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How to Spot and Prevent Oil Tank Problems

Heating Oil Tanks Are Built to Last—But Not Forever

oil tank care vermontIf you don’t think about your fuel tank—other than when it’s time for a fill-up—you’re not alone. And truth be told, that’s usually fine. Heating oil tanks are built to last a long time. But eventually, they’ll need maintenance, and in due time, they will need to be outright replaced.

The point here is that waiting until your tank fails is not the best way to find out it’s time to replace it. The hassle and expense of remediating an oil spill is a lot bigger than the cost of simply replacing an aging tank.

So, how long should your oil storage last—and when should you think about getting a new one? The honest answer is “it depends.” Different factors can influence the lifespan of your heating oil tank including its age, consistency of maintenance, construction quality, and countless other things. The good news is that modern heating oil storage tanks have come a long way from designs of the past decades, offering virtually leak-proof performance for years and years to come.

Here’s what you need to consider if you think it’s time to replace your heating oil tank:

  1. Age. If your tank is less than 15 years old, you’re probably ok for approximately 5-10 more years. If you don’t know when it was installed, and your home was built before 2000, it’s probably time to keep this well on your radar.
  2. Construction. Older tanks are made of steel and can be of single- or double-walled construction. In addition, the steel can be different gauges or thicknesses. Thicker, double walls are better. Also, where the connector valve is located can make a difference. Connectors at the bottom of the tank—instead of the side—last longer. Newer tanks are made from plastic and fiberglass and are designed to last 50 years or more.
  3. Maintenance. Tanks left empty over the summer can have condensation build up inside. That can lead to rust. Likewise, sediments at the bottom of the tank can result in corrosion. All that damage happens from the inside out. If you are seeing rust or seepage on the outside of your tank, you need to act fast to avoid a costly leak or potential tank failure.

Steel tanks are still available today, but they are built to a much higher standard than in the past. Using alternative construction materials such as fiberglass and polyethylene for the inner lining of double-walled tanks makes them virtually leak-proof. 

The other thing to keep in mind is that according to Vermont regulations, before we can fill your tank, you must confirm that it’s been checked by a Vermont Certified Tank Inspector within the past three years. If your tank has not been inspected in that time frame, don’t wait to schedule an appointment with us soon! Our certified team of service technicians can assure your tank is up to speed and ready for the seasons ahead.

Contact Jack F. Corse fuels today for more information.