How to Replace a Heating Oil Tank

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Heating oil tanks no longer resemble large steel beasts of burden lurking in a basement or huddling against the house. New tanks include environmental safety features such as a visually appealing coatings reinforcing the steel. Top models feature a double bottom. Whether you wish to replace on old tank due to age or leaks, the new versions offer more security and greater durability.

Things You'll Need

  • Container for storing residual oil from the old tank
  • Wrenches to fit the oil line fastenings
  • New oil tank
  • Place the open container to receive the residual waste from the old tank below the outgoing oil lines.

  • Loosen the nut attaching the line to the tank. Allow the oil to drain from the line and the tank into the container. Do not let the container overfill. Have several containers available just in case.

  • Tilt the tank towards the container to drain still more oil. Raise the oil line up so remaining oil feeding the house stays in the line and does not leak out onto the ground.

  • Remove the vent line from the tank and put aside.

  • Move the old tank away from the hookup. Keep upright at this time. You will finish draining in a later step.

  • Cap the containers and set aside.

  • Move the new oil tank into place. Attach the supply line to the house and the vent line. Tighten the nuts to secure the lines in place.

  • Tilt or turn the old tank on its side to drain the remaining oil. Follow your state's specific guidelines for proper disposal of the tank and the oil from it. A call to a heating oil company can provide you with these guidelines. Some companies may remove the old tank for a fee.

  • Add fresh clean heating oil to the new tank. Do not re-use the oil from the old tank to avoid introducing debris into your new tank.

  • Locate the bleeder nut where the oil supply line feeds into your furnace. Turn the furnace on. Hold a disposable bottle or cup under the nut and turn until air or oil sprays out. Wait a few minutes to be sure all the air has been removed and then tighten the nut.

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