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Removing water from your heating oil tank

Removing water from your heating oil tank

Removing water from your heating oil tank

Domestic Heating Oil Tank

Unchecked water in a heating oil tank can cause damage to the tank itself, your boiler or Aga. Checking for water should be a regular part of your domestic oil tank maintenance, and if you do find traces of water it is a fairly easy task to remove if caught in time. 

Water can collect in your tank for a number of reasons, but the most common causes are; faulty seals or splits in the tank, damaged vents, poor fitting lids, or owners forgetting to replace the lid altogether. Damage occurs if the water is allowed to enter the fuel line, as this can cause damage to components, can affect or stop the combustion process or it could even freeze during cold weather causing blockages to the outlet or fuel supply. 

How to spot water in your heating oil tank

There are different techniques that will help you discover any water that may be lurking in your tank. Water has a higher density than oil and will sink to the bottom of the tank, making it harder to find just by looking. The most reliable method of checking for water in your tank is water detecting paste- Following the instructions on the bottle, dip the paste into the oil tank using a dipstick. Ensure that the stick reaches the bottom of the barrel, if water is present the paste will change colour. 

Removing the water from your tank

If you do find water in your tank there are various methods of removing it. Some older, metal tanks have run-off taps at the bottom which let you run any water into a bucket. If you are able to do this remember you must no dispose of any oil in drains or waterways. 

Alternatively, there are water removing products available which often consist of a string of absorbent pouches weighted with gravel. Once placed into the tank, the pouches sink to the bottom where they absorb any excess water. 

Remember to regularly have your tank inspected by an OFTEC registered engineer who will alert you to any problems with the tank, or any water collecting within it.

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