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Removing old oil tank myself

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  • Aug 9th, 2018 10:20 am
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[OP]
Member
Apr 29, 2017
279 posts
92 upvotes

Removing old oil tank myself

I have an old above ground tank that is about 1/4 full that I need to get rid of. I could pay a contractor $500 to do it, but I think I could drain it myself fairly easily and dispose at the proper place. Has anyone ever done this themselves before? How much would an average empty tank weigh?
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Deal Addict
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Oct 15, 2007
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Mitts87 wrote: I have an old above ground tank that is about 1/4 full that I need to get rid of. I could pay a contractor $500 to do it, but I think I could drain it myself fairly easily and dispose at the proper place. Has anyone ever done this themselves before? How much would an average empty tank weigh?
It’s not terribly difficult to do but can get very messy.
Drain the tank, dispose of the oil, cut tank into pieces, deal with leftover caked on sludge, terminate vent pipes

I could be mistaken but you may require a TSSA license to do this legally
Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again. - Andre Gide
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May 28, 2007
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Peterborough
How old is the oil. You may be able to get a "pump out". They will buy yen oil from you at a discount. I used to do this as part of a summer job. Houses where sold tank full or tank empty. If tank empty then we would go and empty it. J

Either way, make sure all pipes are cut out or rendered useless. I know of multiple occasions where a new delivery driver has pulled up to the wrong house and pumped a 100 gallons into a basement with no tank on the other end of the pipe.
Deal Addict
Dec 19, 2009
3798 posts
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Mitts87 wrote: I have an old above ground tank that is about 1/4 full that I need to get rid of. I could pay a contractor $500 to do it, but I think I could drain it myself fairly easily and dispose at the proper place. Has anyone ever done this themselves before? How much would an average empty tank weigh?
I would assume 'above ground tank' means the tank is already outside and not in the basement as the other two may have thought.
Deal Guru
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
Curioprop wrote: How old is the oil. You may be able to get a "pump out". They will buy yen oil from you at a discount. I used to do this as part of a summer job. Houses where sold tank full or tank empty. If tank empty then we would go and empty it. J

Either way, make sure all pipes are cut out or rendered useless. I know of multiple occasions where a new delivery driver has pulled up to the wrong house and pumped a 100 gallons into a basement with no tank on the other end of the pipe.
Holy hell. What mess!
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May 28, 2007
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Peterborough
engineered wrote: Holy hell. What mess!
One was so bad they had to replace the felt pads in the piano on the floor above because the oil smell was in them. This was a case of delivery to the wrong house. Subrogation was over $2.5M. Partly the oil company and partly the contractor who removed the tank but did not cap the full or vent pipe. Driver delivered a lot of oil before realizing something was wrong.

If the tank is outside then it may be a pump out and phone the city to see if hazardous waste depot takes old tanks.
[OP]
Member
Apr 29, 2017
279 posts
92 upvotes
The tank is in kind of a garden shed next to the house, under a deck. House was power of attorney of sale and they claimed to know if nothing about the house, the oil tank isn't dated and insurance wants it gone or replaced within the next month. It would be $2400 to get the tank switched out but we don't want to get one, going to get a heat pump.

I have no idea how old the oil is.

Anybody know if someone from insurance company would stop by or if they need a receipt for a company to do it? Maybe a receipt from the dump would be enough, if the are willing to take it.
Sr. Member
Nov 8, 2006
713 posts
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Toronto
Just pay someone to do it. When i used to work HVAC, we had to cut that tank into pieces, smell so bad, dirty and heavy. Also, make sure its capped off properly so it cannot be used again.
Deal Guru
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
You could try putting it on kjiji for free. Maybe someone will come take it away for you.
Jr. Member
Jul 31, 2017
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Toronto
I think this is one of those occasions where it is better to shift the liability onto someone else and pay them to remove it. I think the minimum fine for contaminating soil is $25,000 plus a whole lot of headaches. The remediation costs of even a small leak outweigh any savings you think you'll get doing it on your own.
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Jul 5, 2004
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Curioprop wrote:
Either way, make sure all pipes are cut out or rendered useless. I know of multiple occasions where a new delivery driver has pulled up to the wrong house and pumped a 100 gallons into a basement with no tank on the other end of the pipe.
That happened to a house around the corner from me. They had to tear the whole house down and 10 years later the lot still sits vacant. I can only assume the ground is still contaminated. Luckily for the people beside him, the township installed a municipal water system shortly before that, or all their wells likely would have been contaminated too
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It's not hard or risky to do. Get someone to pump it out for you. After that, dump cat litter in to soak up what's left. Cut the top open to ensure it's completely dry and empty. Then you can cut it up some more and remove it.
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Mitts87 wrote: The tank is in kind of a garden shed next to the house, under a deck. House was power of attorney of sale and they claimed to know if nothing about the house, the oil tank isn't dated and insurance wants it gone or replaced within the next month. It would be $2400 to get the tank switched out but we don't want to get one, going to get a heat pump.

I have no idea how old the oil is.

Anybody know if someone from insurance company would stop by or if they need a receipt for a company to do it? Maybe a receipt from the dump would be enough, if the are willing to take it.
When I switched to propane, my insurance company wanted my tank removed. It's built into a room in my basement, so I resisted. Eventually they gave in and allowed me to keep it until such time as I renovate the basement. They wanted picture of the fill valve being removed, the tank disconnected from anything else, as well as pictures that showed that it's empty. They didn't send someone out though.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
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Vancouver, BC
Mitts87 wrote: The tank is in kind of a garden shed next to the house, under a deck. House was power of attorney of sale and they claimed to know if nothing about the house, the oil tank isn't dated and insurance wants it gone or replaced within the next month. It would be $2400 to get the tank switched out but we don't want to get one, going to get a heat pump.

I have no idea how old the oil is.

Anybody know if someone from insurance company would stop by or if they need a receipt for a company to do it? Maybe a receipt from the dump would be enough, if the are willing to take it.
So, the tank wasn't disclosed to you when you brought the house and the seller claims that they didn't know anything about the tank when they sold it to you? That's a failure to disclose on the sellers part and I would see there is any legal recourse for the seller to take responsibility of removing the tank and any and all liabilities associated with it.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
5645 posts
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Thornhill
Don't play with fire.

Only certified installers may remove an oil tank. Avoid the fines.

Any spillage at all is a huge liability to you and is likely to prompt at least a phase 1 assessment if oil seeps into the ground even slightly and if it's not attended to the liability to you gets worse as it now applies to seepage and contamination onto other properties and even on the resale of the home regardless of when that happens. Avoid the costs to clean-up as your insurance company will come after you.

FYI, it is normal for anyone selling a property by power of attorney to make such disclaimers especially if they don;t own the property. If you used a general inspector, they should have told you about the changes to the fuel oil code and know that without a date on that tank it would need to be removed.

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