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What a Safe Heating Oil Delivery Sounds Like

Hearing

Posted: September 27, 2018

Another heating season brings us many familiar sights and sounds. This can include seeing the oil delivery truck arriving at your home and hearing the hard-working driver dragging that heavy hose toward your oil tank.

If your oil tank is located in your basement and you’re home when our driver makes his delivery, you’ll also hear a whistling noise as your tank starts to fill up. This is perfectly normal. But do you know why you hear this sound?

Besides your tank, your heating oil storage system includes the fill pipe, vent pipe and vent alarm. After our 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 our driver, the vent alarm prevents overfilling and the possibility of a spill. Safety codes do not allow us to deliver your fuel if the vent alarm is not working.

Speaking of safety codes, here are a few more things you should know about your oil piping:

  • The vent pipe should be at least 1.25 inches in diameter. A narrow diameter allows excessive pressure to build up inside the tank during filling, which can cause a tank rupture.
  • PVC piping does not meet NFPA safety codes and must be replaced because they are more likely to crack when tanks are being filled.
  • It is the homeowner’s responsibility to properly maintain fuel tanks and all associated piping.

If you have any questions about your oil storage system, please contact us. We will be happy to help answer your questions.