What are heating oil tanks made from?

What are heating oil tanks made from? Most heating oil tanks, gasoline tanks, kerosene tanks and waste oil tanks are made from steel.

what are heating oil tanks made from

If we are talking about underground, or buried, fuel tanks there are some additional possibilities about the construction of the tank. For residential buried tanks in Maryland, most tanks were installed many decades ago when there was really only one type of tank installed. These tanks are constructed of steel. Most of the tanks were not protected or coated with anything so they have been buried at the property for decades and are now beyond their useful lifespan. We find that many homeowners tanks were installed below ground between 1950 – 1990. While there are tanks installed before and after that, we tend to find that in Maryland after the post WWII housing boom that many hundreds of thousands or even a million plus tanks were buried in Maryland. The common practice was to use a basic steel tank during that time. There are also different gauges of steel that could have been used. Additionally, the tank could be welded construction or if it is really, really old it could even be riveted construction.

If the buried tank is at a commercial, industrial, agricultural, or farming property then there are some additional options. Diesel fuel, gasoline, and heating oil tanks installed below ground originally would also have been steel as well. They could have been coated with a tar-type substance similar to what is used on foundations for waterproofing, but that is not typical. However, those coatings are for the original tanks, and since most commercial properties had to have the tanks registered with the state of Maryland via the MDE, especially if the tank was a gas station, then many of those original tanks have been removed and replaced at some point. Those steel tanks may have been replaced with double wall tanks or tanks constructed of fiberglass.

So, if you have an underground storage tank at your commercial property and it was installed in the last 20 – 30 years there are other tank construction options. These would be steel, steel coated with fiberglass, steel coated with plastic, or all fiberglass. These coated tanks are called double wall tanks. The double walled tanks will have the outer shell that protects the inner wall from rust, and if the inner wall was to ever leak the outer wall will contain the leak. On rare occasions we find these tanks at residential properties. However, due to the increased cost of these tanks and the fact that many of these did not come in small enough sizes for residential homeowners, most residential tanks are made of steel.  

Now, let’s discuss Aboveground heating oil storage tanks at residential properties.

You are probably familiar with the small oval shaped tank outside of or in the basement of the house. That oval shaped tank is either a 275 gallon or a 330 gallon. It is most likely a single wall steel tank, but not always.  

The basic tank is a 12 gauge, or 2.73mm thickness. An upgraded tank would be a 10 gauge, or 3.41mm thickness. These basic tanks come from the factory coated in an electrostatic powder paint and have a warranty of 10 years.

Other upgrades include a double bottom, meaning there is a 2nd layer of steel on the bottom to protect against leaks.  A tank coated with Polyurethane, or both a double bottom and a polyurethane. These warranties range from 20 to 30 years.

The next step up from these types of oval shaped steel tanks would be a double-walled tank that is actually 2 tanks in 1. They are a rectangular shape and the inner tank is made from seamless, high-density polyethylene. The outer tank is made from weld-free galvanized steel and can hold up to 110% of the volume of the inner tank. The standard warranty for these types of tanks is 30 years. They also come with leak insurance from the manufacturer.

So, as you see most home heating oil tanks are made from steel or incorporate steel in another way. You can have your residential tank installed below ground, aboveground, outside, in the basement, in the garage, or in a shed. The sizes of all the homeowner tank options also vary from as small as a 120 gallon up to a 1,000 gallon and many sizes in between. Obviously, the standard steel 275 gallon tank is heavy and the larger the tank, the double bottom or the thicker gauge of the tanks will increase the weight. So, the weight of the tank, as well as the size is important, especially if you want to install the tank in the basement. You have to think about whether or not it can be carried down the steps and if it will fit through the doorways. So, this is why the installation is best left to the professionals.

Just to be clear, by professionals we do not mean a general contractor, a plumber, or an HVAC company. These companies do not deal with tanks every day and may not install them properly, with proper fittings or per manufacturers requirements. It is best to have a tank removal & installation company, such as GreenTRAX, Inc. who does this every day be the one who installs the new tank and removes the old tank.

We can assist with picking the correct size tank for your needs, help you find a warranty that suites your needs, and a tank to fit your budget. We can also help site the location of the tank, so it is installed in the best location for your property. We will ensure the tank is installed on a stable foundation and that the tank will fit in the location that you prefer.

The tank needs to have the proper size steel fill & vent piping installed as well as the correct type and size of fuel supply line installed to the furnace.

So, if you want to be sure the job is completed properly call GreenTRAX today 410-439-1085.

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