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Old tank chambers can make tank testing more difficult and costly

Old chambers create tank testing challenges

Persistent rainfall has prompted a rise in tank testing but it’s not as simple a task as you may think.

Water ingress is the biggest issue that triggers a tank test but finding out where the water is coming from can be tricky, particularly when the infrastructure is old. Jobs can be time consuming to diagnose, complete a repair and remediate the fuel, and rarely are two jobs the same.

Jack Aplin, Group Sales Director, said: “When requests for a tank test come in, we never know if it’s going to be an easy job or be significantly costly to fix. Customers think they’re booking a simple tank test and water removal, and on paper it’s the same job, but when we go to do it, it could take two days on one job or a couple of hours on another.”

Every fuel system is different; some are plastic, some steel, so the time to disconnect and reconnect pipework varies greatly. A tank test on a 30-year-old system versus a 10-year-old system is very different – old steel pipework is more labour intensive and not designed to be disconnected quickly, plus the space in chambers is much smaller.

Other factors that affect time and cost include whether it’s diesel or spirit and how the water has entered. If the water has dripped in, it can combine more with the fuel than if it leaked in through the bottom of the tank. Likewise, if a delivery has been made since water ingress, the new fuel mixes it up and makes it harder to remediate. Fuel volumes also impact decisions – remediation is preferable for high volumes but disposal may be more cost effective for a small amount.

Published date:
March 22, 2024
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