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Question DetailsAsked on 11/29/2016

CAN A PIN HOLE LEAK IN A BASEMENT FUEL OIL TANK BE REPAIRED

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Yes - but in a metal tank the rust from water in the bottom of the fuel is the usual cause, so the pinhole (unless due to a bad weld at a fitting) is common indicative of general rusting and thinning out of the metal at the bottom of the tank, so you will likely be chasing repairs ad infinitum as the rusting continues. Of course, if at a fitting at the top of the tank easier to fix and less critical because it has little or no pressure on it.


There are epoxy sealants for temporary plugging of holes that work a few years typically. Also magnetic cover seals that are just very temporary till you can get it fixed/replaced. There are also epoxy/fiberglass repair patches, as well as strap-on patches, though any of those type repairs is guaranteeing a red flag from the home inspector when you go to sell. And some fuel companies will not fill patched tanks.


Another consideration, since this is inside your home - are you willing to risk a sudden tank failure, where it would be an instantaneous fire hazard, not to mention stinking the house up for a few months, and the risk of a monumental cleanup bill if it spills - which very commonly will NOT be covered by your insurance.


Emptying and cleaning and repairing a tank with a weld or a threaded plug, assuming the whole bottom is not about to go anyway, would undoubtedly be as or more expensive than replacing the tank - certainly if there is access to swap the tanks out. Commonly about $500-1000 to replace, though can run into the $100-2000 range depending on cradle needs, whether fill pipes are up to code or need replacing, etc. However, a LOT cheaper than the tens or even hundreds of thousands if it catastrophically leaks and you have to dig up the basement to remove the contamination in the soil and groundwater.


FYI - here are a couple of previous questions with answers on tank replacement -


http://answers.angieslist.com/Oil-tan...


http://answers.angieslist.com/what-co...


http://answers.angieslist.com/Cost-re...


http://answers.angieslist.com/price-b...


http://answers.angieslist.com/what-co...

Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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