Connecticut Oil Tank Replacement & Installation
What is an Oil Tank?
An oil tank is a container or reservoir that stores oil before it is used by the heating system. The tank itself is generally a welded steel enclosure, with rounded edges top and bottom. Residential heating oil tank sizes range from 220 gallons to 2,000 gallons, but the most common size used in homes is 275 gallons, followed by 330 gallons. The standard oil tank comes in two basic shapes: oval and cylindrical.
How Does an Oil Tank Work?
An oil tank is filled through a fill pipe on the outside of the house. As the pump on an oil delivery truck is turned on, oil starts flowing into the tank, and forces the air out of the tank through the vent pipe. On the inside of the tank, hanging beneath the vent pipe, is a whistle/vent alarm. The whistle measures approximately 6 inches long, but can vary in height for different tanks. As the air escapes, it makes an audible whistling sound that the driver can hear from outside the house. Because this whistle hangs down into the tank, as the tank is filled the oil eventually rises and touches it. When this happens, the whistle stops vibrating (and therefore whistling) and the driver knows to shut the pump off. There is still air space left in the top of the tank, generally about 5-6 inches from the top. This allows for some expansion of the oil as it warms up, and prevents the tank from being overfilled if the pump is not shut off right away. Oil lines then transport the oil from the tank to the burner as the unit calls for fuel.
How Long Do Oil Tanks Last?
The average home heating oil tank will last somewhere between 15-30 years. Some insurance companies and local city ordinances will require you to replace the tank between the 15-20 year mark for safety reasons, but with proper care, a tank could last even longer.
Signs Your Oil Tank Needs Replacement
- Oil seepage: When heating oil is found outside the tank or you detect an odor, the tank should be checked for cracks or holes. While there’s very little danger of the heating oil outside the tank igniting, it will seep into the ground and harm the environment.
- Water inside the tank: Oil and water will remain separated, so you can often see when water is inside the tank. Water causes rust and compromises the integrity of the tank.
- Cracks in plumbing connections: Check near joints and seams which are common places for cracks to occur. Plumbing leaks can usually be repaired without total system replacement.
- Physical damage: Damage on an outdoor tank's exterior can happen from weather, lawn equipment. Indoor tanks can also be damaged by rust or dents caused by objects falling on them. Never store anything too close to the tank or other heating equipment.
Expert Installations by Skilled Technicians
You can trust Levco’s full team of certified installation experts to install your new oil tank, where and when you need it. We also offer installation services on a wide variety of heating and cooling systems for your home or business. We proudly work with all the top brands of equipment, including Granby and Roth, installing it correctly to the manufacturers specifications, thereby reducing the likelihood of issues. From small equipment replacements to brand new facility or home build-outs, there is no job too big or too difficult.
FAQs About Oil Tanks
Should I install my oil tank above ground or underground?
According to the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, it's better if residential tanks are installed above ground. Underground tank (UST) leaks may go undetected for some time. With an above ground storage tank (AST), you are more likely to detect a leak before it becomes severe. Cleanup of AST leaks are typically easier and less costly than leaks from USTs.
How often should I have my heating oil tank inspected and serviced?
All heating oil tanks should be inspected and serviced annually.. HVAC service providers, like Levco, routinely service and inspect your tank, during your annual boiler service. If you detect a problem in between regular maintenance calls, contact your HVAC service provider right away. Oil tank inspection, service and maintenance should only be completed by a trained HVAC professional.
Where are oil tanks usually located?
Oil tanks are typically placed in a basement, crawl space, or garage, depending on the amount of room available in the home. Oil tanks can also be installed outside the home, usually above ground, though some larger sized tanks are buried underground.
What size oil tank do I need?
The size of the oil tank that is right for your home depends on several factors. These include the size of your home and the amount of space you have for the storage tank, how many people live in the home, your optimum thermostat temperature, the climate you live in, whether you use oil for hot water as well as heat, and your family’s average consumption rate. The average tank size is 275-gallons, which is generally found in one to two bedroom homes, while 300-500 gallon tanks are generally used in three, four or more bedroom homes.
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