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Thursday, 3-Apr-2008 10:17 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Home Heating Oil Tanks

Notorious for their leaks, home heating oil tanks have gotten a lot of flak over the years (some of it justified, some of it not). Older tanks made from steel are susceptible to rusting and catastrophic failure. The problem is, these tanks rust from the inside out; you may have little or no warning that your tank is about to fail. A qualified oil tank inspector can help determine if your tank is in danger of failing. If a tank does fail, it can be an absolute disaster, and clean-up costs can sometimes exceed the value of the property itself. Worse, if you haven't read the fine print on your homeowner's insurance, it's entirely possible the insurance company has written a disclaimer for pollution coverage, making it your responsibility to clean up the mess.
That said, newer tanks have heavier gauge steel, fiberglass, or double polyethylene walls that reduce or eliminate this rust problem and risk of tank failure. If you have an older steel tank, you should review your homeowner's policy (possibly with a lawyer) and have your tank inspected on a regular basis. In some places, you may be legally required to have this inspection at certain intervals. Improper maintenance, damp locations, or structural damage will almost certainly reduce the life expectancy of your tank.
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