Why do I need to get rid of my oil tank?

  • Oil leaks and spills from residential fuel tanks have cost Canadian insurance companies and homeowners a lot of money in recent years. Insurance companies now balk at insuring homes with older fuel tanks, and some provinces have passed strict new regulations governing when the tanks must be replaced.
  • Home buyers have also expressed concern over home insurance policies being denied or being unable to obtain home insurance because of the age of both under and above ground oil storage tanks. A home with an exterior oil tank older than 15 years, or an interior tank older than 25 years, usually will not be insured.
  • The problem is that many oil tanks are corroding from the inside out, so the failure is not readily visible. This often occurs from condensation that builds up inside the tank. Since oil is lighter than water, the water goes to the bottom of the tank and causes corrosion. The first sign of a bad tank could be an odor of oil in the air. There might be rust or corrosion where the legs are welded to the tank. It could also be the fuel filter that begins to leak or a nozzle plugging that could be a symptom.
  • Fuel oil suppliers also inspect systems prior to delivery. The supplier inspects the entire fuel oil installation including each appliance (furnace, boiler water heater) that is using fuel oil, the venting system, tank and piping from the tank. If the tank is deemed unsafe for delivery, it will need to be replaced.