Heating Oil Tanks: 5 Things You Should Know
If you own a Massachusetts home that was built in or before 1990 that still has its original heating oil tank, chances are it’s overdue for a replacement.
If you’re unclear whether or not you should install a new heating oil tank – or just want to make an informed decision about the next one you purchase – here are five things to keep in mind when shopping for an oil tank replacement.
Fuel Tank Tips
- Most residential heating oil tanks are one size. Although oil tanks are available in sizes up to 3,000 gallons or more, the most common nameplate volume for a residential indoor heating oil storage tank is 275 gallons. They are available in both horizontal (H) and vertical (V) orientations.
- Your heating oil tank can’t be filled to its stated capacity. Although an oil tank has a “nameplate capacity,” it can’t actually hold that much fuel: some space (typically about 15-20 percent) must be left for air and debris inside the tank. This is important to know when calculating how much fuel you have left before scheduling a heating oil delivery.
- In New England, indoor tanks are the norm. Here in Massachusetts (and in cold climates like New England generally), few oil storage tanks are kept outside, because heating oil gels (freezes into a sticky, heating system-clogging liquid) below 16° F. Although additives and kerosene blends can slow gelling, the better solution is to locate your heating oil tank indoors.
- Today’s heating oil tanks are far more leak resistant than older models. Modern heating oil tanks a far cry from the rust- and decay-prone tanks of years past. Hybrid, double-walled steel tanks with plastic or fiberglass inner linings have become virtually leak proof: only about .06 percent of today’s double-walled tanks will develop a leak problem. They’ll also last a lot longer than older oil tanks – as much as 50 years, if properly maintained.
- If your heating oil tank does corrode, it will probably happen from the inside-out. Indoor single-walled steel heating oil tanks tend to corrode due to the presence of condensation (water) and debris inside the tank rather than elements outside the tank – which means you might not always see a leak coming. That’s why services like Holden Oil’s TANK-GUARD are so valuable. During our regular heating oil delivery, we will treat your tank with TANK-GUARD’s corrosion inhibitor for an added dose of protection. TANK-GUARD also includes tank replacement coverage if damage happens as a result of internal corrosion.
The Bottom Line
Heating oil tanks give you control for the long fall and winter ahead: you’ll have heating oil on-site and ready for the cold, and you’ll only pay for the fuel you need. If you think you might need to replace your heating oil tank, do it sooner than later – oil tank failure is definitely a headache you want to avoid!
If you’re considering a heating oil tank installation in the North Shore of MA, contact Holden Oil today for a FREE estimate. We’ll remove your old tank quickly, safely, and cleanly so you can enjoy the safety and comfort of your new heating oil storage solution. If you need TANK-GUARD coverage, we can take care of that too – contact us to learn more.