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4 Heating Oil Delivery Tips

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Regular oil deliveries are important if you depend upon them to heat your home. The following tips can make the process go smoothly.

1. Know the Tank Location

It's important that you know the location of your oil tank. In some homes, it is obvious, as it is located in the basement or right next to the home. In homes with underground tanks, though, it can be a bit more challenging. There will likely be an additional fee if the delivery service has to locate your tank before they can fill it. You can walk your property looking for the fill tube or check the property plans at the county offices to determine the location of your tank.

2. Clear the Fill Tube Access

Once you know the location of the tank and fill tube, you need to provide clear access. This may mean cutting back plants and cleaning up the landscaping around the fill tube so that no debris interferes with the oil delivery or accidentally gets in the tank during delivery. You may also need to clear the passage to the fuel tank. Most delivery trucks are equipped with long hoses, so the fuel truck likely won't need to leave the driveway or road during the fill. The delivery driver will need to haul the hose to the fill tube, though, so make sure it's easy to reach.

3. Track the Tank Level

It's vital that you have an accurate gauge of oil levels in the tank. Tanks are equipped with a gauge, dipstick, or both. You can verify that the gauge is accurate by testing against the reading on the dipstick. If the gauge is broken, then it needs to be replaced. The reason is simple — it is best to have an oil delivery before the tank is more than 1/3 to 1/2 empty. Sludge builds up on the bottom of the tank over time. If the tank is allowed to get too empty, the influx of new oil during delivery will stir up the sludge, causing it to enter the fuel lines and cause issues in the lines or your appliances.

4. Test Fuel Flow

Test the fuel flow before your oil delivery. If the pilot light on your furnace keeps going out or seems to flicker, then the fuel line or fuel valve may be clogged with sludge or impurities. It's best to have the problem repaired before filling the oil tank for a simple reason. In some cases, the tank may need to be cleaned of sludge in order to fix the problem, which is much more complicated if the tank is full.

Contact a fuel oil delivery service for more help.