How To Install Residential Heating Oil Tanks

One of the most efficient ways of heating your home is to use heating oil.

There are strict building regulations with code rules which require that heating tanks be installed by fully certified licensed professionals.

Enforcement of these codes and rules is very rigorous meaning that heating oil tanks are just as safe as any other form of residential heating.

Check the rules in the town or city in which you live as each area is likely to have its own regulations regarding the installation of heating oil tanks.

Confirm rules and regulations regarding the location of heating oil tanks on your premises before going ahead with an installation. Your local officials will have all of the information that you need.

What to know before installation?

Consider using a storage room or garage which has easy access to the outside so that the heating oil delivery truck can safely and easily run a hose through to the inlet pipe.

  • Storage locations which are inside such as your garage or store room protect the tank from potential damage caused by harsh weather such as corrosion, prolonging the life of the tank.
  • In addition, by being inside, the tank is less likely to be accidentally damaged by vehicles or vandals.
  • Another advantage of locating the tank on the inside is that you have more control over the temperature at which the tank is kept.
  • Maintaining the tank at a uniform temperature means that you can help to maintain its performance in the long run and reduce maintenance costs.
  • Keeping the tank at a steady temperature minimises the risk of the tank developing frozen lines which can cause serious damage.
  • Locating the tank inside also means that you are more likely to notice potential leaks before they develop into more serious issues.
  • Inspect your tank at regular intervals in order to maintain optimal performance.

Where to place residential oil tank?

  • Place your tank at least five feet from any fuel-fed appliance and from any kind of heat source.
  • You need to be able to walk around the tank and see all four sides of it clearly.
  • 18 inches of clearance all the way around the tank should be sufficient but do verify this with your local building official.
  • If the rules require you to provide more clearance space around the tank then comply with the building code.
  • Check your local building code very carefully to confirm how far off the ground the tank needs to be.
  • At least six inches is usually acceptable, but it may be more depending on the area in which you live.
  • Concrete retains water, so placing the tank directly on concrete with no clearance will cause rust to build up. This is part of the reason why sufficient space is needed between the floor and the tank.
  • Place a catch pan suitable for holding heating oil in it underneath the heating oil tank.
  • The pan needs to be deep enough to hold any oil that may leak continuously during times when you are not around to check on it, for example, while you are away on holiday.
  • Wherever you decide to install your tank, the floor must be level. Check that the floor is level using an instrument such as a laser level. If the floor is not level, your installer may be required to level the floor before installing the tank.
  • Stack some concrete blocks in front of the tank as a barrier if you decide to install it in your car garage. This will prevent you from potentially damaging the tank by using it as some sort of parking stop.
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