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/.

Tank Replacement Due?

BradHotNCold
BradHotNCold Member Posts: 49
edited September 5 in Oil Heating
In midst of changing oil supplier when new supplier says they need to inspect tank. Guy comes out, takes a couple pictures showing "problems" and says we need to replace tank before they can deliver oil. OK, so I respect his approach and agree that the last thing we need is an environmental disaster from a leaking oil tank!
BUT while we can come up with $ to pump out and filter the existing oil before removal of tank and installation of new, we tend to come from the "Trust but verify" school. Sort of like asking for a medical second opinion before brain surgery! (Been there...)
So into the boiler room I go with shop vac, cleaning under, over and around the tank to see for myself. I find NO leakage, no signs of leakage around any of the usual suspects such as the fuel filter and line connection. Tank appears sound with minor rust spots where external paint has deteriorated. Tank is estimated to be about 33 years old. Our independent service technician says he looks at the tank every year when he changes filter, etc. and thinks it is ok. Pictures follow.
Any and all suggestions welcomed.

Comments

  • BradHotNCold
    BradHotNCold Member Posts: 49

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,271
    Wire brush and paint the tank.
    If their are no signs of dripping it's ok. Their is no other way that is practical to check the tank that I know of.

    Tell them there is nothing wrong with the tank. If they won't deliver find someone else Get a different oil supplier
    BradHotNColdAlan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,837
    Also- we do NOT discuss pricing on this forum. See: https://heatinghelp.com/forum-user-manual
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,059
    A couple of pictures is not a tank inspection. They can, however, be inspected: there are ultrasonic thickness gauges which are used sometimes. But the tank must be clean to use them.

    Further, it wouldn't be a catastrophe. Tanks don't suddenly split open and spill all over the place. When they fail, they drip -- and if you keep the area reasonably clean you'll notice it long before you have a problem of any magnitude.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,385
    Tanks corrode from the inside out, water and sludge at the bottom provide a breeding ground for microbes, resulting in microbially induced corrosion (MIC) https://testlabs.ca/insurance-sector/microbial-influenced-corrosion-of-heating-fuel-oil-tanks/
    You have a side outlet tank, at least 30 years old if not older, the side outlet prevents water/sludge from exiting tank through filter, trapping it in the tank. Some people drive on bald tires, others change them with tread still left, it all depends on how much risk you're comfortable with.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    Ironmancowdog
  • BradHotNCold
    BradHotNCold Member Posts: 49
    Steamhead:

    Sorry about mentioning price. My apology. It was not a written quote but an estimate.
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • Jersey2
    Jersey2 Member Posts: 50
    edited September 6
    'Guy comes out, takes a couple pictures showing "problems" and says we need to replace tank before they can deliver oil.'
    I find that odd. What does the oil delivery man care if the oil tank leaks? Also talking pictures of a tank that is not leaking doesn't prove the tank has issues, I see some rust no wet spots. Ask another place, who does not do tank removals for a living, to give their opinion.
    I'm not a plumber or hvac man and my thoughts in comments are purely for conversation.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,271
    @Jersey2

    Oil companies are liable if the put oil in a leaker especially if the tank lets go. Insurance for oil related spills is very expensive.

    That being said when those tanks leak they usually just seep a little bit.

    I agree if their is no sign of leakage, fill it

    The oil driver is just doing his job. He may not be the best one to inspect the tank he is just CHA and bringing documentation to his office
  • PEvans
    PEvans Member Posts: 77

    Tanks corrode from the inside out, water and sludge at the bottom provide a breeding ground for microbes, resulting in microbially induced corrosion (MIC) https://testlabs.ca/insurance-sector/microbial-influenced-corrosion-of-heating-fuel-oil-tanks/
    You have a side outlet tank, at least 30 years old if not older, the side outlet prevents water/sludge from exiting tank through filter, trapping it in the tank. Some people drive on bald tires, others change them with tread still left, it all depends on how much risk you're comfortable with.


    So are you saying replace any tank with a side outlet? Or take some measure to get the accumulated sludge out of the tank?


  • Jersey2
    Jersey2 Member Posts: 50
    The positive thing about your tank is, it is indoors and easily inspected. If it did leak, it couldn't contaminate the underground water table or dirt and you wouldn't have a 100K clean up job to worry about. Whether to change the tank now or wait until you see a wet spot on the outside of the tank is your call. Waiting until it has a minor leak, you will need a contractor to come right away. Changing it before it leaks you have a lot of time to find someone to replace it. If I were you I would paint the rusty areas to slow down the outside rust. NJ oil tank propaganda has me a bit scared of tanks.
    I'm not a plumber or hvac man and my thoughts in comments are purely for conversation.
  • Jersey2
    Jersey2 Member Posts: 50
    I'm not a plumber or hvac man and my thoughts in comments are purely for conversation.