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Water in your oil tank?

posted on 23 November 2011 | posted in General News

Water in domestic heating oil tanks can cause all manner of problems to boilers and oil-fired cookers such as Agas and Rayburns. Water can enter the tank through different ways, common reasons include damaged vents and caps allowing rain water in, condensation forming due to daily temperature changes causes a small amount of water droplets to form on the inside of the tank and accumulate over time. Any water that enters the tank will drop to the bottom of the tank and sit under the oil. When this accumulation of water builds up to a level that reaches the outlet of the tank the problem starts. Over the passed 10 years we 've work closely with leading oil distribution companies, with the filtering equipment used at most fuel distribution depots its very unlikely that water could be delivered to your tank with the fuel. A bad batch of fuel is very rare and most fuel problems occur because of water and materials (leafs, insects etc) that get in the tank locally. Extremely cold winter weather can cause water in the tank to freeze and expand to block the outlet and oil supply pipe, often confused with the heating oil freezing which is not the case as kerosene freezing point is 30 degrees C. which is very rare in the UK. h2>Detecting water in the oil/h2> Water finding paste is available to detect the problem, its very easy to use, just smear the paste on a bamboo cane or stick long enough to reach the bottom of the tank, the paste will change colour if it comes in to contact with water. h2>Removing water from the oil/h2>There are various options once the water has been detected. Steel tanks often have sludge valves at the back of the tank, designed for the removal of the water and any sludge and heavy material in the tank. With plastic tanks removing the water is a little trickier, having no sludge valve means water has to be removed by pumping it out from the bottom of the tank. There are additives and fuel conditioners which help to emulsify the water and oil, which then get burn off through the boiler. If you have an Aga or other vaporiser appliance, emulsifying water and oil may not be the best solution as it can sot up the wick. Its far better to have the water removed from the tank. h2>Preventative Maintenance/h2> To prevent the build up of water in the oil tank becoming a problem, water absorbent products are available, we offer tank water soakers which only absorb water, these are excellent insurance against future problems and should be check periodically. At Southern Tank Services Ltd, we have the specialist equipment and skilled OFTEC qualified engineers to remove water from your oil tank and clean your tank. We work to best industry practice, Environment Agency guidelines and have a waste carriers licence and full insurance for oil fired work. If you require any assistance please call us on 01722 714514
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