Preparing Your Oil Tank for Floods

Massachusetts is no stranger to flooding, especially during hurricane season. Increasingly accurate weather forecasting technology coupled with the quick dissemination of information makes it easier than ever to know when a storm is coming. However, while there’s nothing you can do to stifle Mother Nature, you can take steps to protect your oil tank from severe flood conditions.

Preventing Tank Uplifting

Elevated waters can dislodge unanchored tanks, resulting in spills, property damage and even explosions. Should an unanchored tank be moved by flood waters inside your home, the supply line can tear off, endangering your loved ones and resulting in contamination. Securing your tank is imperative and there are a number of ways to do it. Here are a few methods designed to prevent tank uplifting for UL 80 and UL 142 tanks. Be sure to call your fuel dealer to perform these tasks:


  • Foot Flanges (for tanks with pipe legs) – Foot flanges with threaded ends and pipe ends should be connected. Concrete bolts or screws are to be used to secure each foot to the supporting surface.
  • Concrete Anchors – Four anchors positioned +/-4 feet off of the tank support centerline should be cast into concrete.
  • Earth auger (for tanks with saddles or pipe legs) – Earth augers positioned +/- 4 feet of the tank support centerline should be installed under a concrete slab.


Before the Storm

There are a number of steps you should take before a storm to reduce your likelihood of tank damage and spills, including:

  • Thoroughly inspect your tank for corrosion and other damage
  • Ensure that all tank connections (vent, gauge, fill pipe) are water-tight
  • Shut off supply valve(s) before vacating the property


After the Storm

It’s important that you do not return the tank to service after a flood before completing these steps:

  • Inspect the tank, foundation, supports, piping and all other components for damage. If any damage has occurred, schedule repairs immediately.
  • Check for water. You can use water finding paste that changes colors when it comes in contact with water, or ask your fuel dealer.
  • Examine your property for fuel spills. If any fuel has spilled, contact your local fire department.


Contact your fuel dealer to assess the tank if you have any concerns at all about its condition.


Fsi Oil and Propane will expertly assess the condition of your tank or install and secure a new tank.

To learn more, visit our heating oil tank installations page.