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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
Building & site history can give evidence of a buried or abandoned oil storage tank: This is guide to finding buried oil storage tanks by using site records, oil company delivery notes, as well as visual inspection. 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. 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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Buried Tanks: Look at the property before deciding to hire a tank testing company for professional inspection and testing. You can obtain basic information such as the age (property and tank), tank location, and type of oil tank.
From a previous use, a buried oil tank may be present or may have been present at a property even if it is now served by an indoor, above ground oil tank or even by LP or natural gas. So don't assume that because you don't see a tank that none was ever used or present at a property. Make a visual site inspection for clues suggesting that one or more tanks is or was present.
Even an alert home buyer or home inspector, not charged with an environmental site survey (nor paid for one) might discover evidence of very costly buried tank problems at a property, simply by attending certain visual details and thinking about what they mean.
For the case of buried oil tanks, the next few photographs show two cases of the discovery of a nearly-hidden outside oil tank fill pipe which led to the discovery of buried oil tanks. These tanks had not been properly abandoned, risking significant cost to the property owner or buyer.
If there is no oil tank at the property now, has the heating fuel been converted from oil to gas?
Do oil companies in the area have records of having delivered oil to the property? If so, the quantity delivered and tank size information will be on file as well as notes about the tank filler pipe location. If the oil company was hired to remove or abandon the oil tank they should have that data as well.
How old is the property? A property more than 30 years old might have had two or more generations of oil tanks at the site. Sometimes local oil delivery companies will check their records of deliveries to a property and can tell you if there were other tanks at other locations at the site.
How many property owners have there been? More owners means a greater chance that a tank was removed or abandoned without the current owners's knowing about it.
If there is currently an oil tank installed, has the tank been kept relatively full in spring and fall? The extra weight helps prevent tank shifting and related piping leaks, and will reduce water in the fuel (can cause loss of heat) from condensation. Again, delivery records can inform this answer, as can testing the tank for water.
Note: these tips are not an oil storage tank installation guide. Proper installation must be done by trained service technicians and must comply with local building codes.
In the author's view (DJF), oil tank testing services and professional environmental inspectors are expected to include both a visual screen of the property for clues such as these, and also a combination of other methods to detect buried oil tanks. Some of these include
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