November 13th, 2020
Leakage from an old tank is the last thing that any homeowner wants on their property. Leaks can cause property and environmental damage as well as put your family’s health at risk. Understanding the primary causes of oil tank leaks can help you figure out how to properly care for your tank and identify a small leak before it worsens. Here are the three most common causes of oil tank leaks:
Water Is Causing Corrosion
Corrosion is the number one cause of oil tank leaks. Water is highly corrosive, so with prolonged water exposure, your tank will begin to rust and cracks and holes will develop. There are two ways corrosion can start:
Water From Outside The Tank – Rainwater and flooding can surround the tank, whether underground or above the surface. This exposure to water will eventually lead to rusting on the exterior walls. Tanks must be covered in a protective coating to seal and protect it against corrosion.
Water From Inside The Tank – Sometimes, water can get into the tank from leaks and seepage in the pipes or even from low-quality oil. This will condense to the walls and trigger corrosion from the inside. This is also why you should have your tank tested routinely for the presence of any moisture. If it is discovered, work with a professional to deal with the situation.
Whether your tank sits below or above ground, if it was improperly installed, it can easily spring a leak. Underground tanks are located around the water table. If there is groundwater in the soil around your tank, that can cause corrosion. Above-ground oil tank leaks can be due to collapsing legs and supports. Both types of tanks can experience leaks from improperly installed fuel lines and connectors. This is why it is important to make sure you only hire a certified, professional oil tank company for the installation.
Equipment failure will happen over time as the tank ages. Oil tanks last around 15-20 years, so, within the end of that period, you may start encountering equipment failure.
However, if your tank is still relatively new and springs a leak, it may be the result of poor-quality equipment. Everyone has a budget and will look for ways to save money, but choosing the cheaper option will oil tanks can lead to expensive equipment failure early on. Poor construction can lead to water getting into the tank and corroding as well. When having a new oil tank installed, go with a highly rated tank and not simply the cheapest option available.
Many of the causes of oil tank leaks can be managed with proper installation, maintenance, and quality equipment. However, if your tank does spring a leak, Meridian Environmental Services Inc. can help. Our team of experts will not only fix the oil tank leak but also look for and eliminate the root cause of the leak so it does not happen again. Give us a call anytime—we are always happy to help!