If your tank has split the first step believe it for not is to wet a bar of soap and rub it into the crack. If that totally stems the leak cover with duct-tape and contact your local tank installer. If the soap doesn’t stop the leak the only other option is to remove as much oil from you tank as possible. This will reduce the pressure on the crack, and it should start to slow the flow, allowing you to apply the soap and tape.
Some plastic mixtures struggle with being UV or thermal stable. This means if your tank is out in the open it will be subjected to the suns rays. This over a long period of time causes the plastic to become brittle and possibly fail. Another contributing factor in this is the ‘freeze-thaw’ effect. This effect is the expanding and contracting of the plastics over a long period of time, causing cryofracturing and splitting. The installation is also a very important factor in the longevity of your oil tank. The installation needs to meet manufacturers warranty guidelines, building & environmental regulations, these are always changing and being made more and more strict.
The most important ones are:
The tank should be installed on a flat and level concrete base.
The whole underside of the tank needs to be supported.
The base should extend 300mm longer & wider then the tank.
To sum up there are lots of reasons why your plastic tank may have split. Dispite everything said above, if I had to choose I would still opt for a plastic tank. The main reason is that when a plastic tank splits its a slow process with plenty of warning (tank bowing or white stress marks). When a metal tank leaks it gives no warning and can result in you losing most of your oil very quickly before you even notice.
Sorry to say we have no quick fix. If you have a leaking metal tank it will need to be pumped out ASAP. Put a bucket/bin under leak and contact Rye Oil Ltd Get in touch.
In one word ‘rust’. In the summer your metal tank will sweat on the inside (condensation). Over years this will build up at the bottom of the tank (water being heavier then oil) and rust the bottom of the tank. As the rust will come from the inside it doesn’t matter how many layers of hammerite paint you put on your tank you wont stop it leaking when it rusts through.