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Oil Tanks


Joe Arcaro
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Is it ok to bury new oil tanks - or do they all currently have to be installed above ground?

Anyone care to share a boilerplate for when an abandoned underground tank is suspected. How about an underground tank that is still in use -would the reporting be the same as if it were abandoned?

Also, does burning with oil effect the the indoor air quality at all? odors? dust? oily film?, etc.

I recently moved to the UP of Mi. I run into all sorts of heating equipment.

Thanks,

Joe Arcaro

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Hi Joe:

Best to check with you local codes in regards to placement of oil tanks.

As far as IAQ is concerned; Oil fired homes have a very distinct odor, I don't believe that it is harmful but then again I don't profess to be a health expert. There shouldn't be any oily film in the home except for the tank, furnace & this would be in older homes - whenever you service an oil furnace it's a dirty job, there are filters and spray nozzles to change - a little mess after a while it to be expected. Firing rate is also very important, make sure there is no flame impingement on the back of the fire box which leads to warping, cracking etc. I always recommend to owners of oil fired equipment to seek out a licensed HVAC contractor and to secure a PM agreement on their equipment ASAP.

George would be a good source for oil fired equipment, I believe he has rasseled with a few of these in his day.

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I hate oil!

One thing that is very common, and potentially very dangerous, is a wrong nozzle. Checking the nozzle is beyond the scope of a visual inspection.

For example, a .6/60 degree nozzle means that it pumps .6 of a gallon of oil per hour and shoots it out in a 60 degree cone. The .6 gallons is also the BTU firing rate. I have found 1.25 nozzles where .75 should be and a .75 where a 1.25 should be.

You can almost bet your life that the nozzle that is in the furnace is not the one that the manufacturer says should be in there.

I ALWAYS disclaim oil and say it must be inspected by a qualified technician. I also explain that an oil burner needs to be serviced every year. They need to clean and adjust the electrodes, change the oil line filter, adjust the burner and barometric, etc. Since it needs to be done anyway, have it done the the day you move in.

back during the oil crisis of the 70's, we changed most of these beasts to gas. There are very few left here in Detroit. But, I don't think that you are allowed to bury the tanks anymore.

George

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Joe: I don't have the 'boiler plate' handy here but I ran into this just this week. A circa 1933 house, 'stub-up' steel pipe in boiler room and a copper fuel oil line remnant at the slab. New steam boiler (now gas).

I just told the client to call the local FD (MA Fire Depts are pretty good on records of USTs) to see if there was a UST.

Bingo. There was.

Client wanted to know the ins/outs.

I said the tanks last 20-45 years or so (depending) and even to determine if it is leaking or not is not a 'great' way to do so anyways. This one was from the thirties or a bit later..

If it doesn't leak (brand new), I still recommend 'pro-active replacement' of the tank.

If it is leaking, there is the potential for soil contamination which can cost $$$$$$$$$ to remediate.

Buyer walked. (Didn't like the commuter rail in the backyard every few minutes anyways).

Was in Jimmy M territory..

PS-House had 'used' slate on the roof----they'd take the slates off a barn or factory or old schoolhouse and turn them upside down. Some had the original nail holes exposed to the weather. Kooky. I figure some of those slate had been 'in the weather" (out of the quarry) for almost 130-150 years or so.. Pretty good 'shingle life' ..

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You gotta love disclaiming UST's up and down and then finding one based on very little evidence. Few things can make you look as good to your client.

On the other hand, inspecting in my territory makes you and Dennis look like enemy raiding parties to me, so would you both kindly stay within the borders of your own fetid neighborhoods (that would be Greater Chelsea for Dennis, and Greater Brockton for Rob)?

Thanks in advance,

Jim "The Rest of the Commonwealth" Morrison

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Originally posted by Jim Morrison

You gotta love disclaiming UST's up and down and then finding one based on very little evidence. Few things can make you look as good to your client.

On the other hand, inspecting in my territory makes you and Dennis look like enemy raiding parties to me, so would you both kindly stay within the borders of your own fetid neighborhoods (that would be Greater Chelsea for Dennis, and Greater Brockton for Rob)?

Thanks in advance,

Jim "The Rest of the Commonwealth" Morrison

Jim,

I refuse to learn a second language or go to any city that requires a passport or doesn't recognize US dollars as legal currency. Besides I love raiding your back yard and stealing all them apples.

Dennis

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