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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Manchester by the Sea, MA
    Posts
    1

    Default Buying Heating Oil in Bulk?

    We have a 275 gallon tank in our house, and I wanted to see if anyone has an opinion on adding one or more tanks to take advantage of bulk oil pricing.

    We would like to move to natural gas, but at the moment it is not possible. We have it on the street, but we live on a hill that is pretty much solid rock.

    Tanks are relatively inexpensive, and I have the room to put up to 3 down there. Is there a huge benefit to this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    661

    Default Re: Buying Heating Oil in Bulk?

    I recently took an Oil Burners Technician test and found out through the book I was studying that it's not wise to store oil. I'm going to get the book back out and dig up just what terminology they used but in the meantime I'd do some research first

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: Buying Heating Oil in Bulk?

    ive heard this as well, prob for the same reason as gas sitting.. it goes stale
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Buying Heating Oil in Bulk?

    I think you would be OK if you stored no more than say a years worth (plus maybe a little extra). You can probably find and add preservatives (such as anti-gel/anti-microbial growth) like people put in diesel.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Buying Heating Oil in Bulk?

    I agree with Cougars rather than the others, there is no real problem with storing #2 fuel oil for a year or more.

    I've been doing this in my home for the past 20 years without any real problems--- I always opted to go with oil for several reasons, even though nat. gas is available.

    One is the aged state of the gas street piping in my area and the incidence of occasional house explosions due to rusted utility piping that has been in the ground for many decades; the local state public utility dept. is forcing them to upgrade into non-ferrous piping.

    Also, being tied into a single utility gas server would require you to submit to whatever price they feel is appropriate.

    How long you intend to stay in your present home has a bearing; if you intend to sell within 5 years, perhaps you should stay with oil, although a gas-fired boiler may be a better selling point; if you're in your home for the long haul, gas heat may be best.

    However, despite these reservations, I still favor gas for most people for several reasons: gas burns cleaner, so you don't have an annual cleaning expense; oil boilers, on the other hand MUST be cleaned and adjusted annually, which means an annual service call of several hundred $$$.

    In the short term you could invest in 2 or 3 oil tanks if you want to stay with oil, $300 ea. for steel or $400 to $500 for the new neophrene/plastic (Google Roth tanks for price & specs), plus installation, which may cost $500 or so; you would need 4 tanks if you burn 1000 gal/year, or 3 tanks if you burn 650-700 gals/year.

    This would allow you to buy all your oil in August when the price is lowest (usually 30% lower than the coldest heating months of Jan & Feb.), and thus save approx $700-$1000/year.

    At that rate, it would take you 2-3 years to pay off your investment in tank purchase & installation; you would have to compare this to the investment you would have to make to have a gas line installed in your home & switch to a gas-fired boiler, probably close to $8k to $10 k if you switch to gas---however the new condensing gas-fired boilers have a 95% efficiency & in the long run, you may be better off with gas heat.

    I've had no problems with tank maintenance over the years, the tanks have to be interconnected via 1/2" copper tubing at the bottom with individual shutoffs so that as each tank is emptied, a full tank can be bled into the just emptied tank; any leftover oil from the previous year is BURNED FIRST, so that it doesn't sit there for more than a year or so.

    Talk to the gas co. in your area ----they usually have a good deal for those homeowners who want to switch from oil to gas heat & may offer you a worthwhile deal that will save you money.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 10-15-2011 at 11:47 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,385

    Default Re: Buying Heating Oil in Bulk?

    What you can do is "lock in" a price from your supplier at the beginning of the season to buy all your oil at a fixed price, so you are immunized from any increase during the contract period. Of course, should the price go down, you don't get the savings, they do; but if the price were to increase significantly, you are protected. The contracts do usually contain outs for the supplier owing to increases on account of forces majeure, (like war or acts of god) so that all has to be considered in your decision.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    661

    Default Re: Buying Heating Oil in Bulk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    I agree with Cougars rather than the others, there is no real problem with storing #2 fuel oil for a year or more.

    I've been doing this in my home for the past 20 years without any real problems--- I always opted to go with oil for several reasons, even though nat. gas is available.

    One is the aged state of the gas street piping in my area and the incidence of occasional house explosions due to rusted utility piping that has been in the ground for many decades; the local state public utility dept. is forcing them to upgrade into non-ferrous piping.

    Also, being tied into a single utility gas server would require you to submit to whatever price they feel is appropriate.

    How long you intend to stay in your present home has a bearing; if you intend to sell within 5 years, perhaps you should stay with oil, although a gas-fired boiler may be a better selling point; if you're in your home for the long haul, gas heat may be best.

    However, despite these reservations, I still favor gas for most people for several reasons: gas burns cleaner, so you don't have an annual cleaning expense; oil boilers, on the other hand MUST be cleaned and adjusted annually, which means an annual service call of several hundred $$$.

    In the short term you could invest in 2 or 3 oil tanks if you want to stay with oil, $300 ea. for steel or $400 to $500 for the new neophrene/plastic (Google Roth tanks for price & specs), plus installation, which may cost $500 or so; you would need 4 tanks if you burn 1000 gal/year, or 3 tanks if you burn 650-700 gals/year.

    This would allow you to buy all your oil in August when the price is lowest (usually 30% lower than the coldest heating months of Jan & Feb.), and thus save approx $700-$1000/year.

    At that rate, it would take you 2-3 years to pay off your investment in tank purchase & installation; you would have to compare this to the investment you would have to make to have a gas line installed in your home & switch to a gas-fired boiler, probably close to $8k to $10 k if you switch to gas---however the new condensing gas-fired boilers have a 95% efficiency & in the long run, you may be better off with gas heat.

    I've had no problems with tank maintenance over the years, the tanks have to be interconnected via 1/2" copper tubing at the bottom with individual shutoffs so that as each tank is emptied, a full tank can be bled into the just emptied tank; any leftover oil from the previous year is BURNED FIRST, so that it doesn't sit there for more than a year or so.

    Talk to the gas co. in your area ----they usually have a good deal for those homeowners who want to switch from oil to gas heat & may offer you a worthwhile deal that will save you money.


    Any furnace or boiler be it gas or oil should have annual maint and tune ups

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