Water in my Heating Oil Tank!

Our diesel oil fuelled boiler stopped working. I found water mixed with oil in the filter. I cleaned and purged it several times before I got it working.

The problem returned and i did more purging and cleaning. I couldn't see how the water was getting in. The garage man who supplies the diesel oil told me "all plastic tanks are porous. They let rainwater in". I didn't believe this.

On inspection, the tank had no vent to let air in! The problem was obvious; the only way air could get in, to replace oil going out, was via the thread of the lid. During heavy rain the lid sat in a pool of water, which was being sucked up the thread.

To cure this problem, I simply drilled a small hole in the side of the tank near the top. I sloped the hole upwards so that it didn't let rainwater inside. Later on I'll glue a cover over it.

How to remove the water that was already at the bottom of the tank?

I bought some clear plastic tubing that is normally used for car windscreen washers. I tied a flat steel ruler to the end and let it sink into the tank. I sucked on the other end until water appeared, then placed the end in a catch tray, weighted down with a spanner.

You can see the water trickling out and displacing the small amount of oil, which was already in the tray.

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