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Check the oil tank: Important information for owners
Check the oil tank: Important information for owners

Video: Check the oil tank: Important information for owners

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Video: TIPS TO TEST THE QUALITY & QUANTITY AT A PETROL PUMP !!!! 2023, February
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Anyone who heats with oil feels insecure about the current climate policy. The good news: You can continue to heat with oil and install new oil heaters by 2026. But: old oil tanks should be checked and maintained regularly. We explain what you as the owner should now know about new regulations regarding the obligation to test and the safety of your system.

Table of contents Have the oil tank checked regularly

  • Check oil tank: legal regulations
  • The most common defects and risks of damage to old heating oil tanks
  • Liability for damage from untested oil tanks
  • Tip: Have the oil tank checked every five years
  • This is how you determine the signs of wear on your oil tank yourself
  • Does it make sense to replace old oil tanks with modern oil heaters?

Table of contents Have the oil tank checked regularly

  • Check oil tank: legal regulations
  • The most common defects and risks of damage to old heating oil tanks
  • Liability for damage from untested oil tanks
  • Tip: Have the oil tank checked every five years
  • This is how you determine the signs of wear on your oil tank yourself
  • Does it make sense to replace old oil tanks with modern oil heaters?

Around 3.6 million heating oil tank systems in Germany have been in use for more than 25 years, and around half a million even over 30 years. These oil tanks are no longer state of the art and are more prone to defects. What many do not know: If damage to the building or even the environment is caused by a missing or irregular inspection, the owner is liable and has to dig deep into his pocket. Even if he is insured. Because: ignorance does not protect against high fines. For this reason, private operators are also advised to regularly check the oil tanks and have them serviced for visible defects. This should be done at the beginning of the heating season, before a long absence and before and after filling.

Check oil tank: legal regulations

How often an oil tank has to be checked is not uniformly regulated in Germany. Although the "Ordinance on Systems for Handling Water-Hazardous Substances" (AwSV) has been applicable nationwide for the safety of heating oil tank systems nationwide since August 2017, its provisions vary from state to state.

  • Above-ground tanks with a capacity of more than 1, 000 liters in a water protection area and all tanks with a capacity of more than 10, 000 liters must be checked at least every five years.
  • Earth tanks in protected or flooded areas even have to be checked every two and a half years.

Most oil tanks in German boiler rooms do not affect this. For this reason, they are not subject to an inspection obligation and have usually never been examined by an expert.

An important point, which the countries regulate differently, is as follows: The installation, interior cleaning, repair or decommissioning of the oil heating system must be carried out by a certified specialist company. However, this does not apply to Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein: Here it only affects oil tanks with a capacity of 10, 000 liters or more.

This is prescribed by the Water Resources Act

According to Section 62 of the Water Resources Act, every private oil tank owner has the obligation to keep his system tight and functionally safe so that water pollution is excluded. The legislator is based on the principle of double safety: If heating oil escapes, there must still be a second barrier to catch the leaked liquid.

The most common defects and risks of damage to old heating oil tanks

Earlier oil tanks, which were sold until the early 1990s, are mostly single-walled and still have to be installed in a liquid-tight collection room. The operator himself must ensure a safe, ie "liquid-tight" collecting area, renew the paint regularly and make sure that no objects are placed in the collecting area and ensure that the walling is carried out with sufficient stability. This ongoing maintenance effort is too cumbersome for many oil tank owners, especially since they are rarely aware of possible liability consequences. In addition to a leaky collecting area, leaky connections, defective limit switches, defective filling systems and outdated extraction systems are weak points of the system.

During a nationwide inspection of heating oil systems by various expert organizations, significant deficiencies were found in over 50 percent. The experts therefore assume that at least half to two-thirds of the 2.6 million old plants in Germany have serious defects that must be remedied.

Liability for damage from untested oil tanks

However, if oil tank owners ignore the condition of their system and there is a damage, it is always checked whether this damage is due to poor maintenance or insufficient sealing of the system: ignorance does not help the operator here. In such a case of damage, he is personally liable for all damage to the building and any possible environmental damage. If an oil tank insurance or water damage insurance has been taken out, however, even without proof of a professional check it will not pay for any damage. Therefore our advice: Voluntary, regular security checks.

Tip: Have the oil tank checked every five years

If you want to have your oil tank checked, you should contact a specialist - preferably every five years. Experts can be found in the specialist water heating companies and tank protection companies. Neutral expertise is also provided by an expert recognized by water law (e.g. TÜV, DEKRA and others) at a price of around 100 to 150 euros. At www.icherer-öltank.de you can easily find the regionally closest expert for a voluntary tank check using a nationwide ZIP code search.

This is how you determine the signs of wear on your oil tank yourself

Regardless of the qualified inspection every five years, you should also keep an eye on the condition of your oil tank. The following questions will help you determine how far the wear of your system has progressed. If you can answer “yes” to one or more of the following questions, you should contact an expert as soon as possible.

  • Do bulges in the form of an “elephant foot” appear at the lower corners of the plastic tank?
  • Is the tank system deformed, for example due to bulges, kinks, inclination to the wall or the like?
  • Does the tank roof of the plastic tank drop to a saddle?
  • Is the tank badly discolored, brittle or cracked? Does the paint layer bubble?
  • Does it smell of oil or are there oil stains on the floor?
  • Does the walling show cracks?
  • Is the collecting area dirty or does it show cracks?

Does it make sense to replace old oil tanks with modern oil heaters?

Since modern oil heating, thanks to condensing technology and innovative types of oil (sulfur-free, organic quality) has reached ecological and technological terms absolutely at eye level with any other heating system, it is still very popular. The decisions of the climate cabinet in September 2019 also do not put a stop to this: until the end of 2025, homeowners can continue to install an oil condensing boiler when modernizing their heating systems, from 2026 only in combination with a photovoltaic system or geothermal energy. Funding for the installation of new oil heaters will only be available until the end of 2019.

Today's double-walled tank systems not only comply with the current safety standard, they also score with many other advantages: There is no need for a collection area, which means that the space required for the oil tank system is much less than it used to be. Condensing technology and good thermal insulation lead to lower oil consumption and the combustion process is lower in pollutants. The smell of heating oil is no longer an issue, because modern oil tanks and the oil-carrying accessories are usually odor-proof. In this respect, it is absolutely worth replacing the old heating oil tank system with a new one.

Here you can find partners in your area who are modernizing your old heating:

Eva Bolta Redaktion Haus.de

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