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Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

TANKS

Q: What are the different options for aboveground tanks?
Q: What’s the best way to protect an aboveground tank from problems?
Q: How long do aboveground tanks last?
Q: Are underground tanks subject to federal regulations?
Q: What options do I have for testing my underground tank?
Q: Can I replace my old underground storage tank with a new one?
Q: Where should I put my new aboveground tank?

Q: What are the different options for aboveground tanks?

A: An aboveground tank is any tank not buried in the ground. Today’s aboveground tanks typically can be installed in small or unusually shaped spaces in basements or garages. The most common type is the 275-gallon basement tank. Aboveground tanks can also be outdoors and hidden inside an enclosure. These models, similar to basement tanks, typically hold 275 gallons.

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Q: What’s the best way to protect an aboveground tank from problems?

A: For about $50 a year—or less than 14¢ per day—you can enroll in TANK-GUARD®. This protects against tank corrosion and provides a $2,000 warranty for the complete replacement of the tank—at no additional cost to you!

To extend tank life, we place an additive into your tank to help prevent internal corrosion. Tanks rust from the inside out!

If your tank is more than 25 years old, we strongly recommend enrolling in TANK-GUARD® to protect your tank and your wallet. If your tank begins to leak, it will be too late to take advantage of this coverage.

Contact us today to request enrollment.

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Q: How long do aboveground tanks last?

A: Most modern oil tanks are built of corrosion-resistant materials, and they can last a long time. Here’s a checklist to visually inspect your aboveground tank to prevent problems:

  • Be sure to secure the fill cap and vent cap, and see that they are not clogged by ice, snow or insect nests.
  • Check for leaks from tank fittings, valves, filters, piping or the tank gauge. Also, look for moisture at the tank seems.
  • Inspect for evidence of spills around the tank, fill pipe or vent lines.
  • Make sure tank legs are not sunk into the ground and the tank “belly” isn’t touching the ground.

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Q: Are underground tanks subject to federal regulations?

A: No. At this time there are no federal laws governing active, underground, residential storage tanks for heating oil. However, we recommend that you remove your underground as repairs can be very costly and they aren’t covered in your homeowner insurance for residents of Massachusetts.

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Q: What options do I have for testing my underground tank?

A: There are several test methods used today. Computerized sonic or ultrasound methods are gaining popularity because they don’t put stress on the tank. Pressure or vacuum tests are reliable, but they can put stress on the tank; if improperly performed, they can also cause leaks. Another method is to test the soil around the tank. Soil borings are noninvasive and, in our area, tend to be less expensive than other test methods.

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Q: Can I replace my old underground storage tank with a new one?

A: Yes. However, the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) recommends that homeowners replace underground tanks with new leak-proof aboveground models. Even though modern underground tanks are made of double-walled plastic and fiberglass that won't corrode, there's still a chance leaks can develop in the piping if they are not properly installed. Either way, check with your local municipality for regulations regarding tank replacement and/or the decommissioning of underground tanks.

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Q: Where should I put my new aboveground tank?

A: Because heating oil is biodegradable and safe to store inside the home, you can put your new leak-proof tank in a basement, closet or garage. You can also put it outside, near your house or garage or anywhere in your yard.

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