How do I look after my Heating Oil Tank?
A recent incident, when one of our customers’ tank split during an oil delivery, has highlighted the importance of ensuring that your oil tank is fit for purpose. We immediately looked into what advice is on offer around the storage and maintenance of domestic heating oil tanks.
This split occurred during a normal oil delivery. The weight of the oil within the tank had turned a microscopic, hairline crack into a gaping hole within seconds. Once the split became apparent, the delivery was stopped, but the fuel had to be pumped out as a matter of urgency due to the threat of pollution and contamination to surrounding areas.
Once an incident like this occurs, the oil then needs to be uplifted from the tank and arrangements made for a new tank installation.
Who offers advice on maintaining heating oil tanks?
OFTEC (the trade association that represents the interests of oil storage, appliance and supply equipment manufacturers) recently published guidelines and advice on maintaining domestic oil storage tanks.
The advice from OFTEC will help you make the most of your fuel, maintain your home heating appliances and reduce your carbon footprint. The www.OFTEC.org website enables you to locate your nearest registered technicians by postcode entry. If you would rather, we can recommend OFTEC registered engineers too.
What signs of wear and tear should I look for on my heating oil tank?
Regulations will vary slightly depending on where you live, so the following advice is a general guide, aimed at domestic properties using tanks up to 3500 litres.
Along with your annual inspection, we recommend that you do a visual inspection of your tank every 6 months.
What to look for on plastic and steel heating oil tanks;
- Rust – On steel tanks, this will affect the tank’s integrity over time.
- Cracks – Even the smallest crack in the plastic can split. On steel tanks cracks can result in leaks.
- Splits – Any splits should be dealt with immediately.
- Bulging & discolouration – this is a sign of weakness in the wall of the tank.
- Subsidence on the base – Over time this will weaken your tank.
- Tanks overgrown with foliage – Tree branches may damage tanks.
- Unusual oil smell – Your oil may be leaking and sitting under the tank.
- Sudden usage increase – Your oil may be seeping out of the tank into the earth.
- Check seals – Ensure seals are tight and not dripping oil.
Northern Energy offers a Boiler Service. As part of this service, the engineer will inspect your tank and look out for everything listed above.
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