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How Much Does It Cost To Install a Fuel Tank?

Author: Brian Eckert

Fuel Tank Prices

Fuel tanks—otherwise known as home heating fuel tanks or fuel oil tanks—typically last around 15 to 30 years. Although fuel tank installation is not the cheapest project, the cost of a leaking tank that that causes environmental damage can be far pricier. Because of this, if your fuel tank is at least 15 years old and an inspection shows problem, you’d be wise to replace it. This buying guide explores how much that might cost you in addition to providing basic information about fuel storage tanks.

What You Should Know About Fuel Tanks

Below is some information about heating fuel tanks that prospective buyers should find helpful:

  • Aboveground vs. underground: The two basic types of heating fuel tanks are aboveground and underground. Aboveground fuel tanks typically hold 275 or 330 gallons. While they may take up space in your home, they are easier to install, repair, and remove. Underground fuel tanks are larger, able to hold around 500 to 1,000 gallons, but are more expensive to remove, install, and inspect.
  • The cost of an oil leak: Although heating oil doesn’t pose a significant explosion risk, the consequences of a leak, especially in an underground tank, can do serious damage to your wallet (not to mention the environment). Underground fuel tank leaks could easily cost $5,000 to $10,000 to repair, and spending $20,000 to $100,000 or more is not unheard of.
  • Preventing leaks: The number one cause of fuel tank leaks is corrosion, which is caused by water. If you have an outdoor tank, then, you’d be wise to protect it from the elements by building an “oil shed” or similar enclosure. And especially if your tank is 10-15 years old, you should be on the lookout for signs of leaking, such as:
    • Oil running out faster than normal
    • Furnace/water heater not working properly
    • Oil stains (aboveground)
    • Dead vegetation (underground)
    • Tank fittings and lines not clean and tight

If any of these telltale signs of fuel leakage are present, it could very well be time to install a new fuel tank.

Fuel Tank Cost Installation Costs

The actual cost of fuel tank installation can vary depending on your geography, the location of the tank, the contractor, and other factors. The following price quotes are only meant to serve as a general overview.

An important consideration for fuel tank installation prices is whether the tank is aboveground or underground.

  • To remove and replace an aboveground tank, plan on paying approximately $1,500 to $2,500. For an underground tank, the total cost might be twice as expensive, or $3,000 to $5,000 and up.
  • Soil testing for contamination will run you an additional $300 to $600. If contamination is detected, expect your costs to balloon in proportion to the cleanup costs.

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