Aboveground Storage Tank Inspection News

The State of Vermont has extended the tank inspection deadline to May 1, 2021 with the exception of outside tanks. With that being said, here is our updated plan and procedures.

All outside kerosene tanks must still be inspected before their next delivery, no exceptions. All new customers with either indoor or outdoor tanks must be inspected before their first fill, no exceptions. All other current customers will continue to receive their regularly scheduled deliveries. We are currently playing catch up on repairing and replacing red tagged oil tanks. Once we have caught up, Patterson Fuels will again reach out to all customers who are due for a tank inspection. We are estimating to begin this process in the early spring. 

So now that you know you need a tank inspection, what else should you know. 

  • This tank inspection is a free service provided by Patterson Fuels. 

  • Above ground storage tanks must be inspected every three years no matter the age or material of the storage tank. 

  • We have a fully licensed service department to assist with any repairs or replacements if needed. 

So now you know more about the “when” and “why”, let's go over “what” the technicians are looking at during the appointment. 

  1. Unstable foundation. Releases from tanks that tip-over or sink into the ground are very common! If a tank is leaning, sinking into the ground, or resting on the ground it must be red-tagged, and be re-installed on a stable foundation, a concrete pad is recommended for existing tanks and is required for new tank installation, before it can be filled via delivery truck.

  2. Fill and/or vent pipe is too narrow. These pipes should both be at least 1¼”. Narrower pipes could lead to pressurization of the system, weakening the system and leading to releases.

  3. No vent alarm. A vent alarm “whistles” during delivery, letting the delivery driver know that there is a connected tank with room for the oil they are delivering. Without the vent alarm a driver has no guarantee that an indoor tank is even connected. Additionally, the driver must guess when to shut off the flow, and an incorrect guess can result in a release.

  4. Buried fuel lines are not protected from contact with soil/concrete. Some installations have the copper line from the tank to the appliance installed underground. If these lines are bare copper, they will eventually corrode and result in a fuel leak that is underground – hard to discover and costly to cleanup!

  5. General poor tank condition. Inspections that find a tank with cracks, bulges, active leaks, or excessive rust will result in a red-tag being placed on the tank.

Looking for the exact form our technicians use? Here is a link:


If you think you are due for an oil tank inspection, don’t fret just call us today at 802-434-2616.