Throughout the northeastern United States, No. 2 fuel is a very popular option for warming houses. Many experts recommend changing your tanks every fifteen to thirty years. In fact, some insurance companies mandate when the tanks must be changed. Chances are, if you use home heating oil in your house, you’ll have to one day dispose of the spent fuel or replace the tank. Removing the old tank or emptying the spent liquid is not terribly difficult, but there are some things you should know.
Be Careful of Fire Hazards
If you need to dispose of an old tank or if you believe yours is leaking, the first step is to contact your local fire department. Depending on the location of the tank and the effort needed to remove it, you may need to contact your supplier or another professional. Home heating oil presents a lower fire hazard than natural gas, because it is stored as a liquid and needs to be converted to a vapor before it will rapidly ignite. However, since combustible vapors can accumulate inside fuel tanks, they still present a potential fire hazard and homeowners should contact a professional or proceed with the utmost caution.
Home Heating Oil Must Be Recycled
Since it is considered hazardous waste, No. 2 fuel must be disposed of through the proper channels. You cannot just pour it in a sewer or throw it away. You should contact your local public works department and ask about the proper methods of disposal. Some counties or towns offer free pick-up and disposal. If possible, arrange for the used home heating oil to be picked up by a public agency or a professional service. If you need more information, contact your fuel provider or local fire department.
Have More Delivered to Your House
Now that you’ve replaced the tank or at least recycled the old oil, you will need to refill it. Many local companies have set delivery days for certain areas so that their entire service area can receive deliveries each week. Place an order with a company near your home so that you know the delivery will be timely. Many will charge extra for smaller orders (typically, under 100 gallons) or they will offer discounts for larger orders (typically, over 500 gallons).
Prime and Start Your System
New systems, or systems that haven’t been used in a long time, require some maintenance before they can be used again. Usually, the company that delivers your fuel will be able to prime and start your system for you.