People often think that oil tanks don’t need any maintenance, and that tanks can last for decades without their touch. That’s a very wrong thinking since oil which is inside can speed up the tank’s deterioration. To prevent that you need to check these five things for proper oil tank maintenance.

1. Use only high quality heating oil

Unless your tank is brand new, it has a certain level of oil sludge in it. Tank sludge starts to form with the very first filling of a new tank. Since it’s clear that your tank has some bottom sludge too, you should better try to dilute it by adding high quality heating oil with additives which prevent the forming of more sludge and gelling. The more often you add high quality oil, the purer the tank contents. Less oil sludge means slower corrosion process and lower risk for breakages or oil filter clogging.

2. Never go below a quarter

Another way of preventing oil sludge and maintaining high quality oil in your tank is to maintain relatively high levels of oil throughout the heating season. That way you maintain the quality of oil which is in the tank, preventing high concentrations of sludge on the tank bottom. If your tank doesn’t feature a gauge, you can determine oil levels with a dipstick or a temperature strip, which can be found at home improvement stores.

3. Monitor your oil consumption frequently

If your heating oil tank is outdoors or underground, leaks will be hard to notice. Sometimes, oil leaks, which happen when corrosion from the sludge makes the tank wall porous, will be detected only when you notice something is wrong with oil consumption and oil levels. To prevent oil spill accidents in such cases, you need to know the pace of oil consumption with your heating habits. Once you detect unusually high oil consumption turn off your heating system. If the level of oil in your tank keeps falling, it’s certainly a leak and you need to call a qualified heating technician.

4. Add Agents against Sludge and Gelling

This is a very easy measure anyone can apply, no matter the tank location and size. By adding some additives to your heating oil, you immediately fight the menace and it’s the fastest way to prevent further damaging of your tank due to corrosion. Additives are the best solution if your tank already shows signs of corrosion and you need a quick solution to keep it running just one more winter.

5. Buy heating oil from renowned providers

There are many oil suppliers around, and some do unjust things to take advantage from the competitors and even from you. One of most common illicit heating oil supplier actions is delivering oil from the inventory’s bottom. Such oil is of very low quality, and will certainly help sludge collect on your oil tank bottom quickly. Additionally, this oil can do damage to your boiler or clog the filters.