In rural areas of Ontario, there are still many homeowners who use oil tanks for heating during the winter months. Whether you are a new owner or not, it can be easy to forget about them in the summer. Now that cold weather is on the horizon, it’s time to think about whether you need a replacement.
Once home heating oil tanks reach their life expectancy, they need to be replaced immediately — otherwise, the risk of oil leaks and spills will increase significantly. Cleaning up an oil spill on your property can be incredibly costly and time-consuming. Not to mention that is incredibly harmful to the environment. So act now! Don’t wait until it is freezing cold to replace your oil tank.
Oil Storage Tanks
Oil storage tanks that are located outside your home should not be installed underneath decks or stairs for safety reasons. Most oil storage tanks have a life expectancy of 15-20 years, depending on your specific model. For exact details, check with a manufacturer or your supplier.
Preventing Oil Tank Leaks
The main concern when owning an oil tank is leakage or spillage. An oil tank leak is often caused by internal corrosion or damage to the fuel lines — although improper installation or refueling can be another contributing factor. Homeowners are responsible for the damage caused by an oil tank leak, so it is important to keep them in good repair. Oil cleanups can be expensive and may require digging up huge sections of your property.
The best way to prevent oil tank leaks is to replace your tank as soon as it shows signs of wear and tear. Follow our oil tank safety tips to practice smart prevention:
- Inspect your oil tank on a weekly basis. Regular inspection for signs of rust, flaking, or other corrosion will ensure you can be proactive about necessary maintenance.
- Watch for oil leaks. Looking for dark patches on the soil nearby, which may indicate a leak. A visual check of the oil level can ensure there has been no significant change to the amount in the tank recently.
- Check for a fuel smell around the tank. If you detect a fuel smell after the tank is filled, this usually indicates there was a leak or spill during the refueling process
- Get an annual inspection from a professional. Both your oil storage tanks and your oil furnace should be inspected on a yearly basis by a professional, who can identify important problems that you may miss.
- Ensure that installation and refuelling are done correctly. When getting a new oil tank or refuelling your current model, it is very important to hire help that will do the job right. Improper installation or refuelling are major causes of future leaks.
Liability Insurance & Oil Tank Replacement
Oil can easily contaminate soil and even water sources. As the owner, you will be responsible for both environmental damages and health damages, in the case of an oil leak. Make sure you speak to your broker to ensure you are adequately covered.
If you have an older model of tank, there is a high likelihood that you will be asked to purchase a replacement before insurance can be provided. So if you are looking to increase the safety of both your property and your oil tank, then you should begin this process before the cold weather arrives!