Aboveground oil tank

Aboveground vs. Underground Oil Tanks: A Comparison

Underground and aboveground oil tanks both have their advantages and disadvantages. As the leading providers of oil tank installation in Lehigh County and nearby regions, we’ve created this piece to explain how both systems operate and discuss the pros and cons that each of them offers for homeowners.

Underground Tanks

Underground storage tanks have been a popular solution for many years. As the tank is buried below ground level on a property, homeowners can space indoor space and keep the containers out of view. Residential underground tanks are generally bigger than aboveground systems, with the capacity to facilitate between 550 and 1,000 gallons. Both fiberglass and steel tanks are popular in underground installations. Steel tanks can be susceptible to corrosion and rust, whereas fiberglass models are not.

Aboveground Tanks

Aboveground heating oil storage tanks are easily installed outdoors or indoors. They are available in a range of sizes from 160 to 400 gallons. However, the standard capacity is 275 gallons. These tanks are usually situated in a utility room, basement, or garage. Outdoor models of these tanks are manufactured to withstand extreme weather conditions and are typically installed alongside or at the rear of a home.

Underground vs. Aboveground Tanks

The main disadvantage of underground tanks is the increased risk of an oil spill from leaks in the supply lines that fill up the tank. While the container may be underground, a hole allows oil to spill into the groundwater and soil, creating environmental hazards that can cost thousands of dollars to remediate.

Although leaks can occur in aboveground oil tank systems, these models are easier to maintain and monitor due to their accessibility. Steel models are a popular option, although they are prone to the formation of ferrite sludge and rusting, which can block systems, damaging heating equipment and reducing efficiency.

Combination models offer a safer, stronger alternative. These models provide a combination of an inner tank made with rust-proof polyethylene and a tough outer shell made from durable galvanized steel.

For additional information, or to install an oil tank in Lehigh County, contact a member of the Professional Tank & Environmental team today.