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Thread: Running Soft Copper Fuel Line to Laser Heater

  1. #1
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    Running Soft Copper Fuel Line to Laser Heater

    Here is a tip that I learned the hard way on running a kerosene line with soft copper. To heat the new addition to my house I installed a Toyo Laser 30 that requires a feed from an external tank. I already had the line run from the "gravity" tank to the Laser 73 so it should have been quite easy to install a "tee" and run a leg to the Laser 30. Or so I thought.
    I purchased the "tee", ball valve shutoffs and couplers from Lowes. The 3/8" ball valves had adapters added for compression fittings. All the compression fittings were the new style "captured" ferrule type compression fittings. When I plumbed the Laser 73, I used the old style nuts with loose ferrules with no troubles.
    I installed 4 shut off valves, 1 "tee", 1 coupler, and 2 - 90deg adapters. All used the Watts captured ferrule nuts for a total of 17. All 3/8" copper pipe was cut with a mini pipe cutter. Of the 17 captured ferrule nuts used 12 leaked, no matter how tight I cranked the nut.
    One of the plumbers at work told me never to use the captured ferrule nuts because they do leak with petrochemicals. They were designed for water which as larger molecules.
    So, the next Saturday, I shut down both Laser heaters, fire up the Perfections and re-plumbed with old style nuts and loose ferrules. And add couplers and extra pipe because all the ends had to be cut off to remove the crushed captured ferrules and nuts.
    When the retrofit was finished, there were no leaks and I only had to snug the compression nut up, not crank on them until they squeaked like before!I wish I had talked to that plumber first! It was an extra $14 just in nuts and loose ferrules!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Loose on the left and captured on the right.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Feed line from the "gravity" tank is lower right. Upper right is the L30 feed. Left is the L73 & BS36U-FF.

    Greg

  2. #2
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    Saint Regis Falls, NY, USA.
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    I'm surprised the building department let you use ANY type of compression fitting. Normally for any fuel, you use flare fittings.

  3. #3
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    I will have to agree. Most people use flare fittings for fuel line.

    Tom

  4. #4
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    Your plumber needs to check the molecular size of water compared to a petrochemical he is incorrect, 3 atoms in water and is smaller, petrochemicals many more, and is a much larger long chain hydrocarbon molecule. Compression fittings weaken the pipe at the point they bite in, and is the reason they are not recommended on fuel oil in a residence, whereas flares exhibit no weakening, due to a even clamping force on the flares and a larger sealing surface, much safer
    Last edited by akaothermick; 02-22-2015 at 11:42 PM.

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