On occasion during our home inspections on Long Island, we see old, abandoned oil tanks in crawl spaces. We always recommend removal of an abandoned tank in the crawlspace because sooner or later it will rust out and start to leak residual oil and sludge. In fact, it may be oozing out of the tank already. If the crawlspace happens to have a dirt floor, long term leakage could lead to an environmental concern. In addition, it could cause a fuel oil odor.
Typically, crawlspace oil tanks need to be cut up before they can be removed, and properly discarded. This work should be done by an oil tank specialist.
Make sure that the old fill pipe and vent are removed from the side of the house to avoid an oil flood caused by an inadvertent mistake on the part of oil tank delivery technician with a wrong address. It happens, every once in a while, oil is pumped into the basement or crawlspace because they never removed the pipes after they removed the tank. Now you’ve got a real problem!
So, yes, it makes sense to remove an old tank in the crawlspace to avoid potential problems in the future. We hope this was helpful.
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