Oil Tanks Hidden Challenges

Spring is finally in the air and you’re starting to rely less on your heating system and more on mother nature to keep your home comfortable. Don’t forget about your heating when you turn down the thermostat, this is a good time to take a good look at your systems and do maintenance – particularly if you’re using oil for heat. Spills and leaks originating from your property could be a costly mistake.

Mitigate your risks with a little check list on your oil tank including:


  • Oil tanks inspection should be done regularly by a licensed professional with a comprehensive inspection every 3 – 5 years
  • To prevent bacteria, avoid letting the tank empty during the off-season
  • Supervise when the tank is filled to reduce chances of a spill and ensure that the tank is inspected by your supplier prior to being refilled
  • Check the release barrier (drip tray) that’s in place for any issues
  • Do a visual check of your tank regularly to check for corrosion or moisture on the tank. If either of those exist or there is an odour of oil, contact a professional to fix or replace the tank
  • If replacing, ensure that the tank is certified, meets your insurers’ minimum requirements, and review placement for the new tank. An indoor or sheltered tank will have a longer lifespan and avoid in-ground installation.
  • Never buy a used tank and never transfer oil from your old tank to your new tank
  • If you’re replacing your oil tank with a new heating system, have it professionally removed and the filler pipe welded closed or removed. Let your insurance agent know about this important change for your home policy.

Whether you’re heating with oil or doing the geothermal thing, make sure your insurance agent knows so they can assist you in knowing your policy details and how it applies to your home coverage.

Information courtesy of the Insurance Bureau of Canada