That’s Your Vent Alarm—and You Can Get a Rebate for Upgrading It!
If your oil tank is located in your basement and you’re home when a driver makes his delivery, you’ll probably hear a whistling noise as your tank starts to fill up. But don’t worry. This is perfectly normal.
Besides the tank itself, your heating oil storage system includes important components like the fill pipe, vent pipe, and vent alarm.
What Happens During a Delivery
After the driver arrives, he connects the hose from his oil truck to the fill pipe and starts releasing the oil. As oil flows into the tank, the air is pushed back out. As the air goes through the vent alarm–located between your tank and vent pipe–it makes a whistling sound. When the whistling stops, the tank is just about full.
Since your basement tank is out of sight from the driver, the vent alarm prevents overfilling and the possibility of a spill. Safety codes do not allow your heating oil company to deliver your fuel if the vent alarm is not working.
If your vent alarm needs to be replaced, you may be eligible to receive a $300 rebate for installing a new one. This is the latest heating oil equipment rebate to become available through the WPMCA Rebate Program, with funding provided by the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA). Read more about Wisconsin rebates.
What You Should Know about Your Oil Piping
- The vent pipe relieves the vacuum created when the oil burner pulls fuel from the tank.
- The vent pipe should be at least 1.25 inches in diameter. A narrow diameter allows excessive pressure to build up inside the tank during filling, which can cause a tank rupture.
- PVC piping does not meet NFPA safety codes and must be replaced because they are more likely to crack when tanks are being filled.
- It is the homeowner’s responsibility to properly maintain fuel tanks and all associated piping.
Help Your Driver Make Safe Deliveries
Ice and snow can turn an already tough job into a potentially hazardous one. Maneuvering with a heavy hose while navigating slippery surfaces can be challenging; sometimes delivery drivers lose their footing and sustain injuries.
You can help the driver make safer deliveries by keeping the path to your oil tank clear of snow and ice and removing any nearby obstacles, such as fallen branches.
It is also important to shovel or plow your driveway and keep it free of ice. Safety codes prohibit your heating oil company from parking an oil truck on an incline unless it is perfectly dry.
Marking the edges of your driveway makes it easier for delivery drivers to navigate. Remember, just because you can get your car down your driveway doesn’t mean a 15-ton heating oil truck can make it, too.
If you have any questions about deliveries or your oil storage tank system, please reach out to your local heating oil company.
And if you’re thinking about replacing your oil storage tank, read about your options here.