In-home oil tanks built after the mid-1980s typically use material designed to last for up to 30 years, providing better longevity and safety than older tanks. However, damaged tanks can still leak.
Older tanks used bare steel, which corroded relatively quickly and could cause large holes to form in a short period of time. This risk is part of the reason why in-home tanks store significantly less fuel that tanks designed for use outdoors.
Some tanks are designed with multiple walls, reducing the likelihood of leaks. In addition, newer tanks are designed to resist corrosion caused by oil, preventing pinhole leaks from formed and spreading. Still, experts recommend regular inspections as the safety risks and environmental cost of fuel tank leaks are high.