Why Remove a Heating Oil AST (Aboveground Storage Tank)?
When you convert from oil to gas, you will spend thousands of dollars. What you may not spend money on is removing the now obsolete heating oil Aboveground Storage Tank (AST). Unless there is a local ordinance there are no state regulations for homeowners to decommission the AST. Because of the lack of regulations and money issues, people leave these rusting metal tanks. Properties will often be bought and sold with the AST still being present.
There are real hazards associated with leaving heating oil ASTs.
Metal rusts inside and out. Low sulfur heating oil actually causes corrosion inside a tank, so don't think the oil is lubricating the tank.
Water gets in the tank through condensation causing corrosion. ASTs are never 100% empty and banging on even a 1/2 full tank gives a false empty sound. Go push a 5 gallon bucket of water over, soo how far it spreads.
Quick story, couple buys a home with gas heat, basement has an AST that is not being used nor planned to be used. Fast forward 15 years, strong smell of oil in the basement. Call fire department, who pumps 160 gallons from the empty tank in the basement. Oil has spread across the basement floor flowing into the sump (Fortunately the sub pump was broken) . Oil hit boxes that are placed throughout the basement, some cardboard boxes some Rubbermaid (Sound like your basement?)
Smell of oil in house is so strong, people have to move to a hotel. Now the basement has to be cleaned up, the tank decommissioned and a hotel paid for. Thousands of dollars spent. Could have been avoided.
This house was bought and sold twice with an AST in the basement, even had a sign on it saying the tank was empty. Curren removed approximately 200 gallons from the tank. Caught this one before it leaked.
Why did dad, the old owner, whoever leave the tank to rust? Because to do anything would cost $$.
Buying a house with an out of service AST, get owner to remove it. Selling a home with an out of service AST? Remove it because the buyer is going to ask.