Maintaining Your Domestic Heating Oil Tank
It is imperative you inspect your heating oil tank before and during heating seasons. To elaborate a little further on that, check the condition of your tank and lines. There are many variables that can affect the life of your tank, construction, initial installation, soil and ground water conditions plus most importantly maintenance of your tank. We advise that you get your tank checked by an OFTEC qualified engineer at least once a year.
Inspect your tank for any signs of corrosion. Check that the fill cap and the vent cap are both in place and secured properly.
The tanks connections must be clean and tight. It is imperative to check for drips from the fittings and the filter plus when it snows, ice, insect nests or other debris from the vent you must let the tank breathe.
Use pressure treated lumber always. 4 x 4’s that are treated make an excellent cradle. Make sure the fill pipe is accessible for both you and deliveries. Your oil lines must be between the tank and furnace under concrete or in substantial protective tubing. Check the fuel lines regularly and replace any damaged lines immediately and if you are affected by frost heaving use flexible tubing.
Is there any danger of anything slipping off a roof on the tank? Make sure you minimize the possibility of this happening, as the result could be irreparable.
If you have a buried tank, corrosion is common and would explain any fuel losses. If you have an internal tank any sort of smell of fuel would indicate fuel loss, a typical example of this would be in a basement but all indoor tanks should have a vent alarm so make sure to check this is in full working order also. A good way to check is to ask your deliverer to check the whistler. If in doubt please consult an OFTEC qualified engineer.
Water can be an issue with the tank, you can use additives seasonally or with certain tanks a water-draining plug, and use water absorbent socks to do this.
Check for stability of the tank support, you should also check the ground underneath aboveground tanks. Common reasons for tanks buckling or tipping are likely to be due to instabilities in the water table which is also likely to be frost heaving.
If you notice any signs of spillage near pipes please be aware that this is a sign of damage from the tank. Look for stained rock or distressed vegetation. This would be a sure indication of a spillage.