Oil Tank - How to Maintain Your Heating Oil Tank

Most people do not realize that water can develop inside your oil tank in more ways than leaving the fill cap off in the rain. The main reason how water gets into an oil tank is through condensation. Condensation can not only cause oil burner failure by cloging oil lines, nozzles and filters, but they can also cause fuel pump damage as well. In addition, condensation or water in your oil tank can also form bacteria and algae in your oil tank and result in premature rusting of the bottom of your oil tank.

TIP: The best way to prevent moisture build up in your oil tank is to keep it full over the summer months.

fuel oil filters - water in oil tank


How to Help Prevent Oil Burner Breakdowns (due to water in your oil tank - condensation)

Condensation happens more frequently over the warmer months like Spring and Summer. Most consumers who leave their tank on empty or maintain a lower level of heating oil throughout the warmer months will experience the highest degree of condensation (water in their oil tank). Fluctuating temperatures cause condensation and an oil tank with low amouts of oil in it leave room for water to form. The best way to help prevent water build up in your oil tank is to keep your tank full over the summer months. The less room you have in your oil tank, the less room there is for moisture and water build up.
 

Oil Tank Cleaning

 
It may not be necessary to clean your oil tank. However, you may want to use an oil tank treatment. Oil tank treatments are chemicals you can add to your fuel tank during the sping or summer which act like a fuel stabilizer. These chemicals are similar to the ones you would add to your lawnmower or snowblower except they are made for home heating oil. In most instances, it is recommended to tune up your heating system in the Spring, therefore your technician can also add the oil tank treatment for you. It's a good idea to add chemical treatments to your tank periodically to help protect your oil tank and prevent premature oil burner breakdowns.
 
If you have chronic filter clogging issues, then calling a tank cleaning company or consider oil tank replacement, depending on the age of your oil tank. Your oil heat professional can help determine what the best option is.
 

Oil Tank Chemical Treatments (Features and Benefits)

This one example is: Sid Harvey's STR-2+ Sludge Dispersant (Summer and Winter Use)
Check with your heating oil professional to see which fuel tank condioner is right for you.

 
  • Disperses and eliminates sludge from clogged filters, oil lines and oil tanks.
  • Disperses and emulsifies water
  • Contains aircraft quality,non-alcohol de-icers to melt existing ice and prevent ice formation in lines and filters.
  • Cold flow formulation lowers pour point up to -25°F.
  • Stabilizes fuel.
  • Controls waxing and gelling

 

How to Stick Your Oil Tank to Measure How Much Heating Oil You Have