Plumbing & Central Heating Spares, Servicing, Maintenance, Energy Efficient Replacement Boilers
This can be a bit of an issue, and one of the first signs that water has infiltrated your tank is when your boiler starts playing up. It’s a good idea to act quickly if you suspect this has happened, as water in your oil tank can be damaging. Although people often believe that their fuel delivery was at fault, this is usually not the case. In fact condensation is typically responsible for this type of contamination. Oil can over time, draw moisture from the surrounding air, which causes water droplets to form on tank walls. Sometimes rain can get in through damaged vents, ill-fitting filler caps, loose inspection lids or corroded seals. It can also penetrate the tank walls where there are splits or weak spots.
Is water in your tank a problem?
Despite seeming a harmless substance, water can be extremely detrimental to your tank and heating system. If water builds up, it may enter your fuel line, compromising the burner components on your boiler. It can also freeze up in colder months, causing blockages to the fuel supply. Another problem caused by water ingress is corrosion in metal tanks, allowing the formation of sludge. This sludge can get pulled into the fuel line and result in a damaged boiler.
How to deal with the issue
On discovery of water in your oil tank, your best course of action would be to contact an OFTEC registered engineer. This is especially advised if you have more than an inch or two of water. If there is just a small quantity of water, you could try draining the water yourself via the sludge valve at the bottom of a metal tank. For plastic tanks, a hand pump may be an effective way to siphon off water. Even smaller amounts of water may be removed by inserting a chemically treated absorbent material to soak up the water. Dispose of this water carefully as it will be contaminated with oil. Find out more about home heating oil on the Wise Oil website.