Reisterstown is a city in Baltimore county located just north of Baltimore. The population is around 26,000 people and its size is roughly five square miles.
Reisterstown was named for John Reister after he bought large tracts of land in 1758 and 1763. Not surprisingly, Reisterstown Road is named after him, too. He also built a church and a tavern in the area.
But what else does Reisterstown have? A lot of residential heating oil tanks, also known as fuel tanks.
If you live in this area or other cities surrounding Reisterstown, there are some important facts you need to know about fuel tanks.
Essential Information About Heating Oil Tanks in Reisterstown
Let’s get the jargon out of the way first. We will refer to buried oil tanks as USTs, which stands for underground storage tanks.
We will be referring to other tanks as ASTs, which stands for aboveground storage tanks (yes, you probably guessed that).
Now USTs and ASTs can hold many things, including heating oil, diesel fuel, gasoline, kerosene, waste oil, used oil, and more. For the purposes of our discussion today, we will only be talking about residential heating oil tanks.
If you own a home, some people refer to that (and to you!) as being a Harry Homeowner. If you hear someone say that, you can reply, Excuse me! I am not just a Harry Homeowner! I am also a Tommy Tankowner, thank you very much!
Heating Oil Tanks in Reisterstown By The Numbers
Let’s get on to talking tanks.
ASTs come in many sizes, which are quantified in gallons. The most common size aboveground tank is a 275-gallon tank.
This tank may be located on the outside of your house, in your basement, or in your garage.
Some other sizes (in gallons) that are popular options are: 165, 240, 330, 400, and 500.
Did you know that your oil tank will only last about 20 years? Yep, it’s true: the average lifespan of a tank is about 20 years. So if you moved into a house that already had an AST, it is likely that the tank is due for replacement.
Greentrax can remove your old tank and install a new one for you. In most cases, we can finish in just a few hours. We can transfer all remaining usable oil to your new tank, install a new oil supply line from the tank to the furnace, install a new oil filter at the furnace, hook everything up, then restart the furnace and/or water heater for you.
Heating Oil Tank Warranties
Though older tanks were good for about 20 years, what’s important to know now is that we can back your tank with a warranty that’s right for you.
To get started, the basic tank comes with a 10-year manufacturer warranty. GreenTRAX can also offer you tanks with 20, 25 or 30-year warranties. Plus, the tank that comes with $2 million of leak insurance from the factory. This combines to give you peace of mind knowing that you’ll have many years before you have to replace your tank again or worry about leakage.
Despite popular belief, whether you put your tank outside or in the basement has no impact on the life of the tank. That’s because ASTs typically do not rust and get holes on the outside. Instead, they degrade and corrode from the inside-out.
That is why any leak in the tank will always happen at the bottom first. Does sunlight and UV hit underneath the tank? No. It is from the heating oil itself and the inevitable buildup of sludge in the bottom that degrades the tank.
Because of that, we propose you buy a double-bottom tank or a double-walled tank as another measure to keep you from worrying about contaminated soil. In these tanks, there is an indicator on the tank to tell you if the primary tank has leaked.
Need To Know Facts About Buried Tanks In Reisterstown
Now let’s talk about USTs, or buried tanks. Believe it or not, buried tanks are still fairly common in Reisterstown and in many parts of Baltimore county.
The downside to this is that your UST is almost certainly 30, 40, or 50 years old… if not older. It may even be as old as the house. And what did we say before? Tanks last 20 years – correct.
That means if your buried oil tank is between 40 and 60 years old, the chances of a leak are high. Unlike ASTs, USTs corrode from both the inside-out and the outside-in.
That’s due to the fact that the dirt itself around the tank could be corrosive to steel, especially as any groundwater around the tank will also eat away at the metal over time.
If your tank happens to be located next to an electric line, that is a double whammy. In short, your tank at this point is probably leaking. Due to the electrolysis underground, the lifespan of the tank can be shortened, causing holes to appear much sooner.
And no, contrary to popular belief, you will not know if your tank is leaking. Just because you think you are not having any problems with the tank doesn’t mean anything. What it really means is you’re likely having problems, just not ones that would alert you to the fact that your tank has been leaking for years.
In Baltimore county, USTs have to be removed from the ground (if they can be). If not, we can do a tank abandonment in place, but that has to be approved by the county inspector first.
We focus on removals because it is actually less expensive and is really the best option for everyone involved.
How Underground Oil Tanks Affect The Homebuying Process
If you are selling or buying a house that has a buried oil tank still in use, do not delay. To get it dealt with before settlement, the seller should have GreenTRAX remove the UST and replace it with an AST right away.
However if the UST is no longer being used, then the Maryland Dept. of the Environment and state law requires it to be removed within 180 days.
If the UST is leaking, the state has a reimbursement fund to repay you the cost of remediation (see our other blogs about that fund). In many cases if you are the buyer, your lender or home insurance company will require the UST be removed before they will let you settle on the house.
This is important, because you do not want to be paying for contaminated soil remediation for a tank you’ve owned for all of five minutes.
The bottom line? Tanks do not last forever. To get a fast, no-hassle quote on a tank removal and/or a tank replacement, call GreenTRAX today (410) 439-1085.