Outdoor Aboveground Fuel Tank Maintenance Tips
To reduce exterior corrosion, make sure that:
- The tank has clearance on all sides so that debris can’t accumulate and hold moisture against the tank
- There is sufficient clearance under the tank so that plant growth does not come in contact with it (At least 6 inches)
- Scratches and rust are repaired immediately
- The tank is painted on a regular basis (A light color is recommended)
The best way to reduce internal corrosion is to eliminate the water at the bottom of the tank. Bacteria forms at the oil/water interface that creates an acid that corrodes the metal in the tank.
The most common causes of water in tanks are:
- Condensation (as much as a quart of water can be produced every year)
- Broken gauges
- Loose or missing fill and vent caps
Tanks should be checked at least once a year and pumped out if necessary. This is typically done by fuel supplier at the time of the annual tune-up.
Information was adapted from the National Oilheat Research Alliance article Heating Oil Tanks- Guide for Quality Installation and Maintenance. http://noraweb.org/about/