I justr wirebrushed mine, and slapped on a coat of jenolite, and sprayed
it with a red car primer.
Mostly the lack of oxygen in the water at the bottom, and the lack of
water in the oil at the top, stops them rusting INSIDE.
Ultimately we cut it up with an angle grnder and skipped it but that was
a few years later..
On Wed, 27 Aug 2003 19:33:14 +0100, "Peter Crosland"
I've never seen one.
As it happens, I've looked. I've collected a large number of these
things, as part of a passive solar project (this is also how I know
that bitumen-based paints can be a problem when you locate the tanks
in a greenhouse)
If water condensate settles out in an oil tank, it's under a layer of
oil in a saturated solution with iron salts. There's minimal oxygen in
there, and it's in its own little brew of DIY Fernox. Despite being
given most of these tanks on the basis of them "having rusted out",
then carefully ultrasounding the bases and preparing to weld the
things secure again, I didn't find _one_ of these things with
significant corrosion from the inside.
Where I did see damage was where water was trapped _outside_ the tank,
where a cuboid tank was rested directly on a brick pier. This is just
bad installation practice, and the sort of thing you should check when
IMHO, domestic oil tanks just aren't in any hurry to rust out from the
inside. Counter-examples welcome.
signs long before serious leakage occurs. Over a pretty lengthy period you
will notice a smell of fuel around the tank then a damp patch will show
around the leak, followed over a month or several by an odd drip from the
locality of the corrosion and this will slowly progress.
When the damp patch appears its time to arrange to run it down and get a
new one installed.
Metal tanks do have advantages over plastic ones such as vandals can't
readily damage them, they can be sited on two simple plinth walls as
support and can be painted to suit your desires.
Plastic don't rot or rust but can and do split on their seams if under
stress, need a full flat base and vandals can pierce them or light fires
under them with spectacular results.
In answer to the OP its a good idea if possible to run the tank down to
nearly empty so it can be moved, shift away from the wall, wire brush the
seams and corroded spots and paint with decent primer and a couple of coats
of gloss (Buckingham Green is the reccomended colour but its your tank).
This assumes that the tank hasn't been allowed to get so bad that wire
brushing will destroy it of course)
My in-laws tank corroded at the back which they couldn't get to (bad
siting but out of the way) subsequently they lost 3/4 of a tank. I
suspect many metal tanks are only maintained on the bits you can see
ribs that can be supported on plinth walls
I haven't heard of them being vandalised, it can't be all that common??
You need to be completely oblivious to things to miss advanced corrosion
such as that. Didn't their oil delivery driver comment upon it to them? Our
lot would always tell a customer if things were getting iffy when I worked
for the local Shell agent. Everyone with an out of the way tank "SHOULD" go
and take a look every now and again for peace of mind at least.
It does happen although not that often I agree. I have been to a steel oil
tank which little oiks built a bonfire under one bank holiday. Being steel
it boiled the contents driving vapour out of the vent on top which ignited
in a jet of flame, at which point oiks ran away. This continued until the
fire burnt out then the tank slowly cooled until it stopped boiling and the
vapour flame died out. All that was neccessary was to wire brush the steel
and repaint it. Hardly the same treatment as a polythene tank would have
Regarding your comment about poly tanks not all needing flat bases - I am
aware of one manufacturers products which are as you describe but they are
generally harder to source and not all that popular. I did once come across
a plastic tank (standard type) which a builder had placed on two plinth
walls. It looked odd as I approached it and I found that the bottom had
slowly stretched under the weight of fuel until it had ballooned down to
touch the ground. All we could do was replace it before it burst. The
annoying thing for the householder was the label giving instructions for
support was still attached to the old tank at that time
In the right environment they are fine but I have seen cracking right
through of the plastic with leakage resulting, also failure of the metal to
plastic seal at the outlet. Just enjoy what you have but do be aware of the
potential for failure.
A decent metal tank given a couple of coats of paint BEFORE installing
especially underneath and kept clear of being covered with foliage will
last between ten and twenty years with a modicum of care at about a third
of the cost
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