Reasonable Cost for setting up new fuel oil tank?

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  #1  
Old 09-11-03, 09:38 PM
dejola
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Angry Reasonable Cost for setting up new fuel oil tank?

I bought a new 330 gallon fuel oil tank to replace the old one, which is buried outside my house within 4 feet of where I put the new one (although there is a foundation wall between the two) in my cellar. I bought the tank, along with legs, vent, and a fuel guage from a tank distributor for $340.26, delivered.

I called my fuel oil company, with whom I've been doing business for 30 years, to come by and set up the new tank. They came by and did the following:

1. New fill & vent line to outside of house;
2. Double tap bushing for supply & return oil lines;
3. Half inch bottom tank valve;
4. Transfer all old oil from old tank less 35 gallons of contaminated fuel which will be sent to a recycler;
5. Use owner's 330 oil tank, ventalarm, guage.

For this they charged me $900 plus tax.

Two guys were here for about four hours.

This seems to me to be very unreasonable. I would have expected that work to cost maybe $400-$500 at most.

I live in northern Westchester County, N.Y.

Am I wrong?

Thanks
 
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Old 09-12-03, 10:58 AM
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Question YOU DIDNT ASK FIRST

Call around there and ask cost for a job like this at some other oil companys. See what they say the cost is. You dont say about an oil filter here ? like they say here get 3 bids on a job. They did fire it off didnt they?That's about $112. per man hr. Dont know what your rate is up there. But I would sure like to get that. ED
 
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Old 09-12-03, 11:32 AM
dejola
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Reasonable Cost for Setting Up New Fuel Oil Tank?

Thanks for the response. I didn't get three estimates. I simply called the local guy who has provided my fuel oil and heating system maintenance for over 30 years and told him I need my new fuel tank set up. If he hosed me he was short-sighted because now I'll find a new fuel oil/maintenance provider.

Don't know what you mean about, "hey did fire it off, didn't they?"

The only moderately tough part of the job was installing the filler pipe and vent. They had to chop away a bit of concrete and rock between the foundation and the sill to run the two copper pipes through to the outside, and then mixup some readymix and slap it around the pipes.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 09-12-03, 11:50 AM
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oil burner

I meant that they did start the burner and have it running , checked it all out. At a loss why the valve on the bottom of the tank. Why did they not run the oil line to the burner from this outlet instead of in the top of the tank . This would help keep water out of the tank ED
 
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Old 09-12-03, 11:54 AM
dejola
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Reasonable Cost - New Tank Setup

The lines to the boiler are connected at the top of the tank (see photo attached). I wasn't here when the work was done. My wife was. Don't know if they fired it up or not.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 09-12-03, 05:56 PM
dejola
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Reasonable Cost to setup New Fuel Oil Tank

I spoke with local fuel oil guy who sent his men to setup my new fuel tank. We discussed the price of $900 plus tax. He said he gets $80 an hour for one man, and $40 an hour for the second man. They were at my place for five hours, that's $600. The other $300 is for parts. What parts? A half inch bottom tank valve, about eight feet of what looks like inch and a half copper pipe (the filler pipe and the vent pipe) and associated fittings. Seems like quite a tiny collection of parts for $300! He says he normally gets $1300 when he sells a customer a new fuel oil tank and sets it up. That, too, seems like way too much. A month or so I had another plumbing contractor replace my very old boiler with a Peerless boiler and a Beckett burner. Uninstalling the old boiler and dragging its' heavy weight out of my house, installing the new boiler and burner and making all the connections and all only cost me $3,000. It's totally inconceibale to me that the purchase and setup of a fuel oil tank should be a third of that in cost.
 
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Old 09-13-03, 08:22 AM
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??????????

Ask the guy that put the boiler in how much he would charge to put a tank in. You say the vent and fill pipe is copper to the out side???????? What is code therefor it. Could put hold on it if you paid by credit card. ED
 
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Old 09-13-03, 10:49 AM
dejola
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??????????

The guy said if I had bought the tank from him he would have charged $1,300 for the tank and setup. Yes, the vent and fill pipes are copper, but I think they're two inch. I have no idea what the code is here. I assumed he knows the code.

I will pay him. He said he'll take $100 off the bill. I would have paid him his $900 plus tax. But then I would most certainnly found another oil supplier/maintainer. I asked him to do the job abd didn't ask before hand what it would cost. I expected it to be a reasonable amount.

Thanks again. What are your comments if any of his $300 charge for parts, i.e. half inch bottom valve, about eight feet of two inch copper pipe plus fittings, and a filter in what looks like an alloy housing just before the supply line enters the burner?
 
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Old 09-13-03, 11:47 AM
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Oil

About the only thing I can give you here Is the oil filter ,list about $14.00 that 1/2 " valve about $6.00 list. If you can I would tilt the tank just a little to that drain hole with the valve. Just one time a year open it just a little and let it run into a glass jar and see if there is any water in the tank. They did fire it off and make sure it was burning right I hope for that kind of $$$$$$$ ED
 
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Old 09-14-03, 11:11 AM
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Keep in mind the cost of 2" copper pipe, and 2" fittings for it. Two things unknown are what his supplier charges for these materials, and how much he marks up theses materials for keeping them instock.
gj
 
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Old 09-14-03, 11:23 AM
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Oil Tank

I have never did heard or seen an oil tank vent and fill piped in in copper. Is this some new code there? We always did it in just black pipe. ED
 
  #12  
Old 09-15-03, 12:29 PM
MusicField
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If you think the new tank set-up was pricey, wait 'till you see what it will cost you to remove that old oil tank you still got in the ground.
 
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Old 09-15-03, 07:58 PM
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If they used regular soft solder, it may not comply with fire code and you may want to check that before you pay up. I must be in a much more competitive area. I am about 75 miles North of Philadelphia and I get $650 for a complete installation of an inside tank (including materials). I usually pick up the fuel account at the same time so that is a long term help too. There is no guarantee of getting the account but after getting to know the homeowner, it usually works out. We use 2" black pipe and cut and thread everything over 6" long. It makes a solid job and complies with all state and local codes. Unless it was necessary for the fuel lines to go overhead, the contractor should have converted your fuel pump to a single pipe system and used the bottom tapping on the tank. I think you got a good deal on the tank and a raw one on the installation. Worst case would have been for the installer to sock you a few bucks for cutting his markup out of the tank deal, but it never should have cost $900 for installation.

Ken
 
  #14  
Old 09-21-03, 03:17 PM
H
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labor costs

The oil company is most likely Union.
Yor labor rates are normally detailed out when you have an oil contract. Piping is normally black iron and malleable fittings. I had a Well company charge me $90.00/hr and a helper at about half that...TEN YEARS AGO! I'd hate to think what they charge now...
 
 

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