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Loud Bang from Oil Tank in Very Cold Weather

jmm19
jmm19 Member Posts: 2
Had the tech out today to review a very loud bang from the oil tank in really cold weather. (-5 this morning at 8am.) We've lived here less than two years and noticed nothing like this to date. The noise is only in the middle of the night. It does not come from the furnace.

He was out two weeks ago and did a service on the entire system. His thoughts today was that the noise was from the fill and vent pipes contracting in the cold weather. Any ideas? Is my tech's answer the answer?

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,326
    Probably... nothing like really cold weather to make funny noises!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    icesailor
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,350
    The vent works? If the vent is not open,the fuel pump can pull a vacuum on the tank,sucking in the sides and creating a large popping noise
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    icesailorbilltwocaseZman
  • jmm19
    jmm19 Member Posts: 2
    Could the vent get stuck on some really cold nights? Because a day or two after the tank was filled, it sounded like the sides of the tank vibrated a bit after the noise. That was the first time I heard it. Now that we are at 3/4 tank it sounds like a door is slamming shut. We've heard it twice like this.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,326
    Shouldn't -- it's just an open vent.However there would be no harm to checking to see if it is partly frozen (or completely!) over.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    If the tank was overfilled, the vent will not breathe. Like Robert said, sounds like the pump is pulling a vacuum on the tank. There is no way an inside tank will exchange outside air. The whistle stops, the delivery should stop, just my motto
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    If there's an unused plug on the top of the tank, loosen it up with a wrench. If it sucks back, the vent is blocked. If no plug, you should be able to loosen the clear plastic gauging cap.

    If the vent is plugged when the tank is being filled, it will usually puke back all over the driver and the side of the building. If you hear the whistle when filled, it isn't blocked. If you get a 6 gallon plastic container with road diesel, and you pour it in the tank fill pipe, you should heat the whistle sounding. If not, the driver shouldn't be filling it, or the vent is plugged.
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    The whistle can also be full of oil Ice. When it gurgles, it is too late
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited March 2015

    The whistle can also be full of oil Ice. When it gurgles, it is too late

    Or water & ice, when that cheap POS zinc washed clip on mushroom cap rusts off and rain water and snow gets in. If the whistle doesn't work, it usually pukes oil all over the side of a building. Insurance companies sometimes refuse to pay off on claims with a defective whistle and the driver is supposed to tell the service manager so they can stop delivery until it is fixed.

    Or, at least that's always been the policy of an oil company I used to help out.

    No whistle, no oil.

    billtwocase