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Moving an oil tank.

Rock Member Posts: 46

I am siding my house and need to temporarily move the tank out about a foot so I can side in back. The tank is 15 years old, its a Granby + 20. It is a 275 gallon and it is 3/4 full. I am concerned with an oil spill. What is the safest way to move the tank out a foot and put it back after siding?


  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,537
    Pump it out, move it and put fuel back. It should be on a full cement pad, not blocks. At least 2" away from the house with a 1/4" per foot pitch toward the outlet.
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  • Rock
    Rock Member Posts: 46
    Where would I put 200 gallons?
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
    edited April 2021
    Most oil companies have a tank for pump outs. They could pump it over so you can move the tank, do your siding, pour the pad, reset and anchor tank per code, pump it back over.
    200 gallons plus tank is over 1500 lbs. If you try to move it the legs will most likely collapse and you’ll have a disaster.
  • Ctoilman
    Ctoilman Member Posts: 105
    Enough room to get a tow truck in there?  Moved plenty of tanks that way.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,885
    Ctoilman said:

    Enough room to get a tow truck in there?  Moved plenty of tanks that way.

    Um. Well, if you could reach it with the crane on a rotator truck, it might be possible to lift it and shift it that way. It might also collapse when you did that, unless the riggers really know what they are doing (not all do...). Whatever you do, don't even think of dragging it when it has oil in it. The legs will collapse. Much much better to pump it out and then shift it completely out of there, do your work, pour a better foundation for it, shift it back and refill it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Brewbeer
    Brewbeer Member Posts: 616
    To much risk moving it even partly full. Temp tank supplied by the oil co while you side and pour a pad is a good move, let the oil co transfer the oil, you don't want a spill.
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
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    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,297

    Get a pump and a bunch of clean 55 gallon drums. There are places that sell clean one's with the top on it. Don't move it the legs will break.

    Probably cheaper and less hassle to have you oil company do it. If you burned the tank down near empty the you could probably move it. You have about 1500# there now
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,575
    Looks like your tank was installed by the same joker who did the one at my mom's house! :grimace:
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Robert O'Brien
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,297
    It looks fine to me.
    What else do you want?

    As long as the fill and vent are far enough from the windows (can't tell from picture) and the supports are solid it's ok. The guy even put floor flanges on the legs/

    Doesn't look like it's going to topple over. I have seen much worse than this
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,499
    Just do the siding around the tank. Isn't that what J-channel is for?
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,499
    edited April 2021
    OK. I was just kidding. But I have moved many tanks in my years as an oil burner technician. Step 1 is to remove all the oil from the tank. You asked about where to put the oil... if you have about 200 gallons you can save it in 800 one-quart bottles, or you can go see if a local painter can save you 200 empty paint cans, or you could go to the big box store and get 40 five-gallon buckets. But every time I moved a tank that had oil in it, I would bring a few 55-gallon drums and an electric pump. It took about 1 hour to set up the pump and pump out the tank into 4 or 5 drums.

    While the tank is empty, you could look inside at the bottom and see if there is any sludge or rust on the bottom. You might want to address that at the same time. Once the project is done, I would return with my pump and put all the oil back using a filter on the pump line to reduce the amount of junk that might be in the used 55-gallon drum(s) from entering your tank. You never know where those drums were last.

    And those other suggestions were a good idea. Especially in Flood Zones. I have seen my share of floating oil tanks so a good anchoring system on a concrete base is not a bad idea. (Boat trailer is a give away for being near a flood zone) An empty tank will displace 2365 lbs of water. (Atlantic ocean average weight/gal) so a 4" slab will not hold down a 275 Gallon tank attached to it. You need a bigger anchor!

    Respectfully submitted,
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,734
    Just do the siding around the tank. Isn't that what J-channel is for?
    I've seen it more than once. Definitely a head shake moment. 
  • Alan Welch
    Alan Welch Member Posts: 263
    You might want to consider changing it to a double wall tank with an outdoor cover kit.  Outside steel tanks have a tendency to fail quicker due to more extreme  humidity and temperature differences.