Heating Oil Tanks Are Built to Last—But Not Forever
You probably don’t think about your heating oil tank very often, except when you need fuel. And that’s fine: heating oil tanks are built to last a long time. But eventually, they need to be replaced.
So how long should your oil storage last? The honest answer is “it depends.” A variety of factors influence the lifespan of your heating oil tank: age, maintenance, construction. The good news is that modern heating oil storage tanks have come a long way from designs of the past, offering virtually leak-proof performance for decades.
Here’s what you need to consider if you think it’s time to replace your heating oil tank:
- How old is your heating oil storage tank? If your tank is less than 15 years old, you’re probably ok for a few more years. If you don’t know when it was installed, and your home was built before 2000, it’s probably time.
- How is it made? Older tanks are made of steel and can be of single- or double-walled construction. In addition, the steel can be different gauges or thicknesses. Thicker, double walls are better. Also, where the connector valve is located can make a difference. Connectors at the bottom of the tank (instead of the side) last longer. Newer tanks are made from plastic and fiberglass and are designed to last 50 years or more.
- How has it been maintained? Tanks left empty over the summer can have condensation build up inside. That can lead to rust. Likewise, sediments at the bottom of the tank can result in corrosion. All that damage happens from the inside out: if you are seeing rust or seepage on the outside of your tank, you need to act fast to avoid a costly leak and spill.
Steel tanks are still available today, but they are built to a much higher standard than in the past. Using alternative construction materials such as fiberglass and polyethylene for the inner lining of double-walled tanks make them virtually leak-proof.
The bottom line is that a new heating oil tank costs far less than the expense of an oil spill or cleanup. If you think it’s time to replace your tank, contact Burt’s Reliable today to learn more about oil tank replacement, installation and removal on the North Fork.