Buying an NJ House with an Underground Oil Tank

You’ve just recently bought a house in New Jersey and the house has an underground oil tank. You don’t know very much about underground or above ground oil tanks, but you do know that you want to investigate their maintenance needs before you move into the house.


Most homes built before 1975 are likely to have an underground oil tank. Prior to the 60’s and 70’s people were less educated about the hassle that can come with an underground oil tank. Now oil tanks are more likely to be installed above ground, to avoid inconvenient access.

And although oil tanks do require a careful eye, and annual maintenance, residential oil tanks are often easier to deal with than the bulk of a commercial one. In fact residential tanks that contain less than 1,100 gallons do not have to be registered and inspected as meticulously.

However, tests are still performed on underground oil tanks prior to a new homeowner taking ownership of property. After moving in, what will you do to ensure your oil tank remains intact?


If you are moving into a home with an underground tank, be sure to ask the previous homeowner for information about the volume of the tank for certain NJ oil tank services. An above ground tank would be easier to simply manually measure. It’s necessary to know this number for refilling purposes. When refilling an oil tank, it is wise to only fill to about 80%-90% of the tanks capacity so that overfilling and unintentional oil spills are completely avoided. Oil should be ordered around the time your oil tank gets to be around a quarter full.

It is very important to keep records. Records of times inspected and records of how much fuel is used per winter season. If climate patterns stay fairly consistent from year to year, but fuel usage has dramatically increased, this could be an indication of an oil leak in your tank.

oil tank removal

Test Gauging

There are various tests that a homeowner has the capability to perform even as frequently as once a week to ensure the effectiveness and safety of his/her underground oil tank. A professional can always be hired to assist in your oil tank services in NJ, but there are tests and alarms that can be performed and installed simply by the homeowner. For larger tanks automatic test gauging is required, but for typical residential tanks, manual test gauging is acceptable.

There are a series of tests that constitute the manual testing and they are performed weekly. For 36 hours of every week, the oil tank is to be turned off during this testing. A measurement is taken at the beginning of the 36 hours and then at the very end of the 36 hours. These numbers are compared week to week and month to month for a year to ensure no leakage. Along with oil levels, tank tightness is also tested in these manual oil tank services in NJ. The tightness test needs to be performed over the course of four weeks and only needs to be done every five years.

Line leak detectors are an added precaution in catching an oil leak very early on. Other warning signs can be any peculiar smells, or puddles forming in the soil above or near the underground oil tank. Keeping an oil spill kit on hand is another good idea for any homeowner with an underground oil tank. For serious leak issues it’s essential to call a professional, but to initially react to a leak situation, these oil spill kits can provide a temporary fix. They include putty, drain blockers, and other materials to help quickly absorb the oil. Lastly, it’s important to keep access to the tank clear so that water and other materials are not pervading the oil tank, and so that service can easily be done when necessary.

Prevention and reactive measures are important to take when dealing with oil tank services in NJ. Contact us on our website or by phone at 908-964- 2717 for any sales or service needs!