How Do I Know If My Oil Tank Is Leaking

How Do I Know If My Oil Tank Is Leaking?


If you own a home or commercial building, you should know the costs associated with oil leaks should one occur. The cleanup cost can be expensive and could cost you anywhere between $7,000 and $15,000. Most of the time, homeowners’ insurance will not pay for it. However, the cleanup process doesn’t have to be an intricate project. So, if you suspect there is an oil-related issue with your property, the first thing you may want to ask is: how do I know if my oil tank is leaking?


Above Ground Oil Tank Leaks

In the case of above-ground oil leaks, some homeowners have arrived home to the smell of oil. They didn’t think it was a big deal because there was a ticket on the door informing them the tank had been filled. So, the homeowners assumed the smell was because of a recently filled tank. Unless a construction worker is currently making repairs to your heating system, you should never smell oil in the home. The smell is a sign you need to repair the oil tank immediately.


There are two pipes on the outside of your home. One is the fill pipe, which directs oil into the tank; the other is the vent pipe, which permits oil vapors and air to be released from the tank to the outside. This is why you should never notice the scent of oil after a fill. If you do, immediately contact the oil company.


Underground Oil Tank Leaks

Technically, an oil leak is usually escaped petroleum, and a tank is most often underground. Tanks that are positioned underground can hold between 250 to 1,000 gallons of heated oil, depending on its size. Leaks often start as a small opening in the tank’s structure. Oil seeps into the surrounding soil, sometimes as much as 10 feet deep. If there’s a leak, the tank will have to be removed, and you’ll need soil remediation services. In these cases, the actual leak can’t be repaired. You’ll have to remove the tank while the soil is treated before getting a new one.


Are you unsure if your oil tank is leaking?

If you’re not sure whether your tank is leaking, it’s best to get a soil or tank test to find out. The tank tightness test will determine whether the tank’s structure has a leak, but it can’t identify whether oil has gotten into the soil. A soil test will let you know if the soil underneath the bottom of the tank has been affected. If you notice any dead plants or flowers near where the oil tank is buried, this could also be an indication the tank has a leak.


Keep in mind that if your home has a sump pit, you should have your home’s water examined on a regular basis for any traces of oil. You can use a clear glass jar to take a water sample. If there is oil, it should always float to the top. Heating oil in the water sample is a sign there is a leak, and this should be taken care of by a professional immediately.


Get Help Now

At All American Environmental, we are a full-service Environmental Consulting and Contracting Company.  We are fully certified and insured to help you with all of your oil tank needs. Contact us today by phone or email. One of our expert representatives will be happy to assist you quickly.

We can help with both an above ground oil tank leak or an underground oil tank leak.