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1/4 thick steel heating oil tank life?

Brian26
Brian26 Member Posts: 26
edited February 2020 in Oil Heating
I have a 275 gallon indoor tank in my basement. No clue how old it is but the house was built in 1958 so it could be original. I used a micrometer and the steel is 1/4 thick which correlates to 5 gauge steel. It seems new tanks are more than half the thickness at 12 or 14 gauge. It appears this thing was built to last and I am guessing the steel was better quality when it was made. Whats the expectated life of a tank this thick? Everything online lists heating oil tanks as being 12 or 14 gauge?

Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,319
    You're measuring at the wrong spot. It's rolled and wrapped there.
    It's definitely original as I think they stopped making the tank with the end seam like that before 1970.
    Most supply houses only stock 12 gauge, which is minimum thickness for outdoor tank.
    I wouldn't even consider a 14 gauge.
    Expected life? Right up until it starts leaking. I think you got your money's worth. It's moisture (water, condensation) that will kill a tank from the inside out.
    Have customers with tanks that old. Have customers with a tank that only lasted 8 years.

    Tips on changing tank...
    --Never, and I mean NEVER, pump any heating oil out of that tank and into the new one. Run that tank almost dry, have the rest (crap) pumped out and taken by the company removing/disposing the tank.
    They also make Roth-style tanks and true double wall tanks.

    I hope that's just paint blistering and not the steel popping...
    steve
  • Brian26
    Brian26 Member Posts: 26
    edited February 2020
    I found the tag on it and confirmed it's probably original. It was made by the JL Clemmey CO in Mansfield MA. I found a news article on the factory from 1855 burning down and some links from the 50s.

    The tank is almost empty. Any suggestions for a smaller size tank? I dont use much oil at all as I installed 2 hyper heat mini splits that I am finding is covering almost all my heating load. I only run the oil furnace in really severe cold. I live a few thousand feet from the ocean so that's really rare. I only used maybe 25 gallons so far this winter.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,131
    Roth makes a really nice 110 gallon tank. Double wall. Not cheap, but it's what I'd go for.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ChrisJ
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,775
    edited February 2020
    What will eat a oil tank from the inside out is the selfuric acid or sludge from the waste product of an algae living between a layer of oil and water... What you are asking depends . If its a side tap valve (that era in time) or the tank is pitched away from a bottom tap valve , I would assume your tanks already has a false bottom welded on already and time will tell ... Pitched down toward the bottom valve your lucky , oil does not rot steel form the inside . Oil and water does...
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,775
    The problem with a Roth is it's a top feed , the plastic liner protects from rotting out but the design will still breed sludge ...Did ever clean the drop screen of a Roth tank .... I am not bashing here just helping out ...
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,775
    I would recommend an inside 275 gallon tank bottom feed , 12' legs at the valve end and 13" legs at the far end .This will give you a 1/4" pitch for any water to drain out ofthe tank . A general type filter at tank . . The general filter at the tank will be used as a water catch and protect blockage of the supply line .. I normally add a spin off filer with a vacuum gauge at the burner to protect the burner .The 275gallon would be the cheapest cost tank because it's the norm . As a rule you do not want to hold too much oil . The oil allowed to be sold today starts to break down sitting in a 6 month period and its not recommended today to stock pile ..
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Brian26
    Brian26 Member Posts: 26
    edited February 2020
    > @Big Ed_4 said:
    > What will eat a oil tank from the inside out is the selfuric acid or sludge from the waste product of an algae living between a layer of oil and water... What you are asking depends . If its a side tap valve (that era in time) or the tank is pitched away from a bottom tap valve , I would assume your tanks already has a false bottom welded on already and time will tell ... Pitched down toward the bottom valve your lucky , oil does not rot steel form the inside . Oil and water does...

    It appears to be properly pitched as there are really old floor tile pieces on the opposite side under the legs. It drains out the bottom on the other end. They are the same original floor tiles that were under the carpets on my first floor. So that pretty much confirmed its original as well. So looks like its been pitched its entire life.

    Tomorrow I am going to try and remove the square plug on top and see if I can see what it looks inside. Its basically empty right now according to the guage.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,349
    We used to by tanks from Clemmey all the time 10,000 & 20,000 gallon underground tanks in the old days.

    I don't know when they went out of business. I know they were still around in the late 70s.

    I think some really old tanks were 16 gauge, the 14 and 12 gauge has been the standard for a while