Kolor Kut water finding paste.

How to prevent and spot water contamination in your oil tank

January 15, 2019 | Heating Oil Advice

How can water get into your oil tank?

Very wet or hot weather can create water issues for your tank as rain and condensation can lead to water contamination in your oil. Some of the most well-known reasons for water contamination includes damage to your tank such small cracks or accidentally not fastening the cap on properly. This can let water into your tank and add moisture into the air which causes condensation.


Why is having water in your oil tank an issue?

Water can harm your AGA or boiler without you knowing until it is severely damaged. Knowing your oil tank has been contaminated by water is hard to recognise as it sinks to the bottom of the oil. To make sure you don’t get an expensive surprise, BoilerJuice.com are going to share some tips on water contamination. 


Tips on how to prevent water contamination in your oil tank include:

  1. Get an OFTEC registered engineer to check your tank at least once a year.
  2. Check your tank and pipes for signs of wear and tear such as cracks, corrosion, oil stains or any other damage.
  3. Check around your oil tank for any evidence of leaking. If you find a leak, check out our blog on what to do here.
  4. Check your oil tank walls. If the walls are bulging it may suggest that they been weakened which may mean you need to replace your tank.
  5. If you have a bunded tank (a tank with a secondary wall) check to make sure there is no leaves or water clogging the wall.
  6. Check your tanks lid and make sure it is secure. Look to see if your lid is level and not loose.
  7. Make sure there are no overgrown plants near or over the oil tank, as the plants may drip water into the tank after it rains. Place some water removal sponges at the bottom of the tank to reduce condensation. You can get these from www.boilerjuice.com/shop


How to find out if you have water in your oil tank?

Frequent testing for water is a great way to reduce the chances of having issues with your AGA or boiler. 

The easiest way to find out if your tank contains water is to buy water finding paste. All you need to do is to grab a long stick and place the paste to the bottom, then push the stick to the bottom of the oil tank. After a few minutes have passed pull the stick back to surface. If the paste has changed colour there is water in your tank.

How to remove water from your tank

If you find water in your tank it’s important to remove it.  Have a look at the options below on how to remove water from the tank.

  1. Oil tank water removal sponge

An oil tank removal sponge will absorb the water in your tank. This sponge will remove the water without absorbing your heating oil.

2. Heating Oil Water Trap

There is a filter that allows you to easily drain off any water collected from your heating oil. When you see any trapped water in the filter bowl simply open a valve to drain this off.

Finally, the best water contamination prevention is to keep an eye on your tank all year round. These tips will reduce the chances of a hefty repair bill coming your way.

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  1. Another alternative is of course to have purchased a steel oil storage tank correctly installed and tilted away from the feed, so that at the annual inspection the engineer only has to open the sludge cock; the base of the tank being flat will allow the sludge/water to gather at the end of the tank opposite the feed…..unlike a plastic tank which of necessity is required to be supported over the entire footprint on a level base, the individual pockets on the bottom of the tank can only be decontaminated by suction as sludge cocks cannot be fitted to plastic tanks and would be next to useless if they were. One only has to cut up a plastic storage vessel to appreciate the amount of contaminating material.
    Here endeth the lesson, God bless us all

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