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How to Maintain a Heating Oil Tank

Written on: March 4, 2024

Follow these tips to help your heating oil tank last

heating oil tank Contoocook, NH In the depth of winter, few things provide more comfort and assurance than a properly functioning heating oil system. Yet many homeowners and property managers overlook a crucial component: the heating oil tank itself.

Regular maintenance is fundamental to ensuring your tank’s longevity and efficiency, safeguarding both your wallet and the environment.

Johnny Prescott offers expert heating oil tank installation and service, along with reliable heating oil efficiency.

Your heating oil tank is the unsung hero of your home’s heating system. Made of steel, it serves as a storage solution for the heating oil that fuels the boiler or furnace. Despite its seemingly simple role, the tank is home to various components that all play a critical part in keeping your heating system running smoothly.
In this detailed guide, we’ll cover all you need to know to keep your heating oil tank in top condition, from understanding its components to winter preparation.

Heating oil tank inspection

Regular visual inspections are your first line of defense against potentially costly oil leaks and system failures. By catching issues early, you can prevent them from escalating into major problems.

How often you should inspect your tank depends on several factors, including its age, the type of oil you use, and local regulations. In general, a comprehensive inspection at least annually, preferably before the heating season, is recommended.

During your inspections, make sure to be on the lookout for the following signs of trouble.

Deterioration of the tank: This includes rust, cracking, weeping, or bulging. Any damage to the tank’s structure can lead to leaks.

Oil stains or strong odors: If you see signs of an oil spill or smell oil, there’s likely a leak.

Puddles or moisture: These around the tank often indicate a small leak. It’s crucial to address these immediately.

Environmental changes: If you notice changes in the environment near your tank, such as vegetation die-off or water well contamination, these could be indicators of a leak.

Early detection can save time, money, and prevent environmental damage. If you notice any of these signs, contact a professional immediately to assess and repair the issue.

Preventing heating oil tank corrosion

Corrosion is the enemy of your heating oil tank. It weakens the structure, leads to leaks, and can be dangerous if undetected.

Several factors contribute to tank corrosion. Here are some of them.

Water: As mentioned, water in the tank can accelerate rust and corrosion by mixing with the oil and forming sludge.

Bacteria: Microbial growth inside the tank can produce acids that corrode the tank.

Sulfur content: High sulfur content in the oil can contribute to corrosion.

Moisture in the air: Condensation from temperature changes can lead to moisture build-up in the tank.

These are some ways you can prevent corrosion.

Regular inspections: Keeping an eye on the tank’s condition is crucial for catching and addressing corrosion early.

Water removal: Taking steps to prevent and remove water from your tank is essential.

Tank replacement: If your tank is old and showing signs of corrosion, it may be time for a replacement.

Winter preparation for your heating oil tank

Cold weather can be particularly hard on your heating oil system. Preparation is key to avoiding issues like freeze-ups or no-heat emergencies.

Winterizing the tank: Before the temperatures drop, ensure that your tank is full, or at least has a significant amount of oil. This insulates the tank and helps prevent water condensation.

Insulating pipes: Insulate the oil supply lines to keep the oil warm as it travels from the tank to the burner.

Installing a tank heater: For particularly cold climates, a tank heater can keep the oil at an optimal temperature.

Insulating the tank: Adding an insulating cover to your tank can maintain a more consistent internal temperature, helping to prevent condensation and freezing.

Trust Johnny Prescott for all your heating oil needs! Become a customer today.