Oil Tank Safety: What You Need to Know

Do you heat your house with oil? Then you know there is a risk of costly property and environmental damage due to leaks or spills – which is why it is a factor in determining your home insurance premium. This is especially significant for oil-heated homes adjacent to water, where the environmental impact increases exponentially. In the Kawartha Lakes, we have a higher percentage of these types of homes, and in keeping our homes protected, we in turn keep our beautiful environment protected.

Advantages of an Indoor Oil Tank

Location is key when it comes to oil tanks. Indoor oil tanks simply fare better than outdoor tanks as they are not exposed to extreme temperatures, which cause water to build up inside the tank and promote corrosion. As a result, indoor tanks last longer – and if a leak were to happen, it’s likely someone would notice the odour early on, avoiding more serious spills.

Tips for Oil Tank Installation and Maintenance

  • Have your tank installed by a registered contractor. Contact your heating oil provider for more information and to request regular inspections.
  • Whether your tank is made of steel or fiberglass, make sure it is ULC- or UL-approved. Do not settle for anything less.
  • When replacing your old tank, the remaining oil should never be transferred to your new tank. Contaminants from the old tank will be transferred to the new, possibly causing corrosion to happen faster in the new tank.
  • The fuel line should have a protective cover to reduce the risk of leaks.
  • If your oil tank is outside, protect the fuel line from the weight of snow, ice or other objects that could cause damage, and rupture the line.
  • Install the fuel line on a downward slope from the tank to the building to prevent the accumulation of water and possible freezing of the line.

What to Do if You Suspect an Oil Tank Leak

If you ever suspect a leak, call your oil service provider immediately, and then call us (or your broker) to begin the claim process.

As average clean-up costs for an oil leak can range from $250,000 to $500,000, it is imperative to make sure you are covered correctly. If you have questions, we have answers!