Learn which heating oil tank size and type is right for your home
Your heating oil tank — that humble, dependable workhorse that’s been keeping homes warm for so many decades — can be easy to forget about. But eventually it will need replacing. When considering a new heating oil tank installation, you’ll need to know a few key things before you make your decision.
When it’s time to replace your heating oil tank
Underground heating oil tanks usually last about 15-20 years, whereas the lifespan of an aboveground oil tank is about 25-30 years, or longer. If your tank is showing rust, dents, surface moisture, oil on the floor, unstable legs or split fuel lines, it’s time to start shopping for a new one.
Or if you’re embarking on new construction and comparing options, take heart — today’s heating oil tank models are environmentally friendly and versatile.
Not only are these modern heating oil tanks virtually leak-proof, they can be installed in your basement, garage or any shaded area near your home. And with their double-walled construction, corrosion-resistant galvanized steel and sophisticated leak-detection systems, they should last for decades.
Determine your current heating oil tank size
Whether you’re looking to install a heating oil tank for new construction or to replace your existing one, it’s important to ensure you get the correct size. Capacity is measured in gallons. Depending on how old your existing heating oil tank is, the number of gallons it holds should be shown on its nameplate.
If that information is not shown, you can calculate it yourself by measuring the tank’s height, length and width. For instance, a steel vertical 275-gallon oil tank might measure 27” wide, 44” high and 60” long. Some tanks with similar dimensions lay flat (called “horizontal oil tanks”) but have the same capacity.
These measurements will identify your current tank size and then be combined with other factors to determine the correct size and type of new tank for your needs.
What size oil tank is right for your home?
Heating oil tank sizes range from about 100 gallons (usually for apartments) to as large as 675 gallons. The typical residential tank size is 275 gallons, which is adequate to heat a three-bedroom home. Larger homes might have 330-gallon or even 500-gallon tanks.
Some factors used to calculate the right heating oil tank size for you and your family include:
Expanded home footprint. If you’ve added spaces to your home or finished a basement, you’re probably using more heating oil than what the current tank was designed for.
Family size and special needs. You often need to keep your home on the warmer side for infants and older adults, meaning you’ll use more heating oil than the average homeowner.
Accessibility issues. If where you live makes it harder for a heating oil company to reach you in the winter or bad weather, you might want to consider having a larger heating oil tank so that you can go longer between oil deliveries.
Where you plan to install the tank. Most new aboveground tanks can be installed in smaller spaces than in the past — even in a closet or virtually any shaded area near your home. They can also be hidden inside an enclosure for aesthetic reasons.
If you have an underground heating oil tank, the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) recommends replacing it with a leak-proof aboveground model. Even though modern underground tanks made of double-walled plastic and fiberglass won’t corrode, leaks could still develop in the piping if the tank isn’t installed properly. Check your local municipality for regulations covering heating oil tank removal and installation for both underground and aboveground tanks.
Heating oil tank removal
You’ll want to consult with seasoned professionals to arrange for the removal of your existing tank. Ideally you’ll use the same experienced company for removal and installation as well as heating oil tank repairs.
Rucci Oil is here to help
Whether you need heating oil tank maintenance, heating oil delivery or are thinking of replacing your tank, we’re here to offer you smart solutions as the company of choice for customers across Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Jersey City area since 1927.
We make your first step easy — just contact us today for expert, friendly service.