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Essential Information About Heating Oil Tanks In Montgomery Village

Oil Tanks In Montgomery Village

If your home has a heating oil tank – or it might have one and you’re not sure – we’re sharing the must-know facts about heating oil tanks in Montgomery Village.

Montgomery Village is located in Montgomery County, Maryland. Though many cities in Maryland date back hundreds of years, Montgomery Village is among one of the younger ones, as it was founded in the mid-1960s by the Kettler brothers, who began building on farmland here. Montgomery Village is not a large city, as it is just under 4 square miles in size, but with over 40,000 residents, it packs in the people. It also has its share of zip codes, with 3: 20877, 20879, 20886. 

If you’re among those 40,000 residents or you’re thinking about moving to Montgomery Village, what you need to know about the homes here is that most were built in the 1960s and 70s. That means most of the single family houses here have or had heating oil as their primary heat source. Where there’s heating oil, there’s buried oil tanks. 

Unique Characteristics Of Heating Oil Tanks In Montgomery Village

One thing we can tell you that is unique to Montgomery Village from our perspective is that all the buried tanks we deal with tend to be 1,000-gallon size tanks. 

Since most of these houses we work on were built around the time of the gas crunch of the 1970s, it makes sense the builder(s) (we assume the Kettler brothers) installed large tanks at these properties so the owners would not run short on heating oil during the winter. 

While 1,000-gallon underground heating oil tanks are still found at various residential properties throughout Maryland, it’s actually a 550-gallon tank that is the most common size tank.

These days, we find that a 1,000-gallon UST for these size houses is just too big. You do not need such a large oil tank to suit your needs, as many of you probably do not even go through 1,000 gallons in an entire season if you are just using the oil or fuel for heat, or not running the water heater also year-round. 

Most properties are better served today by a 275-gallon or 330-gallon sized aboveground heating oil tank. We install a lot of these outside due to the lack of any space in an unfinished area inside. 

The Issue With Some Underground Oil Tanks In Montgomery Village

Another thing we see a lot of in this area is that many of the USTs are installed very close to the underground electric lines servicing the house. 

If you have already converted to natural gas heat at your house, it also could be that when they installed the natural gas lines it was very close to or even over the top of the buried oil tank! 

So while GreenTRAX, Inc has removed tanks in these situations before – very carefully, as we are experts in residential oil tank removal – it is more common in these instances to abandon the tank in place.

Keep in mind that there is a legal process for doing this instead of removal. Abandoning the tank in place does not mean you leave the tank there as is and forget about it. 

It means the tank has to be thoroughly cleaned out, the soil from below the tank bottom must be tested onsite, and soil samples must also be tested at a lab. 

If the soil is clean, we fill the tank in place. This is NOT something the homeowner can do themselves! 

At GreenTRAX, Inc, we can complete the project in as little as a few hours if the tank is not leaking. This estimate includes installing your new aboveground tank and getting it hooked back up to the furnace and restarted.

What To Know If Your Home Still Has A Buried Heating Oil Tank

Having spent a lot of time working in Montgomery County and in Montgomery Village, we’ve heard questions from homeowners about their buried heating oil tanks.

These are the most important things you need to know if your home still has a UST:

  • Your tank is well over 20 years old, yet the lifespan of a tank is only 20 years.
  • No, the buried tank was not replaced. It’s original to the house. That means it’s older than 20 years old.
  • Do not test the oil tank. It’s a waste of money since it is so old.
  • The tank needs to be removed or abandoned in place, it cannot just be left with oil in it.
  • If the oil company says your “whistle” or “vent” is broken, it is NOT worth fixing. It’s better to remove the tank.
  • Even if your tank is under a patio, driveway, porch, etc., minor digging still must be done in order to legally abandon the tank in place.
  • If you are selling or thinking about selling the house, you must deal with the UST before finalizing the sale.
  • Some buyers today cannot get a loan or home insurance on a house with an old buried oil tank that has not been removed or abandoned legally.
  • If you are a real estate agent reading this, whether you represent the buyer or seller, call us today and we can explain everything to you (410) 439-1085. 
  • If you are the buyer’s agent, you are doing your client a disservice if you allow them to purchase the property with an out-of-use oil tank buried at the property. 
  • We deal with buyers, sellers, and agents all the time. We work all over the state and have seen many, many different things, good and bad happen to buyers and sellers on property transactions relating to oil tanks. 
  • FYI – it is illegal in Maryland to abandon, fill, or pump the tank full of foam, slurry or cement THROUGH the fill pipe. That does NOT clean all the oil and sludge out of the tank. I guarantee you, even if the owners “ran the tank dry” there is still several inches of sludge, or water, in the bottom of the tank.
  • A tank removal is generally cheaper than a tank abandonment in place.

Get Your Heating Oil Tank In Maryland Replaced By GreenTRAX

We’ve been in the oil tank industry for 30 years. We have a ton of experience in Montgomery County removing and installing underground and aboveground heating oil tanks. You may have heard them referred to as USTs (short for Underground Storage Tanks) and then you have ASTs for Aboveground Storage Tanks. 

In particular, GreenTRAX has done a lot of work in Montgomery Village over the years removing and abandoning USTs. We also install new ASTs for those people who want to keep their warm, reliable heating source of heating oil instead of switching to all electric. So, even if you are just keeping oil as a backup source we can help.

We provide all the necessary paperwork, testing, and pictures  to prove the job was done properly. Then, for a new tank installation we offer warranty options ranging from one to 30 years, with various tank sizes as well. You can see new tank options at this page here.

To discuss your new tank options, call GreenTRAX, Inc today – we are here to help. You can reach us at (410) 439-1085 or by sending us a message here.

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More To Explore

The Maryland Department of the Environment is cancelling the reimbursement fund for homeowners with leaking heating oil tanks!

This cancellation takes effect June 30th, 2024. You need to have your buried oil tank removed NOW, so if the tank is leaking you can get reimbursed for remediation costs before the program goes away. Click here for more information on the reimbursement fund as it operates now.

We urge everyone to contact their representatives in Annapolis and the Governors office and tell them DO NOT cancel the homeowner reimbursement fund for leaking residential oil tanks! They can still renew this program before this year’s legislative session ends.

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