Water in the oil tank


Oil tanks are a popular feature in many houses across the United States of America and the United Kingdom. The very cold winters necessitate some kind of heating solution that will not cost an arm and a leg. Oil is a heating solution that people have been using for decades. If you get a good tank to begin with, you will have at least forty years or more of relatively stress free use. Every now and again, however, tanks can develop problems. One of the things that cause tanks to malfunction is the presence of water in the oil tank. This is disastrous when it happens in winter, which is when users need functional oil tanks the most.

It is possible that a home owner could live for a long time without ever knowing that there is water in their fuel oil tank. This can be chalked down to the very properties of the water itself. If you have ever put water and oil in the same pot you will have noticed that the water sinks to the bottom and the oil floats on top all the time. It is no different in your oil tank. You are therefore unlikely to ever see the water in your diesel tank or petrol tank because it will sink to the bottom of the tank. A better way to detect the presence of water is to invest in regular checks of the contents of your tank. This may help you to detect the presence of water early and help you to avoid all the costly nastiness that will come from a defunct oil tank. At some point you are likely to find water in your heating oil tank. When this happens do not fear, there will always be the presence of something in your tank, if it isn’t sludge then it is water. You can get these unwanted elements removed and continue on your merry way.

Causes of water in your oil tank

This is a question that many home owners have because a lot of the time people try to be really careful to avoid water getting into the tank. The answer is that it is almost inevitable that some water will be introduced to the inside of your tank. One of the most common causes of water in a fuel tank is a quite natural process…condensation. Most, if not all, tanks come with air vents. When there is moist warm air passing through these vents it tends to get cooled in this environment, which leads to condensation, i.e. the moisture in the air changes from gas form to vapour. Further cooling causes this vapour to change to water droplets that then find their way to the bottom of the tank. It may seem like a negligible amount of water but if it collects over time it could very well end up being significant.

Even though a lot of people try to be careful, human error cannot be discounted from the causes of water in oil tanks. In the case of tanks that are stored outside, people sometimes forget to put the lid back on, or they do not close the filler cap properly. Rain water can then easily find its way into the tank. A lack of proper maintenance of oil tanks can lead to damaged vents, faulty seals or even cracks and perforations in underground tanks. All this may lead to water leaking into your tank.

You can check for the presence of water for yourself by using a dip stick with water paste on it, or you can call in a professional to do the checks for you. Anybody can do it.

Removal of water in the oil tank

There are various ways to remove water from your oil tank. Some of them can be quite messy but others will require minimum fuss from the home owner. If you are on a tight budget and have time on your hands, you can check how to remove water from your oil tank online. All sorts of solutions will come up from people who have been there and done that. Some tanks come with a drain valve at the bottom, which is where the sludge and water would be. You could open this valve and drain away the water into a container. This could potentially be very messy and so you would have to be careful. Oil spills are taken very seriously as environmental threats and so will cost you quite a bit to get cleaned up because you cannot do this yourself. The water that comes out of oil tanks is also considered to be contaminated and to be a risk to the environment and so it has to be disposed of in designated places. Do not ever let this water go down the drain because it is not safe and will cause contamination of the water that is recycled for people to use again.

A protracted way of getting rid of water in your oil tank is to remove all the contents of your tank, putting the good oil in one container and the sludge and water into another container. Other self help ways to rid your oil tank of water is to invest in a hand pump of battery operated siphon. These must of course reach the bottom of the tank to be effective. Again you must be very careful to avoid making a mess that will require professionals to clean up. To avoid all this fuss, just get professionals to do it with their machinery.

Avoid having rust and rot inside your oil tank, or worse, having your source of heat fail you in the dead of winter. Invest in regular checks for the presence of water in your tank, regardless of whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a professional person to do it for you. If there is water in there, take the necessary steps to get rid of it. This will ensure that you get the most out of your tanks for many more years to come.