How to Deal With Heating Oil Tank Condensation

If you have a heating oil tank on your property, understanding potential issues like condensation is important for your comfort, your safety, and your wallet. Here’s what you need to know and how we can help.

What is oil tank condensation?

Heating oil tank condensation is a sludge-like substance that forms on the tank’s walls and ceiling. Ultimately, it’s a mixture of water and oil.

What causes it?

When the temperature of your oil tank falls below the dew point of the surrounding air, it causes moisture to form and mix with the oil to produce that thick, sludge-like substance. 

Should I be concerned about tank condensation?

Yes. The condensation sludge can clog your fuel lines and filters, which can impair your system’s efficiency, lead to higher fuel bills, and result in costly repairs. If left unchecked, it can also cause corrosion and damage to the oil tank itself. 

Additionally, the sludge can create an environment ripe for bacteria and fungi. If allowed to colonize, this can cause a foul odor along with some serious health hazards.

How can I prevent heating oil tank condensation?

Some preventative measures you can take to avoid condensation include

  • Scheduling professional oil tank inspections
  • Keeping your tank full with regularly scheduled refills
  • Placing your tank in a cool, dark spot or paint it dark to protect it from heat 

If your tank is located outside, make sure all of your exterior lines are insulated to prevent fuel from freezing and getting clogged.

How can I fix heating oil tank condensation?

If you notice condensation or sludge anywhere on or around your tank, call a professional to diagnose the issue and recommend next steps. The last thing you want is to end up making the problem worse and more expensive by trying to fix it yourself. 

Our professional technicians are trained to identify these kinds of issues and provide tank repair and replacement services, if necessary. They can also provide additional tips and information for maintaining your tank between inspections.

In most cases, sludge is never a good sign — especially if you’re seeing it on or around your heating oil tank. Condensation can be a hassle, but the good news is that there are preventative measures you can take against it. And the better news is if all else fails, you can count on us to fix it.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact us today.