Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Home & GardenMaintenance & Repairs · 8 months ago

Is fuel oil dangerous to smell?

Our boiler was refilled a couple days ago however I think there might have been a leak because I can smell oil fumes in the kitchen. Our landlord is on vacation and comes back in a couple days to inspect our house. Should I wait for him or call someone myself? I don’t know if it is dangerous to be exposed to this for a couple of days. 

7 Answers

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  • 8 months ago

    The fuel goes into a tank, and a little spillage might smell a bit. Go check it out, chicken. What's up with all the paranoid people without the ability to google something that want to post on it?

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    It is kerosene.  Stinky but you get used to the smell. Just like cleaning out a septic tank.   Stinky but not dangerous.

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    Your boiler was refilled - or your fuel tank?

    Assuming you have an oil-fired boiler and the fuel tank was filled:  the stuff has an unpleasant, penetrating odor as a liquid and when burned.  There's normally extra odor after a refill that mostly dissipates after a day or so.  Unfortunately you don't tell us if the tank is in the building, on a stand outside or in the ground so we don't know if it's possible for you to check for leaks.  Also, the burner may need servicing (annual cleaning, adjustment - usually replacement of oil nozzle - is recommended with oil-fired boilers/furnaces) to insure that the fuel is being burned efficiently.

    Finally:  this may be more worrisome than helpful, but . . . fuel oil and diesel fuel are the same thing - close to kerosene . . . boats and cars with diesel engines also have that lingering odor.  The off-gassing of the fuel - and the combustion gases - are now considered to be carcinogenic ..... hence the big move to so-called "clean diesel" engines a few years ago and now the outlawing of diesels in many areas. Personally, I wouldn't live anyplace with oil heat.

  • 8 months ago

    just keep fresh air circulating

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  • elhigh
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Smell? No. Drink? Yes.

  • 8 months ago

    If your oil tank wasn't leaking before being filled, it probably isn't leaking now.  It *could* be that there's a leak at the top of the tank or in the filler pipe, but if you've never smelled anything after prior fill-ups, it's probably that the delivery guy was sloppy and spilled a little outside.

    As suggested in another answer, when the boiler is serviced, they replace the fuel filter which is a messy job and a bit of oil always gets spilled on the basement floor. In either case, it's no big deal.  There aren't enough fumes to hurt you, and it should go away in a day or two. If you're really concerned that it might be a leak, go check around the tank and lines to see if there's any puddles.

  • 8 months ago

    Changing the filter can be a messy job and spills are typical. It is such a small amount that it won't hurt you.

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