skip to main content

How Does Sludge Get Into My Heating Tank?

Sludge in your home heating oil tank can occur from a number of sources and cause catastrophic issues in your heating oil system including inefficient burning and breakdowns. In this case, prevention is cheaper than cure with regular maintenance.

Sludge is caused by a combination of dirt, rust and micro-organisms that settle at the bottom of your heating oil tank due to condensation caused by changes in the outside temperature. Condensation causes water to develop within the tank, due to the weight of the water it sinks to the bottom providing a breeding ground for bacteria.

It is for this reason that the outlet pipe on your tank is positioned several inches above the bottom of your tank to discourage the sludge being pulled into your filter and throughout to the boiler. This is why it is essential to have your heating system serviced regularly by an OFTEC registered engineer to clean and check these vital parts to avoid a costly breakdown.

In order to minimise the risk of sludge and contamination it is recommended to use an oil with additives such as Kerosene Plus to help prevent sludge and breakdowns, and keeping your tank 75% full off season to prevent condensation forming.