there are two steps involved when performing an Oil Tank Sweep. The first step is a comprehensive visual search of the interior for an underground oil tank. We look for where the furnace is or was for any copper fuel distribution lines. These lines are usually a pair, a return and feed line. Finding these lines if they exist gives us a good idea on where to start our outside sweep by which the direction these two lines run
The next step, we then we then perform the exterior inspection of the property by doing a magnetic survey. This step is completed by walking the entire property using a Flux-Gate type Magnometer. The Magnometer utilizes two sensors that detect the magnetic field generated by Ferromagnetic objects. This device scans the ground for any underground metal anomalies and vent pipes or fill pipes. If any areas of concern are detected they are then documented and marked for an exploratory dig at a later date.
Oil Tank Sweeps are not mandatory but in the event there is one present and not seen by you at the time of your purchase, it can be very costly to remove, especially if oil is still present inside the tank. Performing the Oil Tank Sweep is one of the best investments you can make alog with a Sewer Inspection. Some mortgage lenders require that you have it done so they are sure the property is clean. Properties in the past have been foreclosed on because of a UST (Underground Storage Tank).
As a buyer you must protect your investment. Spending the extra couple dollars is worth the cost. Please do not rely on what the current homeowners are saying. If their is a tank on the property and you do not perform the inspection, you are now financially responsible to have it removed. County records are also not reliable. they may say that a tank is present but the homeowner could have removed the tank without purchasing a permit.