Seven tell tale signs that you have a home heating oil leak

Oil Leak PreventionOil Tank LeakOil Tank Advice

The signs of a leaking oil tank can be glaringly obvious or can be a bit more subtle. If a large and smelly oil slick lies glistening under the oil tank and seeping into the ground of surrounding areas, then clearly there is a problem.  However, a vague odour or an extra kerosene consumption might leave you wondering if things are not quite right. Either way, it is a good idea to pick up the phone and call the oil leak experts such as ourselves and seek assistance.

Here are the seven top signs that your heating oil Is leaking.


The top indicator of a kerosene leak is the smell of escaped oil. Sometimes the odour permeates throughout the entire house and is unmistakably an indication of a spill. On other occasions, it is an extra pungent  whiff of kerosene in and around the tank but definitely a stronger smell than you would normally expect.

Dark Stains in and around the tank

Oil staining on the concrete or on the ground around the tank will be a clear indication that heating oil is escaping. Look also for dark patches on the grass in and around the heating oil tank. Kerosene is red but the stain it leaves is often darker in colour.

Increased consumption

When the oil level decreases far too fast and you have ruled out excessive use in the home or theft, it is wise to look for other signs of a leak around the tank or boiler and to seek professional help if a leak is detected.  Check previous receipts and delivery times to gauge your normal usage.

Dead grass or plants around the tank

Dead or wilting vegetation around a heating oil tank can be a sign of oil seeped under the topsoil.  This may be the first indication of a spill when the leak is coming from a neighbouring property.  If your grass and plants are dying off suspiciously, you might investigate the possibility of a nearby leak.

Wet spots or rust on the storage tank

Stains or wet patches around your tank can be the telltale sign of a leak. Check under the bottom of the tank as oil leaks often occur or show up here.   If you think there is change in colour on the tank, run your finger along the tank joinings to see if there is oil leaking. Examine the tank with a torch for splits or small lesions.

Drips from the tank, the pipework or the boiler itself

Obvious drips which cannot be attributed to condensation may be a sign of a leak in the feed pipes or in the boiler itself will be a real indication that professional assistance should be sought.  This is particularly important if it is accompanied by the smell of kerosene.

Malfunctioning gauges

Oil tank gauges can break or become faulty from time to time, but if there is a leak in the system, the gauge may malfunction. At the same time a faulty gauge can actually cause leaks too.  It is best to have a gauge that is not reading properly dealt with by a professional as quickly as possible.

 As always, here at Enviroleak, we are available 24/7 to answer your queries about possible oil spills and should you discover a leak, our specialist team will make the whole process easier to rectify.