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Living with an Above or Underground Oil Tank

Buying or selling a home is an exciting time. We wanted to provide some insight into residences with an oil tank and the steps you can take to protect yourself from unnecessary risk. Today, we want to break down the differences between above and below ground tanks when buying a home.

There are pros and cons to buying a house with an above or below ground oil tank. Above ground tanks take up property space, however, they are easier to locate. In case of a leak, these can usually be noticed as well. However, if there is a leak and the tank is in an enclosed part of the house, the fumes can make the building uninhabitable for a time.

If the tank is underground, it has little impact on the day to day lives of the inhabitants of the home. However, in the case of tank failure, there are usually no warning signs that the tank is going to fail. While clean up can be expensive, it’s generally contained to soil contamination. That brings us to our next point, whether you are buying or selling a home, it is important to have the tank tested during a home inspection.

Whether you have an above or below ground tank, testing is a key factor in avoiding future, expensive risk or hassle during selling a home. For above ground tanks, make sure any test follows the requirements for commercial tanks as defined by the USEPA and State agencies. Advanced Ultrasonic technology can provide the thickness of the tank as well as an approximate life expectancy. These tests need to be repeated periodically.

The testing is slightly different for underground oil tanks. Often if the tank has been previously abandoned, owners may not even know where the tank is located. A tank sweep can be done to find the location or even find out if a tank is present. Then if the tank is in use or if it needs to be removed, tank testing can provide an accurate gauge of how much fuel is in the tank and whether there are any potential leaks. Finally, having the soil tested around the tank is often a requirement of tank removal to ensure there are no contaminants outside of the tank.

Whether you’re considering a house with an above or below ground tank, or if you already own one, we hope you gained some perspective about the key differences. No matter what kind of oil tank you have, don’t forget to get your tank periodically tested.


POSTED BY ats_admin ON January 30th, 2015

See how ATS TRUST remove your tank in 5 steps

POSTED BY ats_admin ON November 1st, 2013

Have your oil tank inspection performed routinely


Nothing on or in your home will last forever.  Roofs must be replaced, windows should be upgraded as trends and efficiency demands it and faucets will leak.  All of these require replacement.  The same holds true for your heating oil tank.

The simple fact is heating oil tanks do not last forever and should be inspected routinely for leaks.  Studies show that 2 out of every 1000 oil tanks leak each year.  Other studies suggest that the smaller home heating oil tanks develop leaks at a much higher rate than large scale, industrial style tanks due to the wall thickness required for large volume tanks.

If you have an oil tank supplying heating oil to your home, perhaps it’s time to provide a little TLC.  If you’ve been in your home for ten years or more, it’s definitely time to inspect your tank and service lines before a small inconvenience turns into a huge, costly problem.  If you find that you have an underground oil tank leak and need help contact us at ATS Trust to determine what your alternative are.

ATS Trust is the leader in oil tank removal, remediation and replacement.  With up front, simplified, flat rate pricing, you will be assured of a quality job with no hidden costs or fees.  As a state certified oil tank company, we can obtain necessary permits and file needed paper work on your behalf to ensure compliance with all local and state codes.

If you suspect you have an oil tank leak, contact the oil tank specialists at ATS Trust.  ATS Trust will assist you every step of the way with your oil tank replacement.

POSTED BY ats_admin ON December 28th, 2012

Options for Oil Tank Replacement


If you have an underground oil tank, the question is not if it will develop a leak, the question is "when will it start leaking?" Even if your underground oil tank is structurally sound right now, it will eventually corrode, rust and develop a leak. If you wait for that to happen, you may be facing much higher costs and having to deal with the involvement of environmental agencies and their regulations.

There are sound reasons to consider an oil tank replacement right now, and several options for replacement if you do. You may want to review your options, but if you replace your oil tank now, rather than wait until it becomes a problem, you can save yourself both time and money.

If you decide to replace your old oil tank, you must decide on the placement of the new tank.  You have two basic options:

Inside the home

Many homeowners decide to install the replacement oil tank in the basement of the home. They may also upgrade the tank in size, to allow for more oil storage capacity. And you are not limited to another steel tank, many homeowners choose to install a plastic tank. The advantages of a plastic tank are obvious – it will never rust or corrode. Even inside the home, a steel tank can be exposed to moisture, developing rust that weakens the structure and causing leaks. There are also double-wall steel tanks that help prevent leaks.  Installing vent alarms will also protect your home from costly oil leaks.


POSTED BY ats_admin ON December 21st, 2012

How can you tell if your oil tank leaks, and what do you do about it?

Oil tank leaks are a big concern for homeowners with underground heating oil tanks. Ideally, leaks should be addressed early to minimize damage to people, property and environment. But how can you tell if you have a leak?

Here is a summary of clues to look for that might indicate a leak, and steps you can take if you suspect a leak.


There is no way to be sure that your tank is sound without digging it up, but knowing the age of your tank can help you make an educated decision. Because many underground oil tanks are made of bare steel, they are vulnerable to corrosion. If your tank is over 10-15 years old, it is more likely to have developed the small pinholes which are the beginning of oil tank leaks. 


Another sign that your tank may be worth a look are


POSTED BY ats_admin ON December 13th, 2012

What to do when your oil tank leaks?

Underground oil tanks can pose many problems for homeowners. Oil tank leaks represent a very serious problem that requires immediate and competent attention. Rust and corrosion can happen even with a tank that was specifically designed for underground use, but many underground tanks were not built to be buried.

How to tell if your oil tank is leaking

If you have a large leak caused by rust in the tank, often your first clue that you have a leak in your underground oil tank is that your furnace stops working.  Leaks in the tank can cause drainage of its contents, whereas leaks in pipes may result in a slower leak that may not be apparent for some time. Signs of a leak may include a strong odor in the soil, or a sheen on groundwater. There are test kits available if you think you have an oil leak, but these are most reliable is the soil sample comes from beneath the tank.

Can the tank be repaired?

Leaks that occur in the tank structure will require removal of the oil tank. It is sometimes possible to repair leaking fuel lines if the damage and contamination of the soil is not extensive.


POSTED BY ats_admin ON December 6th, 2012

How to Find the Best Oil Tank Removal Company

If you are currently searching for an oil tank removal company to help you with this often frustrating and time consuming process, you may have already begun to ask around and even use the convenient power of the Internet to help you find reliable services. Performing a basic search on any one of the major engines will be certain to produce an overwhelming amount of companies offering to provide you with these services. However, it is vital to keep in mind that each professional oil tank removal provider varies greatly in some very important aspects. Therefore, you should analyze each company in detail before agreeing to services with any one of them.


There are some key components you should look for in any oil tank removal provider. It is important to work with a professional company that has experience in this specific industry. Logically, the more successful removals any provider has completed, the more confident you can be in agreeing to services with them. It is highly recommended that you only work with an oil tank removal company that is officially licensed and certifed by the state. Agreeing to services with a contractor who isn't up to date on these vital regulations can leave you personally open to many risks and even legally liable for unforeseen injuries that may occur.



POSTED BY ats_admin ON November 29th, 2012

Oil Tank Abandonment: Leak Detection

Homeowners that use fuel oil for heating often have a tank buried in their yard. If they decide at a later time to switch to gas for heating, then an abandonment process is an option for the old tank. Tanks that are buried underground need to be opened up, cleaned out and filled with foam or sand. An article posted on the Asbury Park Press website talks about the importance of leak detection in tanks.  


“The township inspector checks to make sure the contents of the tank have been completely removed.”  

A homeowner may decide to use oil tank abandonment as an option instead of removing an old oil tank. Most of the time this is typically due to the expense of hiring a company to dig up the tank. Extra steps will then be needed to restore the landscape of the property.
The proper procedure for abandonment first requires excavating the ground to access the tank. Cutting is then needed to open a hole in the top of the tank. The contents of the tank will be pumped out before the tank is finally filled. Oil tanks that go through abandonment are left in the ground. This can cause a problem over time if any leaking occurs from residue left in the tank.

POSTED BY ats_admin ON November 26th, 2012

A Couple of Reasons to Consider Underground Oil Tank Removal

Do you currently own an underground oil tank to store your heating oil but plan to transition to an above ground tank or other heating source? If so, what do you plan to do with your current oil tank?


You basically have two options. You can remove it or you can abandon the tank. Here are a few great reasons to remove your old tank instead of abandoning it.


Surprisingly it can actually be more cost effect to choose oil tank removal over abandonment. If you want to abandon the tank you must have the soil around it tested for contamination. These tests can be rather costly and sometimes end up costing more than removal. After the tests are complete the tank will still have to be emptied, cleaned, and filled with something such as sand.

Home Resale

Choosing oil tank removal over abandonment is the smart choice if you ever want to sell your home. Think about what you would think if you were the home buyer. Many prospective home buyers are going to be concerned if there is an abandoned oil tank on the property. Put yourself in there shoes. If you were looking at a home with an abandoned oil tank you'd want to know the soil around it isn't contaminated and that it was abandoned properly. They will likely want to see records of all the work that was done and will probably want the soil tested for contamination which means you may have to pay for those soil tests all over again.

The Department of Environmental Protection in Massachusetts put together some great information in this article on reasons to consider underground oil tank removal that expands on these reasons. For more information on oil tank removal or abandonment don't hesitate to contact us. We're happy to help.


POSTED BY ats_admin ON November 16th, 2012

Top 5 Oil Tank Removal Tips


Top 5 Oil Tank Removal Tips

When you decide it's time to dig up and replace your home's oil tank, you've got a pretty big project on your hands. There are multiple angles from which you can approach this kind of undertaking, and depending on your budget and some other factors, one of them might actually wind up being a better option than the others. We'll talk about some of the best strategies for figuring out how to best approach your oil tank replacement, and also go over some helpful bits of information that will make your job easier regardless of the method you choose.

Find It, First and Foremost

Locating your oil tank needs to be the first thing you do, as its location is going to dictate a lot of things that will bear important influence on how the rest of your project goes. There are a few ways to figure out where your home's oil tank is located, and if you can't seem to find it then you can always call in a service. You'll see that with sensitive issues like this one, it's a smart idea to give it a try yourself, but call in a professional if it seems like it's something that's going to give you a hard time. When you're dealing with your home and things that can seriously affect it, you want to let the professionals come in and do their job if you can't handle it.

Use a Backhoe, If You Can

This will depend on the location of your oil tank, but if you can fit a backhoe in there it'll make your job a lot easier. If you can't get a backhoe into the space where your oil tank is located, then hard digging is what it's going to take to unearth the thing, so go ahead and get out the shovels and gloves.

Get the Proper Permits

Unfortunately it's not OK for just any homeowner to go digging up giant holes in their back and/or front yards, so you're going to want to make sure that you've spoken with the right individuals and obtained the right permits to be doing that kind of work on your property. This isn't too hard to obtain and shouldn't be too much of a hindrance on the progress of your project, but ignoring it can wind up putting you in serious legal trouble.

Get an Inspector

Many cities will require this for you, whether you want an inspection or not, but even if it's not a requirement you might want to think about it just the same. Having your oil tank professionally inspected once you've removed and/or replaced it will tell you if there's anything wrong or unsafe that you need to be aware of, and is usually worth the money it costs.

Arrange Ahead of Time

Make every possible arrangement ahead of time. Oil tank removal is a million times easier when you've got everything set up before you get started. Namely, once you've replaced the tank you'll want to have the topsoil and grass or flowers ready to throw right back on there so you don't have an awkward-looking patch on your grass for an entire week after you've finished the work. Having your plan in place ahead of time will help your home-improvement go off without a hitch.

Get an Oil Tank Removal Free Quote here.

POSTED BY ats_admin ON October 2nd, 2012

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