Heating Oil Tank Cleaning

There are a few good reasons why you need to have your heating oil tank cleaned once in a while. Obviously, you are necessitated to do it once there is a sludge buildup at the bottom. Also, cleaning is necessary when your tank is showing signs of rust, which means that there already might be water inside.

In this article, we’ll be looking at some valuable tips on how to do the cleaning yourself, although we do recommend hiring a professional to do it to avoid any mistakes. Anyhow, let’s proceed…

First of all, let’s talk about a heating oil tank that’s filled with sludge. Here’s an image of how it looks like:

photo credit: Alberg37.org

The image above shows how sludge looks like after being removed from the fuel oil tank. The presence of it will cause your heating system to work inefficiently. So when you see it at the bottom of your tank, it’s about time to get rid of it.

eHow.com contributor Tammy Quinn Mckillip, in her article titled “How to Clean a Heating Oil Tank,” provides the most comprehensive yet quick way of getting rid of that sludge.

Drain
Place a disposable container, such as a coffee can, under the drain valve of your oil tank, and drain any remaining oil from the tank by opening the valve.

When the tank is empty, put a lid on the filled container, and put it aside.

Place a new empty container under the drain, and spray water into the oil tank with a water hose until the liquids that drain out are clear. Replace the drain cap on the tank.

Fill
Open the fill cap on your oil tank, and pour 1 cup of trisodium phosphate per every 5 gallons of water until the tank is full.

Put an air hose inside the tank, and push it through until it hits the bottom.

Turn on the pump, and allow it to agitate the solution for at least 12 hours.

Place a receptacle under the drain of the tank, open the drain, and drain the solution. Spray the inside of the tank with a hose until the liquids run clear.

Dry
Pour 3 gallons of denatured alcohol inside the tank. Try to get the alcohol to reach as many of the surface walls of the tank as you can by pouring it at different angles.

Insert the air hose into the tank, and turn it on to help dry the alcohol and absorb any remaining moisture inside the tank.

Replace the drain cap, and refuel the oil tank.

Source: http://www.ehow.com/how_5673559_clean-heating-oil-tank.html

You really don’t have to resort to hiring a professional to do it, as you can see on the tips we quoted above. But if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you might as well go to the pros.

But what if you’re not really interested in doing an actual inspection of your heating oil tank? How would you know that it already needs cleaning? According to an article we found at Maine Energy, there are several reasons why you should have your oil tank cleaned. Here’s what the post has to say:

Reasons to have your fuel oil tank cleaning:
Improve burner efficiency
Lower heating costs
Lower emissions
Remove harmful contaminants that cause premature tank failure
Lower heating system maintenance costs

You oil burner heats your home or business. Your burner unit runs smoothly if serviced regularly and your oil filters are changed with each service. But why are your filters filled with black sludge? What is in that tank? What happens when the oil tank won’t flow oil? Your heat is off and it starts to get cold. Why?

It’s because the sludge buildup is excessive and is clogging the bottom of your tank.

Read the article by clicking this link.

But it’s not just about sludge that’ll give you good reason to have your tank cleaned. You also should watch this video to see another reason to do so:


So aside from sludge, cleaning also guarantees that any sign of rust or corrosion is prevented right before it spreads. It also is quite valuable to learn the different ways on how to prevent water from coming inside the tank and messing up the oil as well as the interior part of the tank.