Home Inspection + oil tank sweep

I lost an inspection job today and it’s not the first because I don’t do tank sweeps. The guy I often partner with in trying to coordinate this was booked and the potential client moved on. The client wanted someone who would do Home Inspection, radon, WDI and tank sweep.
I was wondering, how many of you all do tank sweeps in addition to your HI, for an extra charge of course, and where can you get training to perform them. I didn’t see any from InterNACHI.


What’s a “tank sweep”?


not my job…

Sounds like using a metal detector to locate underground metal tanks.

That is my assumption also, but we know what ‘assume’ means!!

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I hear you :slight_smile: but if not, he sure used a wrong term.

Unfortunately, a very common issue on this MB.


Looking for an underground oil tank. They use a metal detector and scan the ground around the house. Seems to go along with just about every home inspection here in the north east.

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WoW! I’d want a strong detector, that could pick up the metal in China, just to be safe of liability. :thinking: :roll_eyes: :grin:


Yeap! better not miss it.

That’s funny. That’s where the training would come in, knowing size of tanks, identifying false positives etc.
In general, I think they get roughly $275 per and while I’m there anyway… why not?

Joe Cotrone
Licensed & Insured
Home Inspector

Oh, Joe, I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m saying what Simon so aptly put it:

“Tank Sweep” is the term used for UST location/detection in NJ


Google it, training courses show up on the first page.

What year was the build?
For newer inspectors. Many homes built before ><1957 in North America were originally heated with furnace/fuel oil. When natural gas became available, fuel oil storage tanks, which were located underground in areas others in backyards or basements, were filled with sand or capped.

Joe…Part of the business we are in. You can’t inspect everything unless you passed the training and carry or rent the equipment.
As well, it could have been a real estate agent doing the rounds to see who does what.

I would have keep the prospective client on the phone explaining my inspection process/routine ‘in depth.’ On any particular component or system. That goes along with the extensive amount of tools, training, experience, expertise and equipment I bring to every inspection just in case something comes up. You never know.
Sell yourself.
After, I would have advised the ‘potential client,’ if they where, that still does not illuminate or preclude the soil not being contaminated. Hmm… That would be a phase 1 or 2 ESA assessment or an Environmental assessment. Refer to the sellers declaration. Check with the local municipality to see if a tank was removed under their bylaws. A record would be held.

Hi Tony, thanks, but could you shoot me your search criteria. I have looked and checked InterNACHI and found nothing…


Thank goodness I am now focused on new construction inspections. I do recall one time inspecting a rural property after a heavy deep snow fall. As I walked around the large property myself at the beginning of the inspection I hit my foot on a pipe sticking a couple inches out of the ground. I walked 10 feet more and hit another pipe with my foot. I walked into the house where my client, the seller, and my clients realtor were sitting and I mentioned the pipe. I could not believe my ears when the sellers realtor said - “Oh, you found the pipes”. The good news is that this issue and many other issues prevented the sale from going through. A few months later I drove by the property and tagged pipes were sticking out of the ground around this properly about every 30 feet. Turns out that 2 large oil tanks had contaminates tonnes of soil and the the seller was paying 10’s of thousands to remove and clean the soil and monitor the well.