C'mon, how am I supposed to know that? For all I know it might last another
20 years, or spring a leak right after he buys it. That's just the risk you
take when you buy an old house. Am I expected to replace all the old
plumbing in the walls as well, before I can sell the goddamn place?
"Some people say that I must be a terrible person, but it's not true. I have
the heart of a young boy in a jar on my desk"
-- Stephen King
Its quite obvious you havent sold any homes lately. Living with a
realtor, Im quite up on the subject. Most new homebuyers now hire a
home inspector for a home they are interested in. Some are incompetent
and some are very very thorough. Right down to ungrounded electrical
outlets and cracks in walls and foundations that you done even notice.
They also know ages and life spans of things like furnaces and air
conditioners, etc. There is a good reason for home inspectors and that
is because of people like you Logic. Guys like you that futz with all
your own chit and patch it together with chewing gum and duct tape.
When you sell you get to fill out discloseure forms. If they find out
you lie they can come back years later to sue your ass although anyone
can sue anyone for anything. Comparing a home sale to a car sale is
almost funny. You need a dose or reality logic.
bubba you are absiolutely correct. a nearby homeowner sold a house
with a bad sewer line, new owner had flood, from sewage backup...
new owener called plumber who said yeah i told old owner main line was
bad, not disclosed old owener paid for all new sewer line, wall and
yard replacement and new driveway.
new owner didnt care much about costs, old owner poaid thru nose.
The only thing I would disagree with is that I think the used car
analogy has validity. Logic's apparent premise is that there is no
advantage to fixing anything until it's completely shot or it's
remaining life can be exactly determined. Now if I had a used car
to sell, just like a house, there are certain things I'd fix because I
know they are going to be important to a prospective buyer. If the
car had two front tires that were worn and nearing their end but still
met the minimum state inspection reqts, I'd get new ones, because it
makes the car easier to sell and you will likely get the money for the
2 tires back and maybe more. And just like with a house, a car with
no obvious items sticking out, leaves the buyer with the impression
that it's more likely been maintained in some reasonable fashion over
time. If the car had floor mats that couldn't been cleaned to look
nice, I'd replace those too. Of course you have to do this on a case
by case basis, depending on what the value of the car is, etc. But
putting $300 into a $5000 car could easily make the car sell quicker
and get you the $300 back.
In the case of the oil tank, do we even know how old it is? The
fact that people are telling you some insurance companies won't write
a policy on a house with a tank over 20 years old should tell you
something. I would expect MOST tanks would fail by developing a slow
leak, which if caught in time, could be dealt with without having a
big problem. But given that a big problem could be tens of
thousands of dollars, why take that risk? Suppose it leaks just 5
gallons into the basement. How easy do you think it's going to be to
get the smell out, so that some prospective buyer doesn't start
investigating what it's all about?
So, I think the answer is determine it's age as best you can and
either replace it because it's old and prudent to do so or have a pan
ready and ride it till it starts leaking oil.
I acquired a used air compressor tank that I wanted to verify was safe. I talked
to the "boiler and pressure vessel" inspector for the city, who volunteered to
drop by and checked multiple locations on the tank for thickness using a
handheld ultrasonic thickness guage. So yes, it should be possible. Finding the
tool, or someone to do it might be a problem.
Is the outside rusty? I would think that the inside would not rust
very fast, since part of the time it is immersed in fuel oil, and the
rest of the time the air inside is pretty stagnant. In short there is
not a large continuous supply of fresh air and moisture, as with, say,
a bucket, car, or other steel object left outside. -- H
JohnnyK15 had written this in response to
There are many fuel oil dealers who can perform an ultrasonic thickness
test (with an EPA approved technology) on your oil tank for internal
corrosion. Visit http://www.tanksure.com/welcome/homeowners/index.asp and
click on your state to see who in your area offers the test and
inspection. If you get the tank tested at the time of a tune-up, it will
usually only cost about $40 - $50. The TankSure Program's purpose is a
long-term proactive replacement program. During the initial inspection the
technician can determine if your tank is in need of immediate replacement,
if it qualifies for a $1000 replacement payment (some companies offer a
higher payment), or if there are certain upgrades you should consider
before you qualify for the replacement payment (e.g. improper fill or vent
size). The tank would then be subsequently tested on an annual basis (so
long as you get a tune-up annually) and the thickness measurements are
analyzed to see how quickly your tank is corroding and by how much. If at
anytime while you are on the program the software indicates you need a new
tank, the company would tell you that you have been flagged for
replacement and also give you the replacement payment towards a new tank.
The initial inspection is not the "silver bullet" to determine if your
tank is in sound condition, however, you're covered by the replacement
payment even if your tank starts to leak.
If your tank starts to leak, there is also a magnet patch that dealers can
put in certain areas as a temporary fix, but you should replace your tank
before your next fuel delivery. If a tank starts leaking at a seam then a
magnet patch wouldn't work.
I have more information regarding the TankSure Program if you are
interested then please let me know and I live in Massachusetts. In many
states you can now obtain a discount on your homeowner's insurance for
having the test and inspection (in most cases covers the cost of the
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