Re: How often should an interior fuel oil tank be cleaned out?

My parents sold their 50 year old house 4 years ago. Original tank and had
never been cleaned.

<oscar.hodgson@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message

Some background info:

I've got an interior 275 gallon heating oil tank of indeterminate age
(though probably not more than 25 years old). The heating system gets
the standard annual maintenance from my oil supplier (cleaning,
filter, screens), including the addition of a pint or so of "acetene
(A) tank treatment & fuel conditioner" / sudge dispersant & etc.
Though I can't pick out a manufacturing date on the boiler, the
manufacturer's service literature is present and has 1976 dates. The
burner tested at 83% efficiency last summer, down from 85% two years
prior. The burner's transfer coil and control unit have been replaced
within the past two years, and the flow control valve shows evidence
of some slight leakage (and I decided to defer the $450 repair). We
use about 950 gallons of oil annually (in eastern PA).

My oil supplier offers a "tank cleaning" at $250. Being flush with
cash at that time, I had them do this in 2000. Basically, they
drained all of the remaining oil and did whatever other magic they do
as part of that work. On at least one occassion since that time
(although we're on automatic delivery) we actually ran out of oil, and
so the tank was presumedly thoroughly drained.

Here's my question:

Is there enough value associated with cleaning out the tank as to make
it worth doing periodically? And at what interval? Is the "tank
treatment" fluid likely to be sufficient to maintain the interior of
the tank in reasonably good condition?

Thanks in advance for your observations and advice.



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