Alaska's winters are among the most severe in the Northern Hemisphere especially in the interior regions where low temperatures can reach minus 80 degrees. Industrial, commercial and residential property owners rely heavily on a variety of heating systems that use wood, coal, propane, or fuel oil to keep working and living spaces warm in such a hard climate. To ensure safety, it is critically important that heating appliances are properly installed.
In this new video "A Guide to Alaska Home Heating Oil Tanks: What you need to know before installing a Home Heating Oil Tank", Crowley Fuels' Jim Fowler, manager of business development, explains the best practices for installing or replacing an above-ground home heating oil tank.
You can also read more details about what you need to know about home heating oil tanks by scrolling to the content below the video.
Before Installing a Home Heating Oil Tank
Always check with local building authorities and fire departments before installing a heating oil tank. Local codes may be more strict than state or federal codes. These are general guidelines about home heating oil tank installation.
Confirm any size restrictions on your tank, and how far from the windows or doors the tank must be. These are all things that you need to know prior to starting an installation so you don't have to reinstall the tank, downsize or make costly and time-consuming changes. Once installed, remember to inspect tank and filtration systems regularly as freezing temperatures may cause damage, cracks or ruptures.
Consider the location
The above ground tank should be accessible
A well-built foundation
You need to put the above ground tank on a cement pad equal to or larger than the outside diameter of the tank and it should be three inches thick. The tank's legs should be made of steel, up to 12 inches high, and provide six inches of clearance between the bottom of the tank and the pad. The tank can also be put on a pressure treated wood platform on top of the pad if elevation is needed to protect it from heavy
Foundation rules of thumb:
|Minimum thickness of the pressure treated wood platform or cement pad|
|Clearance between tank bottom and platform or pad|
|Steel pipe tank leg height; threaded into a flange and lagged into platform or pad|
|Location away from the drip line or on the gable side of the house|
Selecting the right hardware: shut off or ball valve
It is important to have a good filtration system on your heating tank to prevent damage or harm. A water-block filter is recommended as its absorbing polymers swell and trap the water and other microscopic particles to prevent them from flowing into your home heating appliance.
Fill access and tank vent
Every heating tank needs to have a fill access with a locking cap and a vent. A fill access is where the fuel is pumped into the tank, and the locking cap prevents debris, water or snow from getting in. The vent allows the tank to breathe. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation requires home heating fuel tanks to be vented to the atmosphere, tanks 660 gallons or larger are required to have a two-inch vent with a weatherproof cap or a gooseneck, and the vent should be located at least two feet from any building opening.
Pipes and piping
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation states that fuel lines that run underground, in or under floors should be continuous, with no connections, from the tank to the home heating appliance. Supply and return lines in the ground or
Optional accessories for your home heating tank
To help fuel providers deliver home heating fuel quicker and safer, it is convenient to have a step ladder close to the tank. In the example shown
Alarms and gauges
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation recommends all tanks should have a method for determining fuel level
Accessibility to the tank
To ensure the safety of your home, family and the fuel supplier, the tank area must be readily accessible and kept clear from obstructions, including unleashed pets.
Remember, these are general guidelines about home heating oil tank installation. 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 installing 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
Crowley Fuels' Jim Fowler, of Ketchikan, is a 30 year veteran in retail sales and marketing. Jim started in the petroleum industry 13 years ago as an operations manager and currently serves the company as the business development manager for Ketchikan and Southern Southeast Alaska. In his current role Jim maintains customer relationships, develops new business opportunities and administers marketing and promotional opportunities. In addition, Jim provides technical support in lubricant, chemical, filtration and battery solutions for customers and maintains all non-fuel inventories and associated sales. Jim studied Business History at Chadron State College and continues his educational opportunities having completed the Exxon Mobil DELTA training and EMI Fundamentals of the Petroleum Industry. Jim is a lifelong Alaska resident going back three generations and enjoys hiking, photography and collecting Alaskan artifacts and literature.