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What to Do If You Run Out of Heating Oil in Your Tank

Posted On: December 21, 2015

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The most important winter preparations for homeowners include stocking up on heating oil and servicing your furnace. This will go a long way in ensuring you enjoy a warm and comfortable environment during the coldest months of the year. However, the winter season can be much longer than anticipated, so your heating oil stock may not be enough to get you through the winter. If you exhaust your heating oil supply before winter ends, what will you do? Follow this guide to know what to do when your heating fuel runs out!

Step 1: Call the Heating Oil Company

Obviously, the first thing you should do when you deplete your heating oil supply is to call your heating oil company for a refill. Since this will take time, especially when snow has blocked all roads leading to your home, you will have to use an alternative fuel, such as diesel or kerosene.

For fast oil delivery in New Jersey and New York, call the home heating experts at SOS Xtreme Comfort at 845-351-4700.

Step 2: Get Some Diesel

Look for a container which is safe for holding flammable liquids and take it with you to the nearest gas station to buy some diesel.

The ideal container should hold at least five gallons of fuel. Since you do not know how long the heating oil company will take to deliver the fuel, you should buy as much diesel as possible.

The more fuel you get, the better. If you cannot find a suitable container, you can use a camping water jug, but you cannot use it for camping afterward. Diesel will help you get by until you can schedule a regular home heating fuel delivery.

Step 3: Fill Up Your Oil Tank

When you get back home, fill up your oil tank with the diesel and give it 10 minutes to settle in the tank. This will allow any sediments and impurities to settle at the bottom of the tank, thereby giving the fuel intake line access to clean fuel.

Step 4: Restart the Furnace

Restarting the furnace can be as simple as pushing the red reset button on your furnace. You may need to press the reset button several times to bleed the fuel line and restart your furnace. Once the heater has turned on, your home will be heated normally. The fuel should be enough to last you until the heating oil company delivers the heating oil you ordered.

In some cases, the fuel supply system of the furnace may need manual bleeding. To perform this procedure, you will need to have a pipe wrench a quarter-inch nylon tubing and a clean container.

How to Restart Your Furnace

Start by shutting off the furnace through the toggle switch on the unit. The next step is to locate the bleeder valve on the furnace’s oil pump. This component looks like a grease fitting and can be opened or tightened using a 1 cm or 3/8″ wrench. Once you have located the bleeder valve, insert the 1/4-inch nylon tubing. The tube should lead into the clean empty container.

Next, turn on the furnace and loosen the bleeder valve using the wrench. Be sure to hold the nylon tubing inside the container to ensure kerosene or diesel does not spill. At first, the fuel is going to gurgle out of the tube due to the presence of air. After a couple of seconds, however, only oil will stream out of the nylon tubing. When you notice this, use the wrench to tighten the bleeder valve before restarting the furnace and cleaning up the work area.

If you have trouble restarting your furnace, be sure to call for service immediately. Contact SOS Xtreme Comfort to get your furnace running again so that your home will feel warm and comfortable.

Prevent Running Low on Heating Oil in the Future

If possible, it’s best to add the diesel fuel to your furnace’s tank before it runs out of heating oil completely. If your tank does run out completely before you notice, you will need to contact your local heating oil company to bleed the air out of the oil line, clearing the filter, nozzle, and oil pump. You will also need to ensure no sludge is present, which could cause blockages.

Avoid the stress and worry that you will run out of heating oil, and schedule automatic heating oil delivery to ensure you always have enough supply to keep your home warm and comfortable.

For help troubleshooting or to schedule a fuel delivery, contact SOS Xtreme Comfort at 570-618-8055 in Milford, PA or 845-351-4700 for our Tuxedo Park, NY office! Need fuel delivery in New Jersey? SOS Xtreme Comfort is now servicing Passaic, Bergen, and Sussex counties, just call 973-827-8179.

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