Temporary Oil Tanks: A Quick Solution for Leaking Oil Tanks

A leaking oil tank can quickly turn into an environmental disaster, not to mention a big expense for any homeowner. Under New York Law, the person who owns the tank from which oil was released is considered to be the “discharger.” A discharger of petroleum is strictly liable for any resulting damage even if it was caused by an event, like a natural disaster, for which they had no control (see Navigation Law s181.1) . If a discharger fails to cleanup significant impacts to the environment, New York State through NYSDEC may complete the cleanup and then bring an action against the discharger to recover these costs (see Navigation Law s 187).

When your home’s oil tank starts leaking, it is an emergency. Fortunately, companies like Domino Fuel, serving Long Island, NY, offer temporary oil tanks as a quick solution. But are these interim tanks the right choice for your situation? We explore the pros and cons.

Advantages of Temporary Oil Tanks:

  1. Rapid installation: The primary benefit of a temporary oil tank is speed. Domino Fuel can typically install one within a day, ensuring your home’s heating system remains operational with minimal disruption.
  2. Buys time for decision-making: A temporary tank allows homeowners to carefully consider their long-term options without the pressure of an immediate crisis.
  3. Maintains home comfort: You won’t have to endure a cold house while waiting for a permanent solution.
  4. Prevents environmental damage: By quickly containing the oil, temporary tanks help minimize the risk of soil contamination from a leaking permanent tank.

Disadvantages of Temporary Oil Tanks:

  1. Additional costs: Renting a temporary tank is an extra expense on top of the eventual permanent tank replacement.
  2. Space constraints: Temporary tanks may be placed in inconvenient locations, potentially disrupting your yard or driveway.
  3. Aesthetic concerns: These tanks are typically not designed to blend in with your home’s exterior.
  4. Short-term solution: Eventually, you’ll still need to invest in a permanent replacement, making the temporary tank a stopgap measure.
  5. Potential for complications: Multiple oil transfers increase the risk of spills or system issues.

While temporary oil tanks offer a quick fix, Domino Fuel often recommends that Long Island homeowners consider moving directly to a permanent tank replacement as soon as possible. This approach can be more cost-effective in the long run and provides a lasting solution to your home’s heating needs.

Every situation is unique, however. If you’re facing an oil tank emergency on Long Island, contact Domino Fuel for expert advice on whether a temporary tank is the right choice for your home.

Signs Your Oil Tank May Be Leaking

Recognizing the early signs of an oil tank leak is crucial for homeowners. Here are some indicators that your oil tank might be compromised:

  1. Unexplained oil loss: If you’re using more oil than usual without a change in your heating habits, it could indicate a leak.
  2. Odors: A strong oil smell near your tank or in your basement can signal a leak.
  3. Stains or wet spots: Oil stains on the tank’s surface or wet spots around its base are clear warning signs.
  4. Dying vegetation: If plants near your oil tank are wilting or dying without explanation, oil seepage could be the cause.
  5. Oily sheen in nearby water: Check puddles or streams near your property for an rainbow-like film on the water’s surface.
  6. Erratic furnace behavior: If your furnace is running inconsistently or shutting off unexpectedly, a leak might be affecting oil flow.
  7. Visible rust or damage: Corrosion, dents, or visible holes in your tank are serious red flags.
  8. Higher heating bills: Unexplained increases in your heating costs could indicate that oil is being lost through a leak.
  9. Gauge discrepancies: If your oil gauge shows levels dropping faster than your usage warrants, investigate further.
  10. Oily residue on nearby surfaces: Check walls, floors, or other surfaces near the tank for any oily films or residues.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to act quickly. Contact Domino Fuel immediately for a professional inspection. Swift action can prevent environmental damage, ensure your home’s safety, and potentially save you money in the long run.

Remember, regular inspections by Domino Fuel professionals can help catch potential issues before they become serious problems, potentially avoiding the need for a temporary tank altogether.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long can I use a temporary oil tank? A: Temporary oil tanks are typically designed for short-term use, usually ranging from a few weeks to several months. The exact duration depends on your specific situation and local regulations. Domino Fuel can provide guidance on the appropriate length of use for your circumstances.

Q: Will a temporary tank affect my home’s heating efficiency? A: Generally, a properly installed temporary tank should not significantly impact your heating system’s efficiency. However, if you notice any changes in your heating performance, contact Domino Fuel immediately for an inspection.

Q: Are temporary oil tanks safe to use? A: Yes, when installed and maintained by experienced professionals like Domino Fuel, temporary oil tanks are safe. They are designed to meet safety standards and are regularly inspected. However, it’s important to follow all safety guidelines.

Q: Can I install a temporary oil tank myself? A: It’s not recommended. Professional installation ensures proper setup, compliance with local regulations, and optimal safety. Domino Fuel has the expertise to install temporary tanks correctly and efficiently.

Q: What happens if my temporary tank runs out of oil? A: Domino Fuel monitors temporary tank levels and schedules refills as needed. However, if you notice your oil levels getting low, contact us immediately to arrange a refill and avoid any heating interruptions.

Q: Will using a temporary tank increase my heating costs? A: While there may be some additional costs associated with renting and installing a temporary tank, your actual heating oil usage should remain relatively consistent. Domino Fuel can provide a detailed breakdown of any potential cost implications.