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Unforeseen danger of switching from oil to gas?

ttekushan_3 Member Posts: 958
I've heard of this happening before, and really, how hard is it to remove the fill pipes when removing a tank? What a mess!

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  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,541

    Only if some incompetent doesn't remove the fill!  If the driver followed the "No whistle-No fill" rule it  would have lessened the damage tremendously
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  • John Mills_5
    John Mills_5 Member Posts: 951
    before my time...

    ...when my employer also had an oil company, an idiot driver went to the right house number, just on the wrong street. There were fill pipes on the house just like he expected. Poured 250 gallons in an beat it. But these people changed to gas and removed the tank, just didn't remove or plug the fill. 10+ years later when all was fought out, a judge ruled that the insurance company had to pay for damages. Nasty legal fight on top of a nasty cleanup!
  • Jim Hankinson
    Jim Hankinson Member Posts: 99
    Oil spill

    It's the fault of the oil delivery driver, the contractor who did the conversion and the inspector who signed off on the install. The tank must be removed and the fill and vent must be removed or rendered unusable depending on where you live.

    The driver should have stopped as soon as he did not hear a whistle. The contractor and inspector should be hung out to dry. Unfortunately, it's likely that only the oil company will face the music on this. Did I mention that the homeowner should have called the oil company to stop future deliveries and explain that they had converted?
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    It's the fault of

    I do  not know the code around here, but some years ago, some friends of mine stopped using the oil tank in their basement because it had a slight leak. They replaced it with another tank in their garage. They could not afford to have the old oil tank removed. The contractor did paint the old fill and vent pipe with shocking pink paint to indicate that that fill should not be used. That was on the side of the house. The new fill was at the back of the house. Unfortunately, the house painter painted over the shocking pink on the fill pipes.

    My friends both work, and they asked me to let the oil delivery company into the back so they could fill the tank, specifying the time they were scheduled to arrive. Unfortunately, they came early and were filling the wrong tank when I got there. I immediately pointed out the error, and they had to pump out the old tank and fill the new one. Which they did. The only good news is that the crud at the bottom of the old tank had sealed the leak, so no oil escaped.

    Now I do not know what should have been done, or what inspector should have insisted on removal of fill pipes to the old oil tank, since the old tank has never been removed. There was no contractor to blame, since the old tank was not removed. The installation of the new tank was done OK as far as I can tell, but I am not aware that they needed a building permit for that, and without a permit, there would be no inspection. And painters are not licensed, as far as I know, so as to prevent shocking pink paint on fill pipes from being painted over.
  • Matthew Grallert
    Matthew Grallert Member Posts: 109

    Here in Mass paint will not keep a driver from connecting to a tank.  Had to believe that someone thought this would be adequate. 

    When my wife and I were house shopping we looked at the house we now own.  While walking the yard I noticed test wells in various places (RED FLAG)  turns out the tank fell over while being filled 187 year old house dirt floor, more than a thousand gallons on the floor. Ouch!  Complete remediation. and random fallow up by the DEP.  The house got lifted up and now the old gal has a very deep full cellar and a nice hard floor.  Some of these rural towns with antique houses are real accidents waiting to happen.  I have a zero tolerance approach with any iffy fuel storage and delivery related issues now.
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