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Old 12-14-2010, 07:15 PM   #1
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


I have a 275 gal steel oil tank in my basement, the thing has to be 30+ years old, if not original to the house which was built in the 50's.

Im installing a basement perimiter drain and the current oil tank is the in the way, i had thought of moving it out of the way and then back, but it might just be wise to go ahead and replace it.

Browsing craiglist there are a ton of people selling tanks that are only a few years old.

But to the question, is it possible for a DIY home owner like myself to get rid of the tank or does it HAVE to be done by a ' pro '


I was thinking i'd wait till I was down to about 1/4 or a tank or so, disconnect the lines cut the tank in half with a sawzall and call around to some local oil companies to come and suck out the left over oil and sludge *(what might this cost)* and then take the scrap tank peices to my local scrap yard*(would they take it?)*

or

is there any method for myself to pump the oil out myself, store it in a 55 gal drum , cut the tank, scoop out sludge into 5 gal buckets and drop it off at an waste oil recycling place?

thanks


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Old 12-14-2010, 07:29 PM   #2
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


No sawzall..one hot spark in the right spot and you got a shrapnel bomb!

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Old 12-14-2010, 07:31 PM   #3
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


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No sawzall..one hot spark in the right spot and you got a shrapnel bomb!

.... then why do i also see on tv, websites, and youtube people cutting them with a sawzall ?

how else would it be cut? I imagine a sawzall being the least spark producing, an angle grinder and plasma cutter are out of the picture i think
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:37 PM   #4
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


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.... then why do i also see on tv, websites, and youtube people cutting them with a sawzall ?

how else would it be cut? I imagine a sawzall being the least spark producing, an angle grinder and plasma cutter are out of the picture i think
LOLOLOL

you are the one asking and I answered. OK, you win, do it your way.

Let's see what the other pros say.....
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:41 PM   #5
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


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LOLOLOL

you are the one asking and I answered. OK, you win, do it your way.

Let's see what the other pros say.....
Im not trying to be an ass, im just wondering why i've always seem people cut them with a sawzall..

If not a sawzall what is it supposed to be cut with?
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:45 PM   #6
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


Fuel oil is essentially kerosene, which is difficult to ignite with a spark (completely different from gasoline). In practice, kerosene is often used as a lubricant when cutting certain metals, I have never heard of it catching fire from a spark. But perhaps others know better.

Regardless, it should be possible to almost fully drain the tank via the outlet valve. If the tank is nearly empty, it may be possible to pull the tank out via a basement door without cutting it up. If there is no door, or if the tank is too large to manage, I personally would hire a professional, because the possibility of a spill would concern me more than the possibility of fire. Plus you have to get a new tank in, so if you can't get the old tank out without cutting it, how are you going to get the new one in? They don't come in pieces so far as I know.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:52 PM   #7
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


Thanks, i should be able to fit it up my stairs and out the front door, it's only 27" wide or so, but i thought about cutting it in half to be able to suck out all the oil sludge before i drop it off at the scrap yard
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:52 PM   #8
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


Manually removing the tank has always been the preferred method.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:58 PM   #9
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


Quote:
Originally Posted by alecmcmahon View Post
Thanks, i should be able to fit it up my stairs and out the front door, it's only 27" wide or so, but i thought about cutting it in half to be able to suck out all the oil sludge before i drop it off at the scrap yard
Scrap yard won't take it if it isn't cut that it can't contain oil anymore(atleast around here they won't).

All of the oil can be removed through the bottom tapping of the tank. if your tank is piped to use the bottom tapping.

Having an oil company come to pump it out will cost lots and lots of money.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:58 PM   #10
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


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Manually removing the tank has always been the preferred method.

Thanks, i'll do that then.

What has to be done with the left over oil and sludge at the bottom of the tank? I dont imagine the scrap yard taking it like that will they ?
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:59 PM   #11
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


Better check local city codes about disposal. You can't even get a scrape yard to accept an empty steel freon tank with out an EPA number certifying the tank is empty.
That oil sludge may have to be treated before disposal. Better to find out now than have the guy at the scrape yard turn you away .
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:45 PM   #12
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


Check out waste oil recycling/recyclers in the yellow pages. There should be somewhere you can drop off/recycle used automotive oil and they may take other types of oils. Once COMPLETELY drained I sawzalled a couple hundred of them in the early 80"s, sparks and all. Oil needs to be PROPERLY vaporized/atomized and mixed in the exact concentration with air/oxygen B4 it will ignite. Manually removing is best but I was invincible when I was young, not so bulletproof now.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:49 PM   #13
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


Fuel oil and Kerosene both need to reach 100F(38C for you canucks) in order to flash. At 140F(60C) it will produce enough vapor to maintain a flame.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:00 PM   #14
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


Heck the one 100F day we had this summer I was holdin a nice cold Moosehead in my hand not an oil burner.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:37 PM   #15
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DIY removal of 275gal oil tank[basement]


Attended a combustion science seminar sponsored by our liability carrier along time ago.

To make it short and sweet they the gist was no oil tank is is considered empty when "drained". Right conditions with the slightest amount oil and room in the tank for vapor to expand form blade friction, and one hot spark, you got a bomb.

We didn't know that R22 was combustible 'til one service guy got blown off the top of a building while brazing.

How many old-timers remember when that hit the hvac periodicals? We were all "WTF? Why didn't the refrigerant makers tell us R22 can explode?"

And all the big chemicals companies said "You didn't asK. We knew R22 is combustible under certain conditions and we would have told you but you didn't ask us."

The insurance companies went ape-crap when they contemplated the law suits that were suddenly going to have to pay.

LOL...and the hvac manufactures were going ape-crap contemplating how high their rates would sky rocket.

Suddenly there were so many free safety seminars available on stuff we would never suspect as being dangerous.

Oil tank disposal is was one of them.

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