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"Custom Vac has serviced my home's heating and cooling system for some 12 years. Their staff of Brian, Denise, Craig and others are most knowledgeable, efficient and prompt. I have no hesitation in recommending them."
Cyril Hawkes
Fuel Oil Storage Tanks

March 10, 2003

To: All customers with fuel oil heating equipment and storage tanks

Dear Customer,

We have searched our records from our database and have found that you will more than likely be affected by changes in the regulations governing fuel oil heating appliances and storage tanks.

Changes in Regulations

Custom Vac Limited is a member in good standing with the Canadian Oil Heat Association (COHA) and has been following changes in regulations in other Provinces over this last year in regards to fuel oil heating appliances and storage tanks. Our Province has not yet made changes to the r egulations to date but we can assume that this is only a matter of time.

The B139 Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Fuel Oil Code, is, what we as installers and service providers must follow. However, the Insurance carriers have set a much higher standard. Before they will grant insurance coverage on your home or building they will likely force you to upgrade your appliance and/or fuel oil storage tank possibly even the chimney.

Environmental Issues

You may be aware of the heightened environmental concerns since they have been shown in documentaries on TV. Canada still has a considerable number of homes and buildings that utilize fuel oil for space heating and domestic hot water. The increased liability that the Insurance providers have been facing reached a breaking point with higher and higher numbers of storage tank failures especially in Atlantic Canada. As such, we have been recently contacted by not only Insurance companies but also by owners of these types of appliances to inform us that they require an inspection or upgrade to their present heating appliance and/or storage tank.

The Proactive Approach

Custom Vac Limited is taking the proactive approach in that we are presently upgrading ourselves by taking in-house training using materials provided by COHA such as the "Basic Inspection Program." In addition, we are reviewing the requirements that have been recently adopted in Ontario with respect to tagging and documentation of both, the condition or the heating appliance and storage tank(s). While we do understand that this is not being enforced here to date the clean-up costs and potential for you to be denied coverage by your Insurance carrier is not worth the risk.

Over this last year Custom Vac moved to installing ZCL Composites double wall fuel oil storage tanks. We made the decision to install this product for many reasons but the main ones are that it fits the best in most retrofit applications, comes with a 25 year warranty and $1,000,000.00 coverage in the event of tank failure. Due to many site conditions it is not always possible to install these tanks, as such, we may have to continue in these situations installing steel tanks.

You may be saying to yourself at this point, "I just install a new tank outside." It is true that you can do this, but in reality the best research conducted to date proves that fuel oil storage tanks installed inside where they are at a constant temperature dry and clean is the best. The number of storage tank failures that we have dealt with over the many years, confirm this. In addition, the regulations call for containment pans if installed outdoors.

Customer Impact and Options

So, what does this mean to you and why are we sending you notification at this time? Quite simply, many of these appliances have well exceeded their normal life expectancy of operation and for those of you with heating appliances that have exceeded 25-years should consider replacing these with new 80% efficient appliances. In addition, the fuel oil storage tanks should also be replaced at this same time. Another option for those of you that have the availability of gas would be to have us convert you from oil to gas or from oil to electricity. What would be the best is to schedule an in-home meeting with you to discuss the various costs and options. For this feel free to contact Denise at 204-775-7744 anytime to arrange this.

Our Commitment to Our Customers

For Custom Vac this is going to once again be a turning point in the history of our Company since at the moment we continue to install, service and maintain all gas, oil, electric and propane appliances. Many Companies have abandoned oil as finding and training technicians is not easy. We remain committed to maintaining fuel oil services to our customers but if the rate of decline continues we may be forced to eliminate the full parts and labour coverage (Service Agreements) due to the shrinking pool of Customers. In that event we have every intention to continue to offer our services. What is helping at the moment is that many Companies have abandoned their customers, which we are acquiring.

This summer's annual servicing and inspections will be done following a more aggressive cleaning and inspection than possibly done in prior years. As such we did not want you to be surprised if we red tag your appliance or fuel oil storage tank. In addition, for example in Ontario fuel oil delivery agents can no longer supply fuel to tanks that have not been inspected and their serial numbers recorded. As such they must have the tanks inspected by qualified technicians or oil cannot be delivered.

In closing, oil heat is in our opinion the most comfortable heating source, and cannot be beat. Having said that; it is important that while we achieve a higher level of comfort, we must also realize that everything has a normal useful life. Many of the appliances that we have been maintaining well exceed 25 years. By today's standards these appliances are very inefficient and have the potential for an oil spill creating untold problems not to mention the environmental damage.

Thank you
Brian Baker

This letter has been sent to all customers within our database as of March 10, 2003 in either the "Active" or "Inactive" coding. In addition, is being held on file as record of our due diligence in informing our customers of the issues regarding Fuel Oil Heating Appliances and Fuel Oil Storage tanks.

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Contact Us

Custom VAC Ltd.
1567 Logan Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3E 1S5
T. 204-775-7744
T. 204-772-5799
F. 204-774-8557


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