Dealing with Water in your Oil Tank

With recent heavy rainfall across the country you may find that water has found its way into your tank. Water may cause problems in your boiler, or even freeze over the coming winter months, potentially leading to a blockage in your pipes. To prevent these problems you’ll need to deal with it quickly. Thankfully there are easy ways to do this.

Detecting Water in your Oil Tank

The easiest way to check whether there is water in your tank is with a water-detecting paste. This sticky substance can be applied to a stick or a rod, which can then be inserted into your tank.

The paste changes colour when it comes into contact with water. If you insert the rod into the tank until it touches the bottom, remove the rod, then check the colour of the paste to see if any water is present (and if so, how much).

water finding paste

Our own water finding paste can be purchased from the BoilerJuice shop.

Removing Water from your Oil Tank

If you do find some water in your heating oil tank, it’s important to remove it as quickly as possible. Some older, metal tanks have a ‘sludge removal valve’, which can also be used to drain water from the bottom of the tank.

If you don’t have a removal valve on your tank, there are two main options:

1. Oil Tank Water Removal Sponge

The most popular method is to use a water absorbent tank sponge. The tank sponge is weighted so that it lays flat on the bottom of your tank. Containing super absorbent polymers which soaks up any water but is impervious to fuel. When the tank sponge is full it can be removed and replaced.

Removing the water in your tank will help maintain the quality of your fuel and enable your system to run cleaner and more efficiently, giving you the peace of mind that your fuel will work to its maximum capability.

oil tank water removal sponge

2. Heating Oil Water Trap

A newer method of ensuring your boiler or cooker remains water-free is to invest in a heating oil water trap. Whilst a water trap won’t remove water from your oil tank, it will separate water from your heating oil supply on route to your system, allowing you to drain off any water before doing any damage to your boiler.

water trap for heating oil

Do not pour water removed from your tank down the drain – most rubbish tips have an oil disposal area where you can leave the contaminated water. Ensuring you following any of these methods will ensure your heating system will avoid these water-related problems.

Want to know about more heating oil accessories?

Visit our BoilerJuice shop now!