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What It’s Really Like To Have Leaking Heating Oil Tanks In The Basement

**NOTE: It is possible that a piece of information in this previously posted blog may have changed due to manufacturer warranty changes, therefor any reference to a 10-year warranty on basic Granby tanks is no longer accurate. The new warranty period on basic single wall tanks is 1 or 3 years depending on installation method. Note this does NOT effect 20, 25 or 30 year warranty tanks they are the same as stated.**

Hello to our fine Maryland readers today. Mr. Blogwriter here. I know you’ve heard a lot from me lately about subjects like heating oil tanks in the basement and so I’ve invited a recent customer (we’ll call her Ms. Leaking Tank) to share her personal experience finding a surprise in her basement. Ms. Leaking Tank, take it away.

Why Older Heating Oil Tanks Can Lead To A Surprise

Hello, hello. I personally wanted to thank you for taking a moment to read this blog today. I am here to tell you a story about an oil tank in my basement. 

This story starts 20 years ago when I bought a house. We had a furnace that was connected to an old oil tank. The tank was in my basement next to the laundry room and water heater. 

Right away, I could tell it was old because of how dirty and unsightly it was. Yet I didn’t know how old the darn thing was so I didn’t pay it no never mind. 

One day, I had a nice fella doing some work in my basement and he told me he could smell diesel fuel. 

I said I don’t have diesel fuel so I do not know what to tell you. 

He looked at me like I was crazy but kept going about his job.

Later that night after he left, I started to smell something as well. It was not a rotten eggs smell like natural gas, but I definitely thought it was some sort of petroleum smell. 

I went to check the basement again and I still could not tell what it was or where it was coming from. As I went to turn around to go into another room, I dropped something. When I knelt down to get it next to my oil tank I could see a tiny drop of oil starting to drip onto my concrete floor. 

I grabbed some cat litter I had nearby and threw that under the tank (‘cause I knew that it’s odor and liquid absorbent). 

I also put a small bucket I had under there to catch those drops of heating oil. The leak was not bad so I waited until first thing in the morning, got online, and found a company named GreenTrax to call about my oil tank. 

The gentleman I spoke to was very nice and very helpful. I told him my contractor smelled diesel fuel and I thought he was crazy. 

He told me that makes sense because home heating oil and diesel fuel are the same thing. Heating oil is dyed red and diesel fuel you put into a car or truck is not red, but other than that and the road tax you pay, it’s basically the same thing. 

I said are you kidding me? I had no idea. 

He had asked me about the leak. Because the drips were slow and I was catching them in a small bucket, we confirmed it was not an emergency and it was fine to wait a day, and GreenTrax was able to send some guys out the very next day. 

GreenTrax showed up on time and performed the work as promised. I am very happy to have had this problem fixed by GreenTrax.

Don’t Wait To Replace Your Heating Oil Tanks After 20 Years

Thank you, Ms. Leaking Tank. Hello readers, Mr. Blogwriter here again. I want to thank my co-writer today. 

Yes, the story you just read is unfortunately one we hear all the time. Let me first say you should not wait until the tank leaks to have it replaced. Imagine what would have happened if the customer was out of town for 2 weeks? 

If your tank is older than 20 years, contact our team of experts to have it replaced. 

Whether the tank is outside next to your house, in your garage, or in your basement, you need to have it removed. 

Note:  if you have a tank in your small dirt crawl space that you never go into, I can guarantee 100% that that tank is over 20 years old, so do not delay. 

Switching From Heating Oil Tanks To Another Heating Source

Now you may be thinking, “if I remove the oil tank, then I am not getting another one!”

Not so fast! If you want to switch to a new heat source you have to think about the options and costs. We hear a lot of people go to electric heat. 

Besides the cost of the new furnace and heat pump (if you keep oil you can keep your furnace), there’s another problem people don’t always think about.

Here in Maryland, the weather gets into the teens, single digits, and even colder in the winter. Electric heat simply cannot keep up, especially if your house is poorly insulated. 

If you like a warm house, all that electric heat may not be for you as it can feel drafty. 

If you have kids, they will be cold and may not like the feeling of a heat pump (I can attest to this first hand). 

All this, and we haven’t even mentioned how much more your electric bill will be. 

The bottom line is there is nothing wrong with oil heat or heating oil tanks basement. Just remember folks: nothing lasts forever. You have to replace the roof shingles on your house after a couple of decades, right? The tank is the same way. 

It doesn’t cost nearly as much as a new roof! (Unless you let it leak all over the place outside and never call anyone to fix it. Then that can get very expensive.)

Easy Same-Day Heating Oil Tank Installation

We make it easy to get rid of your old heating oil tanks. Out with the old, in with the new, I say.

GreenTrax will come and pump out the current tank. If you have usable oil in the tank we will be able to save it for your new tank. We will pump out the sludge and dispose of it. We will disconnect the oil supply lines and the fill and vent pipes if needed (if the tank is in the basement). We will even haul the old tank offsite and properly dispose of it. 

We will also be able to install a new tank for you the same day as we remove the old one. 

At GreenTrax, we offer you various options from two leading tank manufacturers: Granby & Roth.

The most common size residential home heating fuel tank is 275 gallons. We also have smaller tanks such as 165 gallons and 220 gallons, as well as larger sizes, including 330 and 400 gallons.

If you want even more volume, we can install more than one tank, or we can install a 500-gallon or 1,000-gallon tank outside. 

For warranties, the standard manufacturer’s tank warranty is 10 years. We also offer longer manufacturer warranty options such as 20, 25, and even 30 years. We even offer tanks that come with insurance against leaks. 

If color and appearance is your main concern. GreenTrax has many tank color options too, from a nice gray color to beige, black or sand. We even have tanks made of rust-proof galvanized steel that are great if you don’t want to worry about rust fading. To view our full tank selection, visit our “Tanks we use” page.

Get A New Heating Oil Tank Today

If you have any doubts about how old your home’s heating oil tank is, then it’s likely time to replace it. At GreenTrax, we make it easy. 

As the most reliable and efficient tank removal and installation contractor in Maryland, we are here to help. Call us today at (410) 439-1085 for more information.

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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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