when decommissioning a tank. The pipe can exist by itself without a collar or cover. At times a copper return line might connect with the fill to allow unused oil to return to the tank.

Cross section of oil tank fill pipe

The Collar

Sometimes made out of an old coffee can, the collar is a cement, tera cotta, or metal cylinder. This goes around the oil fill pipe and gives room to unscrew the cap when the top of the pipe is below the ground surface.

Rush Locates presents: Oil Tank Signs - tank fill pipe photo

Buried oil tank in yard?