Underground Oil Tank - Water in the Tank Question


Old 03-28-04, 06:33 AM
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Underground Oil Tank - Water in the Tank Question

I am in the process of buying a house with an underground oil tank. I had it tested this morning and got good news with a but.

Good news: The soil looks clean and there seems to be no contamination. But they found 3/4 inch of water in the tank.

Does anyone know how bad this water-in-the-tank thing is?
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Old 03-28-04, 07:35 AM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
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Its like what do you want to do? A lot in just how old is this tank set up. Water in the tank is bad. But you can get it out of there. This is why we put the pick up line down to the bottom of the tanks so it can try and keep any water out of them and they dont rust from the inside out. The oil company could have a set up to try and get the water out for you. They also have some products that will help get the water out. ED
Old 03-28-04, 07:30 PM
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You can use a small hand pump like a bilge pump or a drill powered pump. What you want is a about a 10 ft. long piece of 3/8" o.d. copper tube to put down to the bottom. It will be small enough to prevent pulling too fast and stiff enough to be sure you are at the very bottom of the tank. Pump very slowly until you get clean oil. At first you will get clean water, then you will get a snotty looking mix and then finally clean oil. If you pump too fast you will not get all the bad stuff out. I suggest adding a chemical formulated to remove water after you are finished pumping. And look closely a the fill and vent pipes to see how that much water could have gotten in the tank. Usually it is a fill adapter that doesn't seal.

Old 03-31-04, 11:11 PM
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Water In oil tank

An oil tank should always be keep as full as possible, Especially if you have high humidity, Air changes in the tank will cause condensation when the temperature drops below the dew point of the air and when this hapens day in day out quite a bit of water can accumulate.
So the less air volumne in the tank the less amount of humidity that can accumulate.
We have an installation were the more we pump out of the tank the higher the water level gets, The weight of oil is balancing the weight of water outside the tank via a hole in the bottom of the tank. The tank is about 50 yrs old.
Another possible problem is that an empty tank has the lift of the weight it's own volumne of water less of course the weight of the tank itself.
One lesson we learn the hard way years ago never leave a new installed tank empty otherwise you might find it sitting out of the ground when you return.
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