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

Typical Range:

$1,594 - $2,788

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 219 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
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Updated November 9, 2021

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The cost of replacing a fuel or water tank starts at $50 for a 25-gallon tank, but could go as high as $35,000 for a 15,000-gallon tank. The average cost of a water or fuel tank is $1,594 and $2,788. The actual cost of the tank and its installation depends on the material, the size of the tank, 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 15 to 30 years.

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National Average $2,183
Typical Range $1,594 - $2,788
Low End - High End $800 - $4,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 219 HomeAdvisor members.

Storage Tank Prices

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 will not rust, but it tops out around 1,700 gallons. A 500-gallon tank ranges from about $500 to $1,000.

  • Steel: Steel tanks can be used above or underground. Steel is versatile but is prone to rusting. A 500-gallon tank ranges from $1,500 to $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 linear foot depending on the material

  • Concrete slab: $4 per cubic foot

  • 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.

  • Cost to remove old tank: $1,500 for an above-ground 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 square foot

  • Professional installation: $800–$3,800

  • Excavation: $40–$150 an hour

  • Gas or water pipe installation: $75–$225 per linear foot

  • Trenching: $6 per linear foot

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Storage Tank Cost by Type

Above-Ground Storage Tanks

Above-ground 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 $120 to $21,000.

Above-ground 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 $500 to $3,000 for a 500-gallon tank.

Above-ground tanks are usually smaller than those stored underground. A cost consideration is that above-ground tanks are easier to fill, which can save money. You can save on installation of above-ground tanks, too, because you don’t need to pay for excavation.

Most residential tanks are small enough that they will 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 Tanks

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 ground stays consistent. Some areas will 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.

Fuel or Water Tank Cost by Size

The size of the tank 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. Agricultural water, or water to use in the case of a fire, can be stored in even larger tanks, but 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 four gallons per minute.

Tank sizeCost
25 gallons$100 – $150
100 gallons$200 – $500
500 gallons$500 – $1,000
1,000 gallons$800 – $2,500
2,000 gallons$1,500 – $3,000
5,000 gallons$2,500 – $4,000
10,000 gallons$8,000 – $15,000
15,000 gallons$20,000 – $35,000

Fuel or Water Tank Cost Factors

The biggest considerations will be where the tank is located, how big it is, and what it is used for.

Running Water or Fuel Lines

Running a line from the tank to the house can cost $300 per linear foot for materials and labor to install. Alternatively, water can be accessed from a spigot on the tank.

Placing the Water or Fuel Tank

You’ll need a level place to put your tank. Above-ground tanks can sit on a concrete slab for about $6 per cubic foot. Excavating the land to place a tank below can cost $150 per hour.

Cost of Booster Pumps

Larger tanks will need a booster pump to help increase pressure in the tank to speed the extraction process. Expect to pay around $1,200 to 1,800 for the pump.

Cost to Install a Water Tank Yourself

You can install an above-ground water storage tank yourself as long as the water won’t flow back into your house. You’ll just need to position your tank in a level area of the yard.

If you want to store potable water that could be used for drinking and cleaning inside, find a local plumber to help set it up. Plumbers charge $40 to $200 per hour, on average. They’ll also need to lay pipes at a rate of $2 to $30 per linear foot depending on material.

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

DIY vs. Hire a Storage Tank Pro

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

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.


What is a water tank used for?

The primary purpose of a water holding or storage tank is 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 to opt for a storage tank. That way if the water supply gets too low, the pump is broken or frozen temporarily, or if there is a cap on the amount of water that can be used within a certain time frame, the storage tank provides an easy source of water.

Similarly, a fire that needs to be doused in water immediately can be put out even if there are complications with the well or with the pump. In the event of a storm where no clean water is available, potable water from a holding tank can be a true lifesaver.

What is a fuel tank used for?

Especially in rural areas, fuel tanks are used to store petroleum. The stash of fuel can be used to keep agricultural operations going, or transport people where they need to be even 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.

In rural locations, gasoline may be hard to access at certain times of the year due to extreme cold, which makes long-term storage a necessity. But storage tanks aren’t just for petroleum. Hydraulic oil and antifreeze can be placed in large tanks so that they are easily accessed. Having a substantial amount of these liquids on hand can mean that frequent users make fewer trips to purchase the things they need most.

What do I do if a tank leaks?

The Environmental Protection Agency carefully regulates underground fuel tanks. Depending on the size of the leak, it must be reported. The average cost of cleanup is $130,000. If only a small amount of soil needs to be removed or treated, cleanup costs will be significantly lower.

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