Advice on underground oil tanks, someone calm my fears


  #1  
Old 06-12-13, 09:25 AM
K
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Advice on underground oil tanks, someone calm my fears

Some background:

I own a 1963 house. No natural gas lines in the area, everyone is on oil. I currently have an oil tank in the basement. Never asked the previous owners if the house ever had an underground oil tank.

No vent or fill pipes sticking out of the ground. No abandoned supply lines coming into the foundation (however the current oil tank is placed tightly against the foundation, so I can't check directly behind it). Town hall has no record of an underground oil tank being installed or removed on the property.

My questions are:
  1. Is a good bet that a 1963 house was built with an underground oil tank?
  2. If there were abandoned supply lines, how thick would they be and how high off the basement floor would they be? Would I see them sticking out of the foundation?
  3. How deep would the oil tank be if I started digging?
  4. What else could I personally check for?
My main concern is resale. No way I'm implicating myself by getting an inspection, however it would certainly give me piece of mind.
 
  #2  
Old 06-12-13, 09:37 AM
J
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I'd find something else to worry about.
If you do not know it's there then there's no need to disclose something you do not know.
Not sure why you would you would even think there may have been one.
 
  #3  
Old 06-12-13, 10:02 AM
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If there is a concern, you could always scan the area around the house with a metal detector.
Odds are that there was never a burried tank. Burried tanks where not common in my area for home heating. Outdoor standing tanks (the same or similar to what you probably have in your basement) was common back in the day here. Most are now indoors.
 
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Old 06-12-13, 10:13 AM
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I'd find something else to worry about.
If you do not know it's there then there's no need to disclose something you do not know.
Not sure why you would you would even think there may have been one.
That's kinda why I'm hoping someone has some insight into my first question. Were in-ground tanks pretty standard for that time period? If so, I have to assume a tank is or was there at some point in time.
 
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Old 06-12-13, 10:32 AM
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I don't know if I would necessarily say that they were pretty standard then, but yes, in-ground tanks were common, as were tanks in the basement. Keep in mind that basement use has changed over the years, and while many basements today are finished, to provide additional space for entertaining, etc., a majority of basements in the early 60's were more for function; a place for the furnace, mechanical access, the laundry in many cases, etc. So while yes, a lot of tanks were buried in those days, I would say that, for houses with basements, a majority of them went there, as it made a whole lot more sense to put it there than it did to dig a separate hole for it. That's a few years back, but I do remember the early 60's, and it seems to me that most of the houses that I can think of had them in the basement. Just speculating, as are you, but I agree with Joe in not worrying about it. If you had found evicence of lines entering the house, or something like that, well, a different story, but since you did not, it seems very likely that the tank was originally located right where it is today.
 
  #6  
Old 06-12-13, 03:13 PM
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I think you are worried about a non-problem.
 
 

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