OVERVIEW OF UNDERGROUND OIL TANK REMOVAL IN NJ AND WHAT TO KNOW.
In 2023, around 4.9 million households used oil to heat their homes. While that may sound like a significant number, the use of heating oil has declined since its peak in the 1970s.
What happens when you switch from oil to another energy source, such as natural gas or electricity? You must decommission or remove your oil tank.
Experienced professionals should manage underground oil tank removal here in New Jersey and other states. Read on to learn more about removing an oil tank safely.
WHY DOES MY HOME HAVE AN UNDERGROUND OIL TANK?
Before the installation of natural gas lines, most residential furnaces used oil. The homeowner had to store the fuel oil in a tank outside of the home.
Heating oil tanks were large and unattractive. They were also a target for thieves and vandals.
Burying the tanks underground became common. If you live in a home built before 1982, it shouldn’t be surprising to discover a buried heating oil tank.
HOW TO LOCATE A HOME OIL TANK
In many cases, a homeowner buys a home without realizing there’s a buried tank on the property. Since it’s an outdated heating method, previous owners may have lost track of the tank’s existence.
If you’re buying a home in NJ and order a home inspection, your inspector will likely search for evidence of an old underground oil tank.
For the curious homeowner, locating a tank starts by looking for a fill pipe and vent pipe. You’ll find one or both on the exterior of the home.
Fuel oil tank removal should include the removal of the fill and vent pipes. Whoever removes the tank should cut the pipes and fill them with concrete.
Finding pipes sticking out of the ground usually means the tank is still buried. Either that or the previous owner didn’t hire a professional for removal.
Tip: If you suspect a buried tank but can’t find any evidence, you can have an oil tank sweep of the area around your home.
WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER REMOVING YOUR UNDERGROUND OIL TANK
An abandoned underground tank poses several potential problems. First, heating oil tanks don’t last forever. They have a life expectancy of 15-20 years.
An expired tank has a higher chance of leaking. It’s an out-of-sight, out-of-mind scenario. Many homeowners forget about the tanks/
A forgotten underground tank can leak for quite a long time before it’s discovered. Even a tiny oil tank leak can cause severe damage if undetected.
Corrosion and age can cause a compromise in the tank wall. This allows oil to leak out and contaminate the soil. Oil can also infect the groundwater.
Not only does a leaky oil tank create an environmental problem, but it also may cause health and safety hazards for people.