What is this for?

I have seen this before where there is either a pipe or board on top of the oil tank holding it down? Is there a reason for this to be there? I do see it on a somewhat regular basis and have never actually done any research to figure out the real reason for it. I was inspecting this home for my cousin today so i am looking into it today. It has a lot of pressure on it and I think it has even cracked the tile floor above this area!

This is in a basement in a NH and the home was built in the late 90’s
Thanks for looking!

Kevin, the board or pipe that you have been seeing is to prevent the oil tank from floating away if the basement floods.

You figured it out. The tile on the floor above it is cracking because of the joist movement and so the brace is an attempt to stop it.

Sometimes you see something like this under a china closet where the glasses and plates rattle when someone walks through the dining room. The way to beef up the joists is to gusset them with plywood. Plywood on edge doesn’t really deflect.

No the floor is actually being pushed up and grout is cracking right above this area! It is actually the cause of the cracking from what I saw.

I was joking around and have said so it doesn’t float away but it is the only thing I could think of. Is this an actual thing people do?

Yup. If the tank floats up it can break loose and even tip over and then you have fuel oil in the basement.

Is there anywhere it is required or is this just something people do on their own as a safe guard?

Yeah… most jurisdictions require the tank to be bolted/fastened to the floor!

I don’t know of any requirement for indoor tanks. Some towns require tie-downs on exterior tanks.

This happened to my neighbor around the corner. They went on vacation and returned home to a broken pipe and flooded basement. The oil tank was floating sideways on the top of the water. The disaster wasn’t just the basement. The oil smell permeated everything in the house, all the furniture, carpeting, etc. I heard the insurance claim was over $50k, and this was like 20 years ago.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen one bolted down.

Does anyone recommend one if there is not one in place? The smell I guess could be pretty bad in the right conditions!

Are you saying that makes it okay? You probably have the same handful of yahoos been doing it wrong for 30+ years.

No, but Kevin asked if there was a requirement. IRC only requires indoor tanks to be anchored in “flood-prone” areas. Local jurisdictions can have their own requirements. It’s my experience that nobody in our area does it, not in 50 year old houses, not in new houses. I always recommend they be secured since anyone’s basement can flood.

Thanks Brian I have seen my share of them but not very common for them to actually be secured down as I typically see them more in older homes when someone must have thought about doing it. I have yet to see it in a newer home.