Residential Oil Tank Removals

Residential Oil Tank Removals

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CommTank will get the job done, and done right. Our expertise is residential oil tank removals in Massachusetts and New Hampshire – we've been doing it for more than 25 years. We have the experience to tackle the toughest and tightest jobs, and are committed to making every customer 100% happy with our work. Our licensed, professional technicians are exceptionally skilled at their jobs, and they're prompt, courteous and always willing to answer your questions. Because they know your time is valuable, they'll get in and out fast without missing a detail.

No project is too large, too small, or too challenging for the CommTank Team. Whatever the age and type of your home -- whether it’s a 200-year-old Colonial, ranch home, mobile home or anything in between -- you can trust CommTank to provide a safe, reliable and affordable heating oil tank removal.

"Your Crew Was Prompt, Courteous and Professional" – Matt Burnstein, Roslindale, Ma.

Oil Tank Removal Services

We understand how important it is for homeowners to take care of their properties, that’s why they look to hire a qualified professional who is insured and trained in home heating systems. 

Oil Tank Removal Process

Removing oil from outdoor tank in Bedford, NH.

CommTank technicians pump out the remaining oil from this oil tank.

  • Obtain permits required by the local fire department
  • Pump out any remaining oil
  • Place polyethylene sheeting under the tank
  • Cut open the tank
  • Remove all oil and sludge from the tank bottom
  • Clean the inside of the tank using recyclable/biodegradable material
  • Remove fill and vent pipes
  • Patch holes in the foundation with cement or siding with silicone caulk
  • Remove and transport the oil tank and associated piping to a licensed scrap yard
  • Submit oil tank removal permit to Fire Department

Permits

We work with each city and town to keep an updated list of permit fees. If your oil tank removal requires a permit then CommTank’s courier acquires it prior to the day of the project. When the job is completed, the signed document is mailed to the local Fire Department. The City of Boston also requires a hazardous waste manifest to track the generator of oil waste to the disposal site. The following table provides examples of fees charged by cities and towns in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for the removal of residential aboveground storage tanks.

Fire Department Permit Fees for Oil Tank Removals

City/TownAddressPhone NumberExample Tank Removal Permit Fee as of June 30, 2020
Boston, MA1010 Mass. Ave 02118617-343-3628$110
Worcester, Ma25 Meade St.508-799-1822$50
Cambridge, MA491 Broadway 02139617-349-4918 $103
Brockton, MA42 Pleasant St. 02301508-583-2933$55
Malden, MA1 Sprague St. 02148781-397-7385$50
Newton, MA169 Jackson Rd 02459617-796-2230$75
Waltham, MA175 Lexington St. 02452781-314-3000 $50
Attleboro, MA100 Union St. 02703774-203-1922$50
Quincy, MA40 Quincy Ave. 02169617-376-1015$50
Danvers, MA64 High St. 01923978-774-2425$50
New Bedford, MA868 Pleasant Street 02740508-991-6120$75
Manchester, NH
Building Dept. City Hall Plaza603-669-2256$40
Nashua, NH229 Main St. NH 03060603-589-3460$65
Concord, NH115R North State St.603-225-8651$0
Steel tank being cut at Common Earth Farm

Technician cutting the oil tank before cleaning the interior

How Much Does It Cost to Remove an Oil Tank?

The cost of a residential oil tank removal in an easily accessible, unfinished basement is $425 within 25 miles of our Wakefield office. Restricted access, such as door openings that are smaller than 29” wide, crawl spaces or narrow stairways will incur an additional fee. Typically, $50.

"The price for such great service was very reasonable. Truly a good experience for me and my family." – Pat Goodrow, Marblehead, Ma.

If an oil tank has been removed by your plumbing/heating contractor and is outside, cleaned and disconnected then the removal fee is $325. In cases where the home does not have power (demolition or construction sites), CommTank can provide a portable generator for a fee of $75.

Recycling

CommTank recycles each tank and delivers the cleaned, crushed tank to a licensed recycling yard. It requires more trips and fuel to deliver whole or partially cut tanks than it does when they are compacted. That's why CommTank built a custom tank compactor or "tank crusher " as we like to call it. We can store 2 weeks' worth of scrap metal from tank removal service jobs in one roll-off container. You can watch a video of a technician crushing an oil tank to be recycled here. 

Abandonment

According to the Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code 527 CMR 9.02, any tank that is permanently disconnected or not in use for a period of 24 months must be removed. An unused oil tank will be flagged as a code violation, during home sales or loan refinancing, by the mortgage company inspector.

Emergency Service

CommTank is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help with your oil tank needs. Our office staff will take the time to discuss any oil tank issues, then fully explain all of your service options. Because we take a proven step by step approach to every project, you can be confident that you’re getting efficient service at an affordable price that we’ll always stand behind.

"If only every service transaction could be this great!" – Noel Kelly, North Reading, Ma.

Switching from Oil to Gas 

We have excellent working relationships with plumbing, heating oil, and property management companies who rely on us to provide prompt reliable service to their clients.

How You Can Tell Your Heating Oil Tank Is Leaking

If you have an aboveground oil tank, you may not know there's anything wrong with it by looking at it. That's because aboveground storage tanks can corrode from the inside out, so problems aren't always visible. Even painting it doesn't protect it from leaks if the corrosion is on the inside surface.

How can you tell if your oil tank is leaking? If the tank is old, check for visible oil stains on the underbelly of the tank, which may be caused by loose fittings or by overfilling the tank. Some people try to patch or repair leaking tanks themselves. Unfortunately, a leak is a sign that the tank has outlived its usefulness and needs to be replaced before major problems develop. Often, removing the tank is the best solution.

Dripped oil from this tank is caught in a baking pan

Basement tank that is slowly dripping oil

Oil Tank Safety

When’s the last time you thought about your property’s oil tank? To keep buildings safe, it’s smart to check your tank regularly. So, here’s a quick checklist to help ensure that your property’s oil tank is functioning properly.

  • Is your oil usage higher than normal?
  • Can you smell oil near or around the tank?
  • Is the fuel gauge missing or broken?
  • Are there oil stains beneath the tank?
  • Are the tank legs solid and stable?
  • Can you see leakage around the vent or fill pipes?
  • Are there signs of rust or pitting?
  • Is oil dripping from the tank?

"Amazed that this level of customer service still exists in this day and age!!" – Marc Prettenhofer, Jamaica Plain, Ma.

You can find examples of our work at our residential projects page or watch us perform an oil tank removal on the PBS series 'This Old House'.


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Oil Tank Removal Frequently Asked Questions

Oil Tank Removal FAQs

CommTank offers an oil tank pump-out service. This is a practical choice for homeowners that have a large heating oil tank (330 to 1,000-gallon capacity) that is full and prefer to transfer fuel to a new tank or a neighboring home. Most residential basement oil tanks have a 275-gallon capacity. We don’t recommend transferring oil below the 1/3 level of the tank because of sediment that accumulates near the tank bottom. This sediment will clog fuel filters quickly and require extra service calls to clear the lines and restart the oil burner. If you compare the value of the remaining oil to the cost of transferring the fuel, the transfer could be cost-prohibitive. Our crew must perform an inspection of the tank they will transfer the oil to, and ensure the tank is up to code. This step is important because CommTank takes on the liability when delivering to a different location. Time must be added to the project due to the fuel transfer, as well as the distance traveled to deliver the fuel.

We typically use Rosin paper to cover areas that customers are concerned about. A small charge is added depending upon the area that needs to be covered. Our crews can cover hardwood floors, carpeted stairs, and hallways.

Yes. We cut the vent and fill pipes and remove them from the outside wall or foundation. If the pipe passed through a concrete wall, we patch the wall with cement. If the pipes passed through an external wooden wall, we fill the holes with silicone to seal the openings. For wood walls, we urge homeowners to hire a carpenter to replace the shingles or siding to seal it permanently.

No. Our technicians prepare the area around the tank with a sheet of poly. Oil drips from the tank during the cutting process are captured on the poly so that oil never touches your basement floor.

If your basement door is smaller than 28” then CommTank technicians need to make extra cuts to remove your oil tank. This is typically an issue when a tank is installed in a crawl space or behind a finished partition. Our technicians have seen all types of basement configurations and they can remove doorway trim or cut wallboard if it’s needed. Old houses have smaller than standard doors. 25-26” The tank also bows in the middle after one cut.

Our technicians can evaluate stains and the risk of leaving them in place. We offer soil testing and cleanup services to replace concrete and soil that may have been impacted by the dripping oil filter. Environmentally friendly concrete cleaners are available through Amazon but we have not evaluated the effectiveness of these products. Cleaning a concrete surface does not mean the underlying soil is clean. We try to clean up the stain as best we can. If we feel there is a future contamination risk but the customer prefers to leave the stained concrete/soil in place, we ask these customers to sign a stain sheet acknowledging the potential of contamination under the concrete.

CommTank brings the tank back to our facility where we crush it and store it in a recycling container until we have enough metal to deliver to a licensed recycling yard. Minimizing trips to the recycler reduces truck wear and fuel consumption. Watch a heating oil tank being recycled in this video.

CommTank removes all oil from the lines before removing your oil tank. The lines are then cut and crimped. We will patch the floor with concrete and push the line under before patching.

Oil that has been pumped into a residential oil tank is no longer “virgin oil” and cannot be taken back by the oil delivery company. Trace elements of metal and rust leach into oil and affects the viscosity. Condensation collects at the tank bottom and can lead to microbial growth. The oil is pumped into our truck and brought back to our facility to be recycled.

The tank removal process takes less than an hour. Our technicians pump the oil from the tank, cut it in half, clean the insides using sawdust and oil absorbent pads, then take the cut sections out of your home. It’s rare to have residual smells from the process. We recommend airing out the house for 2 hours after an oil tank removal.

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