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Oil tank in ground

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suneegelato
suneegelato Member Posts: 1
How can I find out how big my tank is it's in ground 

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,310
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    Fire marshal? Building inspector? Are there any records from a former oil supplier?

    Otherwise there are magnetic instruments (not treasure hunting toys) which can give approximate dimensions... may be hard to find a firm (engineer or surveyor) which has one, though.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,852
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    How can I find out how big my tank is it's in ground 

    Why?

    If it's been their 30+ years get it replaced.
    SuperTech
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,310
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    I might add -- don't go prospecting for it with a probe or a shovel. If you punch a hole in it and it has any oil or residue in it you will be VERY sorry.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    Run it dry then refill it
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    HVACNUTHeatStooges
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,961
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    You can try your towns building department. They should have records as to what has ben installed.
    If not, look for a sticker of a company or note on your boiler. If the system has been serviced by the same company that delivers oil, that company might know too.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
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    Unless it is really ancient if it is a 500-gallon tank it will be 48"in diameter and roughly 5' long. A 1000-gallon tank is also 48" diameter and about 10' long. Older tanks had different measurement but the two above have been standard for a long time

    Take a stick and put it down the fillpipe and make a mark at the top of the fill pipe on the stick. Then drive a nail in the stick about 1" from the end of the stick and put it down the fill pipe till you can hook the nail on the end of the fill pipe this is the top of the tank. Mark the stick again. The disdance between the marks is the tank diameter. You also know how deep the top of the top of the tank is. They are ususlly around 2' deep to the top.

    The fill pipe is usually on the end of the tank (but not always.

    Now that you know how deep the tank is you can probe in the ground at that depth to find the other end. Just don't go at it with a hammer the metal is pretty thick you not going to punch a hole in it probing with a piece of 1/2" rod.

    You can also get an oil delivery. Measure the oil level in the tank before and after delivery, then go on line and lookk for tank charts they are everywhere. You will know the delivered gallons and the # of inches before and after delivery so you can find the chart that matches.

    See if there are any stickers on the boiler or service tags if you call the service company that delivered oil they will know the tank size
    Intplm.EdTheHeaterManold_diy_guyScottSecor
  • fastd
    fastd Member Posts: 13
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    Assuming you have a reasonably accurate gauge on the tank, you can wait till it's half full and get a delivery to fill tank. Double the amount of oil delivered should give you a pretty accurate idea of total tank capacity. If no gauge, then go with EBEBRATT_ED's method of sticking the tank. You could also run it down till you're out of oil, and then get it filled, but I don't recommend that, lol.
  • mcc
    mcc Member Posts: 3
    edited March 22
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    My mother bought an old school that had been renovated into a house. In Wisconsin. It had a forced air oil furnace 5 gallons p/h burner. Original Single pane school Windows. First oil Bill. After one month of winter $800 back in 1979. It had a big wood burning stove. Fired it up constantly and froze our asses off the rest of that winter. Being a junior in highschool. I Tore it out and installed a natural gas furnace. And insulated as many walls as my mom could afford. 

    Long way around. It had a 2700gallon inground tank. That she had to have removed. I don't know how much that cost her. But I heard her balling her eyes out the night she found out. And that was 1980 In ground oil tanks are not a good thing.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,944
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    Try calling the local oil suppliers.  They might gave old records or an old timer that remembers. Mad Dog 🐕 
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,310
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    mcc said:

    My mother bought an old school that had been renovated into a house. In Wisconsin. It had a forced air oil furnace 5 gallons p/h burner. Original Single pane school Windows. First oil Bill. After one month of winter $800 back in 1979. It had a big wood burning stove. Fired it up constantly and froze our asses off the rest of that winter. Being a junior in highschool. I Tore it out and installed a natural gas furnace. And insulated as many walls as my mom could afford. 

    Long way around. It had a 2700gallon inground tank. That she had to have removed. I don't know how much that cost her. But I heard her balling her eyes out the night she found out. And that was 1980 In ground oil tanks are not a good thing.

    An interesting object lesson on doing your numbers first, before converting anything. Sorry about your mother's money woes -- she lost that lottery, big time.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England