Many people in the Northeast rely on heating oil to warm their homes. If you're one of them, you want to ensure your fuel tank is full — but you also must ensure you have the best fuel tank for your home and situation. This way, you and your family can stay toasty throughout the fall and winter.
With options like single-wall and double-wall tanks, you may find yourself wondering which is right for you. Below, you'll discover how a double-wall heating oil tank differs from a single-wall tank and what the benefits are for each appliance. This guide should help you have a better idea of which you should choose for your home.
The Main Difference Between Single-Wall and Double-Wall Fuel Tanks
To understand what a double-wall fuel tank is, you must first get some background on single-wall fuel tanks and fuel tanks in general. As the name suggests, single-wall tanks have one metal layer holding the fuel. Alternatively, double-wall tanks have a first layer surrounded by a second, slightly larger containment layer.
Like any liquid container, fuel tanks run the risk of leaking and polluting the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) to reduce risks of pollution. One of the EPA's rules is that homeowners must take measures to ensure any leaked heating oil is contained before entering the environment.
Single-wall tanks require epoxy-covered concrete structures to stop leaked heating oil from spreading. Since double-wall tanks have an outer layer surrounding the inner container, they automatically catch leaked oil before it can enter the environment. Thus, double-wall tanks follow the EPA's SPCC relations without the need for an added containment layer.
How to Tell if a Tank Is Double-Walled
You can look for a couple of characteristics to tell whether a tank is single-walled or double-walled.
Often, double-wall tanks are larger than single-wall tanks of equal fuel capacity. This is due to the fact that double-wall tanks have the added containment layer, which contributes to their larger appearance.
Another way you can distinguish between the two types of tanks is by looking for the presence of a vacuum gauge on the tank's exterior. This gauge lets you monitor the vacuum that exists between the inner and outer layers of a double-wall fuel tank. If the inner tank fails, this gauge signals that the vacuum was compromised.
You may also look for the secondary concrete containment necessary for the use of single-wall fuel tanks. If you notice this added containment layer, there's a good chance you're looking at a single-wall fuel tank.
Benefits of Single-Wall Fuel Tanks
Here are some of the benefits of single-wall fuel tanks:
- Affordability: Single-wall fuel tanks are often less expensive than their double-wall counterparts. Homeowners looking to save money may take an interest in the single-wall fuel tank option for this reason.
- Convenience: Some situations make single-wall fuel tanks quite convenient. This is especially true if you already have a concrete structure that can act as the secondary containment layer. This will allow you to buy a more affordable single-wall fuel tank while meeting EPA's SPCC regulations.
- Flexibility: Homeowners may place their single-wall fuel tanks inside or outside. This added flexibility gives homeowners more options for their tank location. Property with little outdoor space to spare can opt for a single-wall fuel tank that can easily fit in an appropriate location in the home or garage.
Benefits of Double-Wall Fuel Tanks
Double-wall fuel tanks also have their share of benefits that could interest you. Here are a few of them:
- Automatic EPA compliance: One of the best characteristics of double-wall tanks is that they automatically follow the EPA's SPCC regulations. Double-wall fuel tanks are safe for the environment without the need for a secondary containment structure.
- Leak monitoring: The vacuum gauge of double-wall tanks lets you know when a leak has occurred. One of the worst situations a homeowner can find themselves in is having a fuel tank leak for days without realizing it. The vacuum gauge can ensure you know about the leak as soon as possible so you can take fast action to get it fixed.
- Resistance to inclement weather: The presence of a second layer helps keep the inner layer protected from rain, snow, sleet and other forms of inclement weather. You'll be able to avoid leaks related to rust, which can extend the lifespan of your outdoor heating oil tank.
Single-Wall vs. Double-Wall — Which Should I Get?
Often, this decision comes down to more than just preference. You may prefer one style tank over the other for various reasons, but other factors can influence your decision. Knowing the extent of your life circumstances and your unique needs is essential in the decision-making process.
You should consider getting a single-wall fuel tank if:
- You're on a tight budget and need a more affordable option.
- You want the flexibility to put the tank inside or outside.
- You have indoor or outdoor space limitations and need a smaller tank.
- You already have an existing secondary concrete containment structure.
You should consider getting a double-wall fuel tank if:
- You want an easier way to follow the EPA's SPCC regulations.
- You have no room for an indoor tank and want a strong outdoor fuel tank option.
- You want greater weather and rust resistance to reduce the chances of damage or leaks.
- You want to know when a leak occurs by using an externally visible vacuum gauge.
After balancing these factors with your unique situation, you'll be in a better position to make the best decision for you and your home. Then, your next order of business is to partner with a reputable fuel provider to keep your tank full all winter long — and we're here to help.
Choose Smart Touch Energy for Your Heating Oil Needs
Whether you're in the market for a single-wall or double-wall fuel tank, Smart Touch Energy is ready to be your partner in energy. We provide heating oil to most of the Northeast — an area where keeping your home warm in the winter is crucial. We provide an easy way to shop for your energy needs online so you can get the best value possible, saving you money along the way.
We invite you to contact us online for more information. Or, you can input your zip code at the top of our easy-to-navigate website and start checking heating oil prices today. We look forward to partnering with you for your energy needs!