Heating Oil Tank: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted: February 6, 2023

Increase Your Knowledge About Oil Tanks

Here are answers to some of the common questions we get about heating oil tanks.

Q: How Long Do Heating Oil Tanks Last?

Heating oil tanks can last for decades, but like anything else, they eventually need to be replaced. Life spans vary depending on the humidity in the environment, the thickness of the tank’s wall and other factors. When tanks do fail, it’s hard to see it coming, because they generally erode from the inside out.

That’s why it’s a good idea to have them inspected periodically since cleaning up a tank leak can be incredibly expensive. We also recommend that you speak to us about our ProGuard® Tank Protection. This is available for both underground and aboveground tanks.

If your oil tank is more than 30 years old, it’s a good idea to look into your heating oil tank replacement options.

How Can I Tell If My Oil Tank Is Wearing Out?

Besides getting periodic professional tank inspections, you should also do your own visual inspections because some trouble signs can actually be seen, including:

Why Do Heating Oil Tanks Wear Out?

Besides just wearing out due to age, a heating oil tank can fail because of condensation on the inside. When there is a lot of empty space in an oil tank during the spring and summer, condensation can form along the inside walls. This eventually turns into sediment later, and, if ignored, can result in corrosion.

To avoid condensation from forming, you should keep your oil tank full during the warm-weather months.

If I Replace My Tank, Should I Change Its Size?

Today’s heating oil tanks come in a range of sizes and shapes. The heating oil pros at Wilson Oil and Propane can help you find the most suitable heating oil tank and get it installed quickly and correctly.

What Are the Different Tank Sizes for a Home?

Although heating oil tank sizes can include everything from 230, 240, 330, 500 (underground tank) 550 (two 275-gallon aboveground tanks) and 1,000 gallons*, the most common size for a residential heating oil tank is a 275-gallon aboveground tank. (*1000-gallon tanks are underground in the majority of cases.)

A general industry rule-of-thumb is that one or two-bedroom homes typically require a 275-gallon heating oil tank; three- or four- bedroom homes typically would need to go larger. However, some homes cannot accommodate larger heating oil tanks; you’ll need to have your space measured before deciding on your replacement tank.

What Other Factors Should I Consider?

Here are two other factors

  1. Current and future family size. As your family grows, so does your fuel consumption.
  2. Lifestyle. Do you spend long vacations away from home? Do you have elderly relatives living with you who need a warmer house? These are among the factors that will affect how frequent your heating oil delivery will be– and how big a heating oil tank you should get.

Where Should I Install My Oil Tank?

In cold climates like ours, few heating oil tanks are kept outdoors because heating oil can thicken and gel in extreme cold. The best solution is to locate your heating oil tank indoors, typically in the basement.

Partner with the People You Can Trust

As a full-service heating oil company, Wilson Oil and Propane can assure you that you’ll save a lot of headaches — and avoid equipment issues down the line — if you bring in certified professionals to replace your heating oil tank.

Not only can we offer you a wide selection of heating oil tanks and the knowledge to install them correctly efficiently, our installers are also experienced in the best ways to transfer your existing fuel and dispose of the old tank.

Our reliable team of heating oil professionals will work with you from the beginning to ensure that you have the right size for your heating needs, your heating system and the size of your home.

Once your tank is selected, our expert installation team will adhere to all industry regulations, guidelines and codes to handle a proper heating oil tank installation that’s safe and efficient.

Contact us today to request a heating oil tank inspection or for a FREE, no obligation estimate on a new heating oil tank system for your Delaware Valley home.