how to clean oil tank vent and should tank be serviced

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Old 03-17-17, 11:08 PM
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how to clean oil tank vent and should tank be serviced

Bought an old house with an old oil tank. Is underground and 1000 gallons. All seems to be working well but two questions.

1) One oil company said the tank vent is plugged. How do I unplug it? Or do I not, instead get a pro?

2) Since age is unknown, is it time to have it serviced? And what does servicing an oil tank mean?

Thank you.
 
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Old 03-17-17, 11:34 PM
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I'm not the oil pro here.

You need to check with your insurance company and see what their policy is on underground tanks. Many will no longer cover underground tanks. The clean-up can be devastatingly expensive from a leaking tank.
 
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Old 03-18-17, 04:35 AM
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I would devote some serious time to ascertain how old that tank is and how long it has been in the ground. Prior Owners, their Relatives, Neighbors, the Municipality and/or State Records and Oil Suppliers have to be on the list to be interviewed and research this. Somebody knows, and only you can be motivated to become the Private Investigator.

The money outflow and trouble this can cause could far exceed the value of the "Old House".

As a Real Estate Broker, I can say "the sooner the better" . . . . or at least BEFORE they die or contract selective amnesia. I've never seen a good outcome; but time is of the essence.
 
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Old 03-18-17, 10:05 AM
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Thank you. Will check out age insurance etc.

Back to original query...
How to check the vent and what about oil tank service (how often, who does).
 
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Old 03-18-17, 11:03 AM
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Is it a tank Vent which is supposed to "whistle" and doesn't ?

Whistles have been required for 20 or so years that I know of; but only recently have Oil Delivery Companies started refusing to deliver here in Vermont when those whistles aren't present.

I originally thought it was a Vermont Statute or Regulation . . . . but it turned out that the Liability Carriers for the Oil Companies had begun withdrawing Coverage if deliveries continued being made delivering to homes without the WARNING "whistle" (which stops when the Tank is nearing Full).

Your Tank may be so old that it was never equipped with this safety feature, and so it may not need "cleaning" because it may not even exist . . . . and you may be required to install one ?
 
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Old 03-21-17, 05:23 PM
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Turns out

1) should tank blow up and burn house: house covered by homeowners insurance
2) should tank leak and contaminate the soil: not covered by homeowners but...
WA State has free insurance to cover tank leaks if registered so I registered

so much for insurance

still trying to find someone to "clean the vent"

tried to get the top off the vent myself but failed; I guess need someone with two big ass pipe wrenches and strong arms

for now gonna get a mirror and look up the vent cover; maybe can see something
 
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Old 04-01-17, 06:51 PM
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Most of those 'mushroom' vent caps are cast iron & are easily removed with a couple of good hammer whacks.
 
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Old 04-01-17, 07:42 PM
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Thanks. I can do that. Will give it a try.
 
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Old 04-02-17, 06:16 AM
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It's going to break so be prepared to replace with a new one.
 
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Old 04-03-17, 08:13 AM
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Thank you all. Will keep that in mind.
 
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