Oil damage

Oil Damage

What you need to know about oil tanks

What is an underground tank?

An underground tank is a container with any part of its components (the tank or lines) below ground. Many underground tanks are 25 years old or over. Unlike newer tanks, these are not specially protected from corrosion.

What is an aboveground tank?

Aboveground tanks have their entire structure exposed. The bottom part of these tanks normally rests on a concrete foundation. They can be located in or outside of the home.

Indoor vs. outdoor installation

Indoor oil tanks generally last longer and are less likely to spill. An indoor oil tank should be located where it can be easily inspected but not damaged by normal household activities. Outdoor tanks are more vulnerable to extreme temperatures, rain, snow, ice, and external corrosion as well as vandalism. Oil tanks installed in a garage/driveway are a cause for concern as they can easily be damaged by vehicle impact.

Some basic tips about tank installation, inside or outside

  • Inside tanks are preferable to outdoor tanks since they are not exposed to weather conditions. There is a lower risk of leakage and spills.
  • Hire professional installers when possible. Although you can do it yourself, there is a higher risk of leaking and spills which are very harmful to the environment.
  • Verify the age of your tank; this should be indicated with the serial number on the tank.
  • Replacing an underground tank with an aboveground tank can be costly. Check to see if you have local rebates or funding for changing tanks.
  • All tanks should be tested for water in the tank bottom. This water should be pumped out since it can corrode the tank and lead to leaks.
  • When disposing of tanks, call your local municipality or provincial government for specific regulations.

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