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OIL STORAGE TANKS
ABANDONING OIL TANKS
AGE of OIL TANK
ANODES & DIP TUBES on WATER HEATERS
BURIED OIL TANK ADVICE
BURIED OIL TANKS, FINDING
COMBUSTION PRODUCTS & IAQ
DEFINITION of Heating & Cooling Terms
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-BOILER
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-FURNACE
DIRECTORY of OIL TANK EXPERTS
FILTERS, OIL on HEATING EQUIPMENT
FIRE SAFETY CONTROLS
FLOATING UP OIL STORAGE or SEPTIC TANKS
FLOODED HEATING EQUIPMENT REPAIR
FLOODED WATER HEATER REPAIR
FUEL OIL TYPES & CHARACTERISTICS
FUEL UNIT, HEATING OIL PUMPS
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
GAUGES ON HEATING EQUIPMENT
HEAT TAPES, Heat, Insulation prevent Freeze-Up
HEATING COST FUEL & BTU Cost Table
HEATING COST SAVINGS METHODS
HEATING OIL CLOUD WAX GEL POINT
HEATING OIL EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
HEATING OIL - OLD, USEABLE?
HEATING OIL PIPING TROUBLES
HEATING OIL SHELF LIFE
HEATING OIL SLUDGE
HEATING OIL TANKS
HEATING OIL TYPES & PROPERTIES
HEATING OIL USAGE RATE
HEATING SYSTEM NOISES
HOME BUYERS GUIDE TO OIL TANKS
NOISE CONTROL for HEATING SYSTEMS
NOISES COMING FROM WATER HEATER
ODORS & SMELLS DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS FROM HEATING SYSTEMS
OIL FILTERS on HEATING EQUIPMENT
OIL FUEL TYPES & CHARACTERISTICS
OIL ODORS, LEAKY OIL TANK PIPING
OIL SPILL CLEANUP / PREVENTION
SOOT on OIL FIRED HEATING EQUIPMENT
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
THERMAL TRACKING & HEAT LOSS
VIDEO GUIDES: Heating System Videos
VIDEO GUIDES - InspectAPedia.com
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes an approach to prevention of above ground or buried oil tank leaks or leaks anywher in the heating oil tank and piping and burner system. We include lists oil spill cleanup and prevention experts, supplies, training resources, regulations, and technical information. This oil tank leak and leak prevention article series answers nearly all questions about above ground or buried oil storage tanks including oil tank installation, abandonment, removal, leak testing, leak prevention, and regulations.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.Proper installation, inspection, & maintenance of heating oil storage tanks, piping, valves, & controls are the key measures that can prevent both small leaks that lead to heating system operating troubles (or loss of heat or dangerous puffbacks) and larger leaks that lead to costly oil spill cleanup jobs. Here are links to greater depths on the key topics that should be part of a residential or commercial oil leak & spill prevention program:
Indoor oil spills during tank fill or later from a leaky oil tank range from trivial local cleanup and deodorizing efforts to very serious contamination problems if an oil tank bursts during oil delivery (which we suspect is rare) and on occasions when an indoor oil tank has been removed but someone (some fool) has left the oil filler pipe installed on the building, and when subsequently an oil delivery is mistakenly made through the filler pipe onto the empty basement or crawl space floor.
This may sound crazy but it actually happens. At OIL TANK ABANDONING PROCEDURE we discuss steps a building owner should take to be darn sure that oil is not accidentally pumped into the building or into an abandoned oil tank.
Sketch courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.
Outdoor and buried oil tank oil spills occur due to a variety of causes.
In-Tank corrosion of oil storage tanks: Underground fuel or heating oil storage tanks usually fail from rust perforation due to several effects of water inside the tank including, in the case of heating oil, combination of water with sulphur in the fuel, bacterial action, and other factors.
External rust on oil tanks, unless very heavy, isn't highly correlated with internal rust. Leaks can occur due to tank damage or at piping connections.
Oil Tanks in Corrosive Soils: Oil storage tank leaks are more likely if a steel tank has been buried in corrosive soil or if the tank was damaged during installation, such as gouging it or bouncing it off of a rock as it was placed into a hole for burying.
Oil Tank Piping Leaks: Oil tank leaks may occur at buried piping connections as well.
Delivery Oil Spills: occur around the tank fill pipe and range from trivial to more extensive requiring soil removal and cleaning. These leaks are usually obvious at the ground surface around the oil tank or tank filler.
Inadequate fill or vent pipe diameter is blamed by some for leaks at buried or above ground oil tanks, asserting that because oil tanks are filled under pressure from the oil delivery pumper-truck, a corroded, damaged, or poorly-plumbed oil storage tank, or one with a too-small vent opening, may not withstand the pressure of the filling process.
TESTING COs / REMOVAL COs - Oil Tank Testing, Removal, Consulting Environmental Service Companies
For details on cleaning up residential oil spills see OIL TANK LEAK CLEANUP GUIDE. Also see OIL TANK TESTING COs and OIL TANK REMOVAL COs and OIL TANK REMOVAL FINANCIAL AID links here or at Related Topics to see our most current list of companies providing oil tank testing or oil tank removal/abandonment services.
Heating Oil Tank Testing or Removal
Government Contacts U.S., for oil spil notification and advice - Contact the DEC/DEP/DNR office in your state.
Gulf Oil Spill Sent Crude Oil Fumes Ashore in Louisiana - Recommended articles on crude oil spill health risks
Workers in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico region during the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill were (and may still be) at risk from exertional heat stroke, and there can be short-term effects from fresh oil-spill fumes: affecting the eye, neurological system, and skin. Short term lung, kidney, and liver functions may be affected. Media reports and studies of oil spills do not address effects of long term or chronic exposure to crude oil spills, but sources indicate that as oil breaks down in water it becomes less toxic over time. - Reuters
OSHA's position and that of other expert sources such as the ATSDR is that modest typical residential exposure to heating oil fumes is a nuisance that may not pose a hazard to a healthy individual. Reuters reported that "Health and Human Services Department officials told a Congressional haring that little is known about the health impacts on people of oil spills." (Reuters, op cit. 6/23/10) We recommend monitoring results of "Assessing the Human Health Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: An Institute of Medicine Workshop", June 22-23 2010. - Institute of Medicine.
While the long term environmental effects of crude oil spills such as the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill are not yet clear, more immediate complaints of oil fumes ashore in Louisiana have been reported. Local health officials in that state have warned people with respiratory illness, asthma, or similar conditions to avoid breathing oil fumes and to "stay indoors".
The oil and oil fume toxicity, safety and MSDS data below provides a summary of possible health concerns from short term, chronic, or long term exposure to refined oil spills such as No. 2 home heating oil. We include links to Material Data Safety Sheets for Crude Oil MSDS as well as home heating oil MSDS where we provide more health related details.
Details about oil storage tank removal or abandonment methods are at OIL TANK ABANDONING PROCEDURE. A brief summary is below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about oil tank leaks and spills: Oil leaks and spills from residential and light commercial ASTs, USTs, oil tank life, oil tank regulations, leak testing, buried oil tank abandonment, oil tank removal, oil tank leak prevention, spill cleanup, oil piping, oil filters, oil tank regulations
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.