Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Abandoned Oil Feed Lines in Basement Floor

shiner
shiner Member Posts: 4
I m a new home owner and have gas heat. I just came across what appears to be abandoned oil feed lines buried in my basement floor. I understand this was a fairly common set up for houses built in the northeast in the 1930 s. The lines have a strong heating oil smell and some has bleed through to the carpet laid over the spot. Could that just be residual fuel in the lines? What is the recommended way to deal with oil feed lines buried in concrete? I assume they should have been drained. What about capped? Cemented over?

Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,322
    This may not be an easy problem to solve. 2 lines, one is most likely a supply line and the other a return. Where do they go? What's on the other end? Hopefully they aren't connected to an old oil tank. Ideally you should remove them, breaking up the concrete to fully remedy the situation. Can you find the other ends?
    You could try to carefully to use a hammer drill to expose enough 'good' copper to flare the end and put on a flare plug/cap, then patch the concrete. But who knows where/if another 'leak' will occur?
    steve
  • shiner
    shiner Member Posts: 4
    Thank you for your reply. They seem to run under the floor and come out in the room with the boiler, which is now gas. Not sure when house converted from oil to gas. Prior to buying the house we had the property scanned for a buried oil tank. The company we hired found no sign of one and all indications were the oil tank was inside the house - they thought in the attached garage, this room would be adjacent to that. Assume they would have drained the lines when they decommissioned the oil tank. Is it standard to just cap and leave abandoned lines in place? Am I better off chiseling out a trench and removing the line. Would need to pull up carpet and chisel out 25ft -30ft to remove it.
  • bmwpowere36m3
    bmwpowere36m3 Member Posts: 512
    If you have access to both ends of the oil supply line/tubing, then: stick a blow gun in one end and use a rag to catch any remaining fuel on the other end.

    Afterwards you can chip the concrete around the exposed tubing and seal/patch it.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Either the tank was in the garage or it wasn't. If the garage floor is higher than the basement floor where the leak is, it would have been a single pipe. If there are two pipes, it usually means a UST. I hope that the company hired to inspect for a UST didn't miss one. They should have found the oil lines you are talking about. Or you are confusing. There should be two lines near the boiler. Are there two lines in the garage? Look around.

    Different jurisdictions have different requirements. Usually, you only have to cap them under a floor. You aren't required to dig them up.

    The carpet installers should have known better. But they aren't usually the brightest bulb in the back door light. They're paid by the sq. yard. Not to think.
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    It probably was an underground tank before another was installed inside. You say oil lines , so I am thinking a feed and return that was tied into an underground tank. They only need to be blown out, and crimp both ends to abandon. The oil should not keep appearing, unless you have a buried treasure on site. Did the contractor check records relating to the property-permits, etc?
    icesailor
  • shiner
    shiner Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for all the replies. Finding this very helpful (and a little concerning). I re -read the oil tank survey report. They scanned the perimeter of the property and didn't find any signs of a UST. They put a tracer on the lines that were coming out of the floor and seemed to indicate they went to the garage. The garage, which is attached and adjacent to the basement is
  • shiner
    shiner Member Posts: 4
    Hit post on accident. The garage floor is about 8 inches lower than the basement floor. I see no obvious signs that an oil tank was in the garage. Where I found these pipes is in a small basement room adjacent to the garage. I ripped up the carpet and chiseled away the cement to expose the pipes. They seem to head towards the boiler room. Something else I noticed. The floor in the room is painted green but the painting stops in the section of the room where I found the pipes. Where the painting stops, the borders are irregular as if an object was in the way and the painter couldn't get underneathe it. The photos attached show the painted floor, the pipes (note I found a section of a 3rd pipe buried along side them. 1 end clean cut and the other end crimped, and the capped pipes in the holler room. Thinking there was an oil tank in this room and the lines were the feed and return lines which I understand at one point would come off the bottom of the tank and be buried in the floor to protect them. Am I off base with my thinking on this? Should I be worried there is a UST somewhere on the property?
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    1st pic sure looks like there was a tank there. The round rust stain would have been a leg. I don;t know why there are 3 lines, perhaps a spare as some did. That would have been the clean cut line. Hopefully they didn't pour the garage floor over the underground tank location
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Those locators are pretty accurate when it comes to following copper wires or lines. It sounds to me like the inspection company was really thorough. After what you describe, they sound very thorough and I doubt that you have a UST.