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Cut oil tank in half, now what?

WoNHUSA Member Posts: 34
I have removed and cut my oil tank in half. I drained as much oil as I could before dragging it up the stairs and out of the basement. It is now in half but still has a fair amount of oil/sludge in it. The transfer station will take it, but I have been told it needs to be "cut in half and completely empty of oil" for them to take it. What should I use to soak up what remains and how do I dispose of it when done. Thanks.


  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Tank Removal:

    I guess you are from New Hampshire. I don't know what the regs are in NH. I was from Massachusetts. The tank is supposed to be removed with a permit and disposed of at a licensed tank disposal facility. There's supposed to be a permit # painted on the tank. There are EPA rules that are supposed to be followed. If you cut up the tank with a sawzall, and there was oil sludge still in the tank, you were fortunate that there wasn't an unintended energy release.

    There are tank removal and disposal companies that do that removal. They have the proper insurance to do it. I could cut up and dispose of a tank. The time it took me to do it, it was cheaper to hire the disposal companies. You need a few bags of Speedy Dri and a bale of oil diapers to clean it. They aren't supposed to tale it in a transfer facility unless it is squeaky clean.  

    You really need Tyvek suits, cloves and breathing apparatus. Old and used oil has a lot of nasty chemicals that can really mess up your day or life.
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 988
    Oil tanks

    Most AHJ will require documentation and insurance that the tank is oil free. Most of the time the tank is steamed cleaned. You did not save anything by doing by DIY!
  • Spence
    Spence Member Posts: 316
    1/2 Tank

    I'd love to help. For once I'd like to get off work a little oily.
  • Flingwings
    Flingwings Member Posts: 8
    Have You Consideed Fire?

    If both halves of the tank are out of the basement is it possible to take it to a safe area of your property and throw a gallon of gasoline into the sludge, use a cheap mop to spread it around the sides and mix the sludge and then from a SAFE DISTANCE toss in a lit road flair to burn off the oil/gas mixture? Be careful, have a fire guard standing by with a water hose.
    WoNHUSA Member Posts: 34
    could be fun

    Not sure if my wife would approve of that method...although it could be exciting.
    WoNHUSA Member Posts: 34

    If I use speedy dry or some other drying agent, what do I do with that when done?
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    im at a loss

    In ny here is how we do it.As Icesailor said permit required although don't know hom many do.Cut a 2x2 hole in tank.Call oil recycling company pay your fee for them to pump tank dry,company I use take tank but a lot of guys use scrap metal company to take tank.You spill that oil you are in for some very large fines.
  • gennady
    gennady Member Posts: 830
    Oil tank

    You must contact tank cleaning company before you cut tank. They clean tanks prior to cutting and disposal. Then master plumber of record must send affidavit to fire dept and dob.
    WoNHUSA Member Posts: 34
    not regulated

    According to what I have found, in NH, the Dept. of Environmental Services does not regulate residential oil tank removal. If I use something to absorb the last of the oil, what do I do with that material?
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,820
    get a couple of 5...

    gallon buckets w/ lids, glove up, and scoop out the sludge and put it into the buckets. Then take it to a place that uses used motor oil to burn.( a lot of car garages do this). Some speedy dry will get the rest.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,029
    into 5 gallon buckets

    and most auto parts stores take used oil, antifreeze and solvents, for free.

    If you have a Safety Kleen nearby they will take it and give you documentation.

    Check with State, City, or County websites they usually have recycling centers for all sorts of stuff listed.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Kinda, sorta covered:

    According to this, its kinda, sort a covered. But the rules change.



    If I was an AHJ, I would interpret it that a transfer facility (dump) isn't supposed to take cut up tanks unless they have a number and are whistle clean. Because of the date (2014) of the reg's, I'd be calling up NH DES and finding out their latest rules. If you have removed the tank and cut it in half, it might cost you more in materials to get it squeaky clean than to call some environmental tank disposal company and find out how much it would be to come take your dirty tank away. I mean, unless they are seriously trying to bend you over, they just have to come and throw it in a truck and take responsibility. When I sold my house in Brewster, MA, the town had instituted a knee jerk regulation proposed by some earthy crunchy person that all single wall tanks had to replaced when they were over 10 years old. With a double wall the tank. I've seen 50 YO inside tanks that weren't leaking and mine was an inside tank in a heated cellar on a concrete floor. They don't let go like the splats. No matter, it had to come out. It was out a 8' double door at grade. It was cheaper to have someone come and get it. It had to be tracked. My time has a value. I could do two service calls and pay to remove the tank and have it gone. An empty tank with some minor sludge in the bottom.

    Its almost like stepping over ten dollar bills to pick up dimes.

    But you know what your time is worth. Did you factor that tank removal cost into your gas conversion? Fear not. Because once the Wall Street Crime Syndicate gets the crude oil export law changed (from 1973) as much as possible, crude oil (and the LPG that goes with it) will be sent offshore so they can hook into the European demand for Russian gas and petroleum products. They'll be compressing to liquid all the new found Natural Gas to be sent to Europe to get the gas prices up where the stockholders think it belongs.

    They'll be eliminating all the export fees so they can stick us for the cost and passing it off to the Banksters. Its the American way. American Exceptionalism.
    WoNHUSA Member Posts: 34
    Oil is gone

    All the oil is gone. I scooped it out and put in one gallon containers and dropped it at the transfer station. I got 2 forty pound bags of OilDri. I put one in the two halves of the tank and it is drying up the remains. I will check with the town to see what I need to do next.

    Thanks for the advice so far.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Pig Roasts:

    Depending on how you cut the tank in half, once you clean it out, you can make some grates and grill top and turn it into a fantastic barbecue grill for pig roasts and neighbor hood parties.

    A little New Hampshire Yankee engineering. I always wanted to make something like that. Especially to cook or smoke fish. My wife hates fish. She has said repeatedly said that if any part of a fish came close to a grill than she might eat something off of, she would never eat off it again.

    55 gallon steel drums make excellent eel smokers. I could go for some nice smoked eels right now.

    Hey, an idea. They have all these invasive snakes in the Everglades and all over Florida. Maybe what they need are some used Yankee oil tanks converted into snake smokers. Smoked constrictor snakes. I'll bet that would be the #1 seller at The Road Kill Café. They taste better than chicken and you don't have to pluck them.
  • wisnoskij
    wisnoskij Member Posts: 1
    @ icesailor and/or anyone else who has seen an cut open oil tank. I am interested in re-purposing an oil tank, how are these double walled ones constructed? When you cut them in half, do you get 4 halves? or it is more like a cardboard design for the walls?
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,306
    For an all steel tank, depending on the tank, it's usually overlapped, with or without a small gap between them. The bottom of the tank will have more room between the two shells with a side outlet where you drop a leak detection gauge.
    But you wont have 4 halves.