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Do I Need a Fuel Tank X-Ray?

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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Gene in Pennsylvania who has a fuel tank question.

    Gene, tell us what you’re thinking about.

    GENE: We have a large fuel oil tank in the basement. The home is nearly 40 years old; so, presumably, the tank is that same age. Recently, the oil company, the company that sells us our fuel, informed me that I would need to have the tank x-rayed to determine if there are thin spots on the bottom that could begin to leak.

    TOM: This is an above-grade tank in your basement; a basement tank?

    GENE: Yes it is.

    TOM: Well, I’ve never seen a basement tank fail, ever. The only time I’ve ever seen a basement tank leak is because one of the fittings gets loose or something like that. I can see no reason in the world why you would want to x-ray anything. It sounds like they’re trying to sell you a bill of goods here.

    GENE: That is my impression. Now – so I have asked them to show me the code requirement that mandates that this be done in all of these homes around here and, you know, we’ll see.

    TOM: Gene, you know what I think you should do? Find a new fuel supplier.

    GENE: Ah.

    TOM: I think these guys are really trying to take advantage of you. There’s absolutely no reason to do that to an above-grade basement tank, which virtually nothing goes wrong to except for an occasional plumbing leak. It’s a normal, run-of-the-mill oil tank, above-grade installation; nothing to worry about. OK, Gene?

    GENE: Alright. I can’t thank you enough.

    TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks for calling 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    You know what? If it just doesn’t sound right, if it doesn’t smell right, it probably isn’t right. And Gene, I really think they were trying to take advantage of you.

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