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Spills Management
Above-Ground Heating Oil Tanks
Preventing Spills & Leaks

Vermont weather takes its toll, causing ground shifts, frost heaves, rust, and general wear, all of which can affect a heating oil tank and its piping. Weather, corrosion, and poor maintenance can cause fuel oil spills, which can lead to unpleasant smells, water contamination, and lower property values.

The following checklist identifies items that you can easily observe about your oil tank. But remember, look - don't touch. It's best to call a qualified oil heat technician, and let a professional take care of any problem you find.

Aboveground Storage Tank Checklist
 

1 Are the tank legs unstable or on an uneven foundation?

[ ]NO [ ]YES

2 Do you see rust, weeps, wet spots, or excessive dents on the tank's surface?

[ ]NO [ ]YES

3 Are there any drips or signs of leakage around the oil filter or valves?

[ ]NO [ ]YES

4 Do the oil lines run either under concrete or aboveground without being encased in a protective tubing?

[ ]NO [ ]YES

5 Are there any threats of snow or ice falling on the oil tank or the filter?

[ ]NO [ ]YES

The two main causes of spills come from copper lines leaking under a concrete floor slab and from falling snow and ice damaging fuel filters and outside lines.

6 Are there any signs of the tank's vent being clogged or blocked by ice or snow? (Screened vents are available to prevent insect nest problems.)

[ ]NO [ ]YES

7 Is the overfill whistle obstructed, or silent when the tank is being filled?
(It should whistle.)

[ ]NO [ ]YES

8 Are there any signs of spills around the fill pipe?

[ ]NO [ ]YES

9 Is the tank's gauge cracked, stuck, or frozen? Do you see oil or staining around it?

[ ]NO [ ]YES

10 Is your tank more than 25 years old?

[ ]NO [ ]YES

11 Is your outside tank a dark color?
(It should be painted a light color to minimize corrosive condensation inside the tank.)

[ ]NO [ ]YES

If any of your answers to this checklist are YES, please call your licensed oil heat technician for a more detailed inspection and corrective measures.

    Click Here for a one page, printable *.pdf file of this checklist.
     
     
     

 

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