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16 Heating Oil Tank Facts

buried oil tank insurance

Below you will find a 1 page document of 16 heating oil tank facts you should know. This is not an all-encompassing document, just some basic facts, so feel free to reach out to us about your particular situation. We will walk you thru the entire process and can get you a proposal right away using our standardized pricing and RAPID-QUOTE system. 410-439-1085

Heating oil tank being lifted by an excavator

16 Heating Oil Tank Facts

  • 1. The average life of a buried tank is 20 years.
  • 2. Just a small pinhole in a tank can leak approx. 50 gallons of oil per year.
  • 3. We never recommend for you to have a tank test or soil test on a tank that is 20 or more years old because it has lived its useful life.
  • 4. Just like the roof on your house, the tank doesn’t last forever. It is, after all just a piece of steel buried in the ground. Sooner or later, it will rust through and leak.
  • 5. Per the Maryland Department of the Environment (State Agency) – Any Underground Storage Tank (UST) taken out of service (stop being used) must be removed within 180 days.
  • 6. It is cheaper & better for all parties involved if the tank is removed (when possible) instead of being abandoned in place.
  • 7. If you are selling your house, 90+% of the time the seller is responsible for removing the old underground oil tank BEFORE settlement.
  • 8. Common occurrence – before settlement on the home sale, the seller has to remove the UST because the buyer’s mortgage or insurance company won’t let them go to settlement until it’s removed.
  • 9. Many factors shorten the life of a UST: if there is an electric line close to the UST, if there is a high groundwater around the tank, the type of soil, the thickness of the metal.
  • 10. If there is water in the tank (if water can get in, the oil can get out) that is one indicator of a possible leak.
  • 11. If the tank leaks, the homeowner will be eligible for the MDE homeowner reimbursement fund.
  • 12. If an oil company told you they can’t fill the tank anymore due to a broken vent pipe, bad whistle, or broken fill pipe, it is highly recommended that, if the tank is close to or well over 20-years-old, the tank be removed and replaced instead of repaired.
  • 13. If you have sludge build-up in the tank and it keeps shutting off the heat, the tank is VERY old and past its useful life and needs removed.
  • 14. A legal tank abandonment in-place can be performed instead of removal. However, if tank is found to be leaking, then the tank will most likely be required to be removed anyway.
  • 15. If you do not know how old the tank is, then how old is the house? There is a good chance the tank is as old as the house.
  • 16. When you decide to replace the underground tank with an aboveground tank, do not expect that you need the same size large tank. Almost everyone always gets a smaller tank aboveground.
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