Of all the home heating options, heating oil is the safest: it does not ignite at room temperature and can safely be stored in a tank in or near your home. That tank is made of high-grade steel, it’s extremely durable, and should last at least a few decades with proper maintenance. Similarly to many aspects of home ownership, a heating oil tank requires regular inspection by a professional, but there are a few things you can do to maintain the tank and keep your family safe.
Heating Oil Tank Maintenance & Safety Tips
Keep the Area Clean
The area around the heating oil tank should be kept clear. If it is inside, don’t store any household items around the tank. If it’s outside, try to keep bushes and debris away from the tank and vent line, and mow any tall grasses. Make sure it hasn’t settled or shifted: the tank should be at least four inches above the ground on all sides.
Many homeowners like to install an enclosure around the tank to hide it from view, which can also protect the tank from bad weather. Consult your heating oil company to find out how much room there needs to be around the tank before you install an enclosure.
Moisture is the enemy of heating oil and heating oil tanks: it can cause an oil tank to corrode and fail. It is especially important to keep moisture out of the tank’s interior, which can cause corrosion from the inside out. All tanks should be regularly inspected to make sure any visible corrosion is only on the exterior. Regularly painting your outdoor tank can mitigate rust and corrosion.
Replace When Necessary
Whether your tank has expired or failed due to corrosion, you will eventually have to replace it. Your heating oil company can gauge when you need to replace the tank, but if you smell oil or see wet spots around the tank, you may need to replace it sooner than expected. These can indicate corrosion. When it’s time for a replacement, let your heating oil company determine the right size and type for your home and the ideal location for installation.
If you ever smell oil from your tank, call a professional as soon as possible. Apple Oil has served residential and commercial customers in West Haven, CT, for over 30 years. They provide heating oil delivery, service, tank inspections, and replacements. Give them a call at (203) 934-3835, or visit the website for additional information.