What Is That Whistling Sound During An Oil Delivery?

image of a homeowner holding ear and listening to whistle from heating oil delivery

Anyone who is new to oil heating will likely wonder about the unfamiliar process of having an oil tank filled. There is nothing to be concerned about, the company that is delivering your heating oil will be able to guide you through each step of the process. If your heating system is in proper working order, the process should be rather quick and simple. After your first oil delivery, there might be some things that have you curious. For example, it is very common to hear a whistling noise coming from the tank area. This is not something that should cause you to panic, it’s simply the oil tank vent alarm. That whistling sound is exactly what you should hear.

Continue reading to learn more regarding this whistling sound and its important role in a home heating oil system.

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Why Is There A Whistling Sound During A Heating Oil Delivery?

Unlike natural gas, homeowners who rely on heating oil will need to have a big truck deliver it to their homes. This home heating fuel is then stored in a relatively large heating oil tank that is connected to the home’s heating system. Over time, as the homeowner heats their home, the amount of liquid will dwindle within the tank. When the fuel oil in the tank goes down, that space is filled with air. Then, when the time comes to refill the tanks with oil, the incoming oil will push out any air. Residential oil tanks are equipped with an alarm causing a whistling sound when the air is pushed out. This audible noise can be heard even up to the truck delivering the oil.

When Does The Alarm On The Oil Tank Quit Making Noise?

image of an oil tank gauge and alarm

As long as there is air escaping out of the vent pipe and passing through the alarm, the whistling noise will continue. Once the tank is full, the noise will stop because there is no longer any air that is being vented. When the delivery driver hears the whistling stop, they know your tank is full and will stop the flow of oil to your tank.

It is crucial that your vent alarm is reliable because turning off the oil is done manually according to this signal. After all, every tank is different and how much oil it can hold will vary. If the tank is buried underground, the volume can be especially hard to know for certain. Fortunately, with the whistling noise, it’s not necessary to know precisely how much the tank can hold because the whistle signals the fact that the tank is full.

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Why It’s Important To Have Oil Tank Vent Alarms

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Since refilling relies on the vent alarm, it must work flawlessly. Many heating oil companies will not provide oil refills if the heating oil tank doesn’t whistle. They will try to refill a tank by opening the nozzle and allowing liquid to flow. This should immediately produce a sound. If the tank doesn’t let off a whistling sound, they will shut down the flow of oil as quickly as possible.

If there is no sound, it’s often due to a problem with the tank or surrounding area. Without an audible signal, there is no way for the delivery driver to know when they need to stop, so it would be dangerous to continue. Filling a tank without an audible alarm could result in oil spilling onto the ground. Therefore, as a safety measure, many oil companies won’t take the chance of a problem.

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Reasons For A Lacking Whistle Sound During A Home Heating Oil Delivery

  • Oil Tank Connection Is Incorrect: One possible reason that a whistling sound is absent during an oil delivery is that the pipes aren’t connected to the tank. It might seem unlikely, but it does happen. For example, new homeowners might not realize that the tank had been excavated without them knowing. Or maybe the connection to the pipes have become undone.
  • Heating Oil Tank Seal Damage: If there is an opening in the tank, air can escape before it reaches the vent alarm. Perhaps the tank is not properly sealed. Air must flow only in one direction, that being through the vent pipe, in order to initiate the whistling sound. If there is a hole in the tank, it must be sealed prior to the start of a refill.
  • Problems With The Oil Tank Vent Pipe: Sometimes the problem is the vent pipe. The vent pipe can become clogged if insects try building their nests in it. These will need to be removed in order to achieve smooth airflow. If the problem is allowed to continue, air pressure can build up in the tank causing internal tank damage.
  • Oil Tank Whistle Is Broken: Another possibility is a problem with the whistle. It has holes in it, so it’s possible for debris or insects to get trapped inside. This blockage must be cleared to ensure smooth air passage through the vent pipe and the audible whistle needed for the refilling process to resume.
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The Hart Home Comfort driver will examine the tank if no whistle is heard. If necessary, a technician might need to come to your home to provide repairs. If you have questions regarding heating oil deliveries and HVAC systems, we’re here to help. Call us today.
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Call Hart Home Comfort For Your Home Heating Requirements

hart-logoWhen you need superior HVAC services in the area, do not hesitate to call Hart Home Comfort. We have the best professionally certified technicians who can conduct high-quality heating and cooling services, including maintenance, repairs, replacements, and installations. All our friendly techs are equipped with the correct tools, extensive knowledge, and years of experience to service any HVAC system accurately.

Our company has the most competitive and affordable home comfort service costs in the area. When you need to replace your HVAC system, we can recommend the best and most budget-friendly unit for your home. Schedule an appointment with Hart Home Comfort today for a free, in-home estimate.

We also offer fast and reliable home heating oil deliveries. You can choose from one of our many financing plans and delivery options. This way, you can customize your oil deliveries to meet your needs. Hart Home Comfort delivers EcoBlend Bioheat® heating oil, a blend of high-quality ultra-low sulfur heating oil and biodiesel. By ordering your fuel from us, you can help reduce carbon emissions and help the environment, while taking advantage of our superior oil delivery services. Call today to schedule a full delivery for your home or office.

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For any questions about what Hart Home Comfort can do for you, give us a call today. Click here to contact us now or call us at (631) 667-3200 to find out more!