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I have a steel oil tank Does it require any ongoing maintenance?

With steel tanks, there are no hard or fast rules.  However, to keep them in tip top condition and help maximize the life of your steel tank, they do require a little tlc. 

Here’s a few tips to help you out:

How often should I paint my tank?

This completely depends on where the tank is sited.  You should ensure the paint work is topped up using a good quality exterior gloss suitable for metal and then repaint as and when necessary every few years.

To treat and paint a rusty steel heating oil tank, a rust-inhibiting metal-etching primer and paint should be used.  The loose existing rust should be removed from the tank with a wire brush and then smoothed using sandpaper.  Paint the tank with the primer, let it dry, then paint the tank.  Some metal paints can be applied without using primer. 

Always follow the instructions.

Why do steel tanks fail?

The main cause of tank failure in steel heating oil tanks is internal corrosion due to condensation.  Moisture condenses inside all tanks and then settles to the bottom, combines with sediment, creating a natural buildup of sludge and bacteria. 

How do I protect my steel oil tank?

  1. You need to deal with the water at the bottom of the tank.  Even with the outlets at the bottom of the tank, the sludge and sediment hold moisture.  Because of this there is water inside every oil tank.  The critical thing with steel heating oil tanks is to dip them annually to check for any water in the bottom of the tank.  If any water is found to be present, contact an OFTEC registered tank installer who will be able to advise on the best way to remove the water.
  2. Try to keep your tank relatively full over the summer months so that less water from condensation will collect inside.
  3. Arrange to have your oil filter(s) serviced/ and or changed at least once a year.
  4. Before and after each fill, inspect the vent and fill pipes, and the tank bottom for leaks and spills, as they may not be evident until a change in volume occurs.
  5. 5.   Remove vegetation and debris such as tall grass, leaves, ice, snow, and insect nests from on/ under your tank. Any contact of this material and your tank may accelerate corrosion.