Key Facts About Oil Tanks in the Winter

Water, Cracks and Leaks

Whether you have a steel or plastic tank, over time tank tops become porous or cracked and water ingress can be your invisible enemy. Combine this with dampness around fittings and cracks elsewhere and the problem gets bigger and accelerates.

Water is Heavier than Oil

You may wonder why you should know this but understanding the basics of how your tank works will put you in good stead to spot issues sooner rather than later. Tank oil is 28 second kerosene, with water weighing more than this, droplets sink to the bottom of the tank creating a layer of water under the oil. Heavy rainfall, frost and snow on a damaged oil tank will cause an increase of water to get into the tank.

Water Contaminates the Heating Oil

If left, the water will level will get higher in the tank, pushing the oil to the top and potentially out. The water will also produce contaminants in the fuel, which will render it unsafe to use and prone to leakage.

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Water can Cause a lot of Damage to Your Appliances

Should the water be left to increase, it will eventually hit the feed line to your boiler, at best drowning your appliances and putting them out. At worst case, it can destroy pumps and diaphragms in boilers and damage gravity-fed appliances such as Aga/Rayburn.

A moderate to severe case of water in your tank will ordinarily result in a full tank change, line purge by an engineer, new fuel delivery, bleed of new fuel to appliances and restart. Not a process you want to be carrying out on Christmas Eve due to lack of preparation!

How to Prepare your Oil Tank for the Winter?

Check the following;

Tank Body

For cracks, sun bleaching and dents for example are all factors that will weaken the tank and leave it susceptible to the cold elements of winter.

Tank Base and Supports

The tank needs to be bedded correctly and have a sturdy, even base on solid ground. Movement can cause leaks and damage to the tank.

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Filters, Pipework and Valves

Visual checks of all the components to your tank set up should be habitual. In order for the tank to work and survive the elements, the fixtures and fittings must be cared for too and in good working order.

Tank Bunds

Particularly important if your tank is located within a physical bund. Keeping the area and environment around your tank clean, free of rubbish and vegetation cut back will drastically reduce the potential hazards to your tank.

Regular maintenance checks, tests and inspections are the key to keeping your tank in working order and able to cope throughout the winter.

What can you do if you Have an Issue?

Oil Tanks Plus offer a water test and oil pump out, to return your tank to safety should you find you have water and contaminants in your tank. When they are on-site, Oil Tanks Plus engineers will inspect your tank and give an assessment as to the length of life left in the tank. They will also be able to give you honest, cost-effective advice about your specific storage needs and how to maintain your tank for the future.

Oil Tank Replacement

If a replacement is necessary Oil Tanks Plus deliver a cost-effective and efficient, “one-stop-shop” full replacement service including; oil transfer, old tank disposal with traceability, remedial work to accommodate a new tank, new gauge and filter, new connection and return of fuel to a new tank. They will make sure your boiler is fired and working – provided there are no additional, existing issues with the appliance.

Find out more about oil tank replacements.

Peace of Mind

Finally, secure yourself with the knowledge that the replacement work carried out by Oil Tanks Plus has a market-leading 12-year warranty from their Centurion Bunded tank range, backed by an English made product with 25 years of product reliability. Our steel range carries a 10-year warranty and are installed with Brunswick green protective solution as standard. All tank solutions are installed by our carefully selected, expert installers.

Please contact us if you need any more information