stupid question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by bonnie lass, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. bonnie lass

    bonnie lass Semper Fi

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    I feel kinda dumb asking this, but I have never had oil heat before. I had noticed the smell of oil before when the tank was just filled, but the smell kinda hung on with the last filling. When I went down into the basement to check it out, I found a small pool of oil and assumed that the tank was leaking from the bottom. Upon closer examination tonight, it appears that the tank is leaking from the top. Does this mean that the tank was over filled or that my tank is leaking? Two people that I asked about this told me that there is some kind of whistle that tells the driver when the tank is full, but that's not an auto matic shut-off, right? Was my tank over-filled or do I have a leak?
     
  2. PonderosaQ

    PonderosaQ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There's no such thing as a stupid question. I can't answer your question as such but I can share with you an experience I had. My oil tank was filled and all was just fine. A few hours later I found oil coming out of the top and leaking onto the ground. I called the oil co and they told me it was becasue the oil had expanded as the tank warmed in the sun. However according to EPA rules they were responsible and they DASHED right out to do a hazardous material clean up. Apparantly if I had made any phone calls they would have faced a large fine.

    PQ
     

  3. Critter183

    Critter183 Well-Known Member

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    It's probably seeping out around the filler or vent pipe threads on the top. It will also probably stop once you burn off a few gallons. Fixing it may involve taking apart the vent and filler pipes cleaning the threads, and reassembling it all with new pipe sealer.
     
  4. Critter183

    Critter183 Well-Known Member

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    I should ad that mine does same thing, but I use one maybe one and a half tanks a year, so I'm not on any kind of automatic delivery. I call them order a set amount and pay COD. I never get it filled right to the top. This way, I haven't had to fix it yet. :D
     
  5. bonnie lass

    bonnie lass Semper Fi

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    Thanks guys, I just might call the oil company. I'm in an odd position because I live with my elderly father, and the bill is in his name, so I can't just charge ahead and do what I think is right. Dad can be a little "touchy" dontchaknow :no:
     
  6. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    all tanks should have an overfill alarm on it its a little whistle on the outside of the house on the vent line and iff the man filling is paying atention this will never happen
     
  7. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    can be instaled on top of your tank a cheap iteam done by the homeowner
     
  8. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It evidently was over filled. Running the furnace will lower the oil and stop the leak. Getting rid of the puddle in the basement is nessesary to get rid of the stink. I would try buying a bag of "oil dry" like garages use to soak up the oil on the floor them haul it out of there. Tell the Oil Company what happened and let them know you only want 3/4 of a tank full the next time. I definately would give them a call.
     
  9. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    If you have some clay kitty litter you can put it on the floor to soak up the oil. Sweep and throw it out, then after you cleaned all you can, cover it with a clean layer of the kitty litter.
     
  10. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

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    Call the oil company, they definitely overfilled it and they will clean it up and they have a super deoderizer that stops the smell dead.
    I've had it happen a couple of times, and the drivers always said "Low Whistle" which meant they had to pay attention, even when that was put on the account paperwork, they still overfilled it from time to time, gave up having them cleanup all the time, and switched to gas.
     
  11. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    my one house has an oil tank but its a burried tank. a freind of mine rented a house nearby and it has a dual tank in the basement in a seperate room, and the whole appt stinks like kero, the furnace stinks like kero when it runs. the floor of the oil tank room is saturated with old fuel oil mised with water seepage from ??. if you keep the dorr closed it isnt to bad but still. I pointed it out to the landlord and so did she, his reply was "its always been like that" the guy fills the tank and replaced the old lines and was kinda antsy around the tanks he didnt like t either but said nothing.

    I think she should call the EPA as this is a real fire hazzard and can you imagine how many gal of fuel has soaked into the ground there...

    nope... shes tight lipped and wont make waves with the landlord the landlord doesnt care and the oil companty ignores it.

    I wouldnt have rented the place and called the EPA aftrerwards, there are kidsin the other apprtments and close neighbors with wells.

    you need to keep dumoing oil dry or cheaper clay litter and removing it on a regular basis till its dry, assuming the tank no longer leakes.

    you can burn the litter or drop it off at a gas station that takes care of old oil.

    what dad dont know wont hurt him, dont tell him so much. do whats safe not what dad wants done. if he is "elderly" and you care for him it is your call more or less, if he isnt helpless and you just crash there, tell him about the leaks and live with his desision.
     
  12. bonnie lass

    bonnie lass Semper Fi

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    I came home tonight to find that dad, 75 yo, diabetic, not walking too well, had spent the day in the basement cleaning. He actually managed to move the washer and dryer, don't ask me how. I told him that the tank was overfilled and that the oil company was obligated to clean it up. His reply to me? "Aw, he's a good guy" Translation: he's not going to call. I'm rather upset by all this. I don't like to interfere, but the house STINKS. I pawed thru a pile of his papers and found the name of the oil company. If I call, he will be livid. If I don't call, well, you get the picture. I am torn, what do I do??
     
  13. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Either clean it up as others have suggested, or call the fuel company & have them clean it up. Pick one, do it, & move on. Dad will get over it either way. I know - been there. :) But the sooner it's done, the better. So - pick one. Do it.

    Now, did the fuel come out the top, or is there a crack in the filler neck, or? I see 3 reasons for the spill:

    1. It was overfilled & shot a bit out.

    2. There is a crack or a seep somewhere in the piping, maybe way at top & so it was not overfilled but it leaked out a bit until the furnace used some up.

    3. The fuel was very cold, and when in the tank in the basement it warmed up & expanded & flowed out the top until your furnace used some up.

    If fuel was delivered in a real cold snap, I'd guess #3???? That would be a long slow dribble of fuel over time, until the furnace kicked in & ran a while. If there is a bit of a drip from the filler neck, you would want that fixed. If it was overfilled & shot out, that was an oops by your supplier & it shouldn't happen again.

    --->Paul
     
  14. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    not to be mean but he is a 75 yo wobbly diabetic, how livid can he get and do you any harm?

    call them they are taking advantage of an old man...
    he will only be livid till he gets tired. dont worry about it, if he cant see your trying to work in his best interest he needs more things to get livid over. lol

    sometimes parents need to be reminded you aint a little girl no more :)