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  1. #1076
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    Mar 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberridge View Post
    Good lord. Must have been a helluva leak. I bought some property in VT back in 2002 and had to pull and clean up after an oil tank at a cost around $7500. Took 3 months total.
    Did you get a tax break being a non-denominational, non-practicing, parish of the Latter Day Branch Covidians though?
    I still call it The Jake.

  2. #1077
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    Dec 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmillsSkier View Post
    Did you get a tax break being a non-denominational, non-practicing, parish of the Latter Day Branch Covidians though?
    I learned later, that in VT you just hire the local excavator, usually someone named Clem and his brother Cliff, to pull the tank. Pay them a bit extra in cash, tell them to put it out in the field behind the barn, and let the grass grow around it.

    If you sell or anyone asks, it's an old sap tank.
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  3. #1078
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    Mar 2008
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    When I was young I worked for a demo/excavation guy for a summer, and we removed a bunch of them. Look down the filler, and if you see oil, you might have dodged a bullet. But if it's a thin film of oil floating on water, you probably didn't. If it's bone dry, now you know why the veggies from your garden taste like petroleum.

  4. #1079
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    Feb 2008
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    Thanks guys, I'll tell our RE agent to give up on the "buried oil tank? no big deal!" song and dance, and maybe find a new agent. The house is in WA, and she's been making it sound like the attitude there towards buried oil tanks is in the Clem/Cliff zone, but I don't buy it.

  5. #1080
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    I can’t imagine that a buried oil tank would not raise any concerns or at least be brushed aside casually.

    Clem may say otherwise though.
    I still call it The Jake.

  6. #1081
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    Feb 2015
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    MA
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    Random Unthreadworthy Questions

    It might cost $7500-$750k to remove and cleanup. No big deal!

  7. #1082
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    Dec 2012
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    I smell poutine!!!
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    If it was me if find a way to report it such that it becomes a superfund site, or as close that as possible, to make sure nobody can buy it without the owners fixing it.

  8. #1083
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    Dec 2012
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    I smell poutine!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberridge View Post
    I learned later, that in VT you just hire the local excavator, usually someone named Clem and his brother Cliff, to pull the tank. Pay them a bit extra in cash, tell them to put it out in the field behind the barn, and let the grass grow around it.

    If you sell or anyone asks, it's an old sap tank.
    Does not track. Maybe they do things differently in Southern VT, but up here nobody is named Clem. Sounds like maybe you crossed the border into Upstate? Armand is more likely.

  9. #1084
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    Mar 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan_pdx View Post
    Thanks guys, I'll tell our RE agent to give up on the "buried oil tank? no big deal!" song and dance, and maybe find a new agent. The house is in WA, and she's been making it sound like the attitude there towards buried oil tanks is in the Clem/Cliff zone, but I don't buy it.
    I'm going to PM you on this, but she's both right and wrong. If it's only one tank, and it's in an easily accessible location, that doesn't require tree or sidewalk or retaining wall removal etc, AND the dirt is clean, then it's not really that big of a deal in this town.

    BUT, and this is big... there is literally no way of knowing until you've at least partially excavated. If the soil is contaminated, it has to be removed, and the budget could balloon to multiples of the original estimate.

  10. #1085
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    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
    I'm going to PM you on this, but she's both right and wrong. If it's only one tank, and it's in an easily accessible location, that doesn't require tree or sidewalk or retaining wall removal etc, AND the dirt is clean, then it's not really that big of a deal in this town.

    BUT, and this is big... there is literally no way of knowing until you've at least partially excavated. If the soil is contaminated, it has to be removed, and the budget could balloon to multiples of the original estimate.
    Yeah, that's the thing - in the current RE environment, we don't get to inspect the tank or have a contingency around it, so it's just a question of "do you feel lucky, punk?" According to Googs, about half of tanks have leaked to some extent, and I'm thinking we don't feel that lucky.

    As a local, is our agent being too cavalier / gaslighting us? She's asking us to call her guy at the fire department, who she says will tell us it's NBD, LOL.

  11. #1086
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    I just pm'd you.

    As for the fire marshal, yeah he's the guy who has to sign off to close out the permit, and he isn't glademaster. But he's not going to turn a blind eye either.

  12. #1087
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    Sep 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan_pdx View Post
    Yeah, that's the thing - in the current RE environment, we don't get to inspect the tank or have a contingency around it, so it's just a question of "do you feel lucky, punk?" According to Googs, about half of tanks have leaked to some extent, and I'm thinking we don't feel that lucky.

    As a local, is our agent being too cavalier / gaslighting us? She's asking us to call her guy at the fire department, who she says will tell us it's NBD, LOL.
    The quicker you buy a house, the quicker she gets money. Of course she wants to believe it's no big deal.

    Tell her you'll buy it if her commission can be accessed for cleanup money if the costs rise above $10,000.

  13. #1088
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    Dec 2016
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    In a van... down by the river
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
    <snip>
    BUT, and this is big... there is literally no way of knowing until you've at least partially excavated. If the soil is contaminated, it has to be removed, and the budget could balloon to multiples of the original estimate.
    Aren't there any businesses that would do core sample analysis? Seems like it would be pretty straightforward to take about 8 cores around a buried tank like that and at least have *some* idea what the lay of the land might look like...

    I do get that the seller and even the agent have no interest in *actually* knowing this information.

  14. #1089
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    There are, but eight cores is at least 48 feet of drilling. And the tank has to come out eventually anyway.

    And as you mentioned, the seller isn't going to voluntarily devalue the property.

  15. #1090
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    Feb 2008
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    Yeah the agent thing has always bugged me. Their incentives are not aligned with the seller or the buyer - they're only incented to get contracts signed. In this case, since we have been trying to buy remote, there's actually a lot of leg work for our agent to do (video tours of listings), so at least we're getting something out of it, but still, she's more interested in getting us to sign than getting us what we want.

    Classic RE agent moment: some inexperienced flippers bought the house across the street, took the roof off to add a second story, and left it like that through a Portland winter. They eventually managed to get their permits and finish the house up, but I went in to the open house and noticed that the subfloor on the first floor had permanently warped due to the repeated wet/dry cycles. I told the listing agent about the house being roofless through the winter and he told me "I don't want to hear about that." Fucker, I should have sent it to him in a letter via certified mail. Also, we needed about 5 square feet of old oak flooring to make repairs in our living room, and the flippers junked at least 300 sf of it from their living / dining room due to water damage -- I should have broken in and taken some before it was completely trashed.

    And yes, you can absolutely get core samples done, but in the current market, it doesn't seem possible to get them done before making an offer (but it would get expensive given that most are bidding on multiple houses before winning one), and if you have that contingency, the seller will pick another offer.

    Meh, we're actually walking away from this house partially due to the oil tank but also due to a very thorough home inspector's report. Even our agent took a look at the report and told us to, in Mrs. PDX's words, "run away!".

    thanks all for the oil tank wisdom and stories. Ted sent me a B'ham company that does inspection / remediation (thanks Ted!), so if we do run into something else that looks promising but has a tank, we'll give them a call.

  16. #1091
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    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    Unless you're paying them, RE agents--theirs and yours--work for the seller although they both have a duty to disclose.
    In the long run the fact that most buyers prefer to have a "free agent" that is actually working for the seller probably drives up the price more than hiring a buyer's agent would and drives up the cost of real estate in general.

  17. #1092
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    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    We have a little 12V electric trolling motor, about 15 years old, that we use for maybe a couple of hours per year, or not at all. The other day the insulation on the positive cord was charred where it attaches to the alligator clip that attaches it to the battery. I assume even the wire was partly broken or more likely the solder joint between the cord and the clip was bad. Any other explanation? Any reason this shouldn't go in the trash?

  18. #1093
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    Apr 2007
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    Bethel, Maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
    I'm going to PM you on this, but she's both right and wrong. If it's only one tank, and it's in an easily accessible location, that doesn't require tree or sidewalk or retaining wall removal etc, AND the dirt is clean, then it's not really that big of a deal in this town.

    BUT, and this is big... there is literally no way of knowing until you've at least partially excavated. If the soil is contaminated, it has to be removed, and the budget could balloon to multiples of the original estimate.
    FWIW, this tracks with what I've heard on Vermont, as well. My ex worked for the state, and part of her job involved dealing with failed tanks (and remediation) as well as a state program that provided grant funding to replace residential tanks before they failed, so I've heard a fair bit about the process.

    Personally, a buried tank would probably scare me off unless the place was on city water. Dealing with removal and remediation can go anywhere from a moderate PITA (get the yard dug up, track drained and removed, and soil samples come up clean so you just need to deal with the giant hole) to huge PITA (tank has failed, subterranean features provide leaking oil with preferential path into groundwater), and having to worry about potentially having contaminated well water would suck.

    A tank failing in the basement isn't fun, either, as the fumes can render a place effectively uninhabitable.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using TGR Forums mobile app

  19. #1094
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    Mar 2017
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    132
    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    We have a little 12V electric trolling motor, about 15 years old, that we use for maybe a couple of hours per year, or not at all. The other day the insulation on the positive cord was charred where it attaches to the alligator clip that attaches it to the battery. I assume even the wire was partly broken or more likely the solder joint between the cord and the clip was bad. Any other explanation? Any reason this shouldn't go in the trash?

    Replacing the electrical cable is simple and cheap. If you want to keep the motor, you can put in half an hour of work (including going to the hardware store to get the replacement cord) and bring it back to life. If you were looking for an excuse to get a newer motor or to just get rid of this one, this is a good chance too.

  20. #1095
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    Dec 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    We have a little 12V electric trolling motor
    Send it to Benny, he's an expert in trolling.

  21. #1096
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    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberridge View Post
    Send it to Benny, he's an expert in trolling.
    I disagree. He means every word.

    I can replace the cord, although it looks like the alligator clip design was discontinued in 2001--so unsafe?
    My question is--is there any motor or battery related things that would cause the cord to overheat. At this point I'm assuming bad cord. In taking off the insulation I think I see why. If the design is bad I'm not sure I want to fix it.

    The cord is soldered to the clip and there are copper wings on the clip that pinch the cord to hold it in place. I think the wings were pinched too tight or otherwise worked their way through the insulation and into the cord over the years.
    Last edited by old goat; 07-21-2021 at 02:26 PM.

  22. #1097
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    Mar 2008
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    the ham
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    10,204
    What's this thing?

  23. #1098
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    Nov 2007
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    So. VT
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    2,536
    Flip it over

  24. #1099
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    Oct 2006
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    Bellevue
    Posts
    6,551
    Heat protective cover for the shelf next to the grill?

  25. #1100
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    Feb 2011
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    1,889
    Male shapewear.

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