Fuel Oil Tank Removal 101
From a FUEL COMPANY'S Perspective that HELPS their Customers!
If you have a buried fuel oil tank in the ground - you could have an environmental time-bomb waiting to deteriorate, leak oil into the ground and can led to endless clean-up costs.
With 50 years of experience, CES is here to help make the tank removal process easy BEFORE you have a problem.
A buried fuel oil tank could be an
environmental time-bomb if not addressed.
FEAR of the unknown is the biggest problem when homeowners consider getting that old tank out of the ground.
- Where do we start?
- How long will my old buried fuel oil tank last in the ground before it rots through and leaks?
- What do we do with the remaining oil in the tank?
- How will the tank be dug out / removed?
- What if contamination is found after the tank is pulled out?
- How can I get a cost comparison on installing a new aboveground or basement fuel oil tank OR switching to clean propane heating?
- What will all this cost?
Combined Energy Services is not an environmental remediation contractor. We do not make a living on oil tank removals or contaminated dirt removal -- we're a propane & fuel oil supplier that is here to help our customers deal with a huge headache and our goal is to KEEP YOU as our customer for many years to come.
Most homeowner's insurance companies don't cover leaks from fuel oil tanks - check your policy to be sure. The best advice -- GET IT OUT OF THE GROUND BEFORE YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.
We call this tiny pinhole the $150,000 hole - this hole caused a leak into the ground behind their home, down a hill and into a neighboring pond & stream.
Getting started - That's the easiest part!
Simply call CES or call 800-874-1975
or click below for a
We'll send out one of our field service & sales reps to assess your situation. We will determine: where the tank is located; how much oil is left inside; is there any landscaping to consider; are there underground lines to worry about.
From there we will offer some solutions:
- The cost and/or location for a new fuel oil tank.
- Quote and options on converting to clean, efficient propane gas heating - and the location of a new propane gas tank (either aboveground or buried).
We take the fear out of your fuel oil tank removal - Leave it to the pros!
- Call CES for an appointment for a no-obligation look-over of your current situation. Our experienced sales staff all came from the ground-up in the propane / oil business so they understand all aspects of the what's going on.
- Home visit by one of our pros to determine the best plan of action such as pumping out existing fuel oil, whether you're going to go with a new aboveground tank inside (recommended) or outdoors or make a switch to propane gas heating. We go over the particulars on pumping out the remaining oil by a licensed waste hauling company, the excavation of the tank, checking the soil for contamination, removal of the tank and the refilling of the hole. If your tank is aboveground, we still address getting it pumped out and then get it out of your house or yard. Where there's a will, there's a way and at CES we've seen every imaginable situation out there!
- Written quote: Our staff will put in all in writing ahead of time to cut the risk of surprises as we go. This is where we break out the cost of the removal of the tank (which often can be FREE if switching to propane gas heating), the cost of a new aboveground / interior tank, pumping over your remaining fuel or the installation of a gas tank / system in it's place. We give you options, pros & cons, long term analysis and solutions in writing. We sell BOTH fuel oil & propane gas for almost 50 years so we're a bit less biased than a 'one product' company or an environmental contractor.
- After you make your decisions....
- We notify 811 to make sure there are no underground utilities where the tank will be dug out if there are any chances of anything behing nearby. We also advise you to obtain any permits required by the local municipality, this is the responsibility of the homeowner to get any permits locally.
- Removal day - Our staff will coordinate either moving your 'good' fuel oil to a new tank if you're going that way. The remaining oil / sludge which accumulates on the bottom of any tank will be pumped out by a licensed waste oil company we work with and safely disposed of.
- Buried tanks are exposed with a mini-excavator, the steel cut open and the tank is cleaned out thoroughly. Aboveground tanks don't need to be cut open on site in most instances, we simply seal the openings securely and safely remove the tank to our facility where we cut open and clean.
- The area under a buried tank is checked for any signs of contamination. If any is found, this is where we turn you over to an environmental remediation company to have the soil tested & removed, but if you're PROACTIVELY removing your tank BEFORE you have a problem - the odds of a prior leak are greatly reduced. (It's SMART to get old buried fuel oil tanks out of the ground BEFORE there are any suspicions of a LEAK such as water getting into the tank, etc...
The area under the tank is checked for any signs of contamination. If any is found, we turn it over to an environmental remediation company to test and remove.
- The old tank is removed, the hole filled in with bank-run gravel in most instances.
- Time for you to replant some flowers or grass - sleep a lot easier knowing that tank is gone!
Getting rid of your ABOVEGROUND or BASEMENT fuel oil tank:
Not a problem - the pros at CES handle that process from start to finish seamlessly taking your worry away. These tanks might look great from the outside - but what you can't see is rust forming on the INSIDE due to water & sludge build-up.
Our staff can handle the pump out / removal and replacement of any fuel tank safely & cost effectively.
When the tanks have been removed, Below are your choices when complete:
- Interior fuel oil storage tank: The interior fuel oil storage tank is by far the best choice if you're staying with fuel oil heating.
A plastic drip pan underneath your inside tank is added insurance just-in-case, we always recommend it.
Plastic drip pan is always recommended for indoor tank
- Outdoor fuel oil tanks: Ourdoor fuel oil tanks have the continual problem of CONDENSATION every day as the temperature and humidity changes outside. Think of it like the inside of your car's windshield with condensation early in the morning during the summer.
That same thing happens INSIDE your outdoor aboveground fuel oil tank - moisture accumulates on the metal surface above the liquid and will drip into your oil. Over time those drips add up forming water on the bottom of the tank, add to sludge & bacteria / algae build up, lead to rusting - all leading to service problems as temperatures drop and time moves on.
We recommend installing your new fuel oil tank INSIDE the house and always draw from the BOTTOM of the tank, tipping it slightly to the end you're drawing from and using TWO in-line filters where possible. You'd rather get any small particulate out of the tank continually instead of letting it build up on the bottom over time. Never let anyone talk you into pulling off the top of a new fuel oil tank!
Remember: ALWAYS pull oil from the bottom of a new tank, tilt towards the withdrawl end, install the same size vent size as fill (2"), use rigid steel - never plastic, always install a VENT ALARM on every aboveground fuel oil tank, make sure ALL connections on the top are sealed tight.
We don't recommend outside tanks for the reasons below:
Condensation forming inside every day -- read above
Fuel oil in outside tank GELS below 40 degrees Farenheit. With this - outdoor tanks must either have a 50/50 blend of kerosene or have a fuel additive put in with the fuel EVERY delivery - not just in the cold weather since that oil you received in October will have some remaining in December when it will gel and cause service problems.
Environmental factors: icles falling from the roof can break supply lines, oil can gel in exposed supply lines going into the home, tanks can become unstable over time potentially tipping over, more suseptible to tampering outdoors by people that should never have access to it and eventual outside rusting due to the elements.If you have no interior room - we would recommend a spill containment tub such as the "tank tub" which gives some protection from temperature swings due to keeping out of direct sunlight, protects the tanks from weather lessenin the chance of rusting and provides environmental damage from leaking since 110% contained within the tub.
If there is no interior room and you have to place your fuel oil tank outside, a tank tub is recommended to avoid temperature swings and protection from direct sunlight.
While we never recommend this option, some commercial customers have no other choice. In this instance we always recommend installing a poly coated double walled tank with an "interstitial space" which can be periodically checked for any leakage between the layers. For more information on buried tanks, free to contact a CES rep.
Why consider going to propane heating at this point instead of reinvesting in a new fuel oil tank?:
- Propane is environmentally friendly. There is no fear of contamination to the ground or water.
- Efficiency: Today's gas heating boilers and furnaces can be up to 95% efficient - meaning only 5% of your heat is going out of the chimney -- which with gas - vent with plastic piping which you can touch with your hand since there is little heat loss. 90% of the USA is heated with gas so the advancement in heating technology is far superior to fuel oil.
- No Tank to Purchase: With propane gas, for safety & liability concerns - we loan or least propane tanks for $1 per year, you never have to purchase it. If a problem ever occurs with our propane tank, it's on us, we'll take care of that 100%.
- Versatility: Propane can heat your home, heat water, BBQ grill, cooking stoves, clothes dryers, back-up electric generator, gas fireplace, space heating, patio heaters - one tank can do it all.
- Less maintenance: Oil burners need to be cleaned & tuned every season. Clogged nozzles, clogged filters, inconsistency with fuels, sediment, soot. We've been selling fuel oil & servicing burners since 1968, service hundreds of burners per year and get it. Oil means maintenance. Gas is clean and requires far less maintenance than it's oil counterparts.
- Never holds up your home sale: Get to the closing table or possibly a week before closing- when you sell your home one day and more times than not - the buyer's attorney will bring up the issue before closing making it an urgent task that has to get addressed immediately - often costing more than expected if only it was addressed when wasn't an emergency.
- Many oil heating furnaces & boilers are easily convertable to clean propane gas with a simple burner change out for less money than you can imagine. We often do this entire service. To learn more - click HERE
To learn more about gas heating conversions - click HERE
If you choose switching to propane gas with CES, below are some tank choices - all of which we install at no cost and loan / lease for $1 per year if you're heating with gas.
Due to the on-going maintenance of both above and especially BURIED propane tanks, we don't sell tanks to consumers.
Sizes choices are based on your usage. The typical home we recommend a 500 gallon tank. These need to be installed at least 10 feet from the home, but we can install them practically anywhere within 100 feet of an accessible driveway or roadway in winter.
CES is the leader in the northeast with buried propane tank installation since we have our own fleet of excavation equipment and pros that put tanks in every day.
For home heating, we lease tanks for $1 per year and provide all the necessary maintenance of the sacrifical magnesium anode bags as required by NFPA code. For this reason - we don't offer buried tanks for sale to consumers since you can't 'bury and forget it' with propane tanks ever. Metal in the ground WILL deteriorate if not properly protected with cathodic coatings and on-going maintenance of the anodes.
At CES we take tank maintenance and your family's safety as our #1 priority. To learn more about our buried tank program - click HERE
To learn more about getting your fuel oil tank out BEFORE you have a problem at a reasonable expense - contact CES at 800-874-1975, stop by one of our local offices, email us today, or fill out the form on the top right side of this long winded blog --
someone will get back with you shortly.
About Combined Energy Services
Family owned and operated since 1968, Combined Energy Services is one of the largest propane gas and fuel suppliers in the Hudson Valley.
With four offices in operation, CES provides customers throughout the Catskills (Sullivan, Orange County), Hudson Valley (Ulster County), Eastern Pennsylvania (Pike County) and Northern New Jersey (Sussex County) with dependable propane gas, fuel oil and kerosene deliveries, as well as un-matched, around-the-clock repair service.
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