Should I Replace an Old Oil Tank?
If an oil tank is more than three decades old, it has probably outlasted the common life expectancy of tanks due to periodic maintenance and upkeep. Nonetheless, a tank this old will inevitably have a layer of sediment at the bottom. If the oil level ever gets low, the sludgy sediment could gradually make its way into the oil lines and cause the system to clog. Therefore, replace a tank that is 30 years old as a preventive measure, even if it appears to be functional at present.
The most common internal problems with oil tanks involve trapped moisture and sediment, which accumulate as the years pass. As the problem becomes more serious, the internal buildup will burn tiny holes along the body of the unit. When holes form, oil escapes.
In worst-case scenarios, the tank will break much more drastically, to the point where a major oil spill occurs. Disasters of this magnitude must be cleaned up immediately to stop the saturation of oil into the surrounding soil, which could otherwise become hazardous if the mess is left to fester. The cleanup in situations like these is generally costly.
Even if your heat tank is located in your basement, you wouldn’t want the oil to leach into the underlying concrete, which can cause a lingering stench that could permeate your basement and ultimately spread throughout your house.