My son's 50 year-old oil tank appears to have a sludge buildup which is
clogging the filter & furnace feed-line. The tank, although old, appears to
be in good shape [per the oil service guy].
Googling the web reveals a number of 'potions' which claim to dissolve the
sludge. I'm hoping that some from this group might have some experiences
they can share - with use of the products and / or other sludge-removal
Leave the sludge where it is and fit your tank with a Scully Snorkel,
part way down this page:
Jeff (Who happens to have invented that thing when he was the CE at
Scully about 35 years ago.<G>)
I had my tank replaced 3 years ago for $900.00 Also had it relocated
to a different place in my basement so there was re piping involved.
The old tank had patches on the bottom so I decided to get it
When the technicians took out the old tank, they basically cut the
tank in half right out on the side walk in front of my house. When
they opened the tank, there was some sludge but not as much as I would
have expected. Also, the tank replacement company was required by
state law to have the job inspected.
The local fire dept (Wakefield MA) came out an inspected all of the
Having your tank replaced is a good way to:
(1) avoid the sludge problem
(2) avoid the costly casualty of a ruptured tank. (The EPA would
basically demand you pay to clean up the soil etc.
(3) have piece of mind
You never know how good a 50 year old tank is.
My tank was about that age and may have leaked 25 or more years ago
because of the plugs that I obseverd on the outside bottom of the
I bought my house 25 years ago and I have never seen any traces of a
leak. The plugs (patches) were there when I bought the house.
Also, when they opened the tank, there was a concrete like substances
on the bottom. This was probably another attempt to repair a leaky
Also, if you do replace your tank, wait until your tank is low and
have the tank company discard the remaining oil even thogh it is very
expensive these days) . Do not ask them to pump into a holding tank
and then put it back in the new tank. I had them do that for me and
they oil that they pumped back was filthy. I had to have the brand new
filter replaced after about a week.
This is my saga of the old oil tank. Hope it helps
On Wed, 22 Dec 2004 11:14:20 -0500, Jeff Wisnia
No, if you don't have a return line from the oil burner pump now, you
wouldn't need one with a Snorkel. Your oil burner's pump develops plenty
of suction to lift fuel oil the height of a tank even on an initial "dry
line start". After that the line is a syphon 'yknow.
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