Standard steel oil tanks feature a top feed intake pipe and vent pipe that go outside. These allow for the driver to delivery oil through the intake pipe, while hearing for a whistling noise from the vent pipe to know when the tank is full. The oil that is stored in the tank is fed to the heating system through the bottom of the tank where it is filtered and sent through a copper line.
One of the negative aspects of oil tanks is condensation that collects inside the tank. This occurs naturally due to the vent pipe being open to external elements. As stated before air needs to be able to get out of your tanks as it is filled. Thanks to constant changes in temperature, ever changing weather, and time water will evenually collect in your oil tank. This can lead to corrosion and eventual leaks or failures. ckSmithSuperior does treat our fuel to and we have several proceedures in place, like end of season deliveries to help combat against this. Check out our tank protection page for things you can do to reduced the risk from leaks.
Roth tanks just like their steel counterparts are top fed to the intake pipe and vent pipes from outside to inside the home. One of the major differences is that the oil from the tank to the heating system is also pulled from the top. This helps to remove sediment from collecting in the filter, reducing the risk of clogs along the pipe. Roth tanks double walled with an inner polyethylene tank and a galvanized steel outside tank. For more in-depth information on Roth Tanks, head over to our Roth Tank page.
Oil tanks whether they are a Steel Tank or a Roth Tank are most often found in the basement or close to your heating system. This is different than propane tanks that must stay outside or natural gas that is piped into the house from the street. Oil tanks in the basement should be in the same room as the heating system to allow for an optimal flow of oil from the tank to the heating system. Oil lines are made of copper and are required by state law to be covered by a plastic coating, usually orange. This coating prevents against the copper piping corroding over time.
Oil tanks should always be freestanding and should remain clear of debris. If your oil tank cannot stand on its own then you should consider replacing it as soon as possible.
Oil tanks that are outside need to be better protected than their inside counterparts. First, you should make sure that your oil tank is set on a concrete pad. This ensures that your oil tank stays level and is not susceptible to influxes in the condition of the soil. Next, you need to be mindful of snow and ice falling onto your tank. You need to have something that covers the oil filter and attachments for the oil line out of the tank. Roth tanks have an easy attachment that goes on the top of the tank that looks similar to a roof or a tent. Lastly, you should ensure that your oil tank is anchored to your home. While oil tanks are relatively heavy it a good safety practice to make sure your tank can't tip over and spill.