When cold weather arrives, we face all sorts of challenges. Many businesses have to deal with issues such as clearing snow and ice so they can stay open and remain profitable. For companies – both commercial and industrial – that are concerned with fuel and fluid storage and handling on a daily basis, cold temperatures, ice, and snow can bring other challenges as well.

In addition, it seems that much of the country is seeing colder-than-usual temperatures these days, so protecting fuels and fluids becomes more important than ever, particularly during unexpected cold snaps that might catch us off-guard.

Diesel and the cold weather

Petrol can withstand temperatures all the way down to about -60 C, but diesel has a much higher freezing point. That means it can be compromised when it’s stored in outdoor above grade tanks during chilly winters.

Diesel contains paraffin wax, which can begin to solidify at about 0 degrees Celsius. That’s what’s known in the industry as “gelling”. When diesel gels, it clogs filters and pipes in your fuel storage tanks or vehicles. That means it won’t flow as it should and extracting it from tanks could become difficult.

Obviously, the easiest way to keep fuel from gelling would be to bring any fuel storage tanks into an environment where the temperature is more than 0 degrees Celsius. That works with trucks and other “movable” storage. If that’s not possible, however, there is an additive available that is designed to prevent gelling. Your fuel storage specialist can help you obtain that and can add it for you or instruct you as to how to add it and how much to use.

Water also tends to be an issue when diesel is kept outside in storage tanks. When water – in the form of snow and ice or even condensation – enters a tank of diesel fuel, all sorts of problems can occur. That’s why proper maintenance of any outside tanks is essential during the colder months. including regular cleaning.

Storing other fluids in the cold

There are many fluids that are necessary to some industries that are often stored outside. This might include items such as lubricants, which don’t necessarily freeze but do become viscous – which means the fluid gets thick and rather sticky or gummy. Obviously, this increased viscosity makes these lubricants difficult to dispense. This is also true for ink, which reacts similarly.

Certain lubricants and other chemicals also lose their efficacy when they reach cold temperatures, and they simple don’t last as long as they would were they not subject to extremes, including very hot temperatures as well as cold. That makes maintaining the right temperature all the more important.

Maintenance is essential

That means when it comes to fuel and fluid storage and handling during the winter months, maintenance really is the name of the game, especially with above-ground tanks. Western Oil Service provides regular service and maintenance checks all year long, so customers need not worry about the condition of their tanks during any season, hot or cold. We check hoses and nozzles for leaks or unusual wear patterns and look for seeps or leaks in dispensers as well.

Our service techs have decades of experience working with underground or above grade storage tanks and piping and are familiar with handling the conditions and problems that might occur during a frosty Canadian winter.

We care about your safety, we care about the environment, and we care about your bottom line, understanding that we need to help keep your business running at peak efficiency in order for you to realize your full potential profit-wise, no matter what the weather. It’s that simple.