Your heating oil tank is built to last – but most will last longer with a little routine maintenance. More importantly, a little preventive care of your oil storage tank can help prevent a costly heating oil tank repair bill down the road, or even potentially disastrous tank failure.
Keep your tank at least half full – There’s been no shortage of sticky heat this summer in New England, and that’s not good news for your heating oil tank’s interior – especially if it’s empty. Moist air can cause condensation inside your fuel storage tank, resulting in a buildup of water that can later corrode the tank from the inside out; this corrosion can cause the need for unexpected repairs or replacements down the road. When your tank contains more fuel than air, condensation is less likely to form, slowing the corrosion process.
Keep your eye out for leaks – Give your heating oil tank a good look-over periodically. Examine the tank, fuel delivery and vent lines, valves, supply and return lines and all the fittings. Look for signs of oil or rust that might indicate a leak or some other problem. Just keep in mind that the absence of these signs does not necessarily mean your tank is fine, since a tank can corrode from the inside out (a great reason to opt for TankSure® Protection from P. Gagnon, which includes an annual ultrasonic tank inspection).
Check your tank legs – Check your above ground oil tank support legs for problems that could undermine stability. Make sure your tank is on a stable surface – preferably on a concrete pad or level basement floor. If you notice weakened support legs, contact us right away.
Look for surface damage – Examine your heating oil tank for obvious dents, oil stains and any signs of settling or tilting, which could lead to problems later.
Keep your fill pipe clear – Make sure that your fill pipe is accessible for heating oil deliveries; if the area is overgrown, clear it and mark the location so that your heating oil delivery team can find it quickly. Be sure to maintain this clear path throughout the heating season, too.
A properly maintained heating oil storage tank could last two decades or more, so it pays to make the investment of time to keep it leak-free and working at its best.