How to Store Home Heating Oil for Safety

Winters can be brutal, depending on where you live. That means that you must find a way to heat your house to keep yourself and your family warm and safe. For many homes, this means the use of heating oil to produce enough warmth to get through the long winter days, and especially the nights, when things are coldest. This also means you need to know how to store home heating oil properly to avoid any potential safety or environmental issues.

Most houses that use this source of fuel have a metal tank where it is stored. This tank then has pipes and lines that deliver the oil to a heating source, creating a safe and easy delivery system. These tanks are generally heavy duty and well built, and must be installed by a professional.

The oil itself is delivered via trained professionals as well. Generally, they will put in a special additive upon delivery that extends the life of the product so that it does not go bad before you use it all up. This is great because there is less chance of spoilage, plus it allows you to store any unused product until the next year. Most oils are good for at least 18 months, but up to 24 months after they are delivered and have had the additive put in.

If you are not sure if the additive has been put in, you should ask. The reason is that without the additives, most heating oils will spoil much quicker than the 18 to 24 month timeframe. They could begin to get a sludge that could clog up the lines, meaning it will not get delivered into your boiler or heater, and you get less or even no heat as a result. To avoid this, make sure the additive is put in to keep everything running smoothly.

This preservative also helps lessen the growth of bacteria, and guards against such growths should water accidentally find its way into the tank. During the summer, condensation can build up inside, causing water droplets to mix with the fuel. This breaks down the oil and can cause it to go bad. However, with the right preservatives, this should not be a problem.

As long as the additives are put in, you should be able to leave the oil in the tank over the summer with no issues. On occasion though, you may feel the need to change it out for fresher product, especially if it has been sitting in the container for two years or more already. You should call the people you bought it from to come remove it for you. In some cases, they may buy it back if it is still in good condition.

You should only let the pros handle this job. Never try to remove it yourself. Never pour it down a drain or into a storm sewer, as this can contaminate local water sources, making it dangerous to drink or use the water.

Even dumping it on the ground can cause it to move through the soil and into a nearby water source, causing more contamination. Use good judgement, and you will never have to worry about contamination or improper storage.

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