Profile picture for amy12345

house with buried oil tank-next question please?

Hi everyone. Homeowner said to feel free and test  soil, tank whatever.  She doesn't know of any problems. If tank(not pressure but 2-d)test and soil test come back clean, do you think it would be okay to wait until after closing and we will abandon tank and switch to gas?? How reliable are those tests?

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May 19 2008 - US
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Profile picture for chromal

Not so much speaking from experience as common sense, but I'd say if the tank doesn't leak and the soil under it tests as clean, mitigation should only be a matter of digging it up and hauling it away. I suppose there's always the risk the soil test misses a small leak or a prior spill. What is a "2-D" tank test? Seller's willingness to work with you should keep the deal alive IMO...

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May 19 2008
Profile picture for amy12345

It does not use pressure-from the description it seems almost like a sonogram-using sound waves, I think.

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May 19 2008

You may want to check on pricing before you agree to pay for it yourself.  I don't know where you are, but in CA you are looking at several thousand dollars.

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May 19 2008
Profile picture for Mikal1

Hi Amy,

 

I found the link below, NY State, but seems to have a lot of useful information and it may help to answer some fo your questions.

 

http://www.inspect-ny.com/oiltanks/tanks.htm

 

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May 19 2008
Profile picture for Mark75NYC

No amount of soil tests performed prior to removal of the tank will guarantee that you won't uncover a problem with the tank is removed.  I would never -- never -- purchase a home with an underground oil tank.  You could potentially be purchasing a 6-figure liability, not covered by new homeowners insurance policies (although it might be covered by the current seller's policy depending on how long ago they started the policy).  In this market, the buyer is in the driver's seat and there's no reason for you to take this risk. 

 

The seller can either pay for the switch to gas OR more cheaply pay for conversion from an underground oil tank to an above ground oil tank for little cost to them.  That way, when you take possession of the house at closing the tank will have already been removed and you will be certain that the soil tests revealed no contamination.  And then, whenever you're ready, you can get rid of the ABOVE GROUND oil tank (i.e., above ground in your basement, or outside) and switch to gas.

 

My opinion: run, don't walk, away from any home with an underground oil tank, abandoned or not!

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May 19 2008
Profile picture for luckyme8890

In CA, you better get a written clearance from your county HazMat department.  Even level 2 contamination will require you to wash dirt. 

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May 19 2008
 
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