Maintenance of fuel tanks – time for Spring cleaning?

Spring Clean your Fuel Tank

Now is a good time to check your fuel tank over and give it a spring clean. Cleaning down the outside will enable you to see if there is any weather damage, such as splits in plastic tanks; paint chipping off or rust appearing on steel tanks. For steel tanks we can supply touch up paint to restore parts that have been damaged.

Check over the condition of the supply hoses and especially the joints. Look out too for signs of bulging in the tank or damage to the feet/stands.

It is a good idea to check the base where the tank is situated as well, and make sure the immediate area is clear of overgrown vegetation.

Splits and leaks

As soon as you find a leak, or a split above the oil level, contact your service technician for advice. Even if the oil leak isn’t serious, it will cause environmental damage, lose you money and may allow water into the tank. As a temporary fix you may be able to patch it with duct tape, but it is important to get it attended to quickly. Some small leaks can be repaired but mostly it will need a replacement tank.

If you currently have a single skinned tank, it is strongly recommended to replace it with a bunded one. This is a ‘tank within a tank’ which means that if there is a problem with the inner tank, the outer one will hold 110% of its capacity so that it does not cause a spillage.

Splits in the outside of a bunded tank are therefore not as serious as in a single skinned tank, but they are a sign it may need replacing.

Water in your Oil Tank

How do you find out if water has got into your fuel tank?

Looking in the tank won’t really give you any indication, because water contamination can’t be seen. Oil floats on top of water, so the water sinks to the bottom. However, there are other tell-tale signs. You might suspect it, for instance, if your boiler keeps cutting out, or if the tank lid is not on securely. Any splits in the sides can obviously let in water as well.

Regular servicing (recommended annually) by an OFTEC-registered technician should definitely detect the presence of water in the tank, as your technician would have water detection devices.

Tank Socks

If you are in any doubt, or if you suspect water has got in, we recommend you purchase the Cim-Tek Tank Dryer, a ‘tank sock’ which is suspended on a cord and sinks to the bottom of the tank, absorbing the water. Each tank dryer absorbs up to 350ml of water. It should be checked weekly by pulling it up again, and removed when it is full (appears swollen) or when it is not absorbing any more water.

Breathe new life into your fuel system this spring

If your tank itself is still in good condition, the old feed hoses may be causing problems due to wear. It is a relatively cheap and cost effective refurbishment to replace the hoses and joints, and we keep a lot of these in stock for immediate despatch.

Just give us a call on 01953 665940 or email if you need a new tank or replacement parts and we’ll send you a quote.