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Why every home sale should have a tank sweep performed.

Oct 20, 2021 12:15:00 PM / by David C Sulock

Tank sweeps/tank scans have exponentially increased in popularity for home buyers.   While a home inspection has always been part of buying a home, a tank sweep has become just as common.  The reason tank sweeps are so important is because a small tank leak remediation averages around $10,000.00     Remediation in excess of $100,000 are not uncommon either.

How do you know the home may have oil heat and a tank scan is prudent?

  1. Oil heat was the choice of fuel source for close to 100 years
  2. The older the home the more likely there was oil heat.
  3. Many property owners removed evidence of their oil tank in lieu of removing it.
  4. Many people also filled tanks in place as per construction codes, but never checked for leak's.
  5. Many people bought homes knowing a tank was removed and not tested.

People also  bought homes that they knew had a tank filled in place.   Below is a true story. 

Curren was hired to do a tank sweep. Owner of home greeted our technician with "The tank guy is here". Curren locates a tank and informs our client (buyer).

Owner of home within 48 hours, releases paperwork for the tank.  Apparently  the tank had been filled in place in the 1990's by the previous owner.  In short, current owner bought house knowing tank was on site but did not disclose this nugget of information when the home was listed for sale.  Buyer was a little angry that this paperwork magically appeared.   Makes you think what else these sellers are not disclosing. Curren is hired to remove the underground oil tank,  and it is found to be leaking, buyer backs out of deal. 

tank previously filled in place

Another true story.  Many people also filled tanks in place as per construction codes, but never checked for leaks. Owner is upset,  and said the tank was not a big deal to them when they bought it.   Remediation completed  was completed and the property was eventually cleaned up ($42,000) and sold nine months later.


Ever heard of Midnight oil tank removal?  It's when someone who is not licensed removes their oil tank so no one knows that they removed it.  Even though the tank has been removed, no soil samples were acquired and they may not have removed the supply and return line.  

Do your due diligence and do a tank scan prior to purchasing a property. 


David C Sulock

Written by David C Sulock

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