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Question DetailsAsked on 3/11/2014

Anyone have an above-ground oil tank removed?

I have an abandoned, above-ground, oil tank in my basement. I'd like it removed. I'm looking for recommendations.

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2 Answers


Has it been evacuated and/or cleaned?

There are tank removal companies although they most often deal with underground storage tanks.

They are going to be your best bet as it pertains to code compliance and safe materials handling.

Answered 5 years ago by WoWHomeSolutions


Call companies that sell and install tanks, and underground storage tank removal contractors - your fuel oil supplier might be able to give a recommendaton also. In most states, contractors have to have a special license for storage tank removal and disposal, but in some that only applies to underground tanks.

Basically, they have to clean the tank with several cycles of steaming and detergent to remove all fuel and fumes, then when it is clean, remove it from basement - usually having to cut it into segments with an abrasive cutoff saw so it will fit through doors. An inexperienced or unlicensed contractor can blow your house up by the fumes exploding when they cut it, plus make a total mess of your basement and fume the entire house up during the work if done wrong. Done right, it is almost a closed system with respect to your house - fume extraction by suction fan and flaxible duct leading outdoors from the tank while cleaning, then fan exhaust while cutting to keep burnt metal smell down and exhaussted outside the house. Good idea to shut down any furnace or hot water heater in area while doing this, and tape plastic sheeting over basement door to keep fumes from rising into house, because cutting the tank REALLY stinks of hot metal and burnt plastic matrix from the abrasive blade.

Cost - depends of course on your state regs, how big the tank is, etc - typical 150-250 gallon tank can run $500 range if can be taken out in one piece except in high regulation states. Larger tanks or ones that have to be cut quite small to get pieces out can run $1-2,000 range typically, except probably more like $2000-3,000 range in high regulation states like NJ and NY and CA. Removing oil left in it can run about $0.50/gal disposal fee, because it cannot legally be resold to anyone other than as waste oil, because they have no way of knowing how much water and grit and sludge is in it.

BTW - VERY IMPORTANT - commonly the lines are cut off at the basement wall and plugged, but left buried in the ground, but that is not really legal unelss they are steam cleaned to oil-free condition too. If you go that route, BE SURE the filler pipe is cut off or unscrewed below ground and plugged with wood, or if left sticking up CLEARLY marked with metal sign ABANDONED - DO NOT FILL. FAR safer to have piping removed totally, so when you sell it does not pop up as a possible abandoned underground tank issue where you then have to PROVE there is no tank. Also, if filler line penetrates foundation, be sure abandoned pipe/hole is properly plugged so you do not have an entrance for water leakage into basement.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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