When relying on an oil tank for your main source of central heating, it is crucial that you check the oil tank regularly for leaks, corrosion and other signs of delay. Once an oil tank has started to deteriorate, you will need to make repairs as soon as possible before some serious damage is done. Although oil tank exteriors are built to withstand almost anything, there are a number of issues you need to look for in order to ensure that your oil tank remains in good condition for many years to come.
We’ll take a look at some of the more common occurrences that can be recognised by sight, how these might affect your oil tank and what you should do to resolve these issues as soon as possible. Regular oil tank maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity of your oil tank, and as the tank is mainly responsible for your central heating, it is pure common sense to make sure that everything continues to run smoothly. You will also want to avoid environmental spills from leaking oil tanks, so regular inspection is important.
Issues to Look for
Rust is fairly easy to identify as it shows on the tank exterior and can be flaky or add to blistering of paint. A rusting oil tank is a dangerous oil tank as the rust will worsen over time, leading to environmental spills and also perhaps even polluting the oil itself, making it less efficient. Rust is only present in metal tanks, however those with plastic oil tanks must check the plastic for any whitening, cracking or splits or any bulging in the tank profile as this can be equally as dangerous.
Cleaning up a leak of heating fuel from a domestic storage tank can cost tens of thousands of pounds to repair fully, so checking for leaking joints is essential if you don’t want to have to foot a hefty bill. One sure-fire sign of an oil leak or a leaking joint is that you see your oil usage suddenly increasing unexpectedly. You will need to check your tank and pipework as soon as you notice this, or purchase a tank monitoring device that can give an early warning of a rapid drop in oil level.
Water or Sludge in the Tank
Tanks containing water or sludge can clog the pipework and damage or even corrode heating systems, which reduces the oil efficiency and ultimately makes your heating cost more. You can find out whether or not your tank has water or sludge in it by looking for a ‘darkened’ area at the bottom of the tank, or by using water-finding paste which needs to be attached to a long stick and then placed into a tank. The colour of the paste will determine whether or not water is present.
Conducting regular checks on your oil tank will help to reduce the risk of a large pay-out if something is wrong, as you will be able to catch it before it does too much damage. You can perform simple checks regularly to make sure that everything is in order, but you should also schedule an annual check-up by a qualified professional as they will be able to provide more detail on the condition and maintenance of your oil tank.
When in Doubt, Ask a Professional!
If you are not entirely sure as to the condition of your oil tank, or if you see something suspicious that you want to know more about, it is always recommended to get the advice of a licensed professional. There are countless engineers who have specific experience in the installation, maintenance and removal of oil tanks across the UK and they will be able to provide you with expert advice as to the best course of action.
Article provided by SG Tanks, an oil tank specialist company based in Sussex.