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If you use fuel or heating oil to heat your Baltimore area home, your first priority should be to avoid leaks from the oil tank or lines. Either a long-term or sudden oil leak can severely damage your home and property, and require an extensive and costly cleanup. To recognize risk factors and prevent this from happening, however, it’s important to understand the causes of oil tank leaks, both in buried and aboveground tanks.

oil tanks

Common Causes of Oil Tank Leaks

Internal corrosion – The presence of water inside the tank can lead to rusting and eventual perforations in the tank. With heating oil, this corrosion can be exacerbated by water reacting with sulfur in the fuel, bacterial reactions or other factors.
External rusting – This is usually unrelated to rust inside the tank and can happen as a result of damage to the tank or the connection with the pipe.
Corrosive soil – Certain types of soil can react with the storage tank, making it rust sooner, with leaking the eventual result. Damage to the tank during its burial underground also can hasten corrosion over time.
Leaks from pipe connections or during delivery – Unfortunately, these are relatively common causes of oil tank leaks. For example, if a spill occurs around the oil tank fill pipe, it can be very serious and may require soil removal and cleanup.
Fill or vent pipe isn’t wide enough – Since oil tanks are filled under pressure, a rusted, damaged or otherwise faulty oil storage tank may not withstand the pressure during filling and may result in a bad leak.

For more information on causes of oil tank leaks, please contact us at Griffith Energy Services, Inc., serving Baltimore and the Mid-Atlantic region. With a dozen outlets in Maryland, Northern Virginia, Delaware, Washington, D.C. and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, we’re only a short drive away when you need residential oil or propane delivery.

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