Oil tanks not in use

Homeowners/Sellers must pay attention to whether they have an abandoned oil tank in their yard.  The law requires that the oil tank no longer in use must be decommissioned.  It is absolutely advised that the homeowner take action on this, especially prior to listing their home for sale.  Meeting the requirements of this law alleviates many potential problems in the sale of the home.

The Law

Section 3404.2.13 of the Seattle Fire Code requires that tanks and piping serving heating oil tanks which have been out of service for a period of one year or more be removed from the ground or abandoned in place.

Section 105.7.4 of the Seattle Fire Code further requires that a permit be obtained to remove, abandon, place temporarily out of service or otherwise dispose of a heating oil tank.


A permit (Code: 6103) is required from the Seattle Fire Dept. prior to decommissioning each individual underground heating oil tank. Permits are issued to the person or contractor performing the work. Permits are not issued to the property owner, unless that person is actually performing the work.


The Seattle Fire Department offers a guide on the Decommissioning of Residential Heating Oil Tanks

There are many local companies that can do this service for you.  Please feel free to contact me for a referral.