heating oil tank


I am sure they have a proper name but hopefully you will know what I mean, ours is 10 years old now, it is outside in a sheltered place and some bits of rust have been painted over with summat. When I had oil delivered yesterday the guy said it was in a bad state and was liable to spring a leak at any time, don't know if he was right or scaremongering, sorry if this is a girly question but I don't know :-)
kate
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Kate Morgan wrote:

surface rust is not likely to be a problem if painted over now and then. If you are getting big flakes of rust (not just paint) coming off then get it looked at. Don't worry about girly questions - they make a nice change!
Bob
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...

Thank you very much Bob, that information is a huge help, I will go and inspect it more fully, :-)
kate
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On 15/04/2010 13:22, Kate Morgan wrote:

I would recommend that you have a go at the bad places with a screwdriver. If it leaks when you scrape hard at it you will be able to control the leak with your finger, which is a lot better than having the leak at night and be empty by morning!
Rob Graham
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Er - then what?
Or did you miss off the " :-) " ?
--
Martin


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On 15/04/2010 18:41, Rob Graham wrote:

empty.. That's the time to start checking for holes.. I would suggest you inspect it very carefully then and perhaps get an independent expert to test it My brother had an oil tank leak which went unnoticed until it polluted their water supply (they all have boreholes.). In the end his insurance company paid out many thousands of pounds as they lived on and washed in bottled water for about six months.. Not just him but his close neighbours too. take care Michael .
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:

Many thanks all for advice, I think that the best thing to do will be to get someone in to inspect it, I cannot risk making things worse if indeed there is anything to worry about
kate .
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Except that the leak may not show up unless there's some oil in there. It may only be a pinhole.
Rob
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My advise is touch and tap - it might give you a clue.
If the problem was just a bit of surface rust and its been treated with a rust inhibitor and then painted over, or a rust inhibiting paint like Hammerite has been used, then it will likely be fine. The affected area should still be smooth to the touch and have a metallic ring to it the same as the surrounding metal if you tap it lightly with another metal object.
At the other extreme, flaking paint could allow water to sit behind and cause localised patches of rot. If this has eaten most of the way through the metal, it will tend to show itself as a rougher and more deeply pitted or flaking surface, and if its really weakened, a bit of a dull thud about it if you tap it with another metal object.
My other question is what the summat looks like! i.e. is it paint, or much thicker indicating a possible botched repair?
I'm not suggesting you try this if you're not comfortable with the idea, but it worked for me on a tank. Found a small suspect area reasonably high on tank in question. Armed myself with the following:
1. Thick plastic sheet + Duck tape 2. Gunk engine cleaner (any other degreaser would do) 3. Bag of sand 4. Tube of epoxy repair putty you can get from DIY sheds or motor factors - you can even get a type suitable for petrol tanks etc. which is even better - search on "pro seal petrol tank epoxy putty" 5. Wire brush
I dipped the tank fuel level and waited till the level was just above the dodgy area. Agree with previous post - you can't always tell when the metal has rusted through to the point a leak may occur but you don't want to breach the dam either!
Laid out the sheet on the ground, and taped the edge to the side of the tank with duck tape. That way if you do disturb something and create a leak, you can contain it with sand on the sheet. The careful depth measurement means you're only containing maybe a gallon of fuel if you do find (or inadvertantly create) a leak.
Then wire brush vigourously to remove paint and see what state the metal is like underneath, with a bit of proding with a screwdriver. In this case the metal was sound - just slightly pitted - so treated it with Hammerite Kurust and their anti-rust primer, then top coated it. Repeated with other areas over the following week or so as level dropped.
Had it been iffy and cause a leak, the fuel would only leak for a bit before dropping below the hole. Could then have degreased the outer surface and repaired it temporarily with the epoxy putty - then I'd have certainly replaced it.
Midge

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