Your oil tank is arguably one of the most important components of your house once the chilling temperatures of winter sets in. Without it, your heater or boiler will not kick in, and you will find your home to be intolerably cold and chilly. To avoid issues like this, you will need to ensure your tank that keeps the fuel stored is always in good working condition. So now is the time to learn Oil Tank Maintenance: The Key Steps.
The average tank lasts around 15 years and sometimes even longer. Since they last so long, it is so easy to lose track of how many years old it is. This lulls you into a false sense of security. So the first step is to keep track of the age of the tank and how often you or a professional inspected it.
When you do the inspection, you will want to look first for scratches or cracks. Any kind of bulges could be a sign of pressure about to crack the surface. Discoloration is also an issue that could alert you to a potential problem. Since leaks may already be occurring, look for wet spots both on the container and on the ground in the surrounding area.
For leaks, the valves are a key area to inspect. The pipes that take the fuel into home may also have leaks, so look for wet spots or rust there as well. Spills or leaks are particularly problematic. Not only do they waste your oil, but they also have the potential to contaminate the soil. Your local government likely has laws against this, which means you could incur a really big fine and cleanup costs.
Next, check your gauge to make sure it is in good working order. You should also check to make sure your overfill alarm is working. If you don’t have one, consider investing in one. This protects the tank from bursting or leaking due to too much pressure inside. Too much pressure is usually the result of overfilling. This alarm will go off if you get to the 80 or 90% capacity level when refueling, preventing pressure from building up.
Since the unit is likely outside, check for nearby branches or foliage that may be impeding the vents or trying to grow over the structure. This is especially relevant after a storm, to make sure large branches or debris carried over has not done any damage. Also check for damage or weak spots in the legs that hold up the container. They should not be rusty at all or showing dents or signs of buckling.
Every five years, you should have the unit professionally cleaned. This prevents contamination from happening and also prevents any sludge buildup from getting into your boiler, which can really gum up the works and make it less efficient.
In fact, a professional should come out to periodically inspect the unit. Though the recommended self-checks are great, a professional knows what to look for and can catch things that perhaps you did not find. It is better to tackle issues early, as they cost far less, making the cost of professional maintenance a good investment.