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ULC Standards Endorses Safe Fuel Oil Tank Practice
June 29, 2015
In Canada, fuel oil storage tanks, commonly used for home-heating, have been in use for more than 90 years. When the company was established in 1920, aboveground tanks for fuel oil were some of the very first products tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories of Canada, initially to UL80 and then to ULC-S602 standards.
In recent years, the domestic fuel oil industry has seen an increased frequency of tank failures due to corrosion, improper use and poor maintenance.
This problem has prompted industry associations, insurance companies, manufacturers and regulators to issue a strict set of guidelines aimed at decreasing risk and limit liability on future installations. Organizations such as the Canadian Oil Heat Association (COHA) and Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) as well as provincial regulators including Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Islands, Yukon and Northwest Territories, have issued Guides and Instructions for installations, use and maintenance of tanks, for homeowners and technicians.
One of the most important considerations in the installation and use of the fuel tank is the transfer of product from an old tank into a new tank. In its “Best Practices Best Solution for Safe Oil Storage”, COHA recommends:
If you’re having a new steel tank installed, NEVER transfer oil from your old tank into your new one. Not only could this void your warranty, it has the potential to prematurely affect the integrity of your new tank. Industry Best Practices firmly recommend the transfer of oil from your old tank to your new tank be avoided, no matter the type of tank you are having installed.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada also states in its brochure “Oil Tank Tips – Take an Ounce of Prevention” to NEVER transfer oil from your old tank into your new tank.
ULC Standards has recently published CAN/ULC-S670-14, Standard for Aboveground Nonmetallic Tanks for Fuel Oil and Other Combustible Liquids, which includes a marking requirement not to transfer oil from an old tank into a new tank. This will also be proposed as a revision to CAN/ULC-S602, Standard for Aboveground Steel Tanks for Fuel Oil and Lubricating Oil.
Rae Dulmage, Director of ULC Standards said, “We consider this an important issue. We support the industry and regulatory guidelines to promote safety by not allowing pump over of old product into a new tank.”
Example of typical ULC-Listed steel fuel oil tank built in accordance with CAN/ULC-S602
(For Reference Purposes Only)
Example of ULC-Listed non-metallic fuel oil tank built in accordance with CAN/ULC-S670
(For Reference Purposes Only)