Oil tank taking water (C) Daniel Friedman How to Remove Water from an Oil Storage Tank

  • OIL TANK WATER REMOVAL - CONTENTS: How to get water out of a buried oil tank, How to get water out of an above ground oil storage tank, How to get water and sludge out of heating oil piping and fittings, How to remove water from an oil storage tank: water absorbing pads, Pumping out water from an oil tank, how, when, where
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to remove water from an oil storage tank

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Oil tank water contamination:

This article explains how we remove un-wanted water contamination from oil storage tanks in order to avoid oil tank corrosion, leaks, or loss of heat.

This heating oil storage tank article series provides detailed information about underground (buried) oil storage tanks (USTs), aboveground oil storage tanks (ASTs), above ground fuel storage tanks, reporting and cleaning up oil tank leaks, and choosing among oil tank leak testing methods.

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How to Remove Unwanted Water from an Oil Tank

Photograph of an patented water absorbing product to remove water from oil storage tanks.
  • Dispersant / Bactericide Oil Tank Additives: small amounts of water contamination in an oil tank can be absorbed by alcohol products and moved through the heating system by adding "4 in one hot" or similar additives available from HVAC suppliers or through your oil company. See details about heating oil additives and chemicals at Additives for Outdoor Oil Tanks.

    [Click to enlarge any image]
  • Small amounts of water contamination in an oil tank can be removed from the oil tank using products like the H2O Water Worm from H2O Control Products, Inc.

    Quoting from the company's product literature:

    The H2OWater Worm is a 36" x 1.5" cloth tube containing a small amount of our water absorbing desiccant.

    You simply drop the Water Worm into the tank via any convenient opening, being sure to hold onto the attached 7' string. Secure the string outside of the tank. After settling to the bottom of the tank, the Water Worm will absorb any water that collects or has collected in the tank.

    To check or remove the sock, simply use the attached string to pull the Water Worm out. If it is full and firm, it's spent; if not, put the Water Worm back in to collect more water.
    [Photo courtesy of H2O Control Products Inc.]
  • Pump Out Large amounts of water in an oil tank such as several inches or more in the tank bottom (water will stay at the bottom of the tank as water and oil don't mix), have to be pumped out by your oil company.

    They will leave the heating oil behind and intact. Simply call your oil delivery company or heating service company to arrange for them to check and pump water out of the tank. It's a straight-forward procedure that most oil companies know quite well.
  • Clean oil supply and return piping that may have become soiled with sludge or water accumulating by using the CO2 cartridge oil line "blow-out" tool that is carried by oil heat service technicians. Alternatively it may be possible to clean the oil line by disconnecting it at both ends (you'll have to have the proper fitting on hand to plug the oil storage tank to avoid leakage), then blowing out the oil line with compressed air.

    Watch out: don't try blowing compressed air through oil piping that is connected to your oil tank. Blowing compressed air directly into your oil storage tank risks that you over pressurize the tank, causing it to leak - a catastrophe.
  • Clean the oil filter canister of water, sludge, rust, muck as part of normal heating oil service or when you are removing water from the oil storage tank.
  • Test the oil burner fuel unit (fuel pump assembly) to be sure that the fuel unit has not been damaged by water. This is a good time to replace the screen found inside the fuel unit too.

Continue reading at OIL TANK TREATMENTS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

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