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What to do if water accumulates in your home heating oil tank

7th June 2013 All News and Offers

If you have found water accumulation in your home heating oil tank then it is unlikely to be caused before or during delivery of the oil.

Water has a very low solubility in home heating oil and, if present in a dispersed form, would create a distinctly hazy product that would immediately fail to meet the specified criterion for the product [required by the British Standard to be clear & bright].

Our delivery tankers are not flushed with water, or water-based cleaning agents, and our distribution facilities are fitted with high offtake points and comprehensive water trapping and filtration systems.

The principal sources of water in oil storage tanks are rainwater and condensation.  Rainwater can enter a tank if openings in the tank are left open, seals are faulty or damaged or the integrity of the tank has been compromised by rusting or by perforations, cracks or splits in the body of the tank.  Condensation will often occur naturally as the result of temperature differences between the tank/oil and the surroundings…

It is part of a delivery driver’s training to ensure that all of the openings used when filling a tank and gauging its contents are closed securely after the filling operation has been completed.

If water is present, it can be pumped out by using a small hand pump.  The water will be contaminated and should be disposed via the local authority refuse centre in a waste oil collection tank. There are other methods of removing the water, click here to read how to check and remove water accumulation from your home heating oil tank

Once the water is removed, it would be advisable to flush the boiler feed pipe and change the oil filter to ensure all water is removed.  Depending on your skills, this is probably an operation that should be carried by your service engineer.

If the cause is a failure of the tank, or an associated component, then this will need to be repaired or replaced before further deliveries of home heating oil are made, to avoid a reoccurrence of the problem.

Environment Agency requirements prohibit the refilling of an oil storage tank that is damaged in such a way that it may leak or rupture after filling.

Where the tank is still under warranty, the installer, or the tank manufacturer, should be informed of the nature of the failure and a claim made under the warranty.

If you contact one of our depots, we will do all that is reasonable to assist you with resolving the problem and can carry out water dipping tests and water removal at your request, although a charge may have to be made for this service.

[NOTE: The removal of water, or any other contamination, from an oil storage tank is a specialist function and correct disposal of the resulting waste material is controlled by environmental legislation.]

Source: http://www.oilsave.org.uk/page.asp?ID=8#water