FAQ - Oil Tank Issues


What should I look for in a tank installation and maintenance?
A professional should install it. Tank installation is NOT a do-it-yourself weekend project.

Have it inspected periodically. This can be done during your oil burner preventive maintenance check. The service personnel should look around the tank; inspect the fittings, the area the tank is in, and the tank itself.

You should ensure that the tank is away from debris and bushes, and metal objects should not be leaned on the tank. Also, if there is a smell of oil from the tank, bring it to the attention of your oil heat dealer. If a tank is corroding from the inside out, smells and small wet spots can indicate the tank is beginning to fail.

When is it time to replace my oil tank?
Home heating oil tanks last a long time. They are made of high-grade steel, fiberglass, or sometimes double wall tanks of plastic and steel, and can last for decades. Maintenance of the tanks and inspections prolong the life of the tank. You should talk with your oil heat retailer about the potential need to replace your tank. He can provide advice on how to evaluate the tank, and replacement options.

What causes tank failure?
The answer is corrosion. Corrosion is a natural process. It is essentially rust. Corrosion can only occur in the presence of water. That is why it is very important to protect the tank from exposure to water inside the tank. An outside tank does not have to be protected from rain, but it should be painted, and inspected to ensure that any rusting is only on the surface.

Is it normal for my oil tank to give off an odor?
No, a properly functioning oil tank should not produce odors. If you notice an oil smell in the building it may be a sign that there is a problem with your tank, the piping or your heating appliance. You should contact your oil dealer about this.

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