Help! My Oil Tank is Giving Me The Cold Shoulder

Cold home with an angry couple warmly clothed hugging sitting on a sofa in the living room

Receiving the cold shoulder is never a pleasant experience. It’s particularly troublesome when your oil tank is the one freezing up. Why do oil tanks freeze, and how can you prevent it? Read on.

Why Does My Tank Freeze?

When the temperatures dip below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, your heating oil begins to get cloudy. This may appear concerning but ultimately doesn’t affect your oil’s ability to do its job within your heating system. However, if the temperature drops below 20 degrees an important component of heating oil, called paraffin, starts to crystallize.

Crystallized paraffin separates from the oil and clings to whatever solid surfaces are nearby. In this case, it’s fuel lines and filters. It turns into a waxy buildup that clogs your system and slows down the oil flow rate. As a result, your heating system shuts down.

How Can I Prevent My Tank From Freezing?

The best option to prevent your oil tank from freezing is to move it indoors. This ensures that the tank’s environment stays warm enough to prevent paraffin crystallization.

If moving your tank indoors isn’t an option, there are several preventative steps you can take to ensure the integrity of your system outdoors:

  1. You can place insulation around your fuel lines. (Pro Tip: Make sure you use waterproof insulation so that rain or snow doesn’t harm your system.)
  2. Ask an experienced Heating Specialties technician to create a blended heating oil for your tank. (Blended oils have a lower freezing point than traditional oils!)
  3. Bury those fuel lines! This creates a shelter for your fuel oil tank and keeps it safe during the winter months. Call us at (866) 923-2653 to find out how.

What Should I Do If My Tank Freezes?

If your tank is already clogged, don’t despair. The first thing you should do is call a technician for an emergency repair service.

While a technician makes their way to your home, take advantage of alternative heat methods. Utilize electric heaters and wood fireplaces while your technician is hard at work repairing your system.