Inspecting your oil tank – what you should look for

Mon, Aug 12, 2013

Periodically checking your oil tank is something every tank owner should do to avoid any disastrous problems and catch any potential issues before they become a problem.

The Environment Agency recommends that domestic tank owners have an annual tank inspection by an OFTEC registered technician to ensure that the tank is in a safe, sturdy and environmentally friendly condition. Their concern is that failure to check a tank’s condition may lead to fuel leaks that threaten the environment.

Heating Oil Tank

However, the real motivating factor for most tank owners is the expense of fuel. Not inspecting your heating oil tank may lead to the contamination or leaking of oil, and consequently wasted fuel and potential downtime. There are a few basic things that you can do yourself to inspect the condition of your tank.

  1. Visible signs of erosion and weathering – Common clues that a heating oil tank may be degrading are bulges and cracks in the wall of the tank, rust appearing and it having patches of discolouration.
  2. Oil stains and spills – Check the base and surrounding area external to the tank for anything that looks like oil. This could be a sign that the tank’s floor is becoming weak and has developed a leak.
  3. Gathered dirt and vegetation – Check the tank inlet and vent for any built up debris that may affect the cleanliness of the fuel, and clean it away if necessary.

Should you find any signs of the tank failing or becoming weak, we can recommend a tank engineer or suppliers that can give you further advice.