How Do You Treat Oil Sludge?

Posted: July 27, 2023

Vaughn Oil helps keep your oil tank and heating system safe

oil tank sludge Providence County, ri When your home’s furnace or boiler undergoes maintenance, the heating system service technician inspects it thoroughly. If you use heating oil, they check for the presence of sludge in your heating system.

The mixture of dirt, rust, and oxidized fuel, known as heating oil sludge, is the primary cause of heating system issues. It is thick and black and can obstruct filters, which puts more strain on your equipment to generate heat. This lowers efficiency and increases energy expenses.

If you don’t take care of sludge buildup in your heating system, it can cause blockages in the supply line of your furnace or boiler, making your system less efficient and possibly leading to system failures, meaning your heating system could stop working completely, which would be expensive to repair and leave you without heat.

Over time, sludge build-up inside your tank can cause corrosion and eventually lead to tank failure. If this happens, it could be very costly to replace the tank in an emergency and clean up any spilled heating oil.

The cause of heating oil sludge

If you don’t fill your heating oil tank during summer, then moisture can collect on the tank’s inner walls that are exposed. The water is denser than oil and eventually drips down to the bottom of the tank. This creates the perfect environment for microorganisms and bacteria to turn this water into sludge and sediment which can corrode the tank over time.

How to remove heating oil sludge

To effectively and safely get rid of sludge from your tank while preventing expensive repairs and bigger problems, it’s advisable to seek the services of a waste-oil contractor. They will be able to promptly empty your tank and enhance its overall performance.

Replacing an old tank is advisable as older tanks made of steel with varying thickness and single-wall construction are prone to corrosion. Instead, the newer tanks made of plastic and fiberglass are less susceptible to sludge damage and can last for up to 50 years or more.

How to prevent heating oil sludge

Get a tune-up of your heating system every year.  Regular, professional maintenance gives Vaughn Oil’s experienced service technicians the opportunity to spot and fix any sludge-related problems before they can lead to problems. An annual maintenance tune-up is included in all our heating system service plans.

Inspect your heating oil tank regularly. You should watch for signs that your old heating oil tank may soon fail. These signs may include rust, pinhole leaks, and condensation on the outside of the tank, even a long time after an oil delivery. If your tank is more than 20 years old, it’s advisable to start planning to replace it.

Keep the tank filled all year, even in summer. To avoid the condensation that can lead to the development of sludge, we recommend getting a heating oil delivery before summer. This is because warmer weather can lead to the development of condensation in tanks that have more air than oil.

Protect yourself from the high costs of heating oil tank failure. Sign up today for TankSure heating oil tank protection!