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Old 09-25-2012, 07:56 AM
1 posts, read 5,582 times
Reputation: 11



I have an underground oil tank where I live that has been the used to heat the home for many years. I want to get it removed, but right now want to focus on putting my money into a new oil tank and getting it filled before it gets much colder outside. I was wondering if I'm able to have a company come out and install a new oil tank above ground before having to rip out the old one?
I am very new to the area and am use to the midwest where we do not have oil tanks. So I have tried doing a lot of self teaching with oil tank regulations, but cannot find any where that tells me whether or not if I have to have the old tank removed before I can install an above ground tank. Thanks so much for the help!!!
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:05 PM
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Why don't you ask one of the many fuel oil vendors?
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:15 PM
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
37,726 posts, read 49,359,802 times
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If the underground tank isn't leaking it doesn't need to be removed. It does have to be decommisioned correctly. That involves emptying the tank and filling it with a slag compound. The surrounding ground is also tested for any leakage. That can get real expensive if any oil residue is found.

As the above poster says, contact one of the fuel oil vendors for more information.

I would advise getting a service contract for your furnace (mine costs around $300/year) which would include auto-fill and a price lock as well as boiler service. Mine has zero charge for the yearly cleaning and tune up and no charge for replaced parts (the water jacket itself is excluded from coverage).
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:39 PM
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 4,016,865 times
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I went through this process about 15 years ago. I was concerned about water contamination and liability if my tank leaked (everyone is on a well in my development). Had a 750 gallon in-ground tank that was 24 yrs. old. I replaced it with an above grade outdoor 275 gallon unit. The whole deal cost me about $2,400.

The process was overseen by my oil supplier - Tevis Oil (Carroll County). First a pressure check on the old tank was performed by a MD EPA certified company recommended by Tevis, - it passed (no leaks) and then he drained all the existing oil into a temporary holding tank. Next he filled the tank with a concrete slurry and capped it off.

You'll get a formal certification letter of the proper in ground tank decommission which you'll want to keep safe - you'll need it if you ever sell your house.The new tank was then installed (TIP - insist on a fully footed mini-slab (or do it yourself), not just four concrete mini-pads on gravel, the mini-pads will sink through time - been there, had to fix it), if your new tank is outdoors.

Its a wise thing to do as your home owners policy will not cover any damages if your tank leaks, its your responsibility to maintain it. Be aware that if your tank fails a pressure test, indicating a leak, it has to be removed and ALL contaminated soil as well - that can get real pricey as the soil has to be burned in a special EPA certified facility.

It is a pain in the "B$$$", but its better to do it sooner than later. Just pray your neighbors do it as well (if you're on a well system it gets really important.) I talked with county officials about the issue of thousands of older in ground oil tanks and their response was - "yeah, we know its a potential problem but folks don't want to spend the money to fix it." Such is life in the good old USA.
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