What Are The Causes Of Heating Oil Tank Corrosion

When it comes to storing oil, steel tanks are the most preferred choice. There are plastic ones as well but they are not as porous and impact resistant. Steel oil tanks are tough but are vulnerable to corrosion and you need HVAC companies inspect it them. So, let’s look into what causes oil tank corrosion and what can you do about it.

Causes Of Oil Tank Corrosion

The most common cause of oil tank corrosion is the process of evaporation and heat again. It usually takes place in the summer and spring seasons due to water forming inside the tank. As a result, both microbial and water contamination occurs.

The biggest downside to it is that you won’t know when the corrosion starts to take place as it is virtually impossible to spot due to the oil inside the tank. You are only going to notice it when the exterior is affected but by that time it is going to be too late.


Sludge is another major cause combined with corrosion and algae that leads to expensive equipment failure. As the oil tank corrodes, the hydrocarbon oxidation increases which leads to sludge, fungi, and bacteria, affecting the quality of the fuel stored.

Modern Fuel

Oil tank corrosion also has to do with the fuel type and quality with diesel tanks having to experience the most of the corrosion. Manufacturers and refining industries have been introducing new techniques to improve the quality of fuel over the years but the ultra-low Sulphur diesel and an increase in bio content had only added to the difficulties.

Even though corrosion is evident and you cannot avoid it, there are some ways to protect your oil tank that are a part of preventative maintenance.

How To Protect Your Heating Oil Tank From Corrosion?

Fuel Testing

To protect furnace oil tanks from corrosion, it is important that the tanks are maintained by a professional. Also, the tanks should always be kept full to prevent moisture from entering. In the case of diesel, experts suggest not letting it sit for more than six months. Throughout the time it is stored, the tank should be inspected regularly.

Regular inspections and maintenance ensure that any corrosion and contamination are detected to fix, repair or replace any faults beforehand.

Fuel testing involves checking the fuel or oil for contaminations, Sulphur content, FAME, etc. If it is left untreated, it can create havoc in components of the machine that could lead to expensive damage or even result in a halt in worst-case scenarios.

Therefore, the only way to determine the health of your tank is by getting an internal inspection of the oil tank done on a regular basis by a professional team. The only way of doing it is by removing the contents inside, and cleaning and repairing any issues.

And finally, the inspection also checks the thickness of the tank. On average, oil tanks vary between 6-12mm depending on the size and type. However, if the thickness has reduced by 20%, proper action must be taken.

Double-Skinned Tanks

Double-skinned tanks as the term suggests comes with double skin, meaning they can detect leaks and also act as a safety net. It basically covers the entire tank and produces a vacuum, keeping the moisture at bay. This means, the thicker the skin, the better the protection.

Secondary Equipment

Secondary equipment also known as the bund is made using brick or concrete, required by law to prevent and contain spills due to tank penetration. It is like a protective wall built around the container in case the tank overspills or simply spills. And it is built by professionals so that the protective layer is able to hold 110% of the fuel without any leakages.

And finally, if you find sludge in your oil tank, you should opt for finer quality filters and filter out the contaminants on a regular basis. Although, the process takes time and effort but will save you a lot of corrosion-related pain down the road.

Final Word

In the end, corrosion is preventable if you look after your oil tank. If you find oil spills on the ground, you should immediately contact oil tank replacement services huntington as things can quickly get out of hand when it comes to dealing with oil tanks.

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