It is always best to keep your heating oil tank regularly maintained to avoid having an oil leak. But if you do notice one, and often a strong smell of oil around the tank can be the first sign, here’s what’s to do:

  • Try to identify the source of the leak and stem the flow at source by turning the tap off where possible and safe to do so.
  • Call the Environment Agency’s free 24 hour emergency pollution hotline on 0800 807 060 for advice on how to deal with a domestic heating oil leak.
  • Place a container such as a bucket under the leak to collect any further spillage.
  • Take action quickly to try to prevent the home heating oil from spreading to nearby buildings or entering a river, drain, or ground water by putting down earth or soil to absorb the spill.
  • Soak up any spilled heating oil you can with an absorbent material, such as sand, newspapers, old towels or cat litter. Then dispose of these carefully as they will be highly flammable.
  • Do not use detergents or a hose to wash away the spilt oil as this can make the problem worse.
  • If you have a plastic central heating oil tank, rub soap into the split to seal if possible. This is only a temporary solution!
  • Contact us for advice on how to remove any remaining fuel from your tank.
  • Inform your property insurers about the leak.

If you do need a new heating oil tank, we recommend you have it fitted by an OFTEC registered oil heating engineer. For further useful information on domestic oil tank installation and regulation and the do's and don'ts, read our blog, or call us on 01423 770 666 for help and advice.