How to Clean a Filter on an Outside Oil Tank





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Maintaining an oil tank is a crucial task every homeowner with an oil heating system should take seriously. An oil tank’s effectiveness and longevity largely depend on regular maintenance, including cleaning the filter.

Over time, the filter will accumulate debris and contaminants, which can cause blockages and reduce the efficiency of the heating system. A clogged filter will strain your system and require more oil consumption, which is expensive and can lead to environmental pollution. Cleaning the filter on an outside oil tank can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and simple steps, you can do it yourself with ease and minimal expenses.

This guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to clean a filter on an outside oil tank, the materials you’ll need, and practical tips to ensure your heating system runs effectively. With proper cleaning of your oil tank filter, you not only save money but also contribute to keeping the environment cleaner and healthier.


  • Wear protective gloves and clothing to avoid skin irritation from oil.
  • Turn off the oil supply and switch off the furnace or boiler before cleaning the filter.
  • Check the oil tank for any leaks or damage before starting the cleaning process.
  • Use a clean cloth or absorbent material to wipe away any excess oil or debris from the filter.
  • Use a brush or soft bristle to gently remove any debris or build up from the filter.
  • Dispose of any used or dirty cleaning materials in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.
  • Inspect the filter for any damage or wear and replace it if necessary.
  • Turn on the oil supply and switch on the furnace or boiler after cleaning the filter to ensure proper functioning.
  • Regularly maintain the oil tank and filter to prevent issues and ensure efficient operation.


  • Don’t attempt to clean the filter while the oil tank is in use or while the furnace or boiler is still on.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals, solvents, or cleaning agents to clean the filter as this may cause damage or wear over time.
  • Don’t use excessive force when cleaning the filter as this may cause damage or breakages.
  • Don’t dispose of any used or dirty cleaning materials in drains or the environment as this may harm the ecosystem.
  • Don’t attempt to clean or maintain the oil tank or filter without proper protective gear and clothing as oil can be hazardous to health.
  • Don’t ignore any signs of damage or wear on the filter or oil tank as this may lead to more serious issues down the line.
  • Don’t attempt to repair or replace the filter or oil tank unless you have the necessary skills, knowledge, and equipment to do so.
  • Don’t forget to turn the oil supply and furnace or boiler back on after cleaning the filter to ensure proper functioning.
  • Don’t neglect regular maintenance of the oil tank and filter as this may lead to more costly and time-consuming repairs in the future.

5 Steps for Success

1. Turn off the oil supply

Before you start cleaning the filter, ensure that the oil supply to the tank is turned off. This will prevent oil from spilling on the floor or ground around the tank and make it safer to work on.

2. Remove the filter

Once the oil supply is turned off, remove the filter from the tank. Depending on the type of filter you have, this may require unscrewing it or simply pulling it out. Be careful not to damage or spill any oil during the removal process.

3. Clean the filter

With the filter removed, clean it thoroughly using a brush or a rag to remove any debris, dust, or dirt. If the filter is very dirty or clogged, you may need to use compressed air or water to remove stubborn debris.

4. Inspect the filter

After cleaning, inspect the filter for any damage or signs of wear and tear. If the filter is damaged or too old, it’s best to replace it with a new one.

5. Reinstall the filter

After cleaning and inspecting the filter, reinstall it back into the tank, making sure it’s properly seated and secured. Turn on the oil supply and check for any leakages or problems with the flow of oil. If everything looks good, you’re done!

Final thoughts 💭

  • Cleaning the filter is essential for maintaining the efficiency and longevity of your outside oil tank.
  • It is recommended to clean the filter at least once a year, or more if required by the manufacturer.
  • Before cleaning the filter, turn off the power supply and allow the tank to cool down for several hours.
  • Use appropriate tools and safety measures to prevent spills, leaks, and fires.
  • After cleaning, replace the filter and restore power to the tank.
  • Regular maintenance of your oil tank will help prevent costly repairs and ensure a safe heating system for your home.

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