A well-maintained heating oil tank is important for protecting you fuel supply, as well as protecting the environment from dangerous oil spills or leaks. Checking your tank on a regular basis is crucial, and with demand for engineers usually lower over warm periods, summer is the perfect time to carry out some much-needed tank maintenance.
One of the easiest ways to keep your tank in good condition is to regularly inspect it for cracks and damage. Make sure you take a thorough look at the whole tank, but pay particular attention to the lower half of the tank as any leaks that begin here could prove particularly costly. Pipe fittings are another area of concern, so make sure these are also secure.
Remembering to inspect your tank regularly is something that could easily slip your mind, so get into the routine of making checks before you place any heating oil orders.
It’s also good practice to have your heating oil tank professionally inspected by an OFTEC-trained engineer at least once a year. Although a professional inspection will cost you money, in the long term it’s likely to prove much cheaper than paying out for costly repairs or even a new tank. As well as seeking professional help, there are plenty of other precautions you can take yourself:
- Make sure there are no plants growing too close to the tank, as over time these can cause damage and restrict access for delivery drivers.
- Regularly check that any vents and other access points are closed to prevent rainwater and dirt from entering the tank.
- If your heating oil tank comes with an alarm, check the batteries every week to make sure that it is working correctly.
The Importance of Checking Your Heating Oil Tank
As a heating oil user, the last thing you want to do is neglect your oil tank. As well as having to replace lost fuel, if your tank does leak you could be left with the cost of cleaning up environmental damage to local livestock, homes and water sources. That’s why if a spill occurs, it’s important to contact the Environment Agency immediately, as they can provide advice on what measures to take to lessen any potential damage.
If you use heating oil, it’s also a good idea to keep an oil spill kit close-to-hand and to make sure that your tank is never filled to more than around 85% full, as this will help to reduce the chance of spills. If a spill or leak does occur, you will want to make sure that you have an insurance policy that covers not only the cost of the oil, but the cost of any clean-up fees and damage caused.
As well as the external maintenance of your heating oil tank, you should make sure that your tank is well looked after internally too. Sludge can build up when oil has been stored for long periods, such as over the summer months, and lead to blockages in the pipes and boiler. An OFTEC qualified technician can remove sludge and water from your tank, helping your system run more efficiently. You can also purchase water-finding paste to assess whether there is excess moisture in your oil supply.
Protecting your heating oil is important for your home and the surrounding area and taking care of your tank is vital in order to achieve this. Whether it’s theft or oil leaks, the cost of lost oil can be hugely significant, so take advantage of the warm weather this summer and make sure your tank is as secure as it can be.