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Furnace Inspections A Must Under New Oilheat Regulations

By: News Canada

Basic and/or comprehensive inspections on oilheating systems are now required under new regulations from Ontario's Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). The new regulations will ensure that heating with oil remains one of the safest and most dependable home heating options.

'Basic and comprehensive inspections are mandatory and should be seen as a part of regular furnace maintenance,' says COHA president John Butt. 'They can generally be booked at the same time as your regular tune-ups and service checks.'

Basic inspections involve a general, visual examination of the system. By May 2004, all fuel oil customers must have had at least a basic inspection performed by a certified individual.

Homeowners are also required to have a comprehensive inspection of their heating and delivery system by a certified oil burner technician (OBT). This inspection is required every 10 years. By May 2007 all fuel oil customers must have a comprehensive inspection.

'It is important for homeowners to remember that their fuel oil distributors are required by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority to complete the inspections, repairs and replacements within the prescribed timelines,' says Butt. 'Sometimes that can mean that service calls may take a little longer than usual, but homeowners should rest assured that they will be taken care of in a timely and efficient manner.'

The following are a list of Frequently Asked Questions that TSSA has been receiving regarding these new regulations:

Q: What exactly is on the inspection checklist?

A: First, it is important for homeowners to realize that a fuel oil system consists of more than just a storage tank. It also includes a fill and vent pipe for oil supply and an outlet line with a valve and filter to supply oil to the furnace.

Some of the things a fuel dealer will look at during the course of an inspection include:

  • Verifying that the tank has a proper gauge and vent whistle
  • Checking whether the tank is leaning over and may topple
  • Checking whether there are signs of leakage at the tank bottom
  • Ensuring that the fill and vent are piped outside.

Q: What happens if the fuel oil supplier finds an unsafe installation?

A: Depending on the potential danger from the unsafe installation, a fuel supplier can specify a time period of up to 90 days for corrective action before the delivery of fuel oil must cease. If the unsafe installation is very dangerous, then a distributor must immediately stop the supply of fuel oil to the installation.

Q: I don't agree with my fuel supplier and I think that my equipment is safe. What can I do?

A: Homeowners can get a second opinion from other Oil Burner Technicians and other fuel oil suppliers to confirm whether or not there is an unsafe installation.

For more information on these regulations, please contact your Fuel Oil Dealer or visit www.tssa.org. To find an oil company in your area, visit www.coha.ca

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About The Author, News Canada

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