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Water In Your Heating Oil Tank: FAQs

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Heating oil is one of the relied upon fuels used in industrial settings. The only downfall to using heating oil is the fuel must be stored in tanks on the property and water can sometimes get into the tanks. Here are a few things you should know about getting water in your heating oil tanks as an industrial business owner. 

How does water get into the heating oil tanks?

This is the first question business owners who learn they have water in their heating oil tanks tend to ask. If the tank is always closed, how in the world does the water get into the tank to start with? There are two primary ways water can actually get inside of a closed tank: rainwater and condensation.

Rainwater often makes its way into a tank that is not properly closed, or that is old and not in the best condition. For example, if the tank has vents that have started to rust, rainwater can seep inside. Condensation can be an issue if the temperature inside the tank is cooler than outside the tank, which is a common issue with above-ground tanks in certain climates. Condensation will collect on the inner walls of the tank and gradually make their way to the bottom. 

How do you know if there is water in your heating oil tank?

Water in your heating oil tank can show it's there in a few different ways. One of the biggest indicators that you have water in the tank is problems keeping a pilot light lit. When water molecules seep into the lines, it can prevent the oil from burning correctly. Since the water will be on the bottom of the tank and oil on the top, you probably will not see this kind of issue unless you pay close attention when the heating oil level is really low in the tank.

You can also get testing strips and testing paste that will turn colors when there is water present in the tank. These things can be lowered into the tank through the top, but you must insert the testing material all the way to the bottom of the tank, and that can be tricky. 

In the most severe cases, you will have to bring in a professional to help you eliminate water from your heating oil tank. If you suspect water is causing problems with your heating oil heat system, reach out to a professional for help. You can also check out a website like for more information today!