The Truth about Tanks

Tank Technology Has Come a Long Way

On the rare occasion that you have an oil-heated listing, you’re more than likely to get questions from your clients about the property’s oil tank. But there is no need to be concerned. If you have the right information about heating oil storage tanks, you’ll be able to feel confident about discussing any issues that may arise. Here are some things you should know.

Types of Tanks

There are two kinds of residential tanks: aboveground and underground. In Wisconsin, the majority of tanks are aboveground. An aboveground storage tank is a tank located outside the home or in the basement, garage, or crawl space. These tanks are typically 275 or 330 gallons and take up about the same space as an outside central a/c unit. Underground tanks are significantly larger, often holding 550 gallons and sometimes as much as 1,000 gallons of heating oil.

Tank Safety

In what may come as a surprise to Realtors and homeowners who aren’t familiar with tanks, the vast majority of tanks do not leak. And in the rare case where a tank leak occurs, heating oil itself is biodegradable and nontoxic. So the next time your clients show uncertainty about heating oil tanks, let them know the facts.

New Tank Technology

Tanks have come a long way since the old, metal versions of 30 and 40 years ago. The options available to your clients these days are not only more technologically advanced, but they are a lot more attractive, too! And when it comes to selling a home, curb appeal matters. Today’s underground tanks are made of polyurethane and fiberglass. They are resistant to corrosion and have a much greater likelihood of lasting for many decades. Aboveground tanks are even better. These tanks have two walls, one made of plastic and the other made of steel.

Tank Testing

It is very common to have a tank test conducted on an underground tank during the transaction of an oil-heated home in Wisconsin. There are a few important things to know if you are involved with a tank test. First, it is important to make sure that testing is conducted by a certified tank testing company. If you need a referral, your best bet is to contact your local oil heat expert. Second, there are several types of tests that can be conducted, including a test on the tank itself and a soil test. Third, it is important to remember that tank tests cannot test the life expectancy of a tank. They can only provide information about the integrity of the tank itself. And fourth, don’t forget that tanks are like any other appliance you might find around the house; they will eventually need to be replaced. Most homeowners would not go fifty years without replacing their roofs. The same goes for tanks.