Oil Tank Leak?

Does anyone recognize this? Is it a patch? It was mounted on the bottom of a 275 gallon steel fuel oil tank in a basement I inspected today. Also, there was a tub under this on the basement floor with about 1 gallon of fuel oil in it. Also, there was a drop of oil on the bottom of this item. The word “Stewart” was visible on the tag but I couldn’t read any of the rest of the tag.

Thanks for any comments.

Can not tell what it is from Your Picture .
How old is the tank what is the condition of the tank .
Yes I suspect I is a leak .
I do not know about you area but oil tank leaks are very serious .
Cost for clean up can be huge .
Recommend repair or replacement as required immediately by qualified person.
Roy Cooke . RHI. CAHPI-ON… Royshomeinspection.com

Looks like it might be a cover/plate over a drain opening.

The house was built in 1957 and the tank appears to be original to the house.

I thought this thing might be over a drain opening but I am not used to seeing drains in the bottom of tanks and also it was not right at the exact bottom, it was 3 to 4 inches from the exact bottom. This thing measures about 1/2" x 1-1/2" x 1-1/2"

It looks like a homemade plug. Never seen anything like that. The plugs are always threaded male plugs. You can be sure if the tank is that old that it will be an insurance issue.

In this case you would be wise to recommend further assessment by a qualified heating contractor.

Looks like a magnetic patch that is for temporary stoppage of tank leaks until the tank can be replaced.

I think Gary is correct.

I usually try to date a tank by the mfg. tag, if it’s over 15-20 years old I recommend replacement. If it’s under I always recommend the tank be inspected by the oil company each year when they clean the furnace. A house up the street from me was vacant for many years and finally sold at action, as soon as they stared pumping oil into it the valve let go and cost app. 20.000.00 to clean up. Epa was involved but it a mess to say the least. I always side on safety with oil tanks.

WOW cheap I did a home that had a leak it sold for only $79,000:00 and the previous owner had to pay for the clean up IT cost about $75,000:00.
We have another one and it I think in the region of $900,000:00 yes just under a million dollars so please be carefull out there its a dangerous world.
Roy Cooke . RHI…CAHPI-ON… Royshomeinspection.com

Thankfully the one I spoke of the delivery driver was paying attention and out of gut feel felt something was wrong and stopped, so the amount of oil spilled was minimal, not sure how much but enough.
I have also heard of one in a house with a dirt floor and the house had to be raised of the foundation to the contaminated soil could be removed.

PS Did I mention my new oil tank is being installed next week?

I have seen old oil tanks that have rusted on the bottom that have been flipped over (rust on top) and refitted with new fixtures. This could be a poor fix on what was the old top inlet. Just a guess. :neutral:

One thing we should all remember is oil tanks made many years ago were made with thicker steel than today, ( price or steel goes up, thickness goes down. ) So I think the general rule of thumb is app. 15 years, unless outside such as for a mobile home and that could be less. Any input???

Tanks usually rust from inside out and new tanks have the out let in the bottom of the tank .
This should be installed so this end of the tank is lower then the water can not collect
in the low end of the tank and cause it to rust out prematurely.
The old way was to have the spigot end higher and this caused the water to always lay in the tank.
It makes you look good to the purchaser when you can show this to them.
Roy Cooke …Royshomeinspection.com