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Would you replace this Oil Tank?

Abdel08
Abdel08 Member Posts: 2
Hello everyone,

My wife and I are closing on our first house this week. The oil tank has some rust on the bottom. Here is a picture:

Do you think, it should be replaced immediately?

Or can we try to repaint it and use it for the next winter and then replace it?

Thank you for your help

Comments

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,996
    That is on its way out. I would be hesitant to sand the bottom of that....it may be the only thing holding the tank together.
    I would run the tank down as far as you can and then replace... your call on waiting.
    I would deal w this on your terms and not in the middle of a winter.
    STEVEusaPA
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,421
    kcopp said:

    That is on its way out. I would be hesitant to sand the bottom of that....it may be the only thing holding the tank together.
    I would run the tank down as far as you can and then replace... your call on waiting.
    I would deal w this on your terms and not in the middle of a winter.

    I wouldn't wait. That tank is a leak waiting to happen.

    Does the house have natural gas service?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Abdel08
    Abdel08 Member Posts: 2
    Steamhead said:

    kcopp said:

    That is on its way out. I would be hesitant to sand the bottom of that....it may be the only thing holding the tank together.
    I would run the tank down as far as you can and then replace... your call on waiting.
    I would deal w this on your terms and not in the middle of a winter.

    I wouldn't wait. That tank is a leak waiting to happen.

    Does the house have natural gas service?
    Yes, the house already has NG that's used for the water heater. We are in the process of getting quotes to just get rid of the tanks and switch to gas. But it might be expensive, since it's a duplex.

    We plan on living in one unit and rent the other, each unit has a separate oil tank, so switching to gas would be mean two sets of furnaces and double the work/labor.
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 196
    I can be corrected on this but i believe if you spill more than 10 gallons of oil your considered an hazardous waste site. You don't want that designation. The money and aggravation for a clean up is brutal. Happened to my cousin. I saw a figure one time where it averages about a $1000 a gallon for clean up and that figure starts at 10 gallons. so your at $10,000 to start. this is about a 20-25 year old number so it is most likely worse now. you want to be proactive.

    I use to do about a lot of oil to gas conversions for the local gas company. Never had a customer regret putting gas heating systems in. in fact did one last month and the woman called to make sure it was working because she couldn't hear it, not because she was cold lol.
    In_New_England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,126
    What shape is the other oil tank in? You could do them one at a time. Probably would cost a little more but less of a bite at one time.
    reggi
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,314
    Don't Wait. OR. At least have a contingency plan in place. Five 55 gallon drums in the basement and a utility pump.

    You know the tank will leak the day you have it filled (in February) and you want to be prepared.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 234
    Flaking of the paint would be normal aging, that's looking puffy and furry. Dont hit the bottom with a hammer or such as a "test". How much oil in it (them) ? Too bad that wasnt a condition of sale, to replace the tank (or switch to gas). Is there a year of manufacture tag on the tank ?

    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
    Brent H.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,063
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,705
    You would think the bank would require that to be covered by the homeowner's insurance.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,314
    edited April 26
    Picture this: You are a Coast Guard enlisted man in your dress blues. You are 2 hours from reporting for duty. You are going to deploy for 30 days on a Coast Guard Cutter. Your wife and new baby are saying goodbye and as you are ready to get in your car, you happen to see a little rust under a paint chip on your oil tank. Just before getting in the car you decide to flick off that rust. Then a pin hole opens up and oil starts to trickle out in a steady stream. You put your finger on the hole and yell for your wife. She calls the oil company, and within minutes my phone rings.

    I arrived at the job site to find a well dressed Coasty lying on his back, with his finger on the tank. I connected a soot vac to the vent pipe and created a negative pressure zone in the tank. Air bubbles leaked in to the tank thru the hole and the Little Dutch Boy was able to take his finger away from the leak. The customer was able to get to the boat before it deployed and all was good.

    I felt sorry for that guy. I bet he never scrapes rust off of a tank again. With the help of the oil company owner and some 55 gallon drums, we were able to get all the oil out of the tank that evening. Never a minute without heat or hot water. New tank delivered the following week. I didn't charge for the time to pump out the tank since the oil company owner helped at no charge too. I offered him 6 payments for the replacement tank job. We need to support out military... every branch... including Merchant Marines. What they do for us, it's the least we could do.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
    RogerLanceBrassFinger
  • Lance
    Lance Member Posts: 209
    Edward Young, great story. Reminds me when I arrived at home after dark, before cell phones and radios. I had to turn off the full oil tank's valve to change an oil filter. The valve broke off leaving me a short nipple. My finger went in to stop the flow. Now I am hollering for the client to help me. I will not going to remove my finger plug. I give him my truck keys and ask him to look in my truck for what I need. Thankfully I keep a neat truck and know where things are. Fortunately without much fuss the new valve and nipple saved the day. Just another day in the life of a service tech.
    In_New_EnglandCLambEdTheHeaterMan
  • In_New_England
    In_New_England Member Posts: 96
    You can also replace the oil tank. I'm in MA and the quote to replace the oil tank was less than half the cost to have a oil-to-gas gun conversion done. I chose to convert to gas (all the way, new boiler) but it wasn't an easy thing to justify. If you are ok with oil bills, I would suggest replacing the tank.
  • In_New_England
    In_New_England Member Posts: 96
    edited April 28

    Your wife and new baby are saying goodbye and as you are ready to get in your car, you happen to see a little rust under a paint chip on your oil tank.

    My immersion in your story was broken at this point. The above ground oil tank is in the garage, right next to where the car is parked? Since the serviceman was lying on his back, the hole was at the bottom of the tank? How did the serviceman see it?

    It's a good story. It just needs to be cleaned up a tad, I think.
    reggi
  • In_New_England
    In_New_England Member Posts: 96
    I missed the part where you are closing. I know the housing market is crazy, but this is one of those things that would make me pause. It has been pointed out that oil leak costs can be unbounded. I would suggest making an arrangement to replace the tank (the cost of a tank vs cost of a house is tiny so I wouldn't bargain that in this environment) but before you take ownership. My nightmare would be a leak just as the papers were signed, making me now the responsible party.
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,495
    Your wife and new baby are saying goodbye and as you are ready to get in your car, you happen to see a little rust under a paint chip on your oil tank.
    My immersion in your story was broken at this point. The above ground oil tank is in the garage, right next to where the car is parked? Since the serviceman was lying on his back, the hole was at the bottom of the tank? How did the serviceman see it? It's a good story. It just needs to be cleaned up a tad, I think.
    Maybe he was standing in his driveway about to get into his car, with oil tank a few feet away, where he can see underneath?!?! Maybe he was about to walk to his car?!?!  Sheesh. This is not the forum for such shenanigans. Implying that Ed was making up the story is ignorant of who Ed is and totally out of bounds!
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,750
    Definitely replace that oil tank...with a natural gas line.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    STEVEusaPA
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,754
    In a past life aside from Hvac I did oil service for a few years just to shake things up. We had a customer who every fill up was given a bill and note concerning his above ground tank on every fill up every time . The legs where completely gone sitting on cinderblocks but he refused to replace and threw the notification in the garbage every time . Well he was a cod customer and had called and complained above having no heat after a oil delivery . Not wanting to pay for after hours service he stated he would wait till Monday ,we’ll on Saturday’s he phoned and was concerned that he smelt oil outside , I arrived looked shook my head proceeded to get him a 55 gallon drum dump the 20 gallon size of fuel I had in jerry cans and ran some temp fuel lines . You guessed it the tank went dumped 275 gallon right on the side of his house zero tank insurance didn’t think it was worth it , Dep was contacted and a approved clean up company took it from there . He was going to retire now he still working to pay off a over 75 g clean up cost . Moral of the story if your tank is over 50 years old and is on a 2 pipe system showing signs of bottom of the tank corrosion or rust either get tank insurance or replace the tank end of sentence ,if it’s under ground the same applies but the clean up cost could be double or triple . Or you may not retire and will be working for just about ever to pay for a ounce of prevention . As other have stated a great service man may be able to replace a bad valve or nipple but once the tank is done it’s better to not be foolish or cheap it could end up changing your later life’s journey . It s not ever oil company that jumps to attention and we have even stop a potential issue by damming the tank pumping it doing the clean up and installing a new tank within 4 hours ,the companies owners paided for the Elderly home owners to be put up in a motel over nite so when they returned it was like absolutely nothing had happened no smell no oil anywhere and a new tank installed . This is a example of the way things where done years ago when companies really took care of there customers and the customers at least the smart one where completely loyal knowing every body gotta make a buck but they knew when push can to shove that it wasn’t all just numbers ,it was about keeping the customers safe and feeling at ease and knowing we had there backs and would do all we could . Hell when this happened it was 6 at nite and everybody was on there way or at home 3 guys can back to work and by 10 at nite all was as it was heat on .now a days in a pass the buck liability lawsuit time we live in every bodies got a out of liability .
    Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    pecmsgEdTheHeaterMan
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 571
    Read: what clammy said.
    EdTheHeaterMan