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is this UNDERGROUND oil tank or above ground?


ashstars
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I am helping my parents purchase a house and am concerned about the possibility of one of the homes we are interested in having an underground oil tank. My father loves this particular home so he put down an offer on the house and $500 deposit without knowing the details of the oil tank location. The home was a foreclosure which is now owned by a realty company, so we cant contact the previous owner for info and our realtor wasnt able to give us any details on the oil tank either.

I took some pictures of 2 pipes on the front side of the house....I didnt see any other pipes or holes anywhere else outside. Can anyone please tell me if these look like underground or above ground oil tank pipes? Also, when we took a tour of the house the basement smelled like oil or gasoline but we didnt see any tanks present. And it was too dark to see any wiring or piping. Several neighbors down the street had similar pipes on the outisde walls but higher up than these. any help would be very appreciated. thank you!

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thank you for your replies! that was faaaast.

I am going to go back to the house and going take a good look at the basement with my flashlight. If by chance the previous owners removed the oil tank from the basement what should I look for to tell me that the oil tank indeed used to be there?id="maroon"> I have read that if the tank is underground there will be thin copperwires on the inside walls or floor. But I dont know what to look for if the tank was indoors and has been removed.

The basement was dark but there was just enough light to see large objects, such as the water heater and the ac pump and we didnt see an oil tank....it was only difficult to see flat against the wall where wiring or piping would be. So I'm thinking the oil tank may have been possibly removed.

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hi Tom, thank you for your reply.

I think it's a great idea to contact the previous owner for details but I am hesitant because the home is a foreclosure. I can get their contact info, but I think if I was in their place I would be bitter about losing my home and wouldnt be helpful to someone interested in buying. [?]

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Hi,

The smaller cap at the left in the picture is a vent the right is the filler. No offense meant, but I'm concerned; you say you're helping your father to get this home but you aren't hiring a home inspector, you have focused on the oil tank, but you don't have the feintest idea of what to look for. What about the rest of the home? While I agree that a leaking tank is a bad thing, there are many, many other things that could be going on in that house that will escape the attention of an inexperienced person. You could solve this tank mystery, your dad buys the home while thinking that the rest of it's in acceptable condition, and then he could end up discovering many thousands of dollars worth of needed repairs the hard way.

If your reluctance to hire an inspector is due to cost, keep in mind that an inspector could find just one electrical issue that needs correction that you wouldn't be experienced enough to spot and it would more than justify the inspector's fee. You do not want to see your father saddled with a mortgage on a home that will suck him dry due to a bunch of seemingly small but expensive issues that you and he wouldn't have known to look for.

Spend whatever it will cost in your area to get the most experienced inspector around to give that house the once over. If you don't; mark my words, you're liable to be very sorry.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by hausdok

Spend whatever it will cost in your area to get the most experienced inspector around to give that house the once over. If you don't; mark my words, you're liable to be very sorry.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

That's the truth. I'd go one further and extract the "liable" part, as in "you'll be very sorry".

I've got more than a few customers that thought they could figure it all out themselves. Now, they're paying me hourly to figure out all the stupid stuff they didn't see, or their cheap inspector missed.

It's hard, maybe impossible, to convince folks of this stuff. It isn't just a bunch of us HI's blowing our horns for business. It's commentary derived from decades of watching folks get jammed on lousy houses.

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Hi,

Of course we're planning on hiring an inspector to inspect the house completely. We would do so on any home, and because the home is a foreclosure with all the more reason. I guess you're assuming that just because I'm asking about the oil tanks location I'm not interested in having an inspection done? All I was asking for was the forums insight on the oil tank so that I could just be a little more aware because we have never used an oil tank and the realtor seemed confused about its location, which made us very curious! Well, if the offer goes through for the house we'll let the inspector take care of it. It smells down in the basement anyway. [:-crazy]

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My observations:

There's no question in my mind that those are oil tank fill & vent pipes.

The pipes turn and head through the wall. That means that the tank is/was under the house -- probably in the basement.

The vent pipe is awfully short. Don't you get snow in NC? The pipe is supposed to be tall enough to keep it up out of the snow.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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