It’s been pretty frigid here in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.
If you use heating oil to keep your home warm and have an outdoor heating oil tank, you may be wondering if heating oil can freeze.
Heating oil does begin to freeze at 16˚ Fahrenheit. But it does not freeze the same way that water does. It doesn’t become solid, like ice. Instead, heating oil thickens until it’s a waxy sludge. This condition is usually referred to as gelling.
That gelling presents some serious problems for your heating oil tank, your heating system, and your home.
Gelled oil is heavier than heating oil that has not gelled. So it sinks to the bottom of your heating oil tank. As more oil gels, the less burnable oil you have.
When gelled oil is pumped through the heating oil lines from the tank to your furnace or boiler, it builds up on the walls of those lines, reducing the flow of heating oil to your heating system. That lowers your heating system’s efficiency.
That clogging eventually reaches the atomizing nozzle, which turns your heating oil into a vapor so it can be burned. Less oil that can be converted to heat gets through. The gelled oil can also clog your heating oil filter.
Before we discuss preventative measures, we have to cover safety. NEVER tamper with your heating system equipment, heating oil tank, or heating oil. Leave this to trained, experienced professionals like the service technicians at Wesco Oil.
Here are some ways to stop gelling before it starts.
Have your heating system professionally maintained. This helps your heating system run at peak efficiency and gives our technicians an opportunity to spot any problems created by previous gelling incidents.
Cover your heating oil tank. Build a shed around it to protect it against the elements and shield it from cold winds.
Bury your heating oil line. If the line from your heating oil tank into your home is aboveground, it’s more vulnerable to the cold and helping the heating oil to gel. Burying it provides a natural insulation.
Install a wider fuel line. A wider fuel line reduces the amount of blockage from gelling.
Wesco Oil is the local leader for reliable heating oil delivery. Become a customer today!