How Much Does an Oil Tank Removal Cost?

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins

When municipal and county fuel and water sources can’t keep up with demand or don’t exist, both rural companies and residents rely on water and fuel storage tanks. Tanks are made of a variety of materials, including metal with a liner and commercial-grade polymers. They may decay, leak, or become outdated over time, forcing their removal. But how much does this cost?

The average oil tank removal cost is $1,137, and buried oil tanks cost an average of $2,000 to remove. Basement oil tank removal costs average is $1,000, and it costs $1,640 to replace an oil tank. Oil tanks with a 500-gallon capacity or less generally cost $1,500 to remove.

When the need arises to remove your oil tank, this is not a safe venture to do on your own. Therefore, we’ve included the costs for hiring a professional, as well as DIY if you’re someone who’s experienced with his type of work. We hope this cost guide comes in handy!

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Average Oil Tank Removal Cost

Average Oil Tank Removal Cost


National Average

Average Range


$300$1,137$531 – $1,804$3,800

The average price for removing an oil tank is $1,137; however, the typical range is $531 to $1,804. This doesn’t necessarily mean this is what you will pay, though, as there are several factors that play into the pricing for removing oil tanks. On the low end, you can expect to pay around $300, while $3,800 is the high end.

Why Remove A Water Or Oil Storage Tank?

The fact that a storage tank is old and rusted is one of the most typical causes for its removal. Rust removal from an oil or gas tank delays corrosion, but the tank ultimately deteriorates to the point where it may leak. Because the cost of cleaning up pollution from a leaky tank is so high, it’s recommended to repair the tank as soon as the damage is discovered.

A change in the property’s usage, like moving from oil to electric heating or installing new drains, is another reason to remove a tank. For simpler access, you can consider switching from a below-ground to an above-ground tank.

Buried Gas Tank Removal Cost

Underground Oil Tank Removal

Size (By Gallons)Price
550 or less$1,000 – $2,000
1000$1,600 – $2,500
1500$2,200 – $2,700
2000$2,400 – $2,900

An underground gas tank might cost anything from $1,000 to $3,000 to remove. It is priced similarly to an oil tank. Consider the difference between fuel and water in USTs or underground storage tanks.

Whether it is dangerous to remove or not makes the biggest difference in pricing. If the tank was leaking, soil testing and maybe ground treatment might be required. With gas, this is less common than with oil.

Basement Oil Tank Removal Cost

The expense of removing oil tanks from a basement is relatively significant; anticipate to pay roughly $1,000. Oil tanks are removed for various reasons, including malfunction, government requirements, and safety concerns. A leaking above-ground oil tank may need to be removed.

The leak can cause continuous problems over time if it is not dealt with immediately. The property owner may sometimes need to remove an oil tank so that they can replace it with a new tank that has increased capacity. The local authority can also implement new regulations that may require an oil tank to be removed.

Oil Tank Removal Cost Factors

The cost of removing an oil tank is determined by a variety of factors. The majority of projects include personnel and equipment costs, permit applications, liquid disposal costs, and laboratory analysis. The exact fees are determined on the type of the work:

  • Above-ground tanks are easier and less expensive to remove than subterranean tanks, while tanks buried in topsoil are easier to remove than tanks underneath patios or roadways. Additionally, site accessibility affects total expenses; if a backhoe or other forms of heavy gear can’t reach the place, the task will need a lot of time-consuming and expensive manual work.
  • Small tanks are easier to dig out and hoist, making them less expensive to remove than huge tanks.
  • Keep in mind that the safe transportation and disposal of the tank may result in additional costs for your project. If the tank is huge, these fees are generally greater.
  • Permits are frequently required when removing or erecting storage tanks. It is your obligation to get permission and verify that your project complies with all applicable regulations. In many circumstances, a contractor will fill out the forms for you.
  • Liquid Disposal. Leftover oil and sludge from a gasoline tank must be disposed of securely and legally.
  • Laboratory testing isn’t usually required, but it’s a useful technique to see if an oil tank has spilled. When it comes time to sell your house, having proof that the earth isn’t poisoned is helpful.
  • Repairing the damage caused by an oil tank leak is expensive. Depending on the amount of damage, cleaning up the pollutants might cost $10,000 or more.

Oil Tank Decommissioning Or Abandonment Costs

The oil tank abandonment or commissioning will cost you between $1,000 to $3,000 and possibly even more, and this all depends on the size of the tank. If removing the tank is dangerous or too much, you can always abandon it, which means you clean it out and fill it.

There are three fill options for this:

  • Sand: This isn’t commonly used anymore.
  • Concrete slurry: The concrete slurry will solidify inside the tank. Some mixtures may even fill every nook and cranny, leaving no air pockets.
  • Foam: The foam will reach more areas altogether than the sand or concrete will. The foam is mixed in a truck and is applied with a special wand that’s attached to the hose so that it can reach the hard to get to areas.

Process For Abandoning An Oil Tank

There are some steps you need to take and the process you need to follow in order to abandon the oil tank. We will go over them very briefly to give you a quick glance:

  • Cut out the tank to access it.
  • Drain what’s left and wash out the inside.
  • Cut some pieces from the bottom to test the soil.
  • Fill it with your chosen fill method, and you’re done!

Tank Testing

Underground oil tanks degrade, and it’s difficult to know if they’re at risk of leaking since they’re hidden. Tank testing and soil evaluation services are available from a variety of firms, and you may also seek guidance from your local fire department.

Regular testing aids in the early detection of leaks, allowing you to take fast action to resolve the issue. Testing following the tank removal confirms that no oil has leaked, protecting the value of your home if you decide to sell.

What If Your Tank Is Leaking?

If an oil tank is damaged due to corrosion or rust because it was not installed properly, the law may require you to remove the tank. An oil tank that is old can also interfere with a property sale. Removing the oil tank may make it easier to sell the property. There are also municipal councils that require you to remove the oil tank before selling your property.

If the leak is not addressed right away, it might cause long-term difficulties. The property owner may occasionally need to remove an oil tank in order to replace it with a new tank with a higher capacity. The local government might also enact new laws that may mandate the removal of an oil tank.

DIY Or Hire A Pro?

The procedure of removing a storage tank is complicated and sometimes dangerous. It includes dealing with your property’s oil and water lines, as well as altering or installing a water main. You must additionally dispose of the dangerous liquids in the event of an oil tank.

Local or state permissions are typically required, and a laboratory check may be necessary to ensure that an oil tank has not spilled into the surrounding region. Use the services of a competent contractor to guarantee that you follow all applicable rules and that the tank removal is done safely.

Oil Tank Installation Cost

Oil Tank Installation Cost

$500$1,217 – $2,063

If you’re planning to replace an old or broken storage tank, you’ll need to include installation fees in your project budget. The cost of a new tank is determined by its size and kind, as well as the length of time it takes to install it.

The cost of hiring a competent contractor to replace the tank ranges from $1,217 to $2,063, with $1,640 being the average. The low end of the price range is $800, while a sophisticated job might cost up to $2,900. Additional services, such as water treatment system installation, raise expenses.

Expect to pay roughly $500 for the tank if you want to undertake the installation yourself. Installing a tank isn’t a simple do-it-yourself effort. It usually necessitates the services of a skilled contractor with the required expertise to complete the plumbing according to state laws and building requirements.

Installing a gasoline tank incorrectly can result in oil leaks that are dangerous to the environment and can cost thousands of dollars to fix. This is why it’s a better choice to hire someone instead.

Oil Tank And Insurance Coverage

You’re probably aware that an oil storage tank is an excellent device for storing heating fuel. Oil tanks can be situated both below and above ground. Homeowners must maintain their oil tanks regardless of where they are placed.

Underground oil tanks must be monitored more closely since the leak is more difficult to detect when the tank is below ground. The premium may be calculated by insurance firms based on the tank’s age and location. Oil tanks with double or single walls may have different insurance premiums.’

Because of the dangers of oil tanks, some homeowners may want to replace them with a safer heating system. Because removal might be time-consuming, it is best to properly employ a professional to remove the oil tank. This will avoid the dangers that come with removing an oil tank.

Will My Insurance Coverage Cover For Oil Tank Removal And Leaks?

If your insurance policy covers your home’s oil tank, you’ll be protected against the costs of removal and leakage. However, the coverage level may be limited, and you may be required to pay a deductible before the insurance kicks in. If a leak develops, it is also necessary to clean up the mess.

The insurance company may pay for the cleanup in some situations, but only if it is specified expressly in the insurance policy. Furthermore, oil leaks can have a domino effect in terms of complications since they may generate a slew of complications.

This is why it is critical to be certain that your insurance coverage selection can offer adequate coverage for your home. To assist you in choosing the correct coverage for your oil tank, you should talk to your insurance agent or provider about your possibilities.

Oil Tank Safety Tips

There are several things you may do to reduce the risk that oil tanks represent by preventing future damage. To begin, you need to purchase a double-walled tank to prevent metal corrosion. This won’t completely eliminate leaks, but it will help your oil tank last longer.

You may also install an alarm system to notify you if your oil tank begins to leak. This will enable you to quickly enlist the assistance of skilled personnel to clean up the leak. You may also add protection to your tank to keep it from freezing over during the winter.

Dangers Of An Oil Tank

Oil tanks may appear to be solid and robust on the exterior, but this isn’t always the case. Rust can form on the inside of oil tanks, indicating that they are corroding. As a result, an oil leak may occur.

Oil spills can release pollutants that are hazardous to people’s health. The gas produced by the oil spill has the potential to induce lung illness, especially in persons with weakened immune systems.

Furthermore, oil spills can poison local water and harm neighboring flora. It can also leave stains on the walls and floors. Oil tanks have a 15-year life expectancy. If the oil tank lasts longer than expected, it may become a safety hazard.

How Do I Know If There’s An Underground Oil Tank?

Typical evidence of an in-ground oil tank includes visible vent and/or filler pipes, disconnected oil lines coming through the foundation wall that were the supply and return lines from the heating oil tank, and a concrete conduit in the basement floor that connects to the furnace area. Any of these physical characteristics can indicate whether or not a tank has been taken from the ground.

Hire an environmental specialist trained to check for this evidence and other crucial signals and is equipped with a metal detector, a radio frequency finder, or a ground-penetrating radar device to analyze a property for a suspicious tank to be more specific (UST).

What If You Purchase A House With An Old Oil Tank?

If the tank is in use and is unquestionably original to the house, request that it be removed and replaced with an above-ground storage tank (AST), with the cost added to the purchase price. After all, this is what you’d do after you’d purchased the home (you would not continue to use an old tank).

This is the greatest solution because an old tank has to be replaced, and the buyer would have to pay for it regardless. This method also puts the tank’s duty on the owner, who is the true accountable party. If the tank spills, you don’t own the site, and the owner can’t avoid the problem if you use this strategy.

Is Testing An Oil Tank Important?

Always test the tank. If you test the tank and it is not leaking, it is recommended that you remove it before it begins to leak. The tank’s age alone should be enough to convince you that it needs to be replaced.

A simple analogy: if the roof has been changed, as I’m sure it has, and the same tank is still in the ground, it’s ridiculous to believe the tank should be ignored. Roofs and tanks can both last a long time, but tanks are out of sight and out of mind.

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Related Questions

Why would I need to remove a storage tank?

A storage tank might need to be removed for a variety of reasons:

  • Government regulation: In some areas, tanks that have outlived their usefulness must be removed.
  • Hazardous compounds can leach into the soil and contaminate drinking water, posing a threat to the ecosystem and groundwater.

Oil tank reporting is required in some areas when selling a home. In rare circumstances, a municipality may halt property transactions until removal or abandonment can be certified. Often, all that is required is a visual exam to ensure that it is not leaking.

Does homeowner’s insurance cover oil tank removal?

Oil tank removal is typically not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Consult your insurance agent to see whether yours will cover you. Sometimes, you can purchase additional coverages, so this may need to be covered with an add-on.

How do you dispose of an oil tank?

A specialist normally transports them to a salvage yard for recycling; alternatively, clean, empty tanks are frequently accepted by municipal landfills.

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Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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