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Frequently Asked Questions about Tanks

How Can I Tell If There Is a Problem?

The following could be signs of a leak in your home heating oil tank:

  1. Any unexpected/unexplained fuel oil consumption increase that doesn’t appear to be caused by additional use of your heating system (such as during prolonged periods of cold weather).
  2. Water in your Underground Storage Tank
  3. Consistent problems with your oil burner.
  4. Changes or loss of vegetation in the area over and around the tank
  5. oil odors in the areas other than the oil burner.
  6. Tastes, odors or other problems with your drinking water, if obtained from a well.
  7. Staining on the basement walls or floors adjacent to the tank.
  8. Presence of oil or a sheen in the basement sump or French drain.
  9. Oil or sheen in any nearby culverts, drainage ditches, storm drains, stream, or ponds.

For 1, 2 and 3, first contact the company that services your heating system to rule out a maintenance problem.

To determine whether any of the above problems are caused by a leaking fuel oil storage tank, contact an environmental contractor. Your local health department also may be able to provide you with guidance in determining the source of the problem.

What Do I Do If There Is a Leak?

If some type of heating oil discharge has occurred at your home, regardless of the quantity, you must report it to the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Call the DEP’s toll free 24 hour Environmental Action Hot Line at 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337) as soon as a discharge is detected.

Next, if the source of your discharge is a leaking tank, contact your fuel oil company and ask that all residual fuel oil be pumped out from the tank. Be sure to ask if any of the oil is reusable.

You also can contact FABCO a qualified environmental contractor to perform the cleanup.

A claim should be filed with your insurance company as soon as evidence of a leak is discovered.


You should file a claim with your insurance company as soon as evidence of a leak is discovered. Most policies require at least “prompt” notice of a claim, as well as your assistance in providing information to the insurer. Insurance coverage for cleanup of contamination from leaking residential tanks depends on the language of the individual policy and its interpretation.

You also may want to consider underground storage tank protection programs that may be available from your oil company or fuel oil distributor to insure yourself against future problems. The ProGuard Protection Plan for one example.

More Questions? Call us today. " We Love questions at FABCO "
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