As winter settles in across Alaska, residents and businesses are turning on the heat and preparing for the cold months ahead. To help Alaskans stay warm this season, Crowley has published this new video and blog offering important heating oil tank care tips and information. Watch it or read the summary below to learn how to inspect and maintain your above-ground heating oil tank all year long.
The following are general guidelines about visually inspecting and maintaining an above-ground home heating oil tank. Inspect tank and filtration systems regularly as freezing temperatures may cause damage, cracks or ruptures. Always check with local building authorities and fire departments before replacing a heating oil tank. Local codes may be more strict than state or federal codes.
Tip 1: Inspect and Maintain Heating Oil Tanks Monthly
Staying safe and warm during the cold months requires regular heating oil tank care. Crowley Fuels recommends that heating tank owners inspect and maintain their tanks monthly. Visual inspections of the tanks should watch for the following potential issues:
- Loose fittings and leaks
- A strong, persistent fuel odor
- Dead or dying vegetation around the tank
- Pitting or scarring
- Corrosion or a horizontal weep line, indicating internal tank corrosion
- Functionality of the on/off valves
- Filter and filter housing integrity and checking for water
- A clear vent/fill access
- Any lean or tilt of the tank
The climate and seasonal conditions can change quickly in Alaska. Watching for early signs of problems early can ward off expensive and dangerous situations later.
Tip 2: Using the Gauging Chart
The amount of fuel remaining in a tank may be calculated by gauging the fuel level in inches and using a tank chart to determine the number of gallons remaining. Charts can be obtained online or by contacting your local Crowley Fuels provider. To see the amount of fuel remaining in the tank, customers can dip a measuring stick into the tank, then compare the level to the chart. This simple trick can help fuel consumers plan and schedule refills. Crowley Fuels customers enrolled in the keep-full program* do not need to worry about fuel levels, as the company ensures there is always an adequate amount of fuel in your tank.
Customers can also check for water inside the tank by putting a water gauging paste on the stick prior to dipping it into the tank. If water is present, the colored-paste will change color. Gauging paste may be purchased at most hardware stores, or by contacting your Crowley Fuels provider.
Tip 3: Awareness of Obstacles and Hazards
When performing monthly inspections, heating tank owners should assess the areas surrounding heating oil tanks. Look for new obstacles or hazards around the tank, such as overhanging trees that could drop limbs or snow and cause damage. Keep access to the tanks clear. Be aware that unleashed pets can be at risk if allowed to roam near heating tanks.
Tip 4: Annual Makeover
Each year, during the warm months, owners should repaint and replace aging seals or valves to extend the life of heating oil tanks. Crowley Fuels keep-full program* customers can worry less about condensation issues because Crowley Fuels ensures tanks are regularly filled, reducing the potential for accumulating condensation.
Remember, these are general guidelines about visually inspecting and maintaining an above-ground home heating oil tank. Inspect tank and filtration systems regularly as freezing temperatures may cause damage, cracks or ruptures. Always check with local building authorities and fire departments before replacing a heating oil tank. Local codes may be more strict than state or federal codes.
If you have additional questions, you may contact one of Crowley Fuels home heating fuel tank experts by using the form on this page or calling one of our professionals at 888-457-1422.
Since 1953, Crowley has transported and delivered home heating fuel to 280 communities throughout Alaska via our extensive terminal network. For more information about all the
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* Keep-full program is available on all Crowley Fuels locations, except Hooper Bay.
Andrew McAlister, of Wasilla, has worked in the petroleum industry for the last eight years, starting right out of high school. Andrew began his career as a fuel dock attendant in Valdez with Crowley and is now serving as a senior account executive at Crowley’s headquarters in Anchorage. In his current role, Andrew provides expert advice on propane service, and assists customers with propane-related needs, including tank installation by Crowley Fuels. Over the years, Andrew has continually expanded his knowledge through his various roles at Crowley, as well as other forms of education, including graduating from the University of Alaska Anchorage with an Associate in Process Technology.