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Now's the time for fuel tank cleaning.

Now's the time for fuel tank cleaning

There is no better time than now to schedule fuel tank cleanings, says Richard Silver, president of American Pipe & Tank Lining Co., Inc., a 75-year-old Manhattan based concern. "August and September are great months to clean fuel oil tanks to prepare for wintertime operation," Silver noted, "because the tanks are usually not full, the cleaning does not interfere with normal building operation, and a prudent building manager should not put a heating system on-line in October using fuel that might contain sludge or sediment."

The noted water and fuel tank expert believes that a clean tank, and hence, clean fuel, is the best insurance against an unnecessary breakdown of the heating system during the winter. "A clogged burner is probably the worst reason for a shutdown because it is so easy and inexpensive to prevent," he said.

On the other hand, a breakdown can be very expensive when you consider the cost of a service call, tenant complaints and possible loss of rents. "There is also the "Hotline" factor. Silver notes that today loss of heat often results in a call to City "hotline" numbers even before building owners and managers are aware of the problem. "This only invites an inspection by City personnel who will be on the lookout for other possible code violations.

"A simple cleaning now can prevent a lot of headaches and expenses later," Silver advised. It is also a good time for the tank cleaning firm to check out the condition of the fuel tank and make sure that it complies with a variety of New York State environmental codes. Silver reminds that tanks must be tested periodically, and that recently enacted State laws require numerous fuel tanks be modified to prevent oil spills and seepage of oil into nearby water systems.

"The State DEC is empowered to levy heavy fines for violators and building owners and operators need to know if they are exposed," Silver added. Sometimes code compliance is simple and can be corrected easily with minor costs, Silver notes. More expensive corrections can be scheduled when time and budget considerations allow. And it is always best to know if a problem exists, Silver cautions. "It doesn't pay to bury your head in the oil."
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Energy & Conservation Supplement
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Sep 18, 1991
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