How To Determine Oil Tank Or Septic Tank? (Best solution)

  • First easy step in locating your septic tank. Call your local electric utility provider or gas company to locate buried gas or utility lines before digging. Purchase a soil probe that you can stick into the ground to find the buried sewer line and septic tank.

How do you determine if there is a buried oil tank?

On the inside of the house, go to where the furnace is installed and look for small copper lines. They often come as a set and the copper tubes will usually be pinched on the ends. This tells you the house was once heated using oil and may have a buried oil tank.

Where are oil tanks usually located?

To find a fuel oil tank, look for vent pipes or fill pipes on the exterior of your home. You’ll find the above-ground pipes near the side of your home, most likely near the foundation.

How much is an oil tank scan?

The cost for getting a DEQ certification of oil tank decommissioning for an Oregon oil tank starts at about $1,000. This cost can rise from there depending on the extent of contamination, in contrast the cost to get a tank search is only $115.

What is the life expectancy of an underground oil tank?

An industry average for the life span of an oil tank is 20 years, some tanks last longer and some shorter. This time frame is greatly dependent on the type of oil tank, construction of the tank (meaning thicker walled tanks generally can last longer).

What is an underground oil tank?

An underground storage tank (UST) is a large container built to hold large quantities of liquid or gas underground. Commonly used on residential and commercial properties between the 1930s and late 1980s, tanks were typically constructed of bare steel and were used to contain oil for heating or fuel.

What happens if underground oil tank leaks?

Damaging to the environment: A slow leak from an underground oil tank can spread from the soil into ground water and then into surface water, impacting not just your home but those around you. The ground water may become unusable for irrigation, which can hurt nearby farmers.

How far does a oil tank have to be from the house?

An oil tank has to be a minimum of 1.8 metres away from any part of a building or construction that isn’t fire resistant, such as doors, windows, eves and cladding.

Can you bury an oil tank?

Only tanks that are specifically designed and constructed for underground use should be buried partially or wholly underground. Special design allows underground tanks to withstand the pressure exerted on the outside of the tank when it’s empty.

Where can I find oil filled pipes?

The fill pipe extends from the top of the oil tank, through the exterior wall, and outside of the house. There is a cap that screws in place to keep the fill pipe closed. The vent pipe also extends up and out of the house, and allows air to escape as the oil tank is being filled.

What is a tank search?

The inspection is performed by a professional who will hand over the inspection report to the potential buyers. The report will include a thorough examination of the foundation, the roofing, the HVAC system, and the plumbing throughout the house.

Is oil tank sweep necessary?

Hidden underground oil tanks can be a major financial liability when buying a home and even if no signs point to a home ever having had an underground oil tank, a tank sweep of the property is recommended, especially in older homes.

Why do an oil tank sweep?

Copper tubes protruding from a basement floor or foundation can indicate the presence of an underground heating oil tank. An oil tank sweep can determine conclusively the presence of a buried heating oil tank.

How much does it cost to remove an oil tank from the ground?

Oil Tank Removal Cost Removing an oil, fuel or water tank costs $1,192 on average and typically ranges between $538 and $1,862. Aboveground storage tank (AST) removal runs in the $300 to $1,500 range. An underground storage tank (UST) removal costs $1,000 to $3,500.

How much does it cost to remove an underground fuel tank?

The removal cost of a residential underground oil tank ranges from $1,000 and $2,500 depending on size. Typical residential oil storage tanks are 275, 500, or 1,000-gallons.

How often do underground gas tanks need to be replaced?

On average, tanks can last around 25 years. That said, if tanks are close to “retirement age” and show signs of corrosion and rust, then it’s probably time to purchase new tanks. Replacing USTs can require a substantial investment in terms of equipment, construction costs, and downtime.

What this could be? (UST oil tank, cesspool, septic?) (first time home buyer, landscaping) – New Jersey (NJ)

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Location: Ridgewood50 posts, read36,714timesReputation: 35
Looking for some advice from experienced members here. We are under contract and recently did house and UST (underground storage tank) inspection.Initially they found something under the driveway on the side of the house and stated that probing is needed to further determine what it is. After probing was done the report stated the following:”The technician arrived at the location and began the probing. The technician probed down36″ and hit object. Although the area in question is smaller then the size of an oil tank andthe sound when probed is not consistant with an oil tank, the area can not be cleared.Additional Options – Soil testing, to make sure there is no contamination – $595.00or excavation of the area to determine what the object is – $1200.00″We paid for the initial sweep and probe. It is my understanding that now it is sellers responsibility to further investigate.?Any thoughts on what it could be? Smaller oil tank (275 gallons?), cesspool or septic tank?The house is in Bergen county, NJ.Thank you very much for all the help in advance!
Location: Princeton, New Jersey715 posts, read1,114,680timesReputation: 1274
Quote:Originally Posted bySteeemLooking for some advice from experienced members here. We are under contract and recently did house and UST (underground storage tank) inspection.Initially they found something under the driveway on the side of the house and stated that probing is needed to further determine what it is. After probing was done the report stated the following:”The technician arrived at the location and began the probing. The technician probed down36″ and hit object. Although the area in question is smaller then the size of an oil tank andthe sound when probed is not consistant with an oil tank, the area can not be cleared.Additional Options – Soil testing, to make sure there is no contamination – $595.00or excavation of the area to determine what the object is – $1200.00″We paid for the initial sweep and probe. It is my understanding that now it is sellers responsibility to further investigate.?Any thoughts on what it could be? Smaller oil tank (275 gallons?), cesspool or septic tank?The house is in Bergen county, NJ.Thank you very much for all the help in advance!If it’s an oil tank then they installed it vertically instead of horizontally. Which I’ve never seen. My bet is cesspool or septic tank.I think at this point you ask the sellers to investigate. Unless you really want the house then you could pay for it. It’s really up to you.
03-20-2018, 03:15 PM
That is odd. Time capsule perhaps?
I have a neighbor who got a positive hit from a tank scan. She had it excavated, and it turned out to be just random metal debris.I think the seller should pay to have it excavated and cleared. Now they know there’s an issue. If you walk away, they have to disclose it and that will scare off future buyers. I don’t think the law states who is responsible for paying, but NJ sellers know that buyers are freaked out by the slightest possibility of oil tank contamination. Of course, they could always refuse, and you’ll have to decide how to proceed. If you really like the house, maybe you could waive other inspection issues?I’ve bought some scary houses with big problems, but I’m not willing to risk unknown possible hazards buried on the property. I wouldn’t settle for soil samples.
Location: Ridgewood50 posts, read36,714timesReputation: 35
Thank you for responses. we are really stressed out about it and just want it all to over, also we are first time home buyers.Probe costed us $495 already, plus initial oil tank sweep $225.Seller is a flipper, he bought an old house and knocked it down, build a new one on top of the old foundation. Seller also provided us with his own oil tank sweep report which found nothing back in 2016. (but who knows?).We like the house and the town.

Last edited by Steeem; 03-20-2018 at05:01 PM.

03-20-2018, 04:43 PM
Quote:Originally Posted bySteeemWe paid for the initial sweep and probe. It is my understanding that now it is sellers responsibility to further investigate.?It’s neither the buyer’s nor the seller’s responsibility to do anything aside from what was agreed to in the contract.If the contract reads something to the effect of “buyer shall conduct initial sweep and probe at buyer’s sole expense and if in the event that an unknown object is located through buyer’s sweep and probe, seller shall conduct, at seller’s sole expense, further investigation,” then yes, it is their responsibility.If the contract says (and it likely does) “buyer shall have the right to conduct inspections,” and nothing more, then that’s it.As an example, we went under contract on a 120 year old home here in Hunterdon County.The seller had lived in the home since 1976 and stated on the disclosure that he had no knowledge of the septic system ie: whatever was in the ground was at least 41 years old and at the end of it’s lifespan.We agreed to pay $800 for a septic inspection which we knew would reveal an old, failing, and inadequate system.At that point the seller had a couple of options:
  • Participate in the installation of a new system with us
  • We need you to dramatically reduce the price of the house so that we can install the new system. Do absolutely nothing
The problem with number three of course is that now that the seller had knowledge that the system was bad, he’d have to disclose that to all future buyers, who would structure their offers accordingly.So, in your case, if you decide to spend the extra money there are pretty much guaranteed to be one of two outcomes-either it’s “something” (ie: a tank) and you then have leverage to work with the seller since they will not be able to claim ignorance of the problem any longer to any future prospective buyer, or it turns out to be nothing, and you just spent $1,800 for extra peace of mind.Quote:Originally Posted byKiruIf it’s an oil tank then they installed it vertically instead of horizontally. Which I’ve never seen. My bet is cesspool or septic tank.There’s no way that a cesspool or septic tank would be placed under what is obviously a blacktop driveway.Even prior to the late 1990s/early 2000s when septic tanks were required to be fitted with at grade risers and manholes for inspection and pumping, the risers and manholes were typically only placed about 12-18″ below ground so that they could be easily dug up for pumping, which is recommended every two years, which you couldn’t possibly do with a blacktop driveway on top.That’s besides the point that regular vehicle traffic/parking over a septic tank/cesspool would cause settling, cracking of the blacktop surface, and possible dislodging of the inlet and outlet pipes at best.At worst, if the homeowner were to have a heavy dump truck pull in with a load it could cave in.I have no experience with buried oil tanks, but I can’t imagine that an oil tank would be placed underneath a driveway for the same reason.

Last edited by Swamp_Yankee; 03-20-2018 at04:51 PM.

Quote:Originally Posted bySwamp_YankeeI have no experience with buried oil tanks, but I can’t imagine that an oil tank would be placed underneath a driveway for the same reason.FYI – I had an oil tank under my driveway. Had it dug up and removed, but fortunately the driveway was disintegrating asphalt and no big deal to excavate. Not like jack-hammering and replacing concrete.The tank was pretty deep. I don’t think traffic would have damaged it. I had a lot of heavy equipment down my driveway for years before I had the tank pulled. The fill pipe was in the center of the drive path where tires wouldn’t go over it.I suspect oil tanks under driveways are pretty common in close-in, older neighborhoods with small lots.There’s really nowhere else mine could have gone. The oil delivery company and the tank removal company treated it like business as usual. Easier in fact for delivery since the driveway was usually pretty clear after a snow.I know of people who had to remove elaborate decks or stone patios and fancy landscaping to have their tank pulled. That would be sad news.
Normally a septic tank would not be under a driveway as previously stated. However a driveway could have been added after the fact. In either case I’m sure you don’t need to be told not to buy the home unless it’s all sorted out. Who actually pays could be nominal compared to what a leaking oil tank would cost you.
In this state, run far, far away from unknowns like that until they are identified and determined to not be an environmental concern. While it may be absolutely nothing, if there is a contamination issue that the seller doesn’t address, the potential environmental liability that you would take on could make it a very bad deal. And for any property with a contamination issue, once it’s cleaned up, you need that document that states that it has been cleaned up (used to be called a letter of no further action (NFA), but I believe the equivalent is called something different now).If that buyer wants a sale, they’ll do what they need to do to address that unknown as they would have to disclose it.
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Oil Tank Sweeps: 8 Tips on Choosing the Right Inspector

When purchasing a home, there are several inspections that must be completed on the visible components of the property. Everyone is concerned about buildings, soffits, chimneys, swimming pools, and other such things. However, one thing that a lot of purchasers fail to consider is what is lying beneath their newly purchased house. Undetected subsurface problems may cost a new homeowner thousands of dollars in repair costs if they are not discovered during the house inspection process. In some cases, hidden subsurface oil tanks can be a significant financial burden when purchasing a home.

When a previously unknown heating oil tank is located during an oil tank sweep, it can possibly save thousands upon thousands of dollars in soil clean up costs.

So, what characteristics should you look for when selecting an environmental testing business to do this job for you?

1. Guarantee

This is quite significant. Check to see that the business doing the tank sweep guarantees the inspection before proceeding. The tank sweep results are often guaranteed verbally by many firms when they are attempting to complete a transaction. However, the tank sweep findings are often accompanied by explicit language in their report relieving them from any liability. A) “Company A” is not liable for the aforementioned issues, as well as for subsurface storage tanks that cannot be found using the procedures described above, or that cannot be detected due to site circumstances.

Will your proposed new house be one of the one percent of properties where the tank sweepinspector does not guarantee or is not efficient in locating tanks to be installed?

2. GimmicksPotentially False Statements

It has been said that drones, animals, and other non-detection technology are capable of detecting tanks and the infrastructure connected with tanks. The fact that these techniques of detection have not been tried and tested leads us to wonder: How can we tell whether or not an animal is performing his or her job efficiently? What happens if a detection animal shows no signs of detecting an underground oil tank, for example, under a low-lying deck? Does the inspection contractor guarantee that there is no tank under the low-lying deck in question?

3. Experience

This is highly essential, and not just because of the length of time they have been doing these inspections, but also because of the quality of the inspections they have completed throughout that period. You require technicians who have received comprehensive training in the detection of underground oil tanks, as well as technicians who have received training in fully comprehending the limits of the technology used to detect subterranean oil tanks. What kinds of inquiries should you ask them in relation to their previous experiences?

B) How long has the company been in operation?

Due to the large number of missed tanks and claims, as well as unethical behavior on job sites, it is critical to understand this since many new firms are made of personnel who were previously discharged from current organizations.

C) What exactly do they believe to be impediments? This will be covered in further detail in the next section.

4. Obstructions

Every sort of inspection, from tank sweeps to septic inspections, has its own set of constraints, some of which are rather significant. When it comes to tank sweeps, the most significant constraint would be impediments. Objects that obstruct or interfere with the operation of the detecting equipment/magnetometer are defined as regions of a property. Unfortunately, this is a regular occurrence, and all complaints should include a clear listing of any obstacles. If you choose a business that never mentions impediments on a property or never discovers a tank, you may want to consider hiring someone else.

The following are examples of typical roadblocks: A) Air conditioning units Cement walkways or patios with rebar or metallic reinforcement D) Fences B) Bilco Doors C) Concrete walkways or patios that contain rebar or metallic reinforcement See, you have to think of the equipment used to execute tank sweeps as, to put it another way, industrial grade metal detectors, if you want to keep it simple.

However, no magnetometer can be used to scan for metal things that are buried beneath other metal objects, regardless of the brand.

Not always, though; we’ve come across numerous inspectors who either fail to note impediments or “ignore” some obstructions, resulting in a large number of tanks being ignored.

5. Recommendations

A critical component of the inspection process is service. As soon as you receive the report, confirm that the business will lead you through the following steps in the tank sweep procedure, if applicable. There are a variety of alternatives available based on what the inspector discovers on site; suggest that they include these options in the report so that all parties involved in the transaction may see them immediately upon delivery.

6. Certifications

A claim by an inspector that he or she is “Certified” to do oil tank sweeps or that he or she provides “Certified” reports may or may not be accurate. When it comes to tank sweeps, there are no certification or license requirements in most jurisdictions, so you must depend solely on the inspector’s knowledge and history when making your decision. Furthermore, because oil tank sweeps are often not regulated, the report does not require any specific regulatory structure. When it comes to reporting, the written assurance, as previously indicated, is very necessary.

7. Insurance

Make certain that the organization you’re considering employing is adequately insured. Inquire about their liability insurance and double-check that their firm name is stated on the certificate of insurance.

8. Price Point

This is when things become a little complicated. Many of the younger firms that are starting up will lower their pricing to the point where they are no longer profitable. They do this in order to obtain as many tank sweeps as possible while also causing damage to the competition. This strategy is understandable to everybody in company, and even the ordinary customer sees it as an advantage for them. In most cases, this strategy is effective when it comes to consumer goods; nevertheless, when it comes to inspections, this technique may not be a positive indication.

With this knowledge, you are an expert in selecting a tank sweep inspector and understand the traps that may be set by selecting the incorrect inspector!

Remember that even the smallest difference between a competent inspection and a bad inspector might result in thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

Don’t get stuck with a hidden underground oil tank! Speak with our knowledgeable staff about a tank sweep at your property or the property you are purchasing.

Get in Touch With Us

ATS Environmental

Commercial firms may benefit from ATS Environmental’s environmental solutions for residential properties, as well as compliance testing and inspections of underground and aboveground storage tanks. More articles from ATS Environmental may be found here.

About Oil Tank Locating – Learn about Tank Sweeps with Rush Locates

Jack, the chief locator at Rush Locates, will teach you all you need to know about oil tank sweeps and tank locating. He has years of expertise as a finder and can provide you with the information you need to answer any of your queries.

About Oil Tank Locating

In most cases, an Oil Tank Sweep is performed during the inspection phase of a house acquisition as a part of the buyer’s due diligence process. If a tank search has not been performed previously, one should be performed immediately. However, not all tank locators are created equal! Jack at Rush Locates has discovered tanks that other firms have overlooked. Oil tanks, septic tanks, dry wells, and cesspools were all discovered by Rush Locates that had previously gone unnoticed by other enterprises in the area.

The Oil Tank Search

A search for a Heating Oil Tank typically takes between 40 and 60 minutes and costs $115 to complete. We would need access to the furnace area of the home, or the crawlspace if the home was built before 1985, in order to do the oil tank search. It takes several steps to complete a ‘tank sweep.’ Initial research include looking for historical information, pictures, and documents on not only the property but also its neighbors and neighborhood patterns, among other things. Homes in Portland have a better track record of oil tanks than homes in the surrounding region on occasion.

A set of metal detectors is then used to thoroughly search the property for any big metallic bodies or metal pipes, which we then remove.

Customers will receive a detailed report on the investigation the same day it is completed.

What Else can be Found?

Rush Locates specializes in identifying hidden subsurface heating oil tanks for home buyers who are considering purchasing a house. However, we can also find other things that interact with our equipment and that we can track down. As an example:

  • Detection wires and reflective tracer tape for gas, water, and sewage lines
  • Metal gas lines
  • And other tracing devices. Electrical conduits that are privately owned
  • Cesspools, septic tanks, and drywells are examples of underground cisterns with metal lids or rebar reinforced concrete (cesspools, septic tanks, and drywells). Stainless-steel water pipes
  • Second or third underground storage tanks (USTs)
  • Large oil fuel containers, such as an Integral Burner
  • And other items.

Second tanks are hard to get by, and third tanks are even harder to come by. However, they continue to occur. Sometimes a replacement below-ground storage tank is installed, sometimes a garage is equipped with its own heating tank, and sometimes a fuel tank is installed. Misunderstandings concerning the location of oil tanks are prevalent. Oil tank locator gadgets will not locate hidden treasure or gold coins, for example.

The instruments that are utilized for a tank sweep are incapable of detecting gold, silver, or platinum. For those who have hidden an authentic pirate type treasure chest with iron bands, we can assist you with locating it.

Why Tank Searches Recommendations are Increasing

Searches for oil tanks in the Portland region are becoming more popular than they have been in the past. Tank searches were not previously frequent, but a combination of new laws and increased realtor knowledge has resulted in more awareness of the need for and motivation to have a tank find completed. The expense of cleaning and remediation of a heating oil tank might be substantial. While small plumes of diesel pollution may be remedied for as little as $1,000 and as little as $4,000 in total, big plumes of diesel contamination can cost as much as $10,000 to $30,000 to repair.

  • Various tests such as Radon testing and sewer scopes are significantly more popular today than they were in the past, and for good cause as well.
  • Sewer scopes can reveal issues that are worth $10,000 or more.
  • Having real estate buyer’s agents who are knowledgeable and who propose scheduling an oil tank search is the most effective approach to minimize future danger in this situation.
  • Environmental laws and standards regulating soil pollution from HOTs are in place by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
  • It is possible that a tank will need to be removed.
  • A number of properties with oil tanks have been foreclosed on, and the banks have had to cover the costs of doing so.
  • Due to an increase in buyer’s agents working on behalf of purchasers, more people are becoming aware of the possible costs of neglecting to conduct proper inspections before making a purchase decision.
For your peace of mind, get a tank search with Rush Locates today.

You may make a reservation online at any moment, possibly even right now! Is there a search for an oil tank beneath your home? Is it possible that you’re inhaling fumes from diesel gasoline buried in the ground? A tank search is the only technique to locate a subterranean oil tank that has been missing for a lengthy period of time. The cost of oil tank restoration in Oregon will not be determined until after the tank search and soil samples have been collected.

  • Make an appointment for your oil tank search now
  • Heater oil tank FAQs
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Oil tanks & Septic Tanks

It doesn’t matter what kind of underground storage tank you have on your property; they are all susceptible to leaking, unless they are very recent. In addition, even if it is made of a contemporary composite material that is non-corroding, it is still subjected to the ravages and abuses of nature. In part due to the fact that it is underground and out of sight, it is not always clear when a tank is leaking until the leak becomes severe enough that the property owner or occupant detects any visible signs of leakage such as liquid, stench, or a depression forming on or in the ground.

  • Today’s environmental protection protections necessitate regulations for testing subsurface systems and reporting of groundwater penetration of byproducts that are deemed dangerous to the environment in the states and authorities in the Washington, DC region.
  • And, because the precipitation from our region eventually drains into the Chesapeake Bay, preventing these caustic chemicals from entering the watershed is critical for the health of the Bay as well as the food we harvest from it.
  • Links to some of the state and municipal requirements may be found in the More Info section further down on this page.
  • Buying anything in poor condition can cost you thousands of dollars in removal costs, environmental cleaning, and replacement costs if the system has failed or is deteriorating and needs to be replaced before you even get it home.

In general, MHBI does not recommend or refer to other companies; however, when it comes to assisting a buyer or seller in feeling confident about the condition of systems on a subject property, we are eager to assist you in obtaining a professional inspection and evaluation of these systems so that a valid opinion can be provided on their condition.

Consumer Information on Septic Tanks* Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)Homeowner Septic System Information* Maryland Tank Replacement Regulations* Montgomery County Septic System Information The Virginia Department of Health (DEH) SepticInformation* The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Septic SystemInformation Data from on wells* Data from WellOwner on wells The Installation of Residential Oil Tanks (which is not federally regulated)* Washington, DC Maryland’s website link* Maryland’s web address Alternatively, you can contact the Oil Control Program at (410) 537-3442 or (800) 633-6101 ext.


Outside of business hours, call (202) 727-6161 to reach the Mayor’s Command Center.

For further information, call the following Maryland numbers:* Fogles Septic 301-795-5670* Ralph Carlisle 301-509-2468* Hatfield Septic 301-490-4289* Homeland Farm Septic 301-984-0047* Environmental SepticWaste 301-253-1400 *Well Systems*Oil Tanks in the Commonwealth of Virginia Pollard Environmental – Maryland Department of the Environment (Virginia) (MDE) The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has published a list of approved underground storage tank (UST) firms for 2018.

List of Installers and Removers (2019)* Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Inspectors on a Roster (2019)

How to Spot Leaky Underground Oil Tanks

The technology that is used to heat houses and buildings is continually evolving, just like practically everything else. Heating technologies that are more energy efficient or ecologically friendly are replacing obsolete systems that do not match the new criteria. It is unfortunate that adoption is not always available to everyone. Older homes and structures may take longer to make the transition to solar energy. Underground oil tanks, for example, are a common sight in Portland. When underground heating oil tanks were originally erected, they were considered to be more cost-effective, more efficient, and more physically pleasing to property owners than above-ground tanks.

Most, if not all, of the tanks eventually begin to seep into the earth, polluting everything in their path.

It is nearly hard to detect an underground leak unless it has been occurring for a significant period of time.

Signs Of A Leaking Oil Tank to Look Out for as a Homeowner

It has already been stated that oil tank leaks in the ground are extremely difficult to detect. It will involve hard work on your side as the business owner. The first symptom is an increase in your heating cost. Typically, the oil leak is moderate and consistent, so you won’t notice a dramatic increase in the amount of oil leaking from month to month. Take a look at your bill over the course of a few months, though. If you see a consistent rise in your oil use, it’s possible that your oil tank is leaking.

  1. Active oil leaks that have been active for a long period of time will also have an impact on the fragrance of your soil.
  2. There is an oil leak if you notice a definite scent of oil coming from the area.
  3. To save both time and money, make sure to take the first step and remove your heating oil tank as soon as you think there is a leak.
  4. Sometimes the heating oil tank leaks over an extended period of time, allowing the oil to reach the water.

Obviously, this is the worst-case situation, and it necessitates a significant increase in the number of procedures required to clean up. Try to be as proactive as possible when it comes to repairing or removing your subterranean heating oil tank in order to avoid any severe issues.

Spotting a Leaking Heating Oil Tank as a Buyer

Of course, owners aren’t the only ones who need be concerned about leaks from their oil storage tanks. Buyers in the Portland region who are interested in purchasing an older property should be aware that they may be inheriting an issue with the tank. Fortunately, there are measures you can do to keep yourself safe while you’re house looking. First, take a look at the outside of the home. There will be a fill pipe as well as a vent pipe visible if the house has a fuel oil tank for heating. On one end, they will be connected to the home by a cable.

  • When a heating oil tank is taken out of service, the fill and vent pipes are likewise taken out of service.
  • It’s possible to find an area of grass in your yard that either doesn’t grow at all or grows at a poorer quality compared to the rest of the yard.
  • Keep an eye out for concrete slabs covering the ground above the oil tank, which is another common practice among property owners.
  • Their database will include information on residences that are heated by an underground heating oil tank.
  • Although we don’t propose that you keep the heating oil tank after you acquire the property, it can be used as leverage to decrease the cost of the house.

Causes of Oil Storage Tank Leaks

When you consider all of the problems that heating oil tank leaks may create, you might be asking how they get started in the first place and whether there is a method to avoid them from occurring in the future. Unfortunately, there’s not an easy method to prevent them, especially if you’re working with an old tank. The steel used to construct the heating oil tanks interacts with the chemicals and water found in the soil when they are submerged in water. Tanks in Portland, where the earth retains more moisture than in most other locations, are particularly prone to corrosion.

If the leak stays undiscovered for a long period of time, these tiny holes might begin to join, generating larger breaches through which additional oil can escape.

Over time, the wear and strain of being buried underground can produce corrosion and punctures, resulting in a larger area of your yard being damaged by leaks than originally intended.

Newer heating oil tanks are placed with protective tubing and coated with concrete to make the system last longer underneath. However, even the most competent installation might experience leaks from time to time.

What to Do If You Think You Have a Leak?

The first step in determining the source of a heating oil tank leak is to contact a reputable specialist. Remove the tank from the ground and clean up any oil that has accumulated requires care and competence. You should not attempt to clean up the oil spill on your own, especially if it has spread over a significant area of your land. Once the tank has been removed, depending on the degree of the leak, there are a variety of cleanup solutions available. We at Alpha Environmental provide you with three different solutions.

  1. Our Risk-Based Decision-Making Cleanups enable for closure while still leaving some pollution on the site, as long as it can be demonstrated that it complies with all applicable requirements for human and environmental health and safety.
  2. Finally, we provide a General Remedy Cleanup service for low-risk facilities that were alerted to the heating oil tank leak in a timely manner.
  3. Regardless of whatever choice you pick, we can guarantee a project that is safe, efficient, and complete thanks to the expertise of the Alpha Environmental project team.
  4. We are more than delighted to assist you in any way we can.

Oil Tanks, Wells, Sewer & Septic — Caliper Home Inspections

The corrosion and leakage of subterranean oil tanks, which causes heating oil to flow into the soil surrounding them, is not unheard of. The cost of soil cleaning and tank replacement might be prohibitively high. If there is any doubt about the location or condition of a subsurface oil tank, it is a prudent investment to have the tank found and the soil tested before proceeding with construction.

Well Inspections

Private wells, which are widespread in rural locations, may offer a plentiful supply of clean, drinkable water to a home’s plumbing system. When you have a water flow test conducted, you can be sure that the well’s pump is operating as planned and is delivering sufficient water pressure. Testing for water quality should be done at least once a year, and more frequently in specific conditions.

Sewer Scopes

While inspecting a property, it is usual practice to have the waste piping between a house and the public sewer inspected with a video camera. This inspection is generally scheduled at the same time as the home inspection. Repairing offsets in waste pipes or tree roots that have penetrated the pipe can be quite costly. A sewer scope will reveal the existence of these problems.

Septic Tank Inspection

In rural locations, septic tank systems, as well as private water wells, are commonplace. A major waste line transports garbage from the house to the septic tank, where it decomposes over time as it decomposes.

It climbs to the top of the tank and drains out to the distribution boxes and leach field below the tank. Having this system and its components inspected now might save you time and money in the future, if something goes wrong.

Suspecting an Underground Storage Tank? Look for These Tell-Tale Clues

Fuel oil used to be one of the most widely utilized heating fuels in many parts of the country, particularly in the Midwest. Since the widespread availability of electricity, natural gas, and propane has increased, many of the homes that were formerly heated by fuel oil have been converted to use one of these alternative fuels. In many instances, the subterranean fuel oil tank that had been utilized to hold the fuel oil was simply unhooked and left in situ, rather than being completely demolished and replaced.

  • Current owners of these properties may not be aware that the earth in their yard covers a rusted or leaky tank unless a prior owner had excavation work completed.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of an inside tank.
  • Storage tanks for fuel oil used to be installed inside the construction of certain residences that were originally heated with the fuel.
  • However, even if the tank may have been removed, there may still be pipe running along the walls in these regions that may be used to determine whether or not an underground tank was a component of the system.

Additionally, in addition to paying attention to the location of existing pipes, homeowners should inspect the interior and exterior wall surfaces for areas that appear to have been patched, which could indicate areas where the pipes leading to the outside tank have been removed and the opening repaired.

  1. Because of the usage of an outside tank, the house may retain its exterior vent and fill pipes, which are visible on the outside of the home’s outer wall.
  2. Depending on the situation, the pipes may have been capped and left intact, or they may have been cut off and the gaps filled with concrete or another substance.
  3. The presence of an underground tank in the yard is more likely to be discovered if this procedure is followed and the scent of fuel oil is detected.
  4. Unfortunately, an untrained individual who performed an underground tank removal may have neglected to remove the tank’s vent and fill pipes, which might have resulted in the tank remaining in place.
  5. It is also important for homeowners to be informed that underground storage tanks were occasionally constructed underneath their homes.
  6. It is also possible to find an underground storage tank under the construction of a home in circumstances when the residence has been extended and enlarged to encompass the area where the tank was previously placed on the property.

When it comes to confirming the presence of an underground storage tank and then removing it, it is best left to the hands of a skilled specialist. In order to receive rapid and economical assistance with an underground gasoline tank, contact AA Oil Recovery Co now!

The Homeowner’s Guide to Oil Tank Sweeps

courtesy of jonathansloane on Despite the fact that abandoned subsurface heating oil tanks aren’t uncommon on older homes, a typical home inspection will not reveal whether or not one is present on the property you’re considering for purchase. It is the goal of an oil tank sweep to find any concealed tanks so that you do not have to deal with the health and financial ramifications of an oil spill.

The Danger of Forgotten Oil Tanks / Oil heating was popular in the United States between the 1930s and the 1980s, particularly in the Northeast, therefore any home constructed during this time period is likely to have an oil tank on the property someplace. Despite the fact that residences constructed before and during this time period are less likely to have used oil heating, it is still possible. There is a clause in many real estate purchase contracts that addresses the issue of oil tanks, but not all of them do.

  • Having an oil tank sweep performed on a property you’re considering will notify you whether or not there is an oil tank on the property, allowing you to make an educated choice about your purchase or sale.
  • Old tanks frequently contain oil that can leak for a variety of causes, including corrosion of the tank and mechanical failure of the tank’s components.
  • In addition, because it includes benzene, which is a recognized carcinogen, home heating oil contaminates any soil or groundwater it comes into contact with.
  • Leaks can linger unnoticed for years, gradually deteriorating until the homeowner discovers them by chance when he or she decides to install an extension, outbuilding, or in-ground pool on their property.
  • These hazardous fumes can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat, as well as induce headaches, dizziness, and nausea in some individuals.
  • If an oil tank on your property leaks oil or vapors, you will be held legally responsible for the cleanup, which is not a job you should attempt on your own.
  • Obtaining a building permit for the tank removal, transporting contaminated soil to an approved facility, and ordering certified laboratory testing to guarantee that your soil and water are safe are all options.
  • You may also find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit from neighbors who have been harmed by the leak.
  • If you do not have a separate tank insurance policy, you may have to pay out of pocket.

No matter how long you live entirely oblivious of the old tank, there is a strong probability that if you decide to sell, your possible buyer will request an oil tank sweep, and you will be forced to deal with the problem at that point.

What to Expect From an Oil Tank Sweep

courtesy of jonathansloane on Some of the more affordable oil tank sweep services rely just on a metal detector, which is not particularly effective. Even while a metal detector may identify metal, it cannot tell you whether the metal is an oil tank or an old set of hubcaps. Choose a firm that use a variety of detecting methods to guarantee that any oil tanks on the site are discovered. When providing these services, the technician will often begin by doing a visual assessment of the home’s exterior and interior for indicators that an oil tank has been utilized in the past.

  • The technician will be able to find the tank with the aid of these signals.
  • Afterwards, the technician conducts a scan of the ground surrounding the outside of the home.
  • GPR systems are among the most frequent types of equipment used for this stage.
  • The technician may see a crude picture of the item on the GPR display screen, allowing them to determine if it is a tank or anything else.
  • The GPR scan is frequently followed by a scan utilizing a ferromagnetic (FM) detection device to ensure that the object discovered is indeed made of metal, if possible.
  • Check to see whether the tank is covered by your homeowner’s insurance and get it checked and insured before you close on the house.
  • Alternative, the seller may want to have the tank removed or sealed at their expense, in which case you would require proof of the removal or sealing process to complete the transaction.
  • If you come across a provision like this and the seller fails to disclose the tank, they are in breach of contract, and you may be able to file a lawsuit against them for damages.
  • The dangers that a neglected heating oil tank brings to human health and the environment should not be overlooked.

If you’re intending to buy or you’ve already bought an older house, an oil tank sweep can let you know if an old tank is lying under the grass so you can take action before you wind up with an expensive problem.

Is a Tank Sweep Required in NJ?

Allow ADS Environmental to safeguard you with a NJ Tank Sweep at a low cost. Contact us now.

When to Get a Tank Sweep

It is possible that the seller is unaware of the presence of an existing underground oil tank or of a previously filled underground oil tank. In many circumstances, even after the homeowner has switched their home heating system from oil to a new fuel source, there is no paperwork to support their decision. Furthermore, older town records may have inaccuracies due to the age of the documents. Because this issue is still relatively recent, it is possible that the earlier sellers did not reveal the presence of oil tanks in the past.

At ADS, it is our responsibility to defend our clients!

It is no secret that real estate transactions can be stressful and time-consuming.

If you are in charge of an underground tank removal, you may also be in charge of Site Remediation and/or Soil and Groundwater Testing if a contaminated leak is identified when removing the oil tank.

The ADS Tank Sweep Guarantee:

ADS provides a warranty for our work. As long as our customer remains the property’s owner, ADS will remove any Fuel Oil USTs that may be detected on the property in the future at no charge.

Let’s Get Started

In the course of doing a tank sweep, our expert will look for any previously disconnected oil service lines within the structure, as well as any vent and fill pipes located on the property’s outside. An inductive and conductive locator such as the Schoonstedt GA-52Cxinductive and conductive locator will also be used by the technician to scan the whole property for results compatible with the existence of a UST. If more services are required following your tank sweep, our technician will prepare a report detailing the results and provide a bid for additional services.


Oil Tank Sweeps – Roots Home Inspection, LLC

Underground storage tanks might pose a threat to public safety. The presence of an underground oil tank on the premises of your home must be confirmed. At Roots Home Inspection, we do not finish the examinations of subterranean oil tanks. We may make arrangements for a Tank Sweep Company to visit the site at the time of the examination. When scheduling your home inspection, you can specify that you would want this service. During a routine house inspection, we are unable to tell with certainty whether or not there is an underground oil tank present.

  1. The only way to be certain that there is no hidden tank on the property is to have an electronic scan performed on it.
  2. It will cost you around $250 and will be conducted by a certified organization.
  3. We do not examine any oil tanks, whether they are above ground or underground.
  4. If you do not have an insurance policy, you should get it tested, certified, and insured by an authorized business prior to closing to ensure that it is valid.
  5. The Underground Storage Tanks section of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s website is a valuable source of information.
  6. Whenever you or a client schedules an inspection with us, we may examine the house or structure for radon and termites, amongst other things.

Real Estate Buyers and Sellers New Construction Short Sales are a type of real estate transaction in which a seller sells a property for less than the amount of money owed to the seller. Structure Radon Termite Mold Asbestos LeadTank SweepSepticChimney

10 Things to Know About Oil Tank Removal in New Jersey

Skip to the main content On the internet, there is a lot of contradicting information concerning oil tank removal in New Jersey, so do your research. Listed below are 10 of the most crucial things that everyone should be aware of when it comes to oil tanks.

How Do You Know An Underground Oil Tank is There?

1) Homeowners may be unaware of an abandoned oil tank on their property if they did not conduct an examination prior to acquiring the property or if their inspector failed to detect the abandoned oil tank during the inspection. Because of this, while acquiring a house, it is critical not to depend on the past inspection records of the seller’s previous inspection records. It is usually advisable for purchasers to conduct their own due diligence when inspecting a property for the presence of an oil tank.

Some vents or filler pipes may be visible, and oil lines in the foundation wall may have been used to move oil from the tank to the furnace on the interior, among other things.

When performing a tank sweep, it is advisable to use specialists that utilize instruments such as metal detectors and ground penetrating radar to guarantee that a concealed oil tank is always discovered.

Getting An Oil Tank Removed in NJ

Even though an underground oil tank (UST) is a major environmental hazard and a financial concern, homeowners who have one on their property are not required to have it removed before selling their home under state law. It is the buyer’s responsibility to properly negotiate this procedure. As part of the closing agreement, the seller will often pay for the majority or the whole expense of removing an oil tank from the property. Fourteenth, it was once regarded standard procedure to fill an oil tank with sand or other filler and leave it in situ for an extended period of time.

Financial Considerations to Oil Tank Removal

5) Although state inspection is not technically needed for cleaning activities, lenders and insurers in most situations demand a No Further Action (NFA) letter from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) after an oil tank removal and/or soil remediation has been completed. The requester is responsible for covering the costs associated with the NJDEP providing this service. Most insurance companies in New Jersey will not give coverage for an underground oil tank, according to the Bureau of Insurance.



ERC The Environmental Protection Agency levies a fixed fee of $1,750 for oil tank removal, no matter what the circumstances are.

Despite the fact that some oil tank removal firms promote the prospect of state financing, the reality is that this fund has never guaranteed payment to any applicants, and furthermore, there is no funding for the program at present time.

What Happens After A Tank is Removed?

9 When an oil tank is removed, an inspector from your local government, who is often a fire marshal, will be hired to check the tank site. This examination, in conjunction with a report provided by the tank removal provider, is what decides if additional tests and, if necessary, soil remediation are required. It is not necessary to examine the soil in any other way. The repair of contaminated soil will be required if an oil tank has leaked and the contamination levels are higher than the allowed threshold.

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