How do I remove an old oil fuel tank?

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Getting ready to sell an old house. It used to be heated by fuel oil. Now it's gas forced air, but the old 100 gallon tank remains in the dirt basement. (At least I think it's 100 gallon - I don't know how to measure volume in an oval container.)
My realtor says I need to remove it. I used a sawzall to open up a small hole in the top to see how much oil is left inside. I would guess about 25 gallons.
I called a waste removal company to get a quote. Yikes! $2000. I'd like to tackle this job myself.
I figure I can cut open the entire top with my sawzall to get at the oil. But then I'm not sure where to go from there. And even if I'm able to pump or hand-bucket carry the oil to a 55 gallon drum, what do I do with the stuff?
I can probably cut up the tank into pieces and put them on the curb for garbage pick-up one piece at a time.
Ideas? What would you do? Is $2000 a fair price?
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46erjoe wrote:

Check local ordinances. You may need paperwork to prove the tank was removed properly. A quick call to the town should get an answer to that question.
If there are no regulatory concerns I would: Drain the tank (hot filings from the sawzall could be a bad thing) Cut it up- have fire extinguisher handy Call the local junk man to take it away free of charge Your town should have a location to take the leftover oil
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2006 14:32:14 GMT, 46erjoe wrote:

In all probability, your state (ostensibly, PA) has strict laws about oil tanks. In MA, where I live, oil tank removal needs a permit, and *several* inspections along the way, if it has to be cut up to be removed. The old oil and the tank must be disposed of legally. Try to do this on your own, and you're just asking for trouble. A dirt basement makes this even riskier. If the guys in the space suits have to come to your house, it's *big* bucks.
BTW, I doubt your tank is 100 gallons. That's tiny. The standard home oil tank is 275 gallons. The capacity should be stamped someplace on the tank.
I paid $1500 two years ago to remove and replace an old tank in my basement. $150 of that was just to legally dispose of the oil tank. $2,000 sounds high just to have the tank removed and disposed of. I'd get more estimates.
--
Seth Goodman

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46erjoe wrote:

That sawzall was not a good idea. Sparks, oil .... Not good.
Most everywhere has regulations about oil tanks. I understand some require inspections at the time of a transfer and having the remains of a tank without the paperwork might end up being far more expensive than having it done properly.
--
Joseph Meehan

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You do realise I hope fuel oil is flamable and that a Sawsall is not safe. Cutting up an old tank is not easy, Ive heard you pour in Dry Ice let it melt then it is not going to burn, but get pro advise before you blow yourself up.
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Here's how one guy did it.
http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/hvac/index.htm
Many areas (such as mine) have quite strict regulations regarding the disposal of oil and/or tanks, and you can find yourself on the wrong end of a REALLY BIG fine for violating them - this is definitely a case where you want to check with your local building department to find out what is required, and who is allowed to do it.
Michael Thomas Paragon Home Inpsection, LLC Chicago, IL mdtATparagonspectsDOTcom 847-475-568
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And just to make it clear, I'm NOT recommending that you try these techniques, just trying to point out that removing the oil and the task is a considerable effort, and probably beyond the capabilities of most homeowners even if they can discover the procedures and obtain the equipment to do it safely and in compliance with local requirements.
Michael Thomas Paragon Home Inspection, LLC Chicago, IL mdtATparagoninspectsDOTcom 847-475-5668
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I took mine out, I opened the wall where a window was as I was diging out the basement anyway , A neighboor wanted the tank for a BBQ fire pit.
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It's good advice to get rid of the tank before putting the house on the market. Some people will freak out if they see that thing.
$2K sounds really high. Did you shop around? I had an in-ground tank removed by a professional environmental company last year. A couple estimates returned quotes that varied by over 100%. If I had it to do over again, I'd have removed it myself.
It's probably not a big deal to dispose of an above ground tank with no leakage. Check with your county to see if you need a permit. If so, the inspection is usually just to make sure the tank is really gone.
First order of business is to dispose of the remaining oil. There are companies that specialize in this. Finding one is the problem. I couldn't, except for the household toxic waste people at the landfill who wanted $5/gallon only if I brought the oil/water to them. The company I hired brought along another company with a vacuum truck that will pick up any liquid for around $1/gallon. After they cut the top off the tank, the vacuum truck sucked all the old liquid from the tank. Then they used water to rinse out all the sludge. It cost a little over $300 to empty and clean a full 300 gallon tank.
Next step is to get the tank out of the basement. How did it get there in the first place? Could you bribe all your friends with pizza and beer, get a party of people together and heave the thing out the basement door? It can't weigh too much once it's empty. Three or four people could have easily moved my tank around.
Once empty, clean, and outside, it should be easy to dispose of the tank. If that's a 275 gallon tank, the metal is worth a fair amount for recycling. Find a metal salvage company and see if a flat bed tow truck would haul it there for you. They might even pay you for it.
-rev
46erjoe wrote:

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The oil can be pumped out or drained out. Why not call the local oil company and ask them? They may have the information you need to do it at reasonable cost.
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Check around. When I had my fuel oil tank removed for natural gas, there was a charitable organization that arranged to have the fuel oil pumped out providing you donated the fuel oil to them. It was used to help out people who could not afford to buy fuel oil for their house, sort of a "Food Bank" type of "Fuel Bank". When the tank was empty the heating installer came and carried the empty tank out the basement and took it away, as part of the contract to install the new furnace.

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The oil is worth money, someone will take it no charge. Your problem is the tank.
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On Mon, 24 Jul 2006 12:35:02 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrotF:

There are no local ordinances. The state (NY) has some very strict ordinances and paperwork but they apply only to larger volumes. There are no EPA funds available for such an undertaking, although NY EPA told me there may be a tax deductibe write-off.
Youre right... it's a 275 gallon. It's about one-third full so I would need 2 50-gallon drums to cart it away.
No fear of fire. You can throw a lit match into fuel oil and it will go out (except in Clint Eastwood movies).
It has to be cut in pieces because I built a new floor over floor with a smaller trap-door. Duh -- I should have realized that I would eventually have to remove the tank.
I don't think anyone would be interested in 20-year old fuel oil, even if it's free, so I would have to take it to a company that uses waste oil to fire its furnaces. But that would entail getting the drums (where do you get them anyway?), buying a pump, renting a truck with a lift on the back, buying tie-down straps, etc etc. And probably enlisting the help of one or two other guys.
Gee. $2000 is starting to sound reasobable.
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46erjoe wrote: ..

You are a scary dude.

Oil is thousands of years old. There are people who would be interested.
20 year old gasoline would be one thing, but heating oil ....
--
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46erjoe wrote:

There are companies that do that. It's cheap and easy. They'll run a hose down into your basement and all the oil will go away.
-rev
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No fear of fire you say, that you can throw in a lit match and it goes out, you can throw a lit cigarette in a bucket of gasolene and it goes out. Because it is the FUMES that ignite. Your sawsall idea is dumb, dry ice is the best way.
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(m Ransley)

they said to dump it in with the used oil. Sounds like you could probably get the oil out DIY style for a few hundred. Then rent a sawsall to cut up the tank .I would think the max it could be would be $500. Northern tool or harbor freight would sell most of the stuff you need. If you are lucky straps would come with a truck rental
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wrote:

Jersey all sorts of certifications, inspections and paperwork are required. Cost us in excess of $3500. Red Rover, Red Rover, grab your ankles and bend over.
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Finding the keyboard operational 46erjoe entered:

Local and state laws are going to determine what you need to do. Cutting a hole in the tank may have been a big no-no. If you have a "full disclosure" law where you are, you are going to have to show that the tank was removed properly. You may even have to show that the ground under the tank isn't contaminated. Get a few more quotes but $2K may be a lot cheaper then defending yourself in a ground water pollution case. Bob
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be certain to remove all traces of the oil plumbing, there have been cases of oil delivery to wrong home pumping oil into a old unused fill fitting....
you dont want your basement full of oil.........
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