In order to make sure that you are not prematurely running out of heating oil during the middle of an icy cold winter, you will need to take a few steps to ensure that you are not going to run out of heating oil sooner than you would have expected. To do this, you are going to want to take a few minutes to review the following suggestions.
Conduct The Soap Test
Wet the outside of the fuel lines that run from your heating oil tank to the property with warm water that has a lot of soap mixed in it. Once you have done that, you will want to turn up your heat so fuel begins to push through the lines. If you happen to notice that there are spots on the line that are bubbling up, you will want to take that as an indication that the line needs to be replaced. There is no telling how much heating oil you have already lost through even the smallest of holes in the lines.
Spot Check For Leaks Under The Tank
It can be hard to spot a slow leak coming from the underside of a heating oil tank. This is because it is not a spot that is easily seen as you walk past the tank, and the drops of heating oil quickly blend into the soil or grass that is below the tank. Therefore, in order to spot a leak that is coming from the underside of the tank, you will need to find a clean flat piece of cardboard. If you don't have one around, you can always purchase a cheap box in the mailing supplies department of your local department store. You can also find them at moving truck rental companies who also sell packing supplies.
Once you have the cardboard, you will want to lay it out flat under the tank. It is advisable to secure it in place with some rocks so it does not blow away, as you need to leave it in place for a few hours. After a few hours, you can come back to check on the condition of the cardboard. Are there wet spots on it? If so, then you have a heating oil leak and you will need to have the tank replaced in order to prevent the loss of even more heating oil.
If you go through those steps and you are still unsure as to whether you are losing heating oil, you can contact and HVAC contractor or fuel supplier to check everything out for you.