What Is That Whistling Sound During An Oil Delivery?

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If you are a new customer of heating oil delivery services, you may not have a clear idea about what happens when your oil tank is being filled. If you have any apprehensions, be assured that your oil delivery company can provide you with the right advice and information so you know exactly what is going on. The process is actually quite simple and can be completed quickly, provided the heating system is working well. During your first heating oil delivery, you might have heard an unfamiliar sound that seemed strange. For example, you might have heard a whistling sound coming from your oil tank as it is being filled. Do not be alarmed. The whistling sound is simply the oil tank vent alarm and it is supposed to make that sound.

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Where is the Whistling Sound Coming From?

To understand why the whistling sound occurs, let’s take a look at how the heating system works.

Heating oil is not available in the same way as natural gas is. Instead, it is delivered by the oil delivery company to your home. The liquid is kept inside a heating oil tank which is connected to the heating system. As you use up the oil for fuel, the amount gradually decreases within the tank. As the level of oil goes down inside the tank, air replaces the space. When the tank has to be refilled with oil, the level of oil rises, pushing the air up and out of the tank. To allow the air to escape safely, your tank is designed with a vent alarm. This alarm produces that strange whistling sound when the air passes through and out the vent. This sound can be quite loud and can be heard by the oil delivery personnel.

When Does the Whistling Sound Stop?

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As long as the air continues to pass through the vent pipe, the whistling sound can still be heard. It will stop eventually when the tank is completely filled. This is because the air has already escaped. When the whistling sound stops, the delivery personnel will take this as a signal to stop the flow of heating oil to the tank from the truck. The process has to be performed manually because timing is essential. Keep in mind that oil tanks come in different sizes. The capacity of the tank is also difficult to assess if it is installed underground. With the whistling sound acting as an alarm, it is much easier to tell if the tank is already filled.

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The Importance of the Oil Tank Alarm

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Proper refilling of the oil tank is important, which is why the vent alarm should work reliably. It is so important to the refilling process that many heating oil delivery companies do not refill tanks if it is not equipped with a whistle. They usually test this by opening the nozzle to let the liquid oil flow through. If no sound is heard from the tank, they will shut off the nozzle and stop the refilling process.

In some cases, the lack of whistling may be traced to a fault or malfunction of the tank. If the tank does not produce a whistling sound, the delivery team will not know when the tank is already close to being filled. This can potentially waste heating oil if the tank is overfilled and spills. It can also be dangerous. This is why many heating oil delivery companies prefer not to make deliveries to homes without a working vent alarm.

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Why Your Heating Oil Tank is Not Making a Whistling Sound

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  • Incorrect Heating Oil Tank Connection: If the tank was not connected properly to the pipes, the vent alarm may not produce a whistling sound. This could happen for many reasons. For example, if the connection was severed by accident or if the tank had already been excavated and the new homeowner was unaware and attempted to fill it.
  • Damaged Oil Tank Seals: If the tank was not sealed properly, air may not flow properly out of the vent pipe. This is because the air must only pass through one vent. If another hole is present, such as the one caused by a damaged seal, the air will not flow out of the vent properly and the alarm will not make the whistling sound. This can be corrected by sealing the hole prior to a refill.
  • Damaged Vent Pipe: If a problem exists in the vent pipe, such as when it is clogged, air cannot properly flow out, which stops the vent alarm from working. The pipe sometimes attracts insects that build nests inside and cause it to clog up. A clogged vent pipe is potentially dangerous because if air cannot escape, the pressure inside the tank could increase and damage the tank.
  • Broken Whistle: If the whistle is broken or faulty, it will not produce an alarm. If it has holes or is cracked, damaged, or clogged, it will also fail to function properly. The whistle has to be fixed before the tank is refilled.

You do not have to worry about checking for the whistling sound, though. The Lawes Company driver will ensure that your tank is functioning as it should. If there is a problem, we can send a technician to check your heating system and perform the necessary repairs and replacements. You do not have to worry about your heating system at all when you know we’ve got you covered. Call us today with any questions and requests.

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Call Lawes Company For Fast & Reliable Oil Deliveries

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Lawes Company offers trusted and affordable heating oil deliveries. We are known for our honest heating oil prices and skilled services. Not only that, but we also offer heater maintenance services which also impact how much fuel your system requires to keep your home warm.

We offer different heating oil plans and financing options as a way to customize your fuel deliveries to meet your needs. Be sure to contact Lawes Company today to ask for more information or request service.

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