The service of getting an oil tank search goes by many names such as: a heating oil tank sweep/ tank scan/ or tank locate. Learn information about residential oil tank sweeps with the FAQ below.

Q: What is a heating oil tank?

Many homes in the Portland area used diesel fuel for heating. People would keep the fuel buried and out of sight. New above ground oil tanks were common replacements for failing underground tanks. Having more than one underground tank is always a concern. If there is no tank search paperwork then it is the best interest of you and your family to get one. Read more information about heating oil tanks.

Q: Why are heating oil tanks a concern? Why should I get an oil tank sweep?

Heating Oil Tanks, or HOTs can be an environmental concern if they leak oil and they can be costly to remediate which can complicate further home sales. Read more regarding why buyers should get a tank search, AKA a tank sweep. oil tanks are a problem for home buyers.

Q: How does an oil tank scan work?

The on site search itself takes roughly an hour but starts before we ever arrive. A tank search consists of public records and information research before we even arrive on site. A thorough inspection of the inside and outside of the home itself made by our highly experienced locator. Next we search the entire property in a grid pattern with a large-metallic-object finding metal detector. After this  we use a magnetic locator to sweep the property near the home and to clear up any areas indicated by any of the previous searching. We have specialized tools for specific environments and tests. Any tank locator using only one type of tool Will miss tanks. Learn more about the tank scan process. After the tank sweep we send you a full report on our findings, usually later that evening.

Q: How do I know if I have an oil tank on my property or house I am buying?

Aside from a tank scan there is no way to know for sure if a underground oil tank is present. A tank search only cost $100 and could save you thousands of dollars in the future. You should assume any home built before 1985 to have a tank unless you have a tank search report. There are some easy to identify signs of heating oil tanks such as vent pipes, supply lines, and fill pipes in the yard. There are other harder to see indications as well.

Q: What happens after a tank is found during the oil tank sweep?

After a tank is found soil samples are scheduled and taken. Depending on the results of the soil samples the next steps can be negotiated between the buyer and seller. Rush Locates doesn’t perform soil samples but refers another highly rated environmental construction and remediation company in the Portland area. The head locator Jack used to work for this company and trained their tank locator.

Q: Who pays for the tank sweep, soil samples, and tank decommissioning?

Usually the buyer will pay for the tank scan during the inspection period and they will usually pay for the soil samples when a tank is found. The seller, as the owner of the oil tank and any oil spill problem is usually on the hook for paying for decommissioning (~$1,000) and and remediation that is needed. See the underground oil tank decommissioning FAQ page for more info.

Q: Do you need access inside for the tank scan?

We want to access the furnace area, in most houses this is in the basement or crawlspace. If there is an external crawlspace access then we can use that. The tank search isn’t super exciting to watch so feel free to send us a lockbox code for unoccupied homes.

Q: Why not use ground penetrating radar to find an oil tank?

The soil in much of Oregon and Washington allows electromagnetic locaters and magnetic locaters to find tanks that exist without costing the home buyers an arm and a leg. GPR is available if necessary. Ground Penetrating Radar is too costly to use for a normal entire yard sweep. However it is a wise choice in conditions of rebar reinforcement in concrete. A GPR service is more common when looking for brick/concrete cesspools.

Q:  How do I prepare for a tank sweep?

Please remove all vehicles from the property as well as any large metallic object such as trailers, RVs, storage crates, etc.

photo of rush locates services and phone number