Is My Heating Oil Tank Leaking?

3 Signs You Need to Replace Your Tank—Fast!

oil tank leak new york Heating oil tanks are built to last—but they don’t last forever. And replacing an old oil tank is a lot less expensive than dealing with a leak or, worse yet, a spill. That’s why the best time to replace your tank is before it starts leaking. Unsure of the health of your heating oil tank? Here are the telltale signs that your heating oil tank is leaking—or could start soon:

  1. Damp Spots: The first sign your oil tank is leaking is a damp spot on the tank. Usually, they will appear on the underside of your tank or along the seam at the bottom of the tank. As the leak gets worse, oil will travel up the side of the tank.
  2. Sticky Drips: If the leak goes undetected, black icicle-like deposits or sticky drips will form on the underside of the tank. You may or may not notice an oil smell alongside this.
  3. Floor Stains: Reddish black spots will appear on the floor underneath the area. Depending on how long the leak goes undetected, an oil stain will begin to develop on the floor.

How Do Oil Tank Leaks Form?

When your heating oil tank sits empty, like in the summer, condensation can form on the interior walls. Because water is denser than heating oil, that water drips down and sinks to the bottom of the tank, where it becomes an ideal environment for bacteria and other microorganisms. Over time, it turns into sediment or sludge that corrodes your tank from the inside out—and can eventually create leaks.

Because your tank never stays empty for long in the heart of the cold winter season, these issues typically don’t come up. But in summer, especially if your tank is outside, condensation will form quickly. Of course, if you’re signed up for automatic deliveries, we’ll make sure you’re topped off for the summer, which is a great way to better protect your tank.

What Should I Do if I Suspect a Leak?

Most leaking oil tanks are discovered within days of an oil delivery. That’s because pumping oil into the tank creates pressure on weak spots in your tank.

As soon as you notice any signs of a leak in your heating oil tank, you should call us immediately to suspend deliveries until you can replace your tank. Eventually, a leak can, and most likely will, turn into a spill, resulting in serious environmental and financial consequences. By law, any oil spill greater than 10 gallons must be reported to the local fire department, which is required to inform the Department of Environmental Protection. 

For Local Heating Oil Services You Can Trust…Call Depew Energy!

A variety of factors influence the lifespan of your heating oil tank: age, maintenance, and construction are just a few. If your tank is less than 15 years old, you’re probably okay 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 to put replacement on your radar.

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, and a new heating oil tank costs far less than the expense of an oil spill or cleanup.

No matter what you need, the pros at Depew Energy are here for you, and we’re always happy to help. As a family-owned business, we’re your neighbors, and we care about our reputation in the community, so we go out of our way to exceed your expectations. Contact us today and we’ll discuss your available options.