Preparing for new oil tanks

17 Aug

Two years ago, I got a new furnace. I’d had an old “snowman” — a huge old behemoth that was originally designed to burn coal, and was retrofitted to burn oil around the 1930s. It was covered in asbestos (and that’s why they called them snowmen). It was very fabulous cast iron underneath and pretty efficient, considering it was around 100 years old. But it cracked, and I was putting water in every day. So, I had to say farewell to old snowy (code prevented it from remaining down there as a testament to heating practices of our ancestors) and got a new, tiny little jobby that uses about half the oil of the other one. Big savings.

Then last year, the old oil tank began leaking — ruh roh! — but I couldn’t get a new one in the winter because the ground was frozen, so I was getting tiny little deliveries of oil (100 gallons at a time) so as not to put too much stress on the tank. My leaky tank holds 275 gallons, but must have been put in when there was a different way to access the basement (there’s evidence of an old hatchway down there, but it’s been bricked up for at least 30 years), because there’s no way that old one is coming out the narrow opening to the basement. And there’s no way a new one of equivalent size can fit in.

What to do? They’re giving me two new smaller tanks, a bunch of new pipes (that pesky “code” again), and digging up the front garden to do it. They should be here any minute now, so here are some before photos…

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