Preventing Heating Oil Sludge in Your Tank

Sludging can negatively affect your heating oil, storage tank and heating equipment.

When you shut down your oil-powered furnace or boiler at the end of the heating season, you probably stopped thinking about the heating oil tank in your basement. And while it’s true that your fuel needs are lower in the spring and summer, it’s still important to keep an eye on your heating oil tank.

One significant threat to your oil tank that becomes more concerning in warmer months is sludge. The pros at Taylor Energy can help prevent this issue from affecting your tank, fuel and heating equipment.

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What is heating oil tank sludge, and how does it form?

Heating oil tank sludge is a mixture of dirt, rust and oxidized oil that settles on the floor of your tank. The primary cause of oil tank sludge formation is condensation. Particularly in warm weather, condensation forms on your tank’s inner walls. Then, the water settles on the bottom of your tank and mixes with other components to form sludge.

Can heating oil sludge hurt my home’s heating system?

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Yes, sludge can cause significant damage to your heating equipment if it escapes your tank and enters your fuel lines. Sludge can be a breeding place for bacteria. It can clog your fuel lines and burners, lowering your system’s overall efficiency and causing expensive breakdowns.

Heating oil tank manufacturers try to account for sludge when they design their products. The pick-up line that connects your tank to your boiler or furnace is typically positioned a few inches above the bottom of the tank. This prevents sludge on the tank floor from accessing your heating equipment. However, the sludge can get churned up during a heating oil delivery and find its way into the line anyway.

How can I stop oil tank sludge formation?

You can take a few concrete steps to prevent sludge from forming in your tank, and Taylor Energy can help.

To begin, you should use the highest-quality heating oil possible. As a Taylor Energy customer, you already receive premium-quality Bioheat® fuel. This blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil and organic biodiesel burns cleaner than traditional heating oil and is much better for your equipment.

It’s also crucial to keep your oil tank filled in the summer. When your tank is near-empty (i.e., less than a quarter full), condensation can form more easily. This promotes sludge buildup. So, we recommend getting a tank fill before the hot weather. You’ll be ahead of the game before winter arrives.

Keep an eye on your tank all year, and look out for rust, wet spots and pinhole leaks. These can be signs of condensation and might also indicate that your tank is nearing the end of its service life and needs to be replaced.

Finally, have your heating oil system checked once a year. Our team will look at your tank for issues, including sludge accumulation. The warmer months are a great time to schedule this service since we won’t be answering no-heat emergencies in Windsor, Bloomfield, Coventry and other towns. We have much more availability. Contact us today to get started.

Call Today: (860) 623-3308

Reach out to Taylor Energy to schedule heating system service. We’re ready to help!

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