Locating a Buried Oil Tank on Your Property

You’re a rehabber who purchased a new property for renovation. The home is decades old and needs a lot of work. The heating and plumbing systems need renovation.

Along the foundation, you notice rusted coffee cans covering a vent pipe. One day, a contractor stops by and tells you about a buried oil tank in the vicinity.

Search for vent pipes or fill pipes when dealing with an abandoned oil tank that’s underground. Vent pipes and fill pipes indicate the presence of an oil tank, including copper lines near the furnace. This article will help you streamline a buried oil tank inspection. Let’s explore.

How Deep are Oil Tanks Buried?

The depth of the oil tank can range between 1.5 feet to 2.5 feet. However, the best way to determine the location is to look for galvanized piping that emerges from the ground, otherwise known as the vent pipe.

  • Note: The vent pipe usually appears above ground level anywhere from six inches to 1.5 feet.

The vent pipe is usually a one or two-inch pipe with a mushroom-shaped cap on it.

Where Can I Find the Pipes?

To find a fuel oil tank, look for vent pipes or fill pipes on the exterior of your home. You’ll find the above-ground pipes near the side of your home, most likely near the foundation.

If you find the two pipes, consider one of the following:

  • The tank remains in place
  • The tank was uninstalled with a hack

If you want to determine the presence of the tank, stick something down the pipe itself. If oil appears around the object, the oil tank is still in place. You should remove unused oil tanks that contain oil, as they could emit noxious fumes.

If you have trouble locating the pipes, look around your front and backyard. If you cannot find the pipe, look around bushes or shrubbery. The previous owners could have covered the pipe with an object, such as a coffee can.

Also, you can determine the exact positioning of the pipes. If the vent pipe and fill pipes are beside each other, you may find the tank inside your home or under the house itself.

Where Can I Find Copper Lines?

If you’re having trouble with the vent or fill pipes, check your furnace area for copper pipes. The pipes usually come in the form of small lines or tubes.

You may also see them in the form of a bundle. Copper piping indicates that the home relied on an oil tank as a heating source.

Is There An Easier Way to Find a Buried Oil Tank?

The best way to find a buried oil tank is to locate the venting or fill pipes. To find the vent pipes and fill pipes, look around the foundation of the home.

Moreover, stained oil inside of your basement may indicate the presence of an oil tank. If you discover leaked oil, contact a removal specialist to avoid potential hazards.

Are you dealing with an abandoned or leaking oil tank? Click here to learn more about oil tank removal, locating a buried oil tank on your property and getting help.