Understanding your Oil Tank and Inspection Checklist

Vaughan HVAC | Residential Oil Tank Diagram

Understanding Your Tank

Your oil tank is an important part of your home comfort, therefore it is essential to understand your tank system and how it works.

At Vaughan, we are happy to provide you with the tools you need to properly evaluate and manage your oil tank storage system in order to ensure safety and efficiency.


  • Inspect for leaks. Look at the tank, fill and vent pipes, valves, supply and return lines and all fittings.
  • NOTE: If rust or stalactite are present, DO NOT wipe or touch the area as this can result in tank breach. Contact Vaughan immediately for assistance.
  • Get your system maintenanced. Vaughan is available to routinely clean and adjust the furnace, and repair or replace
  • worn and damaged parts. A well-maintained furnace burns cleaner and uses less fuel, which means lower fuel bills and lower emissions.
  • Inspect the vent pipe. It’s important to do this often to ensure that the vent pipe is free of obstructions and that an audible signal (whistle) is on the vent. Our delivery drivers listen for the whistle to help avoid overfills. Check with your delivery person immediately after a delivery and make sure your whistle is functioning properly.
  • Check the placement of oil lines. Weak underground electrical currents (a soil condition known as “Electrolysis”) can rapidly corrode metals. Vaughan highly recommends replacing any oil lines (supply, return, fill or vent) that are buried underground, or located under concrete, such as basement floors, before they leak. A potentially serious release could go undetected for a long period of time eventually resulting in an expensive clean up. Vaughan HVAC can route new lines that are all visible and do not contact the earth. If lines must be buried, they can be encased in a flexible plastic sleeve that will protect the lines and extend their life.


  • Retain all oil delivery receipts. Keep receipts handy so you can track your oil usage. Unexpected increases in oil consumption may indicate a leak.
  • Ensure that your street number is clearly visible from the road or alley, so that our drivers can easily identify your property.
  • Inform Vaughan of any unique circumstances or special requirements involving your delivery each time you order oil.
  • Always remember that all oil storage tanks are constantly “breathing” and allowing condensation to form on the inside of the tank. The resulting accumulation of water at the bottom of the tank can cause corrosion that occurs from the inside out.

NOTE: If you remove a tank from service, be sure to remove fill and vent pipes immediately to prevent a fuel delivery to a location without an attached tank.


As an important piece of your property and comfort, it is necessary to maintain a routine of checking the integrity of your tank and its working parts at least 4 times per year.

Vaughan will provide an annual comprehensive tank inspection for AST’s (when we are granted access) free of charge. Additionally, each time you receive a delivery, our delivery drivers will briefly review your AST (outdoor AST’s only) to ensure safe delivery. If you have an AST located in your basement, garage, crawl space or anywhere that requires your presence to be accessed, please contact our office to schedule your annual tank inspection.

If you have an underground storage tank, Vaughan is unable to provide any form of tank inspection. However, our driver will stick your tank to check for water prior to each delivery if the tank is accessible.

Tips to Avoid an Oil Leak or Spill

Homeowners can take responsible steps year-round by following the fall and seasonal checklist enclosed to avoid the accidental release of heating oil. The typical cleanup cost for spills from home heating oil tanks ranges from $10,000 to $50,000 and is seldom covered by homeowner’s insurance (Check with your homeowners insurance to determine the details of your coverage). Tank insurance is available to Vaughan HVAC automatic delivery customers directly through Proguard, see detailed info below:

Tank Insurance with Proguard

ProGuard Service Agreements (offered by the Powderhorn Agency) offer comprehensive protection, including cleanup and tank replacement allowances. Discover why 60,000+ residential customers have relied on ProGuard for over 15 years. The ProGuard program offers peace-of-mind for life’s most precious possessions … home and family.

For a minimal annual fee, you will receive the following coverage:

Up to $100,000 for clean-up costs resulting from an underground tank release, or up to $50,000 for an above-ground tank release.

Up to $1,500 to repair or replace your oil tank.

Protection for both your tank and associated tank lines.

Proactive above-ground tank replacement when recommended.

Voluntary Pull of underground tank allowed after one year, if optional protection is purchased.

Ability to transfer protection to a new homeowner who meets the eligibility requirements.

If you are interested in tank coverage by ProGuard, visit powderhornagency.com or call 888-354-0677.

Download our complete Home Heating Oil Tank Guide here

Attention: The visual tank inspection performed by Vaughan Heating and Air Conditioning is limited to the items inspected on the tank as noted the inspection form, and does not cover any other area of the house or property, or parts of the tank system not inspected. The inspection conducted and the results reported on this Inspection Form represent the visible condition(s) of the tank present on the day of inspection only. This inspection should not be construed as an opinion or prediction that you will not have any problems with your tank system in the future. Conditions involving the tank system may change due to continued usage, aging and potential deterioration. Future inspections are recommended but will only be made upon your request. If you notice a change in the condition of the tank, please contact Vaughan immediately. Please note that any change in your tanks condition subsequent to the inspection will be your responsibility if you fail to contact Vaughan for a follow up inspection. Contact our office with any questions: 856.627.0303

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