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I cleaned off the left side of my oil tank in this picture:

enter image description here

My question is what caused it to get this dirty and is this normal or should I consider getting a new tank?

Some notes:

  • The rags that I cleaned it with reek of oil/diesel
  • The gauge piece is not air tight and comes right off
  • When our oil company delivers you can smell it in the house
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If the tank has been in service for sometime even the slightest drip, spray, or oily part can accumulate over a period of time. Add to that any airborne particulates that settle on the oil and you have a greasy mess. To check if oil is presently leaking on the tank outer surface, clean off any remaining oil and let dry. Tape a sheet of newspaper to the now clean surface and occasionally check for oil leakage. Tanks do have a finite service time and will eventually corrode and need to be replaced. If you are not sure as to the integrity of the tank call your fuel distributor. They should offer a free check-up of the tank.

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  • Also, the gauge piece should be airtight. The fumes leaking into the house are a health hazard. Dec 12 '15 at 5:15

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