Household Oil Tanks PDF Print E-mail

Some Insurance companies have denied home coverage as a result of older oil tanks. Existing oil tanks should be inspected and registered, remedial action may cost a great deal. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, a home with an exterior oil tank older than 15 years, or an interior tank older than 25 years will not be insured.

The problem is that many tanks corrode from the inside out, so failure isn't visible. This often occurs when condensation builds 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 odour of oil in the air. Look for rust where the legs are welded to the tank.

An oil tank leak can quickly contaminate soil and groundwater. If the leak finds its way into a sump pump or floor drain, the spill will be very expensive to clean up. With outside tanks, a spill can contaminate the soil or make its way into nearby streams or rivers.

If in doubt, call a TSSA registered fuel oil contractor to help find and stop the leak and clean up any leaked fuel oil. Homeowners are also required to call the "Spills Action Centre" of the Ministry of Environment at  1-800-268-6060. Your insurance company may also have sources of information.



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