Oil Tank Certification – Fuel oil is governed under the Technical Standards and Safety Act, and Ontario Regulation, 213/01.

The fuel oil supplier inspects the entire fuel oil installation including each appliance (furnace, boiler water heater) that is using fuel oil, the venting system, tank and piping from the tank. This inspection is for the safe use of the appliance at the time of the inspection and does not cover performance.

All heating contractors working on fuel oil equipment are required to be registered with TSSA. When calling a heating contractor, ask for the contractor s TSSA registration number and request that only a TSSA certified Oil Burner Technician work on the appliance.

New requirements for the installation and inspection of fuel oil tanks (above and below ground) were introduced by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) in October 2001 to reduce the number of fuel oil leaks and spills that occur throughout the province each year. In November 2002 the TSSA advised all owners of fuel oil heating systems of the requirements to have their heating systems inspected by qualified oil burner technicians, and the need to register their underground (buried) fuel oil storage tanks with TSSA.

The regulations require fuel oil distributors to conduct inspections on all fuel oil heating systems. This includes all underground and aboveground tanks, associated piping, venting and heating appliances such as furnaces, boilers and water heaters. The fuel oil distributors must inspect all equipment to which they deliver fuel, whether it is located above or below ground, initially and at least once every 10 years. Fuel oil cannot be delivered to equipment that poses an immediate hazard. Many fuel oil delivery companies will inspect the equipment yearly at no additional cost to the homeowner to ensure that the tank is safe before the delivery of fuel oil at the start of the heating season.

Should the technician determine that there is an issue with the installation of the tank or supporting components of the heating system they will issue an order for rectification. Depending on the severity of the danger from the unsafe installation, a fuel supplier can specify a time period up to 90 days for corrective action or the delivery of fuel oil will cease. If the unsafe installation is very dangerous (Red Tag), then the distributor must immediately stop the supply of fuel oil to the installation. Tank owners can get a second opinion from other Oil Burner Technicians and other Fuel Oil Suppliers to confirm whether or not there is an unsafe installation.

There are insurance carriers who choose not to provide insurance coverage when tanks have passed a prescribed age. This is not a requirement of TSSA. TSSA does not regulate Insurance carriers who ultimately may decide to impose a replacement requirement based on the age of the tank according to their own risk assessment criteria. There may be insurance companies who will provide insurance despite your tank’s age. You may consider contacting other insurance carriers for insurance coverage requirements.

There are no specific code or regulation requirements that dictate the replacement of above ground storage tanks, based on age limit considerations. The deadline for replacing underground storage tanks is determined by CAN/CSA-B139-00 Installation Code for Oil Burning Equipment.
To find out more about Fuel oil governed under the Technical Standards and Safety Act, and Ontario Regulation, 213/0, you can obtain a copy from the TSSA Web at www.tssa.org or order a copy from the Ontario Government Bookstore at 1-800-668-9938.

The new regulations are not grandfathered to include existing fuel oil storage tanks however this change will affect the cost incurred when replacing older tanks found in many of Ontario’s homes. As most of you are aware the acceptance of existing fuel oil storage tanks rests with the insurance industry, the TSSA service technician and the fuel oil distributor. Any one of these entities can condemn the existing fuel oil tank. The costs involved to install a new compliant fuel oil storage tank is expected to be considerably higher and can affect your client’s bottom line. Typically fuel oil tank replacement costs were in the $1,200.00/$1,500.00 range.

Many TSSA Licensed oil technicians will not certify an oil tank which has the old style saddles supporting tank. The newer tanks all have legs for support. The saddles allow the creation of moisture which is the cause of most tanks rusting.