How Much Does Oil Tank Removal Cost?

There are many contributing factors to the failure of an oil tank. The most common factor is rust.  When water gets inside a heating oil tank, it mixes with sulphur to create a corrosive agent that will cause rust damage from the inside out. Water can enter an oil tank in a number of ways, but the most common are through the delivery of bad oil, a poorly sealed fill box, condensation, and ground water leaks. Soil conditions can also corrode a tank from the outside in. If you are experiencing any of the above situations, then you are going to be interested in oil tank removal cost.

Oil Tank Removal Cost

Oil tank removal cost is substantial enough that you should receive three written estimates before proceeding. The cost of oil tank removal is more for buried tanks than for above ground tanks. The same can be said for oil tank replacement cost. Oil tank removal cost runs from $500 to $3000. Factors that can affect oil tank removal cost include local rates, local regulations, the size and condition of the tank, and the ground conditions for buried tanks. Removing an oil tank requires the issuance of a permit. It is also recommended to take photographs to document the work in progress.

Underground Oil Tank Removal Cost

Buried oil tank removal cost is greater than it is for above ground tanks, and can get even more expensive depending on the condition of the tank and the surrounding soil. Removal of an underground tank is usually made necessary because of ground contamination. In this case, the cost of oil tank removal can escalate substantially. The oil tank removal cost for an easy to access 500 gallon tank can be $1100. This includes removing the tank and testing the soil. The cost of oil tank replacement with an above ground tank can bring the cost of the entire project to $2700. In the event that minor contamination has been detected, the total oil tank removal cost can be as high as $10,000 for clean-up. For major contamination, oil tank removal cost as high as $100,000 has been reported.

Oil Tank Replacement Cost

The cost of oil tank replacement usually includes an above ground tank, as the risks of contamination from underground tanks are too great. Oil tank replacement cost can be $1000 to $2000 depending on oil tank prices as well as the size, location, and type of tank. Oil tank prices are governed by the type of tank construction. Modern oil tanks are made of fiberglass or steel, or both. Whether the tank is made from single or double wall construction also has an effect on oil tank prices and oil tank replacement cost.

Oil Tank Installation Cost

The cost of oil tank replacement is derived from oil tank prices and the local cost of labor. It is possible to negotiate your oil tank replacement cost down if several homes in your neighborhood all need to have their tanks replaced as well. The installation of new tanks requires permits that are usually issued by the local fire department or environmental protection agency.

Home Heating Oil Tank Prices

Oil tank prices are greatly affected by how the tank is constructed. Heating oil tank prices for underground tanks are greater because underground tanks tend to be bigger. However, the possibility of environmental degradation from underground tanks is great enough that most people are now choosing to have above ground tanks installed. Oil tank prices for above ground tanks are less because they are smaller, usually about 275 gallons compared to the 500 gallon size of below ground tanks. Above ground tanks are usually installed in a basement or shed.

275 Gallon Oil Tank Prices

The standard size for an above ground storage tank is 275 gallons. The tanks come in as assortment of shapes. A typical carbon steel horizontal 275 gallon tank costs $800. Vertical tanks constructed of the same materials cost a little more, about $830.  For $1000, you can get a heavy duty steel tank on a 6 to 7 foot high steel stand.

Oil Tank Testing

Oil companies often have staff that will perform an oil tank inspection for you. Oil tank inspection is done in a couple of ways. Sometimes a pressure test is performed. Other times, advanced electronic equipment is needed. Testing for the presence of water in the tank is easy, and a positive result usually means that the tank has a leak. Buried steel tanks can be tested with ground scanning radar equipment. The definitive test for buried oil tanks is soil testing. If the tank is leaking, the oil will have seeped into the surrounding soil and can be detected. The cost of soil testing is $300 to $500. Testing an underground tank for leaks is $500. Many experts suggest that, with older tanks, the oil tank replacement cost is worth investing in even without testing.

Oil Tank Sizes

There are two types of residential heating oil tanks. Those types are tanks that are designed to be buried underground and tanks that are to be installed above the ground. Oil storage tanks can range in size from 50 gallons to 20,000. But, for residential applications, underground tanks do not usually get much larger than 1000. Typical sizes for underground oil storage tanks are 550 gallons or 1000 gallons.

Oil Tank Insurance

When calculating the cost of oil tank removal and replacement, you need to give consideration to oil tank insurance. Oil tank removal cost can grow astronomically if environmental contamination is found. To insure against extremely high oil tank replacement cost due to contamination, there is pollution liability insurance.  This policy covers the homeowner up to around $60,000 of the environmental clean-up portion of oil tank removal cost should ground contamination be found. Oil tanks have been known to fail on occasion, especially underground tanks hidden from view. With potential cost estimates reaching as high as $100,000, it is definitely a good idea to contact your state’s insurance division considering where to purchase adequate pollution liability insurance. Costs for this insurance are low, and in some states they are free, so long as the heating oil tanks are registered with the state’s insurance program prior to any contamination occurring.

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