What the Helen of Troy is This?

DSCN8456, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

What did they use this for? Oil? Natural Gas? What time period is this from?  This one looks kinda new.  Is it really expensive to remove them or is it possible that they’re still used?

20 Comment

  • It looks like something you would get pushed over Niagara Falls in

  • I can’t identify it specifically, but it’s fuel- I think oil because natural gas containers are rounded at either end like a capsule pill.

  • Heating oil. Still fairly common in DC. Ever see those tanker trucks around town that are a little smaller than a garbage truck and look like they might be carrying water or something? Those refill tanks like these. Usually, the tanks are in the basement, though. And lots of times a homeowner will convert to natural gas and then leave the tank hanging around because it’s a pain to haul away.

  • Gas or Grey water?

  • My first guess would’ve been fuel oil, as it was popular as a way to heat homes about fifty years ago, but the “G” makes me think it might be a tank for gasoline.

  • IrvingGreen is right! It’s a heating oil tank. Usually for residences it’s #2 Heating Oil.

  • It’s heating oil. They were typically buried until about 30 year ago when people realized that putting a steel tank that rusts in the ground containing a pollutant was not a good idea. They are very expensive to remove if they are in the ground and have started to leak. They are most definitely still used, especially in areas where natural gas is not an option.

  • That heating oil tank would definitely not be expensive to remove. In fact, it ought to pay to have it removed, as the scrap iron is worth a bunch. As people said above, they’re usually inside, and those are a pain in the ass to remove.

  • Yep, heating oil. I had one just like it in my old house.

    And actually, they are expensive to remove. You have to get some specially-certified company to do it because of the risk of leaks and environmental contamination. When we were considing switching our house over to gas, removing the oil tank was a BIG part of the overall cost. The contractor told us that lots of people decide to have the tank emptied, sealed off, and left where it is.

  • what if said oil tank is located under one’s front porch? how would you expect they’d remove it? costly?

  • I didn’t pay to have mine removed. I was PAID myself. It was in my basement.

    When we switched to a gas furtnace, we realized that we wouldn’t need the tank or its contents anymore. I sold the leftover oil that was in the tank through Craigslist and got $100 for it. A guy came over with a pump and a couple of 55 gallon drums.

    I then gave the tank away through Craigslist with the stipulation that whoever wanted it had to come get it himself. Of course I helped him, and it was A LOT of work, but we got it done, and I was $100 richer as a result of the whole process.

    Now my basement has a lot more space and doesn’t have a tank of oil sitting in the corner.

  • Anyone want my leftover cast iron boiler? It’s sitting in my basement. It’s too heavy for me to move. If anyone wants it for the scrap metal, it’s theirs for free. The only issue is that it’s so heavy, I don’t know how you’re gonna do it!

  • That’s nice for you, anon 10:27, but probably illegal. At least in PA, where my oil tank was, it was required by law to have a certified contractor do the job in an environmentally safe and governmentally approved way.

  • What 10:27 suggests is 100% illegal in the District. It’s an environmental/pollutant danger. I’m a bit surprised that it’s a real story.

  • We still have fuel oil in my house…flippin’ expensive, that’s what it is.

  • eek. That enormous house has only 2 bathrooms!

  • There are a number of businesses listed at that rhode island address.

  • It’s also illegal installed in public space like it is.

  • Actually, what anon @ 10:27 said is 100% legal. The district only regulates underground storage tanks. Above ground tanks are not registered with the city so you can remove or install them as you wish.

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