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The Most Common Causes Of Residential Oil Tank Leaks

It's important to take precautions to avoid leaks in your heating oil tank. Leaks are cumbersome problems that can cost homeowners a lot of money and inconvenience. The first step to preventing leaks is to understand what causes them. 

Studies on residential heating oil tank systems show an alarmingly high rate of leakage on properties across the United States. The following are seven of the most common causes of these leaks. If you want to lower chances for developing a leak in your heating oil tank, you can address the factors indicated below:

  1. Rust- Perforations caused by rust are probably the most common cause of oil tank leaks. Leaks can occur because of exposure to moisture both inside and outside a tank. Rust problems that develop because of interior condensation can sometimes be prevented with an oil tank dehumidifier. 
  2. Frost shift- Those who live in colder climates could be at risk of oil tank leaks that result because of frost shift damage. If you have an underground oil tank, repeated occurrences of frost can cause ground shift that over time leads to ruptures in an oil tank. 
  3. Poor delivery of heating oil- Oil needs to be properly piped into an oil tank to prevent leaks. If oil is delivered with an inappropriate or malfunctioning piping system, it could result in leaks. Disconnected lines or piping that looks like fill pipes could increase chances of an oil tank leak. 
  4. Failing equipment- Oil tank equipment needs to be regularly inspected to assure that it's not experiencing wear and tear that could leak to oil leaks. Equipment failures could occur at valves, tank support, and sight gauges. 
  5. Improper installation- An improperly installed oil tank will be at risk of developing leaks. Sometimes, a tank that is meant to be kept above ground or indoors is mistakenly used as an underground tank. Tanks intended for outdoor use are manufactured to accommodate harsher environmental demands.
  6. Overfilling- Both underground-storage tanks and above-ground storage tanks are sometimes overfilled by workers from heating oil supply companies. It's important to respect any fill limits indicated on an oil tank if leaks are to be avoided.
  7. Geological characteristics- Underground tanks are at risk of damage occurring because of geological conditions. For example, certain soil types may be more prone to corrosion currents that could lead to tank leaks. Soils that are high in clay content have lower resistivity to corrosion currents than soils that are high in sand content.  

Talk to places like Self Heating Cooling for more information and tips.