Generally, most companies now offer a 10-year warranty with their steel tanks as well as the plastic models but unlike the plastic tanks, there is an element of maintenance that is required to keep them in top condition.
When you buy your bunded steel tank, it will usually be raised slightly on steel channel to keep the base of the tank off the ground. This is to allow the air to circulate underneath it as if the steel was put straight onto the concrete base, it would rot through in no time. This is why historically steel tanks have always been put on piers – and these piers have been reused several times which explains why quite often a plastic tank is positioned up in the air with no real reason for it to be so!
If you are putting your new bunded steel tanks straight onto piers to gravity feed your appliance, make sure that you put a good layer of damp-proof course on the top of the blockwork to avoid corrosion where the steel meets the piers.
The next thing to consider is adjacent vegetation. Cut back any hedges or bushes which can encroach upon the tank and be mindful in the autumn of wet leaves which can sit on the top of the tank for months if not removed and can quickly cause rust patches. This also applies to your pipework as it comes off the tank. Both tank and oil line should be clear and easy to check at any time.
Steel tanks are prone to condensation and “sweating”. This water will run down the inside of the tank and sit on the bottom below the oil as the two naturally separate. If this is left for any great time, the level will build up and can be sucked down the pipework into the boiler or cooker, leading to costly repairs. Another just as important side effect of the presence of this water is that it will be quietly rotting through the base of the tank and so ought to be removed as a matter of course. The best way to check for the presence of water is to ask your engineer to dip the tank with water finding paste when he services your boiler or cooker. This will quickly show if there is water in the bottom of the tank and he will be able to advise you on the best way to remove it, if he is not able to do it himself.
Finally – and most obviously, give your tank a good coat of paint every couple of years. This will keep any rust at bay and will avoid it starting to look tatty after the initial shine has worn off! You may just want to give it one coat all over or rub it back, prime it and repaint. Whichever you choose, you can be sure that this is probably the best thing that you can do for your tank.
Just be mindful. Prevention is much better than cure and a good inspection every year by your service engineer coupled with regular cursory checks by you will go a long way to making your bunded steel tank last as long as possible and also help to keep it looking great.
To view our range of plastic bunded oil tanks that are no-maintenance, please click here.