How does water get in my heating oil tank?

How does water get in my heating oil tank?

How does water get into my heating oil tank?

Sometimes people wrongly suspect that water can enter your tank when receiving an oil delivery, begging the question - how does water get into my heating oil tank?If your oil tank does have water in it then it should be removed at the earliest opportunity.We tend to think of our oil tanks as sealed units. However, faulty seals, damaged vents, splits to the tank, poorly fitting lids or even simply leaving the lid off can all cause water contamination. Rain water can trickle in to any open gaps entering the vent pipe but more likely condensation is to blame. Over a long period of time the water level in your tank can build up sufficiently to enter the fuel line, which will cause damage to burner components, affect combustion or could freeze in winter months, blocking the oil tank outlet or even the fuel supply.

Heating Oil Tank Fuel WaterClick to enlarge image

Having your tank inspected annually by an OFTEC registered engineer will ensure your tank is in good condition and in the best possible state to stand up to adverse weather conditions.Water can be difficult to detect in the tank. Water doesn't mix with oil and is heavier, so will therefore sink to the bottom. In winter conditions water can form condensation inside the tank then freeze, causing blockages in pipework and filters.

Water in the delivery misconception

Over time a layer of water can build up at the bottom of your tank along with a sludge build-up of black particles in the oil. An oil delivery (especially if the oil level is running low) can stir up the oil and sludge with the water which will disturb the flow of oil through your pipe work. This can sometimes be mistaken for water in the fuel being delivered.Oil tank flow

How do I know if I have water in my tank?

Water Detecting Paste is an easy way of detecting how much water is in your heating oil tank. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, you will cover the end of a long stick in the paste and leave it upright in your tank touching the bottom. Once removed you can see the water level (much like the dipstick in your car engine).Older metal tanks sometimes have a run off tap at the bottom that allows you to run the water off into a bucket. Any oil removed from the tank must not be disposed of in drains or waterways (see your local authority website for correct disposal procedure). Water in plastic tanks need will to be pumped out as they don’t have this facility.A new product on the market is made up of a string of absorbent pouches. This is dropped into the plastic tank and because of the gravel weights will fall to the bottom where it is left slowly absorbing the water. Check instructions for how long this should be left and simply pull on the cord to pull the device out and dispose of in the appropriate manner.