Some things get better with age, but that’s not true for heating oil storage tanks. Oil storage tanks can last for many years, but like all equipment in your home, they will eventually wear out.
Specific life spans vary depending on the humidity, the thickness of the steel and more. And when tanks do fail, it’s hard to see it coming because they generally erode from the inside out.
As a general rule of thumb, if your fuel storage tank is more than 30 years old, you should consider replacing it.
It’s a good idea to get regular, professional tank inspections done on your aboveground oil tank. You should also do your own visual inspections periodically because some trouble signs can be seen, including:
Other warning signs that your tank may need to be replaced:
Here’s another reason for tank failure: condensation on the outside of the tank, long after a heating oil delivery. When there is a lot of empty space in an oil tank during the spring and summer, condensation can form along the inside walls. This turns into sediment later, and, if ignored, can result in corrosion.
TIP: To avoid condensation from forming, you should keep your oil tank full during the warm-weather months.
If you notice any trouble signs with your heating-oil storage tank, you should reach out to your local heating oil service contractor for assistance and advice.
There have been big improvements in heating-oil tanks over the years. One of the most important is double-walled construction with an outside layer of corrosion-proof galvanized steel. This keeps the chance of a costly leak to a minimum. Other innovations include:
To sum up, today’s aboveground oil storage tanks provide peace of mind and convenience—in addition to all the other benefits of heating your home with oil!
If you’re thinking about replacing your old oil tank, please read about South Carolina heating oil equipment rebates, which will save you money on your purchase.