Heading out into the cold after a winter snowstorm to clear your driveway and walkways of snow and/or ice is arguably far less fun than staying inside with a warm mug of coffee or hot chocolate. But if our delivery trucks are unable to get down your driveway or access your heating oil or propane tank safely, we may not be able to deliver your propane or heating oil.
If your driveway is sloped or has even the slightest grade, sanding or salting it allows us to reach your home safely, as our trucks are both larger and heavier than any other cars coming down it and need to be properly accommodated for.
Please also make sure to clear a path of at least one foot in width between your driveway and the location of your propane tank, heating oil tank, or fill line. If you hire someone to plow and clear your driveway and walkways, request that they keep access to your tank or fill line free of snow and obstructions.
A tall pole adorned with a brilliant-colored banner or a large ribbon near your tank or fill line aids in the identification of where our delivery drivers need to go after a significant snowfall.
Please arrange for snow and ice removal if you’re going to be on vacation this winter, since we may need to make a delivery or service call while you are gone.
Speaking of potential vacations, Automatic Delivery customers planning to be away from home for more than a few weeks need to let us know. Our delivery schedule is largely based on your prior fuel usage, so knowing you’ll be away and thus not using as much heating oil or propane might avoid a needless delivery to your home.
After each snowfall, clear away the snow from your propane tank with a broom as opposed to a metal or plastic shovel, which may cause damage to the tank or its components. Much like with your vehicle, it’s NOT a good idea to keep your tank covered in snow. The weight of significant amounts of snow can damage fittings and joints, causing the tank to tilt. This can potentially lead to gas leaks. Snow also has the potential to obstruct leaking propane from escaping, resulting in potentially dangerous gas buildup.
Additionally, as the temperatures drop, propane shrinks, resulting in a loss of pressure inside your tank. Once cold enough, it can lose enough pressure so that the propane can no longer reach your house’s gas burners. Clearing the snow off the tank allows sunlight to warm the propane within, maintaining a safe pressure.
Finally, it’s also critical to keep your outdoor heating oil tank clear of snow and ice. Because the tank is close to the house, a coating of ice from a dripping icicle or melting snow may refreeze, creating a safety hazard for our delivery drivers.
Ensure reliable propane or heating oil delivery for your home or business all season long by utilizing these simple steps! Have any questions? Contact us today—we’ll be happy to help.