Nothing will extend the operating life of your above ground or underground oil tank more than preventative maintenance. Though the specifics of oil tank maintenance will be greatly influenced by the type of tank you have, the basic principle is to ensure that the oil is flowing freely through the outlet pipe… and nowhere else. So, if you find yourself wondering, how long does an underground oil tank last? Read on!
Above Ground Oil Tank Maintenance
- For above-ground tanks check the tank legs to ensure they’re not broken, bent, rusted or missing.
- Check the platform for cracks or deformities as well.
- Inspect your tank and connectors looking for rust, dents, warps or wet spots.
- If the tank is black in spots, you may have water leaking into the tank.
- Check the oil tank gauge is working correctly by noting the levels as you use up the oil. Examine the gauge for cracks or loose parts.
- Keep the tank protected from environmental elements such as strong winds, falling ice or snow. Check that nearby trees and branches will not fall on the tank and ensure that the tank’s sides are fenced off so lines and filters won’t get accidentally run over by a mower.
Underground Oil Tank Maintenance
Underground oil tank maintenance is a lot trickier and should be left up to a licensed heating oil professional to evaluate the tank structure and soil condition. This is not a DIY project.
Thankfully tanks today are built with greater efficiency and fewer leak issues than they were in the past. But because of the difficulty in detecting leaks with buried tanks – it’s important to have both the tank and the soil checked by a professional.
How do I know if my underground oil tank is leaking?
There are several signs that your buried oil tank may be compromised; call a professional if you notice any of the following around your tank:
- Plant life in the area of the tank is dying
- Insect infestation
- Soil staining
- Oil consumption seems to be increasing despite your best efforts to conserve
- Wet spots or oil-slick sheen (like a rainbow) is visible on puddled water near your underground oil tank
- Oil odor in the yard or even in the house
- Cracked or fuel gauge that seems to be stuck
Most likely, an underground tank that is 10 or 15 years old is probably not leaking, but the likelihood of a leak does increase as the tank ages.
How long does an underground oil tank last?
Like all equipment, tanks have a limited life and will eventually have to be repaired or replaced. An underground tank should last more than twenty years, but like most things, the tank’s life span is a function of its construction, installation, soil conditions and maintenance.
Point Bay Oil Tank Protection Plan
At Point Bay Fuel in Toms River, we offer a tank protection plan for any tank that is less than 2,000 gallons in capacity in the event you have a problem with your oil tank. This plan provides:
➤ Up to $100,000 for cleanup costs in the event of an oil release
➤ Replacement of your oil tank
➤ Complete management of your cleanup project