Ultrasonic Thickness Testing of Your Home Healing Oil Tank

Corrosion is what makes most tanks leak.

Corrosion is the number 1 source of spills from heating oil tanks at single family residences in Maine. And remember that many commercial buildings, public buildings, and apartment buildings have the same type of heating oil tank the typical, single family home uses.

Also, most of the time the corrosion is caused from the inside out. Water, sludge, and sediment caused by fine impurities in the oil can gather along the bottom of your home heating oil tank. And it just sits there, slowly eating away at the steel. (Remember that water is heavier than oil. It will sink to the bottom of the tank.) It is very difficult to tell how corroded the inside of the tank is simply by looking at it from the outside. It is hard for the human eye to determine how sound the steel is that is holding back almost a whole ton of oil. (Yes, your typical 275 gallon home heating oil tank weighs almost one ton when full of oil.) Ultrasonic thickness testing can be used to determine how thick a piece of steel is. Short of replacing your oil tank, ultrasonic thickness testing gives a tank owner a means of determining the thickness of the steel used in a heating oil tank.

Sound waves travel differently as they pass from materials of one density to a material that is less dense or more dense. By comparing the sound waves a meter can determine the thickness of a piece of steel. This process is used in the ultrasonic thickness testing of a steel home heating oil tank. Typically, the thickness of the steel is measured at several spots along the bottom centerline of your home heating oil tank. The ultrasonic process is non-invasive and can be conducted in about fifteen minutes. Just like the tune up and cleaning, an ultrasonic thickness test should be performed annually. It is usually performed as part of the tune up and cleaning of the home’s heating oil system.

To find out about service packages that offer an annual ultrasonic thickness test of your home heating oil tank contact your oil dealer.

May 7 , 2008