While home heating oil tanks are overlooked, they are an essential and integral part of any home heating system. Traditional heating oil tanks have a lifespan of about 20 years, but some may last longer, or shorter. Depending on the location of the tank, it may be hard for you to access and inspect it on your own. Oil tanks located in the basement are easier to access and inspect. Every homeowner needs to know the signs to look out for to know whether there is a problem with the oil tank. It may then need to be replaced or repaired.
Loss of Oil Due to Leakage
A heating oil leakage needs to be taken care of to prevent loss of oil. Typically, rust begins eating away at the material of the oil tank from inside. If you run into this, contact a professional to check on your oil tank if you suspect it is leaking. Oil leaks need to be acted upon immediately, as they are hazardous to the environment and property.
A Wet Tank
Something could be wrong with your oil tank if you notice moisture underneath or on the top. Moisture starts forming at the bottom, and gradually rises along the sides. Moisture buildup can contribute to oil tank damage if the setup isn’t repaired in time.
Inaccurate Heating Oil Gauge
An incorrect heating oil gauge is a sure red flag. If you think that the gauge is not reporting the correct amount of oil, have it inspected as soon as possible. While replacing the oil gauge can correct the problem, it could mean that there is a much larger problem that needs to be looked at. If there are serious issues, an oil tank replacement will be necessary. An inaccurate fuel gauge points to a unit that is functioning poorly, and that could cost you quite a bit of money.
Damage on the Exterior
It is hard for oil tanks to break down from the outside first. Deterioration of residential oil tanks starts from the interior as debris gathers in the tank and gradually, the walls get corroded by the materials within. Be wary of cracking or denting on the tank. Chipped paint might be a sign that there are serious issues with your residential oil heating system. Noticeable damage on the oil tank’s exterior might mean it’s time for an oil tank replacement. You want to ensure that the tank is inspected thoroughly. If the damage is unattended, your tank likely won’t last for much longer.
Increased Oil Usage
Have you noticed an oil burn rate that is higher than normal? This could mean that the tank is damaged. After using the residential heating system for an entire season, you will get an idea of the amount of oil that you use. If you notice that the usage is higher than normal and you cannot find the exact cause, it would be a good idea to have a technician service the oil tank. If the oil is burning out at an exceptional rate, it’s a sure sign that the tank is damaged and needs to be replaced. Have your residential oil delivery service check your tank.