Your heating oil tank is one of your home’s most important features, even if it isn’t always on your mind. If you rely on home heating oil for heat, it’s essential that the tank is well-maintained.
Oil tanks are highly durable and, for the most part, require very little attention. But that doesn’t mean they won’t wear out over time or require a periodic inspection. When it’s time to replace your oil tank, it’s important to do so promptly.
Here’s what you need to know about when to replace your oil tank and what to do:
Tanks only last so long. Homeowners should replace oil tanks that are older than 15 years as a precautionary measure. After so many years, there’s a good chance that the inside of the tank is degrading, even if the outside looks fine.
“When it’s time to replace your oil tank, it’s important to do so promptly.”
Over time, a layer of sludge builds up in the bottom of your heating oil tank, according to nationally syndicated columnist Paul Bianchina. This is a natural occurrence that happens over many years within an oil tank and contributes to the degrading of oil tanks and issues with your home heating system. Directly after a delivery or if your fuel oil level gets low, sludge can be drawn into your heating appliance. This can clog nozzles, filters, and fuel lines in your heating system and make your system less efficient at heating your home.
Take a Visual Assessment
Periodically set aside some time to visually assess your tank. Look for rust on the tank’s exterior, leaks (even small ones) and wet spots on the ground surrounding your tank. If you see any of these indicators, it’s not a good sign. Rust means the tank is weakening and could already be corroded inside. The wet spots could very well be oil.
Spilled oil is never a good thing. It’s dangerous to plants and animals, and if it gets into a body of water – even ground water – it could cause lasting damage to wildlife. Cleaning up an oil spill or leak is challenging and expensive.
Even if your tank is housed in an outbuilding or in your basement, you should still do everything you can to prevent leaks or spills. Cleaning up spilled oil on your floor can be tough, and the odor tends to linger.
Call When You’re Ready to Replace
If you know your tank is 15 years or older, or have any signs of rust or weakness in the tank, it is a good idea to talk to a professional about replacement. Replacing your heating oil tank today could save you thousands of dollars in cleanup costs, in the event a leak occurs. Even if you think your oil tank is in great condition it is always a good idea to get a professional’s opinion. This way, you’ll be able to plan ahead so there’s no lapse in access to home heating oil.
Are you ready for a new heating oil tank? Reach out to SMO Energy; we’ll help you schedule the right time to replace your tank.