A recent call for a Worcester oil boiler breakdown, brought to attention the fact that the problem does not always lie with the boiler.
The existing plastic oil tank is 25 years old and only a single skin oil tank, the oil line from the oil tank to the boiler had frozen with a mixture of oil and water in the pipe, water naturally develops from the plastic sweating over the years etc.
The customer had allowed the oil tank to empty and with a fresh delivery of oil of 1000 litres the water had been stirred up with the sludge and debris at the bottom of the oil tank which then traveled into the pipe. This caused clogging in the pipe, leading to freezing in the pipe and damaging the burner inside the oil boiler.
There is an easy way to keep a check on condition of the oil in your oil tank, both for water and for debris and sludge. Various protective measures can be undertaken, from filters to water filters and water testing pastes for visual confirmation. Most important of all is to have the correct oil tank, positioned correctly, on a solid correctly sized base, installed with a new oil line and all the correct filters and a fire protection valve.
A new oil tank should be a Bunded oil tank, this allows for any internal damage to the oil tank to have the oil captured in its secondary skin (bund), which is important for protecting the environment from oil spillage.