What Causes Sludge in the Underground Oil Tank
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What Causes Sludge in the Underground Oil Tank

Underground oil tanks accumulate thick, gel-like sediment known as sludge. They mostly occur in an area with very cold winters, and it becomes a major issue when heating oil levels are low. Sludge presence in your oil tank is bad and it can cause several issues. When you are having sludge in the oil tank, you can’t be able to heat your home correctly and you will be at the risk of tank degrading. Also, the clean-up of sludge is not an easy task, and it can be more expensive and messy.

What Causes Them?

Sludge refers to the thick build-up that can occur inside your underground oil tank. It is a mixture of oil, dirt, debris, rust, and even some microorganisms like mold and bacteria. Sludge usually occurs when the oil in the tank has been in storage for a very long time but can also be a by-product of a leaky or rusted oil tank.

In most cases, they are developed when the oil is exposed to temperature changes, air, and light, which have the ability to trigger chemical changes. These changes lead to the hardening of the larger molecule and become a thick substance by attracting dirt, rust, etc. They are more common in winter or when the tank oil levels are low. When it is present inside your oil tank, it can cause your home heating system to become inefficient and make you spend more money on breakdown.

The best way to deal with the sludge is by hiring a professional from oil tank removal Newark NJ. They will inspect your tank thoroughly and offers complete tank services to residential and commercial clients. Also, they will provide you with some tips in order to prevent them in the future.

The following are some of the strategies you need to try for preventing the formation of sludge in the oil tank.

Schedule the Refill:

One of the effective ways to prevent sludge formation is to refill your oil tank at the right time before it reaches low levels. If you can’t afford to refill the tank frequently, you can at least maintain half the tank at all times to prevent forming of the sludge.

Use Sediment Treatment:

A heating oil sediment treatment can also help in preventing sludge build-up. If you did this to your oil tank before the next refill, it will break down the formation of sludge at the bottom of your tank. Also, look for a treatment that contains sludge dispersant that will break up the sediment and loosen it from the bottom.

Service Regularly:

It is important to have a proper inspection every year by a professional from oil tank removal Newark NJ in order to prevent any corrosion or leaks that can lead to sludge. They will do all the services regularly in order to prevent the formation of sludge and other related clogs. Also, they will clear the sludge deposits before the conditions worsen.


Following the above-mentioned maintenance tips will help in preventing the sludge in the oil tank from building up. When you have sludge in the underground oil tank, the best way to eliminate them by hiring a professional. They will start inspecting your oil tank to understand the root cause of the sludge and then take essential steps to clear out the tank.

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