The Dos And Don'ts Of Heating Oil Storage
If you use heating oil to provide warmth for your home, you should be aware of storage concerns as they relate to the usable shelf life of the oil. You might just assume that once the oil is tightly sealed inside your storage tank, its lifetime of usefulness is endless.
That is not the case. Here is what causes heating oil to weaken, how to boost the shelf life with the proper additives, and why you shouldn't try to rejuvenate old heating oil.
Does Stored Heating Oil Weaken?
The primary reason why it is not feasible to stockpile a supply of heating oil is that the combustible traits of the oil deteriorate over time. Microbes, plus other varieties of bacteria, readily contaminate all types of fuel tanks. The storage tank containing your home heating oil is a natural place for this type of bacterial contamination to occur.
The bacteria forms as a result of the moisture and acids inside the tank. Over time, rust and other crud forms at the bottom of the tank and provides a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. This buildup is basically unavoidable, but can be slowed through the use of additives.
Gradually over the course of time, the bacteria reduces the usability of the heating oil. It will eventually weaken so it has such a low burning point that the heating efficiency of that tank of heating oil will drop dramatically.
Can You Add Shelf Life to Heating Oil?
You can increase the shelf life of your home heating oil when it is delivered by adding the correct additives to the tank. Be sure to consult with your heating oil delivery company or a fuel storage tank expert to select the proper additives. The wrong choice can create a potentially dangerous combustible situation.
Can You Rejuvenate Old Heating Oil?
You might think that since you can add to the storage life of your heating oil by putting in the proper additives, that these same types of solutions might restore old heating oil. Sorry, but the short answer is no.
Keep in mind that the original source of your heat sat underground for millions of years and did not just magically appear as No. 2 grade heating oil. It was a sludge material that was refined, cooked and then purified at an oil refinery.
Once it starts to decay from bacterial contamination, it begins to return to its sludge-like state. While old diesel fuels and other heating oils can be rejuvenated in mass volume by specialized refineries, putting a fuel additive into a heating oil tank, where the deterioration process has already started, simply will not work.
So to be perfectly honest, trying to stockpile home heating oil is not a smart idea. The oil will lose its combustible efficiency and end up costing you more in the long run.
For more information, contact Ike's Fuel or a similar company.