How Often Should You Replace a Heating Oil Tank?

emergency-serviceThe most frequently asked questions about home heating oil service is in relation to the heating oil tank. It is important to know how old the heating oil tank is when you purchase a new home. You don’t want to find out that you have a 30 year old heating oil tank and then have to replace it right away.

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 reasonably last much longer. It does pay to err on the side of caution, as a leaking tank can quickly become a big problem.

It is impossible to just look at a home heating oil tank and know whether or not it needs to be replaced. This is a time when it really pays to hire a professional inspector to do a complete check-up and assessment of your tank. Once your tank hits the 15 year mark, it’s a good idea to call out your service provider and get in inspected. Annual inspections, however, are recommended even for new tanks. Most service providers include these inspections in with a preventative maintenance program.

What Should I Look For?
There are a few telltale signs that homeowners can look for that will help them to determine the status of their heating oil tank. If you see any signs of rust or excessive dents on the surface of the tank, you should definitely call out an expert. Any wet spots or weeping on the surface or underneath the oil tank should also be reported to your delivery service technician.

Sometimes improper installation is the reason why home heating oil tanks fail earlier than others. If the tank is installed precariously on its foundation or if the legs of the tank appear to be unstable, you’ll want to get it checked. If the tank is installed in an area where there is a danger of ice or snow falling onto it, you will definitely want an inspection even if there is no visible sign of damage.

If you are at all familiar with the equipment, make sure to check and see if the unit has a vent alarm. If the alarm is missing or if the whistle remains silent when the tank is being filled, your tank will need to be serviced, at the very least. Check the fuel gauge and make sure it isn’t stuck, frozen or cracked. If there are signs of oil around the gauge, it could be indicative of other issues. Check and see if the oil lines that run between the tank and furnace are encased in protective tubing. Even if these lines are under concrete or above ground, they should be protected.

Other things to look for include clogs in the vent pipe as a result of insect nesting, snow or ice. If you notice that you are using more oil than usual, you will definitely want to get your tank checked. Inefficiency is often a sign that you need to replace your heating oil tank. With any of these signs and issues, make sure to consult with a professional, experienced heating oil service technician who can advise you on any repairs, upgrades or replacements you might have to make in order to make your unit more safe and effective.

Safety Tips for the Winter Months
If there’s one thing we can count on in New England, its the annual winter storm season. As a homeowner, there are certain things you do each year to protect your home from winter storms and cold. Changing out the doors and screens for storm windows and doors is just part of the process. There are precautions that you can take to make sure that your heating system and home heating oil tank are safe and protected.

Falling snow and ice are the two biggest culprits for your heating oil tank. They can cause serious damage that can require even a brand new tank to have to be replaced. Keep your storage tank free from snow and ice, taking care to brush it off regularly throughout the winter season. If your tank gets covered in snow following a storm, use a broom to clear it. Never use a shovel, as it may severely damage the tank.

Clear away any hanging icicles that have the potential to fall from your roof, trees or other structures onto your home heating oil tank. The weight from even a seemingly small icicle can cause structural damage to your tank and it can damage gutters, awnings and other parts of your home as well.

Once a storm has passed, check your property for any downed power lines. Check your heating oil tank for any signs of leaks or damage to the piping. Contact your service provider immediately if you have any concerns about potential damage to your tank or pipe lines. Do not attempt to make any repairs yourself, as this could be very hazardous and might even cause more damage to your system.

Make sure to take time to clear all of the ice and snow from your driveway following a storm. Also clear a safe path to your heating oil tank so your service provider can keep your tank full and your house warm throughout the winter season.

Heating Oil Tank Service Plans
Columbus Energies has been providing heating oil delivery, maintenance and services to customers throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for over 50 years. They have a variety of different service plans available based upon the type of equipment and services you use. Your representative can help you choose the best plan according to your schedule and budget, to ensure that you have all of the services and benefits available.

All of the plans provided by Columbus Energies include a free annual cleaning, a full check-up and an efficiency test. Ask about the Tank Sure Program. It is designed to monitor, protect and maintain your equipment to minimize unexpected leaks. It also comes with a $1,000 tank replacement warranty that is designed to cover a normal tank replacement. This helps to protect you, your family and the environment, while minimizing unexpected costs associated with having to replace a tank that is already leaking.

Columbus Energies uses an ultrasonic inspection to test the thickness of your tank. Home heating oil tanks often corrode from the inside out, so while you tank may look great on the outside, it might be thinning and wearing away on the inside. We provide you with a Tank Inspection Certificate, which might make you eligible for a discount on your home insurance policy. It is also an important document to have in-hand when you are selling your home.

Call Columbus Energies Today!
So whether you are buying a new home or are looking to switch to a new home heating oil supply service, contact Columbus Energies to find out more about all of the products, services and maintenance plans available for homeowners in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Call us today at 1-877-674-1492.