How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Water or Fuel Tank in My Home?

Typical Range:

$1,600 - $2,957

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 240 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated October 26, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

A fuel or water tank costs on average $2,267 to replace, with a typical range between $1,600 and $2,957. The cost of replacing a fuel or water tank starts at around $50 for a 25-gallon tank but could go as high as $35,000 for a 15,000-gallon tank. The cost of the tank and its installation depends on the material, the tank size, and whether the tank is located above or below ground.

Whether you live in a rural area or the heart of the city, you might find yourself in a situation when water, fuel, or heating oil is unavailable, expensive, or urgently needed. In these circumstances, having a water or fuel storage tank on your property could save the day. Water and fuel tanks can last around 15 to 30 years.

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National Average $2,267
Typical Range $1,600 - $2,957
Low End - High End $800 - $4,800

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 240 HomeAdvisor members.

Storage Tank Prices

How much does it cost for a water tank? The cost of just the water or fuel storage tank varies by material. Common materials for residential oil or water storage tanks include:

  • Polyethylene plastic: Plastic won’t rust, but it tops out at around 1,700 gallons. A 500-gallon tank ranges from about $500–$1,000.

  • Steel: You can use steel tanks above or underground. Steel is versatile but is prone to rust. A 500-gallon tank ranges from $1,500–$3,000.

In addition to your tank, expect to pay between $100 and $18,000 for other installation materials. Storage tank installation materials could include:

  • Gas or water pipes: $2–$30 per lin. ft. depending on the material

  • Concrete slab: $4 per cu. ft.

  • Soil contamination test kit: $15–$400

Storage Tank Installation Costs

Here are some labor and installation costs to consider when installing a residential water or fuel storage tank. Expect a labor cost between $2,600 and $18,000.

  • Old oil tank removal cost: $1,500 for an aboveground tank to $5,000 for an underground tank

  • Soil testing: $50– $100 per hour for the technician and $100–$200 per hour for the chemist

  • Concrete slab: $2 per sq. ft.

  • Professional installation: $800–$3,800

  • Land excavation cost: $40–$150 per hour

  • Gas or water pipe installation: $75–$230 per lin. ft.

  • Trenching: $6 per lin. ft.

Storage Tank Cost by Type

There are two main types of water storage tanks: above and underground. Aboveground tanks are more common and cost-efficient to install, but underground tanks provide more storage without taking up the square footage of your property.

Aboveground Storage Tanks

Aboveground fuel and water tanks can range from $2,000 to $30,000, depending on the size and material. Tanks situated above ground are often used for water or heating oil storage. A common use is collecting rainwater. A full rainwater collection system costs around $120 to $21,000.

Aboveground tanks can be made of plastic, steel, fiberglass, or concrete. Plastic and steel tanks are the most common residential options. They range in price from about $500 to $3,000 for a 500-gallon tank.

Aboveground tanks are usually smaller than those stored underground. A cost consideration is that aboveground tanks are easier to fill, saving money. You can also save on installing aboveground tanks because you don’t need to pay for excavation. Most residential tanks are small enough to be exempt from federal inspection regulations, but municipalities or states might require permits or inspections. Check with your local ecology department.

Underground Fuel and Water Storage Tank Cost

Underground storage tanks start around $3,000 and go upwards of $30,000. Underground tanks are made with durable materials like steel, aluminum, fiberglass, or a composite material rather than less-expensive plastic. Underground tanks are a good option for homeowners who live in areas that get extreme weather because the temperature just below the ground stays consistent. 

Some places require annual checks or permits for hazardous liquids like gasoline and heating oil. Corrosion of metal tanks or possible leaks can leach dangerous liquids into the soil and even the groundwater, so frequent checks and safety inspections could be mandatory. Check with your local ecology office for requirements and pricing.

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Fuel or Water Tank Cost by Size

The tank size will influence the price of the project. Ultimately, the size depends on needs, price, and available storage space. The typical size for a fuel holding tank is a 55-gallon drum. Commercial businesses or large farms might want more.

Potable water tanks, which contain water suitable for human consumption, may hold anywhere from 20 gallons up to 2,000 gallons. You can store agricultural water or water to use in the case of a fire in even larger tanks, but they won’t be safe to drink. When determining how much water is necessary, it may be helpful to know that an average bathtub holds 36 gallons, and the average faucet uses 4 gallons per minute.

Tank Size in GallonsAverage Cost Range
25 $100 – $150
100 $200 – $500
500 $500 – $1,000
1,000 $800 – $2,500
2,000 $1,500 – $3,000
5,000 $2,500 – $4,000
10,000 $8,000 – $15,000
15,000 $20,000 – $35,000

Fuel or Water Tank Cost Factors

The biggest fuel and water tank cost factors include the location and placement, tank size, what it’s used for, booster pumps, whether you need to run lines, and whether you DIY the project or hire a pro. 

Location

Whether you place your tank indoors or outdoors and the location you live in the country will impact the cost. Homeowners living in colder climates may need to pay extra to take preventive measures like special coatings and materials that prevent the tank from freezing.

Tank Size

Generally for oil tanks, the larger the tank, the more it’ll cost. But for water tanks, the pricing structure is set so the fewer gallons it holds, the higher the cost is per gallon. This means it’s important to evaluate how much water you’ll need based on the size of your family, everyone’s water usage habits, and whether the tank will be for emergency or daily use before choosing which tank size is right for you. You might find that a larger tank is a better deal in the long run.

Tank Use

There are three water tanks: everyday use, emergency use, and water heaters. An emergency-use water tank stores water for when a city or municipal water supply is cut off or deemed unsafe to use. An everyday-use water tank is more useful in rural areas or homes where connecting to a city or municipal water supply isn’t possible. Water heaters are also water tanks and can hold approximately 50 to 80 gallons of water at a time. The cost to install a water heater is typically between $600 to $1,600.

Running Water or Fuel Lines

The cost to run a waterline from the tank to the house can be around $300 per linear foot for materials and labor. Alternatively, you can access water from a spigot on the tank to save on costs, though this is less convenient for many homeowners. The cost to install a gas line is around $570.

Placing the Water or Fuel Tank

You’ll need a level place to put your tank. Aboveground tanks can sit on a concrete slab for about $6 per cubic foot. The cost to excavate the land to place a tank below is around $150 per hour.

Cost of Booster Pumps

Larger tanks or tanks placed at the bottom of a slope will need a booster pump to help increase pressure in the tank to speed up the extraction process. Expect to pay around $1,200 to $1,800 for the pump. You’ll pay more depending on how much extra pressure is needed to push water where it needs to go and how much water needs to be moved at any given time.

DIY vs. Hire a Storage Tank Pro

Placing a tank to store fuel on your property takes expertise, so it isn’t a DIY job. Expect to pay about $3,000 to install an underground fuel tank.

Because an incorrectly constructed or maintained fuel storage tank can harm the environment and contaminate soil, permits and annual inspections may be required. Hiring a local oil tank installer or other storage tank pro ensures your tank is installed safely. Additionally, water and fuel storage tanks can be up to 15,000 gallons, requiring special equipment to transport.

Cost to Install a Water Tank Yourself

You can install an aboveground water storage tank yourself as long as the water won’t flow back into your house. You’ll need to position your tank in a level area of the yard. If you want to store potable water you could use for drinking and cleaning inside, find a local plumber to help set it up. 

Plumbers charge about $40 to $200 per hour. They’ll also need to lay pipes at a rate of around $2 to $30 per linear foot, depending on the material.

To install your own aboveground water or storage tank, you’ll need to start with a sturdy foundation. Sand, gravel, and dirt are all good options, but concrete will last the longest and won’t slide away in rainy weather. Concrete slabs cost about $6 per square foot.

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FAQs

What is a water tank used for?

You use a water tank to have immediate access to water in the event of an emergency or shortage. It’s most common for those with a well water supply used as a storage tank. That way, if the water supply gets too low, the pump breaks or freezes temporarily, or there’s a cap on the amount of water you can use within a certain time frame, the storage tank provides an easy water source.

What is a fuel tank used for?

Fuel tanks are used to store petroleum, particularly in rural areas. You can use the fuel stash to keep agricultural operations going or to transport people in the event of a shortage. In regions where heating oil is commonly used, a storage tank can allow homeowners to stock up when prices are low. You can also store hydraulic oil and antifreeze in large tanks so they’re easily accessible.

What do I do if a tank leaks?

You must report a tank leak, depending on the size of the leak. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carefully regulates underground fuel tanks. The average cost of cleanup is $130,000. Cleanup prices will be significantly lower if only a small amount of soil needs to be removed or treated. You can get a leaking tank repaired or replaced by a professional familiar with industry codes and standards for underground storage tank (UST) systems.

How much does it cost to fill an oil tank?

The cost to fill an oil tank depends on the gallon capacity of the tank that needs filling. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the cost of heating oil is currently a little over $3 per gallon. But heating oil prices fluctuate month-to-month, similar to how gasoline prices fluctuate constantly. 

Do water tanks add value to a house?

Yes, a water tank adds value to a house, especially in rural areas. Water tanks help you save money in a variety of ways since you can collect rainwater to recycle for other purposes in your home and outdoors. For example, you can use recycled rainwater inside the house in plumbing, and you can also use it outdoors in fountains or irrigation systems.