How to Keep Heating Oil From Freezing

When cold weather arrives we always worry about water pipes freezing but one thing you may not think about is the heating oil in your tank. Heating oil can freeze and can cause a host of issues with your heating system, including the filters, fuel pumps, and nozzles, which can be expensive to fix. Here are a few tips to help keep your oil from freezing!

Heating oil freezes because of exposure to water in the oil tank or fuel system so the key to keeping it from freezing is to keep the water out. You’ll want to keep an eye on the fill and vent pipe caps on the oil tank to make sure they are tight and secure to stay watertight. You can also check the tank gauges to make sure they’re not cracked or broken off. In general keeping your oil tank in good order with regular inspections and maintenance will help catch any issues that may be letting water into the tank. Read more about it in our blog: Preparing Your Oil Tank for Winter

As strange as it may sound, another way to prevent water from entering the tank is to consider the colour of your tank. While you can paint your tank whatever colour you want to suit your home, just don’t paint over any identifying tags or stickers, it’s best not to paint it a dark colour. Darker colours absorb heat which can make the inside of the tank sweat and therefore cause moisture to collect in the tank. To help counteract this, choose a lighter colour if you’re going to paint your tank. It’s also best to keep the tank full in the summer to prevent the tank from sweating on hot days. 

When you do have a technician come by for annual maintenance they can and should dip the tank to check for water. Because water is heavier than oil it collects at the bottom of the tank and if it is present, the water can be pumped out without disturbing the fuel. 

With these tips and proper maintenance you will hopefully never have to worry about frozen heating oil! 
Want to learn more about your oil tank? Check out our Parts of an Oil Tank blog!. And if you’re interested in finding out about the oil tanks we sell to customers you can read more here.

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