If your oil storage tank, or the fuel lines to and from it, become broken or compromised in any way, the effects can be disastrous. The local environment can suffer greatly, of course, and there could also be extensive damage to your home and garden to contend with. In addition to the inconvenience and upheaval, the whole repair process could end up costing you a small fortune.

To avoid this, there are some basic tips about maintenance that should be observed. As always, prevention is far better than cure, so it pays to be proactive in this area at all times. Perhaps the most important step towards keeping everything in fine working order is observation. Taking a regular look at the tank and supply lines only takes a few seconds, yet it can forewarn you about potential issues before they become major problems.

It’s a good idea to check the ground underneath the tank for any heating oil leaks. The slightest leak may only produce a drop or two of fuel, but it could prove to be a sign of things to come. Such droplets should be seen as an early warning system, and should be dealt with as quickly as possible.

You should be checking all the connections, too, and making sure they are tight and secure. All fittings are capable of becoming damaged by accidental knocks or erosion, so vigilance is extremely important. If you even suspect a fitting of being looser than it should be, you need to rectify the situation immediately.

It’s recommended by tank manufacturers and industry specialists that you should replace the fuel tank on a regular basis, which many specify should be every ten years. As well as the corrosion that’s caused by the fuel itself, water, in the form of condensation, can cause a large amount of damage over a given period of time.

One of the major problems with oil tanks, especially older ones, is the presence of sludge at the bottom of the tank and, subsequently, in the supply lines. Condensation inside the tank will cause a certain amount of contamination of the contents, and over a period of time the degradation of the fuel will lead to an increase in the quantities of sludge that occur.

Another important factor in the battle against damage to fuel lines is cleanliness. Any spillages during the refilling process, even the smallest ones, can lead to oil collecting on fittings and the fill cap. You should always make sure these are cleaned off with a wipe of a cloth every time you accept a delivery.