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MA Law Requires Homeowners Upgrade Oil Supply Line by September 30, 2011

MASSACHUSETTS - Under state law, Massachusetts home owners must upgrade the supply line from their oil tank to the furnace with one encased in a protective sleeve, or install an automatic oil shutoff valve at the outlet of the oil tank by September 30th, 2011.

According to the MA Department of Environmental Protection, (DEP), "home heating oil spills and leaks have become an all too common problem. The culprit in most cases is the delivery or supply line that carries home heating oil (#2 fuel oil) or kerosene (#1 fuel oil) from the storage tank to the furnace."

The cost for a shut-off valve or protective oil supply line is approximately $200-$300, (including parts and labor for installation), but depends on the distance from the oil tank to the furnace, and how complicated installation actually is. In cases where the oil supply line is encased in a concrete floor, (as is the case with some older "slab ranch" style homes), or has otherwise been installed within walls, floors or ceilings, the cost could be higher, and installing the shut-off valve may be a better option.

M.G.L. Ch. 453, a 2008 law, requires that Home Insurance Companies offer policies with optional coverage for the cost of cleaning up heating oil spills or leaks in the home. (Homeowners are not required to purchase the insurance, but it must be made available to them). For those home-owners who do purchase the insurance but don't update their oil supply line or install a shut-off valve by September 30, 2011 could be denied coverage or have a claim rejected for not being in compliance -- and could end up paying significantly more than the few hundred dollars the preventative work can cost.

Seniors and those living on an income that is 60% or less than State of Massachusetts median income may be able to get financial assistance to cover the cost of updating their heating system through "HEARTWAP", the state's Heating Energy Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program.

For additional information about HEARTWAP, phone 1-800-632-8175.

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