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What Can I Do To Make My Oil Tank Last Longer?

Date: June 25, 2021

oil tank care south carolinaHeating oil storage tanks can last for decades. But they don’t last forever. Most experts agree that if your heating oil tank is more than 30 years old, it’s time to consider replacing it with a modern aboveground tank model. But if your tank is not that old, there are easy things you can do to help ensure it lasts as long as it should.

If you have plenty of heating oil in your storage tank right now, that’s good, because in warm weather, empty space in your oil tank can create problems for both the tank and your heating oil inside.

When there’s a lot of empty space in an oil tank, condensation can form. Water, which is denser than heating oil, drips down from the walls and sinks to the bottom of the tank. That’s where it starts creating a host site for bacteria and other microorganisms that eventually become sediment—and later, corrosion. This, of course, will then result in tank failure.

A Summer Fill Lets You Be Ready For Fall

You can avoid the problem of condensation simply by going through summer with a full tank of oil. Don’t worry, it won’t spoil if it sits in your tank unused for a couple of months. That’s because the average best-used-by lifespan of home heating oil ranges between 18 and 24 months. And that lifespan can be even longer if your heating oil supplier delivers ultra-low sulfur, premium Bioheat® fuel.

Knowing that you’re protecting your heating oil storage tank should give you plenty of motivation to get an oil delivery. But there are two other advantages to filling your oil tank now, rather than later:

  1. A full tank guarantees that you’ll have fuel for your heating system on hand when you need it. Cold weather can sneak up on us, so don’t be caught without enough heating oil to get you through the first surprise cold snap next fall.
  2. You’ll have more flexibility for scheduling a home heating oil delivery at your convenience in the summer, rather than waiting until fall—when everyone else is requesting deliveries too. Why wait in line and have to run the risk of an inconvenient—and more expensive—emergency fuel delivery?

Besides filling your tank, it’s a good idea to regularly inspect it, as signs of trouble sometimes become visible. Here are some things you can check yourself on your aboveground oil tank. Look for:

  • blistering, which are dime-sized blisters in the paint, commonly found on the tank’s underside (feel the underside to find it). It can be a sign of pending failure
  • pinhole leaks, which are caused by rusting from corrosion inside the tank
  • condensation on the outside of the tank, long after a heating oil delivery.

If you notice any of these signs, contact your South Carolina home heating oil service provider.

Today’s Oil Tanks Provide Peace of Mind

There have been some big improvements in aboveground heating oil tanks over the years. One of the most important is double-wall construction with an outside layer of corrosion-proof galvanized steel. This keeps the chance of a costly leak to a minimum. Other innovations include leak detection systems, long-term warranties and sleek designs that allow your tank to fit in smaller spaces. Read more about fuel storage tanks in South Carolina.

You may also qualify for a rebate for upgrading your oil tank. Contact your heating service provider today for more information!