How Do You Remove An Old Oil Tank

Oil furnaces are a staple heating solution for millions of homes out there. However, sooner or later, you will need to remove your existing oil tank as it turns older. Even though you will be needing an expert from HVAC companies for this task, you can try doing it on your own as well if you are short on cash or an avid DIY enthusiast.

Pumping Old Oil From The Tank

Before removing the tank, you must pump out oil from it. You can recycle and reuse the oil that you have pumped out if it is usable for your oil furnace. However, if the oil needs to be replaced anyways, you will need to put in some new oil in the new tank. Make sure that you do not leave the oil or throw it away in the surroundings. You can end up in serious trouble.

Start the process using an explosion-resistant transfer pump. Pout it into a 55-gallon drum. These drums are readily available.

Cutting Open The Tank

Once you are done removing the oil/fuel, it is time to get down to cutting open the tank. It is often assumed that if you were to cut the pipework, the sparks produced as a result would ignite fumes along with the oil but that is not the case. The sparks made by the cutting tool are not enough to ignite the fire. So, be assured that you will not be causing any fires.

Clean The Tank

Now that you are done cutting open the tank, prepare yourself as this is where things are going to turn dirty. There are two ways of cleaning the heating oil tank. First, you should clean the walls of the tank. You will need to spend some time and put effort as oil accumulation is not easy to clean. Once the walls have been scrapped, use a 5-gallon jug to scoop out all the sludge and transfer it into the 55-gallon drum.

Recycling Sludge

With use, some particles in the oil settle on the bottom and walls of the tank. They accumulate over years and form sludge. This means that the oil can still be recycled and used for industrial purposes. Industries use this oil to burn in various processes.

Make sure that you do not throw away the oil or sludge into the trash. And then again, do not throw it in a lake or water supply as it will pollute and poison it.

Cutting The Pipes

Before removing the existing oil tank, you will need to remove the pipes. Begin by cutting off the fill and vent pipes, using a patching compound to block the holes made from cement. This will help prevent any leakages or spills that can be harmful to the environment.


Finally, it comes down to removal. Removing the tank from your basement and shifting it to your yard or any other location in the house takes real effort. Firstly, you should remove it through the basement bulkhead and put it in the yard. However, if taking out the tank through the bulkhead is not possible, you should cut down the tank into a few pieces.

For homeowners that have oil tanks installed in their garage or any other area, other than the basement, the task is not going to be much of a challenge. Make sure that you are using the correct safety equipment. You can either rent or purchase the tools and equipment needed for the purpose. But if that does not help make the task easy, you will need to call in a professional.

This option is going to cost you money but you will avoid getting your hands dirty and risking injuries during the process.


In the end, you can either remove the oil tank on your own or consult a professional on the matter, the choice is up to you. If you plan on doing it on your own, you will need to make sure that there are no spillages or leakages. And plus, you will also be needing a helping hand to remove and shift the oil tank from the basement. However, to avoid hazards and install a new oil tank, consult oil tank replacement services Huntington.