How does water damage your fuel tank and equipment?

How does water damage your fuel tank and equipment?

Here at Compass Fuel Oils, we are the UK’s leading fuel oil specialists, providing next day delivery across the UK. This includes heating oil too. And we know that for many businesses and households, keeping fuel levels stocked up is a crucial concern. As a result, we have produced this guide to everything you should know about water damage and it’s impact on your fuel tank and equipment.

So, how does water damage your fuel tank and equipment?

From rain water entering holes in a fuel tank, to condensation forming on the inner surfaces, water can cause a range of damage and problems if this enters your fuel tank, for both the tank itself, and your equipment. This damage can include:

  • Rust and corrosion- water will corrode the inside your fuel tank over time. And this can lead to leaks through rust holes, which not only costs money to fix or replace, but it can also cause a severe decline in the systems overall performance and efficiency. This can also cause rust and corrosion damage to any fuel pumps and equipment too.
  • Bacteria sludge- unfortunately, the combination of water and oil within a fuel tank create the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow and thrive. This bacteria forms the sludge that settles at the bottom of your tank. This sludge produces an acid by product which corrodes the interior of the tank, as well as equipment, fuel liners, filters and burners. As a result, this causes fuel degradation, leaks, severely decreased efficiency and ultimately, system failure.
  • Freezing- oil is relatively safe from freezing in most conditions, unless the temperatures are extreme. However, when water gets inside the fuel tank, and contaminated the fuel, this dramatically lowers the oils resistance to cold temperatures. As a consequence, at 0 degrees ice crystals will form within the tank, cooling the oil from within. This ice can then block pipes and vents, and prevent the flow of fuel completely. This is one common reason for bursting pipes and loss of power in the winter months.
  • Abrasion- Because water has a lower viscosity than diesel, the overall lubricating effect of the diesel is reduced. This means that the cushion between the opposing surfaces of moving parts is more likely to experience friction, increasing the chances of abrasive wear.

If water is detected in your fuel system, you’ll need to contact a registered OFTEC engineer company to come out as soon as possible before the problem worsens and causes damage.

For all your fuel oil needs, from storage tanks to red diesel deliveries, we are the team you can count on, here at Compass Fuel Oils.