Like all equipment, tanks have a limited useful life and eventually have to be repaired or replaced. Moreover, many underground home heating oil tanks are like the 275 gallon bare steel tanks you have seen in basements or garages. These tanks were not designed to be buried and, if left in place, will eventually rust and leak. Even larger tanks that were specifically designed for underground use can leak if they are not protected from rusting. If you notice an unexplainable increase in your home heating oil use, your tank may be leaking. But that information alone is not always an accurate indicator. In some cases, water may leak into the tank or the leak may occur only when the tank is full, thus hiding the problem from the homeowner. Odds are an underground tank 10 to 15 years old is probably not leaking, but the likelihood of a leak increases as the tank gets older. Even small, slow leaks can pose a serious threat to your family, your neighbors and the environment if they go undiscovered for a long time. And, if your tank does leak, you may face a costly cleanup. Having an old tank replaced with a modern double-walled underground tank or basement tank can save you both money and anguish in the long run. Don't forget, piping should also be replaced when a new underground tank is installed. Contract with a reputable equipment dealer to be sure the tank is installed with overfill alarms, vents and other vital equipment items.
Underground Heating Oil Tanks
While most home heating oil tanks are not regulated by the State - typically they are not over 1,100 in capacity, some delegated counties have regulations that apply to smaller heating oil tanks. If you live in one of the 5 delegated counties, you are encouraged to contact the county agency to determine whether such smaller tanks are regulated. Even if your heating oil tank is unregulated, you probably know that a leak could be very unfortunate - not only for the environment, but for your pocketbook too. When an underground tank or pipe leaks, the cleanup can cost approximately $20,000 or more. And if your homeowner's insurance policy contains a "pollution exclusion" clause, which many do, you could get stuck with the bill. When a tank is found to be leaking, additional work is usually needed to determine the extent of the problem and the amount of cleanup required. Contamination must be reported to the Spills Hotline by calling 1-800-457-7362.
The best way to avoid significant expenses is to replace your underground tank or have a new aboveground tank installed in your basement, garage or storage shed. To answer any further questions, click on the learn more button below which will bring you to a homeowners guide on Underground Heating Oil Tanks.