Maintaining your heating oil or propane tank

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It looks like spring might be coming early to Oregon, but that doesn’t mean the home heating season is over yet. Anyone who’s lived in the Northwest for at least a couple of years knows that they could be running their heat one day and their fan the next well into early summer. Sometimes we have to run our heat and fans on the same day! If you didn’t get your oil or propane tank checked this past fall, spring is a good time to call in the professionals for your annual tank fill and maintenance. You might even get an off-season deal.

Until you have a chance to schedule that appointment, here’s some general tips for maintaining your heating oil tank or propane tank in optimal condition. A tank in proper working order can ensure your home heating system is running efficiently – and safely.

Common-sense visual check:

  • Look for rust accumulation, even on support framework.
  • Check the vents. Are they corroded, clogged, or missing?
  • Most leaks happen at the gauge. Check it for leaks and confirm that it’s accurately measuring.
  • Listen that your tank vent whistle is working properly when your tank is being filled.
  • Watch out for moisture that causes mold and moss to grow on the tanks. This can corrode and compromise oil and propane tanks.

DIY maintenance:

  • Keep your tank area free from obstacles that can block proper maintenance and inspection.
  • Protect your tank from potential ice or wind damage, including falling branches.
  • Especially for propane tanks, keep all flammable materials away from the tank like leaves, weeds, bushes and wood piles.
  • Use an anti-mold or de-moss spray when necessary on your tank annually, particularly if you are on the damp, west side of Oregon or Washington.
  • For heating oil tanks, fill them at the end of the season. Over the summer months, condensation can occur, resulting in water build-up inside the tank. Water + metal = an opportunity for rust to develop.

When to call in the pros immediately:

  • If you see a leak or you can smell oil or propane.
  • If you are running low on fuel.
  • If you identify an area of corrosion that could destabilize your tank or spring a leak.

2020 Tank Inspection Special

You should get a full, professional inspection of your heating system at least once a year. Right now, to celebrate Spring, Carson’s HVAC professionals are offering a $79 special* on inspections of  residential above-ground heating oil tanks. That’s a $40 savings!

For propane tanks, please contact Carson Propane to arrange a tank inspection at 541.956.1863, option 3. 

* Expires April 30, 2020. Available in areas serviced by Carson HVAC, which include Portland, Beaverton, Gresham, Tigard, Hood River, Tualitan, Hillsboro, Aurora, Cascade Locks, Oregon City, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, and Vancouver. Tank must be accessible and visible. Special excludes underground heating oil tanks and propane tanks. 

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