Residential Oil Tank Removal

What is the cost of removing oil tank?

Years ago oil furnaces were popular as a result many old houses have oil tank. Now days Gas or Heat Pumps dominate (see eia.gov statistics). If you have an old house and you want to replace oil with gas or a heat pump you are going to want to get rid of the old oil tank. This can be an expensive project. The typical place to call is the fuel oil company you have been getting the oil from. If it is above ground or inside they will normally want $1200 to $1500 to drain the oil and remove the oil tank. For in ground tanks that are not leaking $1500 to $2500 however if it is leaking it could cost tens of thousands of dollars.  Regardless of if your tank is above or below ground if you are not going to be using oil any more you should at least remove the oil since it is a potential safety and environment hazard.

Assuming your tank is not leaking there are some inexpensive options for removing the tank though you should check your states regulations before taking action on your own.  Also keep in mind that when you sell your property you will need to disclose you had an oil tank and had it removed and if you do it your self it might effect the salability or price of your property and the buyer may want ground test to verify there is no oil in the ground. I would advise that if it is an in ground tank you test the soil around the tank.

With your potential liabilities in mind here are some suggestions to remove your tank at minimal cost.

  1. If your tank is still half or more full you maybe able to find company that will remove it for discount against the reclaimed oil.  Most companies will say they don’t know the quality of the oil and don’t want to mess with it so they charge you the going rate to remove the tank but there are some that will in effect pay you for the oil.  If you do a lot of Googling you can probably fine at least on in your area.
  2. The biggest issue is getting rid of the oil after that you can cut it up and take it to the scrap yard.  You maybe about to find a company that will take the oil off your hands for fee or even pay you for it.  You would still be left with the tank but that is a lot easier to deal with than a tank with oil.  Once again Google or use you net work of friends to see if anyone know someone that want the oil.
  3. If there is no oil in it you can just cut it up and take it to the dump or find someone that wants it and will come get it for you.

If you are DIY you are going to want to get some ZEP Instant Spill Absorber.  There will inevitably be some spills and if you are going to cut up the tank you will want to put some in after pumping out the oil to absorb the little that is left.  DO NOT try to absorb any sizable amount of oil in the tank pump it out first.   Also remember you can NOT just dump the oil.  There are Federal, State and most likely local law against this and if you try dumping 100 gallons of oil some place they will hunt you down and fine the crap out of you and maybe stick you in jail.

Here is a video of my adventure removing my home oil tank from the basement.

Let me know what you think

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