What You Need to Know About Oil Heating and Oil Tanks

It is critical for a home buyer contemplating the purchase of a home with oil heating that they have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and liabilities under laws that have been implemented to protect our environment.

It is also important to note that Mortgage Companies may not advance Mortgage funds and Insurance Companies may decline Insurance Coverage if the property does not meet the new regulations.

The Ministry of Consumer and Business Services recently amended Ontario’s Technical Standards and Safety Act (TSSA) to include new regulations with regard to fuel oil.

Inspections

One component of the new regulations involves basic and comprehensive inspections of your heating system by a certified professional Oil Burner Technician (OBT).
Since May 2007 all fuel oil customers must have a comprehensive inspection of the heating and delivery system by a certified Oil Burner Technician (OBT) and this inspection is required at least every 10 years.

Fuel Tank Inspection Checklist

When your tank is examined during the course of an inspection, your fuel oil dealer will
be looking at certain criteria.
Some examples are:

  • Whether the tank vent and fill pipes are properly installed and terminated
  • If the tank is equipped with a proper fill cap
  • Whether the tank is equipped with a proper gauge and overfill
  • protection device (whistle)
  • If an approved filter is installed

Some of the areas covered by the visual inspection are checking that the fill cap is secure, that the fill and vent are piped outside and that the overfill whistle works when the tank is
being filled.
Some of the new regulations are also specific to underground (buried) fuel oil storage tanks and their related devices. In December 2001, fuel oil distributors were required to provide TSSA with a list of all known underground storage tank (UST) installations. The list was intended to help TSSA in notifying tank owners of the registration and equipment
upgrade requirements for USTs.
IMPORTANT: As a safety precaution, TSSA requires that fuel delivery be terminated to homeowners who don’t register their tanks. This does not apply to tanks that are not buried.
For more regulations, please contact your fuel oil dealer. You may also contact
TSSA at 1-877-682-8772, visit their Web site at www.tssa.org or fax them toll-free at 1-888-417-1371.

TSSA (Technical Standards and Safety Act) is a risk-based, prevention oriented organization that provides a variety of safety services, including public education; training and certification; engineering design review; and inspection activities Indoors vs. Outdoors Fuel Oil Tank

Investigation/Prosecution – TSSA Investigates incidents, issue directives and
prosecute individuals or companies who have been charged with contravening
Ontario’s Technical Standards and Safety Act and its associated Regulations.

Environmental Services – TSSA ensures that environmental impacts from petroleum storage are properly remediated.

Improper storage and handling of fuel in above and underground storage
tanks can result in potential environmental impact. In Ontario, it’s TSSA’s job to
ensure that environmental impacts from petroleum storage are properly
addressed. In addition, we have new regulatory programs that promote a healthier environment.

  • No distributor shall supply fuel oil to a container tank system unless the distributor is satisfied that the installation and use of the appliance or work comply with the Regulations.
  • Distributor inspections shall occur initially and at least once every 10 years or in accordance with a quality assurance program.
  • Underground Tank Registration Requirements – “No person shall supply fuel oil to an underground tank unless the underground tank is registered
Indoor vs. Outdoor Oil Tanks

We can’t recommend enough that if you have the available room to install the tank indoors, it’s by far the best place for it.  Why?

  • Outside tanks are subject to condensation inside the tank with changing temperatures putting water into your oil creating winter service problems & eventual corrosion inside your tank
  • Ice & water dripping from your roof can break oil lines coming from tanks
  • Outside tanks can settle or become unstable, creating an environmental risk
  • Outside tanks require the use anti-gel additives or a kerosene blend in the winter time to keep home heating fuel oil from “gelling” in extremely cold temperatures