The home heating oil tank is one of those essential things that you never really think about, until something goes wrong.  A kerosene leak can be a big problem for any home-owner and the ripple effects could amount to a lot more than just a cold bedroom and no hot water!  An Oil Leak may cause structural damage to your home and environmental damage to your garden, or that of your neighbours.   When we consider the important job that the home heating oil tank does in safely containing that expensive kerosene and feeding the boiler system, it is safe to say that the oil tank should have a top place on the house maintenance list.  Taking care of your tank with some simple preventative measures will keep your precious domestic heating oil safe and help to prevent oil leak accidents.

Check the tank  

Check your tank regularly looking for physical damage, cracks, tears or signs of wear.  At Enviroleak, we pay particular attention to bulging on plastic tanks or corrosion in metal tanks.  This is a clear tell-tale sign of impending danger and you may want to seek professional help for the draining, siphoning and preserving of your kerosene. Cracks can lead to leaks which can be extremely expensive and can have environmental consequences.  

Odours and signs on the ground

If there is a strong diesel like odour around the tank, or signs of a leak on the area around the tank, it is definitely time to call in some help.  A pernicious leak could be causing untold damage to any nearby dwellings structures or damaging the garden around the leak.  A call to an oil leak specialist, such as ourselves, will advise site inspection and whether further action is needed.  In the case of oil leaks, rapid action is the key to keeping the damage to a minimum. At Enviroleak, if we determine that a leak is happening, a replacement tank and onsite inspection can be provided urgently. 

Sludge in the Tank

It is advisable to get your home heating oil tank cleaned every three to five years, depending on how much kerosene you burn through.  Sludge may build up in the bottom of heating oil tanks and cause issues with the boiler and the smooth running of the system.  To avoid a build up of sludge, ensure that the tank lid fits securely, is undamaged and has no signs of corrosion. Water, or rain, leaking into the tank can cause a build up of sludge.  You can also inhibit the build up of sludge by adding a heating oil additive which works to prevent the build up of deposits, sludge and rust, making the fuel burn more efficiently as impurities are removed.  It is always advisable to monitor the oil levels and avoid letting the tank run dry, as this can send sludge around the system, clogging the filter and causing problems with the boiler.

Around the tank itself

Sometimes, there is little thought put into where an oil tank is situated.  Out of sight seems may well have been the priority when most tanks are installed.  This means that over-hanging trees, creeping ivy and or exposure to constant dripping water will take its toll on your poor old hardworking tank.  While, you might not be ready to give it pride of place right in the middle of the front lawn, it may be time to trim the growth from around the tank and ensure that it will not be damaged by creeping weeds etc.  Make yourself familiar with where the feed lines run and protect them from damage and ensure that no one digs in or around them.  Always use a qualified heating engineer for any work to the tank, feed lines or heating system.

Prevention is better than the cure

 Good maintenance can give your oil tank a long and happy life while keeping you and your household free of the horror and bother of an oil leak.  Checking the tank and addressing any issues immediately may save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

At Enviroleak, we operate a 24 hr 7day a week rapid response call line for all oil leaks. Feel free to call if you suspect or know that your oil tank is leaking and our expert advisors will be pleased to assist.