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Everything to Know About Your Oil Tank’s Safety

Your oil storage tank gives you a level of security that you don’t get with other fuels. Just as a full pantry or gas tank lets you go about your business without worry, a full storage tank means you don’t have to worry about heat or hot water in your Massachusetts home. Last month we reviewed the scientific reasons to keep the tank full over the spring and summer; now, let’s look at tank safety. Continue reading this blog post to learn everything you need to know about keeping your oil tank safe.

Top 5 Tips for Oil Tank Safety in MA & CT:

Why You Should Know Your Oil Tank

The chance of a release from your oil storage tank is very low. In fact, most indoor, aboveground tanks can have life spans of 20 years or more – but if your tank is located outside and unprotected from the elements or buried underground, it can deteriorate sooner. In addition, factors such as the thickness and type of material used to fabricate the tank, the quality of the installation, and the condition and maintenance history of your heating system can further affect the tank. With so many variables, you must know the signs of a tank leak and how to perform spot inspections of the tank and surrounding area.

The Chance of an Oil Tank Spill

Aboveground tanks typically store 275 gallons of oil. Underground tanks for a home will hold 290 or 500 gallons. As rare as releases are, it is even more rare for a release to occur with a gush of hundreds of gallons of oil. Most releases will be small but can build over time. Any sign of a release should be reported to your fuel company immediately, so they can implement appropriate clean-up procedures and notifications. Above all else, always consult a professional at the first sign of a leak.

Related Post: Don’t Forget About Your Home Heating Oil Tank

How to Inspect Your Oil Tank

In general, all homeowners should check:

  • Fuel use. A sharp increase may indicate an issue, especially if the equipment is working properly and has been recently tuned up.
  • Check that the oil/water gauge is functioning.
  • Check for signs of spills, overfills, or leakage around the filter, valves, gauge, fill pipe, or vent lines.
  • Look for problems with the operation of your heating equipment.
  • Look for dead vegetation in or near the tank fill.
  • Check the condition of the fill cap or vent cap, and have loose or damaged caps repaired/replaced immediately.
  • Check for petroleum vapors or odors in the basement or crawlspace.

Aboveground tanks can be further inspected visually:

  • Check for rust, weeps, wet spots, or excessive dents on the tank surface.
  • Look for signs of spills or overfills around the tank or on the floor.
  • Confirm the tank support is solid/sturdy.

Related Post: Taking Care of Your Oil Tank in the Spring and Summer

Get in Touch for Further Inspection

While you can’t visually inspect an underground tank, there are safe and accurate testing procedures to confirm the soundness of the tanks. Get in touch with your tank provider for more information about how they can further inspect your underground tank. In addition, homeowners should be on the lookout for dead vegetation above the tank site. Any signs of oil – odors, sheens on water, visible puddles of oil – should be reported to PayLess as soon as possible.

Additional Precautions to Take

Homeowners can take additional precautions to protect their storage tanks and their property. New aboveground tanks can have “double-wall” designs that will contain any leaks from the inner tank within the outer wall. There are also trays and pans for under the tank or full enclosures, which will protect the tank from the elements as well as contain any releases. Some companies also offer tank protection insurance plans to offset or cover the cost of a clean-up and/or tank replacement. With proper care and regular inspections, your oil storage tank can give you years of safe, reliable, and worry-free use.

Related Post: Why You Should Always Keep Your Oil Tank Full Year-Round

Get an Oil Tank Fill from PayLessforOil.com

With summer right around the corner, it’s time to top off your tank. Be sure to request a delivery to keep your tank healthy during the warm spring and summer months.