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Thread: oil tank?

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    Default oil tank?

    I was under a house yesterday and found an old abandoned oil furnace. I found the oil lines go into a concrete wall and that the last i see of them. I am not able to verify if there is an existing oil tank on the property or not. How can it be verified if the tank has been removed or not.

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    Default Re: oil tank?

    1. Look for disturbed soil and/or subsidence outside which could indicate a tank may have been removed.
    2. Query vendors as to removal of tank or whether the tank was inside the basement or outside above or below grade.
    3. If you not satisfied by one and two above, recommend that buyer have vendor confirm tank was or is not removed prior to close of title.

    I cannot stress enough that your client have assurances that the tank has been removed in writing or other documentation indicating removal, due to liability they could incur post closing should a tank be found. Should a tank be buried and is leaking huge costs could be associated with removal and clean up.


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    I look for the filler or vent pipes or other signs outside. If not, I tell my clients to check with the sellers.


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    1. Find out who does tank removal in your area. Refer all searches to the experts that know how to find them and deal with them. Metal detector and a stainless steel poker is what they use but they know where to look.
    2. Pick the guy's brain and find out what year they stopped burying tanks.

    Double oil lines indicate there was a pump, but it doesn't prove the tank was buried.

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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Also be aware that copper supply lines in contact or buried in the concrete can develop pin holes.


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    What Jack said... Report what you see and can't see and tell your client to get with the owner for more information on it.

    I carry a metal detector in my truck (hobby of mine, I live in the middle of some major Civil War campaigns) which has come in handy finding UST's, septic tanks and other hidden things.

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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by cory nystul View Post
    I was under a house yesterday and found an old abandoned oil furnace. I found the oil lines go into a concrete wall and that the last i see of them. I am not able to verify if there is an existing oil tank on the property or not. How can it be verified if the tank has been removed or not.
    I've been on several inspections where the buyer had hired an inspection of the property using ground penetrating radar, couldn't have been all that expensive, especially when you consider the cost of a clean up!

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Actually its not the client (purchaser) who should be engaging a professional to ascertain removal of the tank - the onus should always be thrown back on the vendor to prove its been removed. The cost should not be borne by the purchaser for obvious reasons.


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Actually its not the client (purchaser) who should be engaging a professional to ascertain removal of the tank - the onus should always be thrown back on the vendor to prove its been removed. The cost should not be borne by the purchaser for obvious reasons.
    The purchaser is buying insurance; should he buy it form the seller?

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Why would the purchaser incur costs that he should not have to? Insurance has nothing to do with it.


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Why would the purchaser incur costs that he should not have to? Insurance has nothing to do with it.
    I should have used "Assurance" rather than "Insurance". You don't ask the fox if everything is ok in the hen house!

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Actually you do ask the Fox (vendor) in a case where there is a possibility and underground tank may exist to prove its been abandoned within parameters of local laws. Further if a seller complete a vendor disclosure or is verbally asked to their knowledge if there is there are any ugst and they answer negligently they are liable to the purchaser for remediation costs.

    So your point is?

    Purchase agreement condition:

    Subject To

    The seller complying with municipal codes regarding oil tanks and agrees to complete testing and tank filling and provide the buyer with municipal documentation that the buried tank complies with all regulations by March 10, 1997. Failing which this offer shall become null and void.
    Thanks for the re-quoting my replies.


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    I believe the point is that, while the fox is telling you everything is okay in the hen house, you can't help wonder what all that ruckus in the hen house is and why are there feathers flying out the door?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post

    Every time I have seen oil lines passing through a foundation there has been a tank.The oil lines are normally removed when the tank is removed
    I have seen propertys where the tank was decommissioned but not removed and the oil lines are not removed. The tank is pumped out and then filled with concrete or sand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    If the oil lines are in place there is a liability.
    Yes, unless they have been flushed and decommissioned.

    As for the seller's disclosure of the tank situation, the buyer simply needs to ask for the official documentation that goes with decommissioning or removal. Then if that is unsatisfactory, it is negotiable as to who pays for the search, but the search results should go to the buyer, IMO.

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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Iím selling my house, do I need to find out if I have an oil tank and if so, do I need to remove it?

    You should take all measures to find out if your property has an oil tank. If your home was built after gas came to the North Shore in the late 60′s and early 70′s you likely do not have an oil tank. If your home was built before that you may have an oil tank. If the previous owners did not leave you information regarding the removal or decommissioning of an oil tank, then you should have the property scanned by a professional oil tank removal company. If you are listing your home for sale with Team Clarke we will arrange to have the property scanned at no cost to you. If there is no oil tank, you will be provided with a letter from the oil tank removal company stating that there was a search performed and no oil tank was found. If there is an oil tank, it is recommended that you remove it prior to listing to your home.

    My house is for sale and I think we may have an oil tank.

    You should have the property scanned immediately by a professional oil tank removal company. If an oil tank is found you must first disclose this on the Property Disclosure Statement that you filled out when listing your home. This is a material latent defect and must be disclosed to any prospective purchaser prior to them writing an offer. Next, you can have the tank removed immediately, or this can be negotiated with a purchaser of your property; however, many buyers will not be able to obtain insurance or have an institution lend funds on the property with a known oil tank and therefore may not be able to purchase your home. Often Realtors representing a buyer will write on the contract that it is the sellerís responsibility to remove it prior to completion and provide them with written documentation.

    I am buying a house and do not know if there is an oil tank located on the property, what should I do?

    Your realtor should ask the selling realtor if they have any documentation about an oil tank on the property. The real estate board states that ďlisting agents have a duty to familiarize themselves with the property that they have listed and, where they suspect an unused or abandoned underground storage tank may be present, to take necessary steps to determine if one existsĒ. This would involve having a professional come and scan the property looking for a possible oil tank. If the selling agent has not had the property scanned and does not have written proof of this, then your realtor should advise you to have the property inspected. Often, your realtor will write a clause in the contract stating that the seller is not aware of an oil tank on the property, but if one is found then it is the sellerís responsibility to have it removed and have the soil tested prior to completion and to provide you the buyer with written documentation that this was done. This can be critical for buyers to obtain financing as many lenders will not lend on property that has or is suspected to have an oil tank. It is advisable for a buyer to have the property scanned during the subject period to confirm that there is no oil tank present. New homes, and most houses built after the late 70′s do not have oil tanks, and some neighbourhoods built after this time always had gas as their main form of heat. In some cases, a call to the district or city can confirm if a house was built at a time when there was gas to the street, thus making it unnecessary for home owners to have had oil as a form of heat. You may find yourself in a situation, either multiple offers, an estate sale or foreclosure where the seller states that they are making no warrantees about the property and that the buyer is buying the property as is where is. In these cases, it is advisable to seek legal advice and talk to your lender prior to making an offer without subjects or without a clause about the oil tank.


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Raymond, can I quote your last post? Uh, better not.

    Hey, does Team Clarke know you borrowed from their website? Could be a copyright infringement, which could get quoted here and you won't be able to delete it.


    Here's a case history. Last fall I inspected a 1930's house, vacant and unloved. There was a gas furnace, but we didn't get natural gas here until the early 90's. The only clue that there might be a buried oil tank was two copper pipes in the bathroom wall. No pipes outside, no shadows of pipes on the wall. I called for a tank search anyway. Went by there recently and the front yard was all freshly dug up.

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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Thanks John, for not re-quoting such a simple dialogue.

    Actually I thought I had included the link, but it is from Team Clark good work.
    Oil Tanks

    I have had several oil tank discoveries or possibilities of buried tanks which turned out to be confirmed. In all cases my clients were alerted and advised them to throw the whole matter back on the vendors.

    Now has anyone seen the fox in the hen house?


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Yes the seller could hire an inspector, but again the inspector may not be able to visually confirm presence of a ugst. (patent vs. latent). Either way if the seller is on the hook if the inspector does find evidence that may indicate the presence of an ugst.

    A buyer would be foolish to rely on a pre-purchase inspection done for the seller for obvious reasons, and should obtain his own un-bias, objective report. Thats what makes sense.


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    The owner should be the one that is responsible for the removal of any fuel UST and contamination.

    If you do some research on UST liability you will find many instances where the former owner(s) going back a couple ownerships have been held liable for the cleanup cost of a leaking UST., even after the property has been sold! UST'S that leak enter an all new world of federal liability governed by the EPA. It's a mess that you do not want to be involved with.

    If an insurance company is aware of a leaking UST they will not insure a home and if the home is a new purchase that was covered under a 30-90 day binder as most homes are, they will most likely cancel the coverage leaving the homeowner without coverage at which point the bank or mortgage company could call the loan due if the UST and contamination are not removed within X number of days.

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    Default Re: oil tank?

    So what, and who do you think is going to pay for that inspection, not the buyer.

    Why don't you put a profile up, are you even an inspector?

    And as for your constant use of the re-quote, you can forget dialoguing with me you misuse it for such simple conversations.


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Raymond, I had no idea reply with quote was so offensive. As this is not a one on one conversation, I thought it better to use the quote to keep the train of thought even if someone else jumps in with a comment.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    So what, and who do you think is going to pay for that inspection, not the buyer.

    Why don't you put a profile up, are you even an inspector?

    And as for your constant use of the re-quote, you can forget dialoguing with me you misuse it for such simple conversations.
    Without a quote or at the least some kind of reference, I do not even know who you are talking to.
    It can be confusing and frustrating to go back and read many previous post just to find out who/ what you are responding to.
    Also, I have gotten into the habit of using quotes because some people will sometimes change their original post, making my response seem out of context.
    So, you can expect to continue to see quotes from me.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    So what, and who do you think is going to pay for that inspection, not the buyer.

    Why don't you put a profile up, are you even an inspector?

    And as for your constant use of the re-quote, you can forget dialoguing with me you misuse it for such simple conversations.
    Vern, is an inspector he has been around for many years.......

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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Scott

    I was referring to Mr. Abram.


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    [QUOTE=Jim Abram;239250]Usually the buyer pays for any and all inspections and testing during the contingency period.
    I cannot remember where a seller has paid for any inspection and testing related to a real estate sale except in MA


    Only in Massachusetts do we charge more fee's - There are signs of an oil tank - in this case I would write it up and recomend that the seller provide proof of removal and disposal - and that this documentation be verified with the vender that removed it. Given the liability I would inform the buyer that they potentially purchasing contaminated property and that soil tests should be conducted [by a certified independent laboratory] prior to purchasing even if the tank was removed. Underground tanks can be a real problem especially if they were removed before the 90's because they were leaking - The buyer may not want to hear this but you could save them from very costly remidiation in the future should one be found or the soil be found to be contaminated in the future (like an addition , septic system or any other potential construction that would unearth such problem(s) - remember you are not the problem - the problem is the potential liability - as an example W.R. Graced purchased companies in Woburn Massachusetts who contaminated the ground water - it almost cost Grace their company


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Wrong information on all three counts .
    Only wrong in your small world.

    In other parts of the world, Underground storage tanks can so be decommissioned and left in place. Then if you can't accept the documentation thereof, you would have to dig it up.




    Last edited by John Kogel; 03-10-2014 at 10:57 AM. Reason: Deleted extraneous info
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    Default Re: oil tank?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Sorry John - I did not realize that you were from the upper US. Foreigners should identify themselves so the viewers of the posts know that they dealing with a different set of regulations.
    Look in the upper right corner of every post.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: oil tank?

    He should take a geography course. British Columbia is not part of the upper USA.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Vern, is an inspector he has been around for many years.......
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Scott

    I was referring to Mr. Abram.
    Raymond,

    If only you had used a quote ... there would not have been any confusion with who you were responding to. I, too, had to go back to the posts to see who you were responding to ... that is EXACTLY WHY the quote feature is so critical in so many posts.

    I multi-quoted so everyone would know that I was including Scott's post to show why quotes are so important to use ... whether or not you like them should not keep anyone else from using quotes as quotes are so valuable and even necessary much of the time to make following the thread and posts.

    If my using quotes bothers you, and if my using multi-quotes bothers you even more, all I can say is ... well, it is better left unsaid ... but you can help

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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Jerry

    You're argument doesn't hold water, you or anyone could simply say, "in reply to Raymond." And yes I was remiss in not stating in 'reply to', quote function was not needed. Simple.


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Raymond,

    I could say "In reply to Raymond", but then which part of Raymond's post, or which of Raymond's posts would I be replying to?

    My argument does hold water, it is yours which is holding ice, not water.

    I could also go "In reply to Raymond where Raymond said: "blah, blah, blah" ... " but then I would still be quoting Raymond.

    Thus, I, and I suspect most others, will continue to use quotes to show SPECIFICALLY what post they are replying to and EVEN MORE SPECIFICALLY what part of what post they are replying to.

    By the way, I am replying to Raymond regarding the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Jerry

    You're argument doesn't hold water, you or anyone could simply say, "in reply to Raymond." And yes I was remiss in not stating in 'reply to', quote function was not needed. Simple.


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Jerry,

    Not buying it. For instance you replied in another thread about falling ice on A/C units. You were the first replier and you used the quote function. Simply it was not required.

    Yes, bad habits are hard to break, thank you for allowing me to point it out to you.

    Also worthy of note other forum posters do not abuse the quote function so there is a divergence on the topic.


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Not buying it. For instance you replied in another thread about falling ice on A/C units. You were the first replier and you used the quote function. Simply it was not required.
    It was required because that way I could address precisely what I wanted and the readers could see precisely what I was addressing.

    Yes, bad habits are hard to break, thank you for allowing me to point it out to you.
    I see you have broken your bad habit of not using quotes, Raymond, that is a good start, and, yes, thank you for point that out and another thank you for changing your bad habit.

    Also worthy of note other forum posters do not abuse the quote function so there is a divergence on the topic.
    I hate to say this, Raymond, but you are sounding an awful lot like someone who used to post here and tell people what to do because it was what he liked/did not like ... does the name "Watson" mean anything to you?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Jerry

    You have had your share of detractors for the same reasons you compare me to Watson.
    So thank you for endeavouring to at least be conversant without the put downs you and Watson would so often exchange.

    Thanks for trying to improve.


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    Default Re: oil tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Wrong information on all three counts . EPA has final jurisdiction on USTs.
    EPA regulations requires that any underground piping is removed.
    I have found USTs on properties where there was documentation that the tank was removed. ( At one property there were multiple tanks on the property and one was removed but two others remained , and at another the Removal Certificate was a phoney copy from another property ) .
    If there are oil lines, there is a high probability that there is a tank in place. Do not be fooled by a removal certificate, if there are visible oil lines. You have nothing to lose by recommending further investigation.
    It used to be you could clean a tank, have it inspected by the town/city as being solid and no leaks, put sand into it and cover over. But the insurance companies decided they want them out or the insurance will be higher for a metal tank full of sand.

    But as stated, the oil lines must be removed and the tank plugged.

    Last edited by Rich Goeken; 03-12-2014 at 01:13 PM. Reason: Added line

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