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Heating Oil Sludge – What It Is And How To Prevent It

Heating oil sludge

If you use heating oil to heat your home, you may already be aware of the problems associated with heating oil sludge – a thick black mixture of dirt, rust, and oxidized fuel that can block your fuel filter and other parts of your heating system.

This sludge accumulates at the bottom of the tank, and most of the time, your fuel line avoids drawing it in. But occasionally a normal oil tank fill-up can stir sludge enough for it to enter the fuel mix and clog your filters, which can rob your heating equipment of efficiency.

Five ways to prevent heating oil sludge

  1. Get preventive maintenance for your heating equipment every year – A technician will spot a sludge problem early to prevent a costly repair.
  2. Always buy quality heating oil from a reputable supplier – The quality of the heating oil we deliver at Black Bear is the best you will find in our Sullivan County service area, and we stand by every gallon we sell.
  3. Try to keep your tank at least half full, even in the offseason – A damp tank interior accelerates the growth of sludge-forming bacteria, and an empty or near-empty tank makes bacteria-friendly condensation more likely to form on the tank walls. More condensation = more bacteria = more sludge in your tank.
  4. Consider draining or replacing your oil storage tank – It’s not uncommon to accumulate a substantial amount of sludge at the bottom of your heating oil tank over many years of using your oil storage tank – a licensed waste oil contractor can remove that built-up sludge in a single day. Another option? Replace your old tank with a new, virtually leak storage tank, expertly installed by the pros at Black Bear (contact us for a FREE, no-obligation estimate).
  5. Use sludge emulsifiers – Emulsifiers can be added to your fuel to speed the decomposition of heating oil sludge. Contact us to learn more about sludge treatment additives for your heating oil.

Don’t let heating oil sludge give you headaches this winter – stop it with heating oil tank maintenance and quality heating oil from Black Bear. Contact us today to learn more.