Many home heating choices are available to the consumer, from a portable electric heater to a central heating system. However, the electricity needed for heating a home through these options can cause a large utility bill at the end of the month. In fact, a cleaner and more economical choice may be to use heating oil. Typically, the oil system requires a standard steel storage tank holding 275 gallons of heating oil.
Heating Oil Tank Configuration
Heating oil began warming homes as far back as the 1920s, with the invention of the oil burner. As time progressed, oil systems developed into a viable heating system using large oil storage tanks. A 275-gallon oil tank is typically installed above ground, whereas larger tanks are placed underground. Tank placement is possible within the home, usually in a basement or garage, or outside. When installed outside, the 275-gallon oil tank is strategically hidden within a customized box, if desired. Legs attach to the tank's bottom to avoid damaging movement within the tank storage area, such as from high winds.
The most common tank within the oil heating industry is the steel tank, states Oil Heat America.com. Its steel walls are of 12 gauge thickness for strong and durable oil containment. In addition to the steel wall composition, many tanks include composites, such as corrosion resistant layers, that are placed on top of the steel. This extra layer protects the tank from deteriorating over time due to the weather. A common 275-gallon size tank measures 44 inches long, 27 inches wide and 60 inches high.
Filling Safety Specifications
To prevent an overfill or a spill, 275-gallon oil tanks must have filling accessories attached. An oil delivery person attaches a tube from the truck to the oil tank's fill pipe. As oil flows from the truck to the storage tank, a vent pipe allows air pressure to escape. A vent alarm sounds when the tank is almost full, notifying the delivery person that the oil delivery is complete.
Internal Corrosion Considerations
Above ground 275-gallon tanks have corrosion-resistant layers surrounding the tank's exterior, but the tanks can corrode internally. Internal corrosion occurs when air condenses within the tank, adding water to the oil mixture. The water chemically reacts with the internal steel wall, creating damaging corrosion. Typically, the delivery fill tube is installed at the tank's bottom, allowing drainage of water from the tank's interior while the outside oil burner operates. A strange oil smell or wet spots surrounding the tank should be immediately inspected by a trained oil tank professional, states Oil Heat America.
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