Written on: November 28, 2022
We’ve provided answers to some of the most common questions oilheat consumers in the Hudson Valley have about preparing for a delivery, checking the tank level, avoiding run-outs, and more.
If you have a heating oil tank in your basement, you’ll hear a whistling noise as your tank starts to fill up. But don’t worry. This is perfectly normal.
Besides the tank itself, your heating oil storage system includes important components like the fill pipe, vent pipe, and vent alarm.
After the driver arrives, he connects the hose from his oil truck to the fill pipe and starts releasing the oil. As oil flows into the tank, air is pushed back out. As the air goes through the vent alarm–located between your tank and vent pipe–it makes a whistling sound. When the whistling stops, the tank is just about full.
Since your basement tank is out of sight from the driver, the vent alarm prevents overfilling and the possibility of a spill. Safety codes do not allow your heating oil company to deliver your fuel if the vent alarm is not working.
On top of the heating oil tank is a clear glass or plastic cube that is marked with numbers that resemble the gas gauge of your car: F, ¾, ½, ¼. A red marker or float commonly indicates the amount of fuel left in your tank – if the float is at the bottom of the gauge or not visible at all, your tank is empty or nearly empty.
To make sure the gauge is working, carefully remove the outer case and gently press the float down. If it bobs back up to the original position, the gauge is working. If the gauge is not working, contact your heating oil supplier and let them know. The last thing you want to do is to start guessing how much oil is left in your tank.
To make winter deliveries easier and stress-free for you, ask your heating oil company if they offer automatic delivery. This allows them to be accurate about your fuel needs so they can make a heating oil delivery and you can continue to feel warm and safe using oilheat at home.
But if you still prefer to call for heating oil, you need to give your supplier extra time when conditions are harsh in order to avoid running out of fuel. It’s best to call for more fuel when your oil tank falls to the one-quarter mark.
Ice and snow can turn an already tough job into a potentially hazardous one. Maneuvering with a heavy hose while navigating slippery surfaces can be challenging;
You can help the driver make safer deliveries by keeping the path to your oil tank clear of snow and ice and removing any nearby obstacles, such as fallen branches.
It is also important to shovel or plow your driveway and keep it free of ice. Safety codes prohibit your heating oil company from parking an oil truck on an incline unless it is perfectly dry. Just because you can get your car down your driveway doesn’t mean a 15-ton heating oil truck can make it too.
Marking the edges of your driveway also makes it easier for delivery drivers to navigate.
Please reach out to your Hudson Valley heating oil company if you have any questions about heating oil delivery. If you think your tank may be wearing out, read about replacement options for your heating oil tank.