Oil Tanks - how often do they get inspected?

Does anyone know if there is a mandate for oil tanks to be inspected annually in Ontario. I was asked this yesturday while doing an inspection. Also, would any of you recommend any good websites regarding further information on Oil Tanks and there use in Ontario.


All tanks are required to have annual maintenance, performed by a TSSA certified oil burner technician. This includes visually inspecting for leaks and testing and servicing the unit to ensure that it is operating proberly. It is the owner’s responsibility to arrange / ensure they have yearly maintenance examinations.

In addition, a comprehensive inspection by the Fuel Oil distributor is required at least once every 10 years. This is performed to ascertain compliance with the regulations and code.

For more detailed information check out the TSSA site. Here is the link for FAQ’s regarding fuel oil: http://www.tssa.org/regulated/fuels/

Also Some insurance companies will not give insurance to tanks older then 20 years most are 25 years . I do not believe TSSA has set life but most oil suppliers ,( they do the inspection ) recommend they be changed at 25 years . you can still have a buried Oil tank but they need to be inspected more often . .If A person has a buried older tank let them know some insurance companies will not give insurance ,period. The tank can only be removed by a qualified contractor and this can be expensive depending on amount of oil in tank and tank place and condition

Roy Cooke


You’re right, notwithstanding the fact that above ground oil tanks can be kept indefinitely as long as they are not leaking (per TSSA) see http://www.tssa.org/public/consumer/homeowners/consumerHome05.asp#ast01 it is often the insurance companies that dictate when a tank must be removed.

Regarding in-ground fuel oil tanks, there is a regulated time-line published by TSSA advising how long these tanks can stay in the ground before having to be removed. For example, tanks that are older than 25 years (or if the age is unknown) had to be removed by October, 2006. Here’s a link that gives more information:


All inspected interior and exterior above ground tanks will have a green plastic card indicating when last inspected. The tag is attached to the filler or breather pipe on the tanks.

Thanks for the upgrade Joe . I was going from memory .
As I do my report on site I try to be correct .
Another oil tank concern easy to miss is I believe all tanks must be more then then ten feet from the property line .
This can be awkward in some close cottages in many areas.
Roy Cooke

Keep in mind that the oil line from tank to furnace must be installed above the basement floor slab. they used to be notched into the slab and covered with cement but this is no longer allowed.


Doug - I believe that the above-slab oil line also has to be protected from damage by some kind of a covering - usually hard plastic. I’m not sure on this - maybe someone else can confirm.

Yes copper lines must be orange plastic sleeve, and I believe bare copper is permissable below cemment if run in plastic tubing. Copper and cement in contact with one another result in the copper failing over time.


That’s true. Can’t be bare copper, has to have plastic coating, usually orange or red.


I have a question, my own house has the oil line running across the basement ceiling and never touches cement. It drops down beside the furnace and the filter is just outside the furnace. Bare copper all the way. Would this be classed satisfactory when doing an inspection? I would think so. Chuck

As long as its not in contact with cement or damage it would be okay.