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OIL STORAGE TANKS
ABANDONING OIL TANKS
AGE of OIL TANK
ANODES & DIP TUBES on WATER HEATERS
BURIED OIL TANK ADVICE
BURIED OIL TANKS, FINDING
COMBUSTION PRODUCTS & IAQ
DEFINITION of Heating & Cooling Terms
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-BOILER
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-FURNACE
DIRECTORY of OIL TANK EXPERTS
FILTERS, OIL on HEATING EQUIPMENT
FIRE SAFETY CONTROLS
FLOATING UP OIL STORAGE or SEPTIC TANKS
FLOODED HEATING EQUIPMENT REPAIR
FLOODED WATER HEATER REPAIR
FUEL OIL TYPES & CHARACTERISTICS
FUEL UNIT, HEATING OIL PUMPS
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
GAUGES ON HEATING EQUIPMENT
HEAT TAPES, Heat, Insulation prevent Freeze-Up
HEATING COST FUEL & BTU Cost Table
HEATING COST SAVINGS METHODS
HEATING OIL CLOUD WAX GEL POINT
HEATING OIL EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
HEATING OIL - OLD, USEABLE?
HEATING OIL PIPING TROUBLES
HEATING OIL SHELF LIFE
HEATING OIL SLUDGE
HEATING OIL TANKS
HEATING OIL TYPES & PROPERTIES
HEATING OIL USAGE RATE
HEATING SYSTEM NOISES
HOME BUYERS GUIDE TO OIL TANKS
NOISE CONTROL for HEATING SYSTEMS
NOISES COMING FROM WATER HEATER
ODORS & SMELLS DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS FROM HEATING SYSTEMS
OIL FILTERS on HEATING EQUIPMENT
OIL FUEL TYPES & CHARACTERISTICS
OIL FILL PIPE LEAKS
OIL SPILL CLEANUP / PREVENTION
SOOT on OIL FIRED HEATING EQUIPMENT
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
THERMAL TRACKING & HEAT LOSS
VIDEO GUIDES: Heating System Videos
VIDEO GUIDES - InspectAPedia.com
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
How to inspect property grounds for signs of a buried or abandoned oil tank. This article assists property buyers, owners, and inspectors in the location of buried oil tanks or the detection of evidence that an underground (or even an above ground) oil tank is or was in use at a property. This is a photo guide to finding buried oil storage tanks by visual inspection of the grounds around a home.
The article and photographs used to show the reader ways to find buried oil tanks include examples of clues leading to the discovery of "nearly hidden" buried or underground oil tanks which were found at residential properties and which avoided very costly surprises later for the new owner. Underground oil storage tanks, or UST's, whether still present or previously removed, involve a risk of costly oil leaks and soil contamination which may need to be addressed. Here are investigation methods that any home buyer, owner, or home inspector can apply to reduce these risks by looking for evidence that a buried oil tank is or was at a property. Also see Above Ground Oil Tanks: Visual Inspection.
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How to Inspect the Grounds of Properties Where There are Known or Suspected Abandoned or Removed Oil Storage Tanks
Have all abandoned tank fill pipes been completely removed from the building to prevent mistaken delivery and spill into the building? Have old indoor tanks been removed or marked clearly as "Abandoned, DO NOT FILL" ?
At this property in Rhinebeck, NY we had spotted oil filler and vent pipes inside the dense thicket along the creek.
A decade later during a period of local flooding the tank to which the oil pipes had been connected floated up out of the ground as shown in this photo. The owner no longer had an easy option of "hiding" the abandoned oil tank. Like a spring corpse it had floated to the surface.
If an outdoor buried oil tank has been properly abandoned at a property, the tank should have been excavated at its top, opened, emptied, cleaned, inspected for evidence of leaks, and then filled with an approved material (perhaps sand or a special foam) both to prevent re-use of the tank and to prevent a possibly dangerous future collapse of the old tank.
This procedure should have been performed by a qualified tank abandonment company, and documentation should be provided showing who did the work, when it was done, what inspections or tests were performed to assure that there was no evidence of oil tank leakage into the surrounding soil, and how the tank was filled-in.
If this documentation is not available for a property being purchased then the minimum prudent step would be to order a site inspection and soil testing for evidence of leakage. Surface soil tests are not as important, in our opinion, as soil borings taken from the approximate depth of the bottom of the tank since that's where more problematic leakage would have occurred.
If a property seller will not permit site inspection and testing for oil leakage we would be concerned that the owner knows or suspects that a costly contamination issue
is present. One of our clients was told that she would not be permitted to perform any tests or inspections for oil tank leakage prior to purchase of the property - a
sufficiently ominous warning that she did not complete the purchase. We learned that a significant oil spill had occurred and that the owner had herself had removed the
tank fill and vent piping, leaving a costly problem in-ground for the next owner.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about finding USTs
Questions & answers or comments about how to locate buried oil tanks..
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Technical Reviewers & References
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