Listening For A Whistle With An Oil Delivery


During a heating oil delivery, you may hear an unexpected whistle. If you are unfamiliar with the process of replenishing the oil in a tank, it may seem alarming. However, the whistling sound is a good sign that tells you everything with the tank and the filling process is as it should be. The noise is produced by the oil tank vent alarm, and it is an expected, and even desired, sound.

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The Importance Of An Oil Tank Vent Alarm

Despite the fact that the alarm may initially startle you, it is a crucial aspect of fuel oil delivery. Heating a home with oil is vastly different from heating a home with natural gas. A home heated with oil has a tank that holds the oil supply for the heat. As the oil is utilized, the level in the tank naturally goes down. The space that was taken up with oil is now filled with air. When the oil reaches a level at which it must replenished, an oil delivery is made. The incoming oil will again take up the space in question.

The air in there will have to exit the tank to make room for the new supply of oil. The vent that allows the air to escape is equipped with an alarm that whistles and lets the oil delivery driver know that air is leaving the tank as it should. The whistle may seem unnecessarily loud, but it is very important that it is audible from the delivery truck for obvious reasons.


When The Vent Alarm Goes Silent

As long as air from inside the tank is escaping and whistling, the driver knows that there is still room in the tank for more oil. Once the air is gone from all of the available space, it means the tank is full of oil. It is time to stop pumping it into the tank. The individual delivering the oil will stop the pumping oil from the truck. This is not an automatic function; it must be done by hand, so it’s important to pay attention to the whistle and time the shut-off properly.

There is a great deal of variance in the size of oil tanks. As most are either in the basement of a building or even buried beneath the ground, it is often impossible to know the capacity of the tank being filled. The whistle of the vent alarm takes the guesswork out of the delivery process. The end of the whistle is a signal for the end of pumping.

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What Happens When An Alarm Is Silent?

The vent alarm is crucial to a safe and accurate filling of a tank. As a matter of fact, companies that deliver oil for heating usually have a policy- if they do not hear a whistle when they start to deliver oil, they will not complete the process. Once the nozzle is opened and the oil begins to flow, there should be an immediate resulting whistle.

When nothing is heard, the oil supply is quickly cut off. Although the lack of a whistle could be from a fault in the tank, or even around it, the delivery person will not be able to tell when the tank is full. Overfilling a tank could mean a hazardous oil spill on the property in question.


Possible Reasons for A Silent Oil Tank Alarm

image of an oil tank gauge and alarm

One unexpected reason for a silent alarm could be that the connection between the nozzle and the tank has been compromised. Or, although it seems unlikely, the tank in question has actually been excavated. Perhaps a new homeowner has requested their first oil delivery, not knowing that, for some reason, the tank is no longer there.

Another possibility could be that the seals on the vents or tank are damaged. Air could be escaping from someplace other than the vent resulting in no whistle. If there is a hole allowing air to flow out in an unexpected location, there will not be enough air to create the whistle in the vent. In that instance, the leak or hole needs to be found and tended to before oil can be delivered.

Sometimes, the vent with the alarm could be compromised. For example, insects may have found their way into the pipe and built a nest big enough to block the release of air. If the blockage is solid enough, ongoing pumping could cause a damaging amount of pressure inside the tank.

The drivers of Tevis Energy will keep the integrity of your tank and your safety in mind. When they are faced with a lack of a vent alarm whistle, they will automatically check your tank. At that point, a technician can come and address any problems that were found, through repairs or with replacement. Feel free to contact us with any vent alarm, or any other questions you may have regarding the safe and efficient delivery of heating oil.

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Contact Tevis Energy For Your Home Heating Oil Needs

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Tevis Energy is a trustworthy HVAC company and heating oil delivery company that services central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania. Our company offers affordable and the most competitive heating oil prices in the area. Our goal is to provide you with excellent products and services. When you choose us to be your oil supplier, you can rest easy knowing that you will have correct and prompt heating oil deliveries at the best possible prices. Furthermore, we offer various heating oil delivery plans and financing options, as a way to customize your oil deliveries. Be sure to call us today to learn more.

Tevis Energy has certified and highly trained HVAC technicians to cater to all your heating and cooling needs. We guarantee that each of our techs has the experience, skills, and knowledge to provide excellent HVAC services. Our team can assist you with installations, repairs, maintenance, and much more. Our superior HVAC solutions always come at affordable costs.

Call us today to learn more about the products and services our company offers. We provide free, in-home estimates.

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