Thursday, January 08, 2009

Oil Tanks Need To Be Double-Walled

One of the prerequisites of a house changing hands in Eastham (at a closing), is that existing fuel oil tanks must either be double-walled or must be demonstrably less than 10 years old. Eastham (and other Outer Cape towns) has instituted this new 'rule' to prevent to release of fuel oil into the fragile aqua-system of the Outer Cape.
  • If a home seller has a 'new' single-walled tank, he needs to get a variance from the fire department. The fire department requires the tank to be stamped with the date of manufacture or that the home seller provide the invoice showing when the tank was installed prior to issuing the variance.

  • Lacking a variance, the home seller must replace the existing oil tank with a new double walled tank and have the old tank removed. This is roughly a $2,000 expense.
    Of course, homes without an oil tank don't face this issue.

An alternative to installing a new oil tank is conversion to natural gas heating. Many streets in Eastham have buried gas lines, making this conversion a viable option. Although conversion can be costly, the expense can be reduced by taking advantage of promotions offered by the gas company as their way of locking you in as a new customer. Also, sometimes the Seller will grant the Buyer a credit, at closing, since they will not have to pay for the take conversion.

Lastly, buried oil tanks are forbidden and must be removed prior to closing.

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