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Consequences of installing underground oil tanks and how to avoid them

22nd February 2021 Print
oil tanks

Homes need a reliable heating system to warm up the house especially during the cold winter season. There are several factors to consider when you are choosing what type of tank you will use. 

A good option is using oil as the main proponent to heat your homes. Oil heat is non-explosive, creates more BTU, and lowers the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Oil tanks can be placed above or under the ground and indoor or outdoor.

Usually, homeowners prefer above-ground oil tanks. However, the risk it imposes and the unappealing aesthetic can be something that does not resonate well with you. You can look into underground oil tanks and see if its a better option for you and your home

What Are The Advantages Of Installing Underground Oil Tanks?

If you surf the internet, most would discourage getting an underground oil tank. It may not be the crowd’s favorite but having one has the perks that would make it a better choice for you. 

Protected From Vandalism 

Unlike above-ground tanks, underground oil tanks are protected from any damages caused by humans. It is not at risk of any type of vandalism. They are actually less likely to be damaged because it is hidden. You also do not need to worry about security threats that need to be addressed with above ground oil tanks. 

Great Insulation 

Since the oil tank is underground, the tank has great insulation. It is unaffected by weather changes because of the soil surrounding it. 

Space Saver

An obvious benefit of having your oil tank underground is the extra floor space. Above ground oil tank needs a dedicated space to be installed. Bear in mind that oil tanks are huge and would require a spot in your basement or lawn, unlike underground tanks. 

Longer Shelf Life 

If installed properly and correctly, underground tanks are most likely to have a longer shelf life than the other option. The added protection of being hidden and away from human interaction will make it less exposed to wear and tear.

What Are The Risks Of Having Underground Oil Tanks?


As a homeowner, you must carefully scrutinize all of the options before making a decision. Unfortunately, you can’t just look into the bright side; you also need to see and understand the risk of your choices. Here are the possible consequences you might encounter if you decide on installing an underground oil tank: 


Maintaining oil heat is costly already and the maintenance you will need to conduct will be pricey too. Once you encounter leaks or any type of damages in your tank or pipes, it will cost you a lot of money to repair it.  


The biggest risk of having an underground oil tank is that it is vulnerable to leakage. When it does have leaks, it causes environmental problems. Tanks with leaks can spread oil in the soil that can reach the water supply, from groundwater to surface water, which will make it unsafe to use.

The leakage can also cause the ground to be weak and unstable. In the worst cases, sinkholes are created in your yard.   

Health And Safety

The risk of leaks can be a health and safety hazard for the whole neighborhood. The oil leaking into the water supply will make the water unsafe to use. The possible sinkholes caused by it can be dangerous and life-threatening as well. 


In case there are damages caused by your broken oil tank, you will face several lawsuits. It will not be a question once your neighbors become affected by your tank problems - they will sue you for the inconvenience. You will also need to pay fines and repairs for any of these damages. It will also be a legal nightmare if ever your tank damages public properties. 

How To Prevent Problems Regarding Your Underground Oil Tank?

If you are determined on getting an underground oil tank or if the pros are higher than the cons, you can do certain steps to avoid the risks and prevent future problems. 

Seek Professional Help 

It is a huge advantage to work with a professional in installing your tank. You should not take this matter lightly. By hiring oil tank services, you are more confident that the tank will be installed correctly. 

Professionals are also more aware of the factors needed to consider before installation. They guide you through the process.     

Follow Installment Regulations 

Government officials take underground oil tank installations seriously. Some regulations need to be followed to ensure safety. Over time, the government has improved and strengthened these regulations to prevent leakages and other issues. 

You should conduct your research. Know the regulations you need to follow so that you are not blinded. Even though you’ll ask for professional help, it is still good to know these too on your own and not only rely on them. 

Check If Property Is Suitable 

There are certain factors to consider before installing an underground tank on your property:

- See if your house is built on a soil (rocky surface makes installation impractical

- Check if your area is prone to flooding (flooding can cause your tank to float)

Installing it in the right area will make it less vulnerable to damages. That means fewer problems and hassle for you! 

Remove Old Heating System 

If you are buying a new house, check if there is an abandoned underground oil tank. See if it is still worth buying even with the additional cost of having the old system removed and replaced. If yes, you can ask professionals to remove it for you. If not, you can look into other houses and just opt to install a new one.

Your choice of heating system is a huge decision and investment. It is something that you have to think about thoroughly. These should guide you in making the right decision. See if the pros outweigh the cons and check if underground oil tanks are suitable for you. 

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