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Oil smell

malex Member Posts: 106
Just filled my oil tank 200 gallons. Is it normal for there to be a smell? There is a faint smell in when you walk in the door and stronger in the basement. I don't see any leaks but the house is from '37 and I don't know how old the tank is but its old.

Do I need to replace the tank asap? I was planning to switch to gas later but the boiler is only 7 years old, a Peerless ECT-3 and I have no problems with it. Can it be converted to gas if I need to get rid of the tank and it doesn't make sense tp put a new one in?


  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Oil Smell:

    If you can't find any leak or oil on the tank or floor, I wouldn't worry too much about it. It is probably the gasket under the vent gauge or a leak in the vent piping. Oil shouldn't be in the vent. One on occasion, will smell oil odors after a fill. If it's still around after a week, look further.
  • malex
    malex Member Posts: 106
    Last year

    last year I did smell it a little bit after a fill but only in the basement and it did go away after a few days. I think the odor is a bit stronger now but it just be that my memory is not serving me right. I will monitor over the next few days to see if it dissipates.

    Thanks Ice!
  • Patchogue Phil_2
    Patchogue Phil_2 Member Posts: 304
    Where's the tank?

    Free-standing (you can see under it) tank in the basement?

    Or is it laying on dirt floor?

    Tank in the ground or standing outside?

    Most likely,  if an indoor tank the gasket on the level gauge let vapors out while the tank was filled.  Fuel oil goes in very fast,  perhaps the vent pipe could not handle the rush of air escaping.
  • malex
    malex Member Posts: 106
    Off the floor

    The tank is off the floor on legs. No puddles under it. I think you might be right about the vent. I noticed what looks like wet oil around where the vent pipe connects to the tank but it's completely dry. To me it indicates that mist has been forced out at the connection in the past rather than all the way to the vent.

    I checked the vent cap outside and it had been painted and somewhat covered up the rather small gap and there was some cobb web like debris coming out when I cleared it with a flat screwdriver. But it did not seem like enough to clog the vent. Is there anyway to check if the vent is clogged easily? Or do you have to disconnect the pipe from the tank?
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