Tank sludge is one of the most common problems experienced by fuel tank owners. If your tank is not regularly cleaned and tank sludge treated early on, it can cause big problems.

For many businesses, keeping on top of your fuel tank is not on the top of your agenda. But with such a regular turnaround of fuel it may not be obvious that your tank is becoming contaminated or degraded.

Without proper testing and cleaning, sludge can build up at the bottom of your fuel tank which can be hard to spot.

With sludge, microbial contaminants are often present which can increase the risk of degrading your fuel, reducing equipment efficiency and increasing costs.

When was the last time you had your fuel tank tested and cleaned?

The tell-tale signs include:

Dark and cloudy fuel
Rusting or holes around fuel tank
Blocked filters
Changes in vehicle behaviour i.e. sputtering
Slimy filters

fuel tank sludge build-up

What causes tank sludge?

Tank sludge is caused by rust, dirt and oxidation of hydrocarbons in oil. It is more likely to form when water is in the fuel – and water can cause microorganisms to grow which can badly contaminate fuel. These microbes sink to the bottom of the tank and build up with dirt or rust and form sludge.

How can you prevent tank sludge?

Get your tank cleaned regularly by professionals – prevent dirt and rust contamination
Replace your tank – if your tank is corroded it’s best to get a new one. If maintained properly, it should last for a good few years
Store your tank indoors – this will protect your tank against cold temperatures which cause water contamination
Choose a reliable supplier – make sure you buy your oil of a reputable company who provide high-quality fuels and oils

What to do if your tank has got sludge build-up?

Contact Crown Environmental who will conduct a fuel analysis to determine the level of contamination. Our fuel oil analysis service will ensure that you don’t pay for an unnecessary service. For example, if only a small amount of sludge is detected, our engineers can professionally and efficiently clean your fuel supply. Our fuel polishing service causes minimal disruption and will restore your fuel back to perfection.

If a large amount of sludge is detected with a large amount of microbes present, a full manual tank clean would be perfectly justified and is needed to avoid machinery and equipment breaking. Our team of specialists will clean your tank to ensure that all contaminants are removed when the fresh supply of fuel is put back into the tank.

Once your oil has become heavily contaminated with sediment from the sludge layer, your fuel supply system is in danger. If your business depends on a steady supply of high-quality fuel, you cannot risk it becoming contaminated and potentially damaging equipment and increasing business costs. You cannot afford to rely on poor quality fuel.

What’s the damage?

Short-term – The worse the level of contamination, the less efficient it will be to use, meaning you will use more fuel whilst emitting even more harmful emissions from burning non-combustible sediments.

Long-term – You will cause irreversible damage to the components of your fuel pump system. The more you allow harmful sediment to flow through your fuel supply, the shorter its lifespan.

The dirtier your fuel tank, the more likely you’ll experience a fuel supply failure. We will always recommend the best available solution for you; taking both cost-effectiveness and overall efficiency into account. Think your fuel tank might contain sludge? Then give us a quick call on 0845 872 3344 and we can help!