There are different types of heating oil tanks available – they come in a wide variety of sizes and capacities to suit most needs. They can be made of either plastic or steel. Plastic tanks require less maintenance, require a solid base and are less vulnerable to failure whereas steel tanks offer higher levels of protection again theft or vandalism.

The types of domestic heating oil tanks available are as follows:

A single skinned tank consists of only one shell or skin. There is no bund to catch any leaks so in the unfortunate event of your central heating oil tank splitting or having an oil leak, there is nothing to contain the fuel and your valuable home heating oil will be lost and the surrounding area polluted by the heating oil that was contained within the tank.

A bunded tank is a tank with 2 skins (a tank within a tank) so that it has the capacity to hold the domestic heating oil if the first skin were to split or break. The bund is a containment system that prevents fuel from escaping the tank. Building regulations for England and Wales require all domestic heating oil tanks exceeding 2,500 litres to be bunded. For England and Scotland for tanks under 2,500 litres, a site pollution risk assessment would establish if bunding is required. A single skin tank would only be allowed where there is no risk of heating oil reaching, for example, a watercourse, after release of oil from the tank. Oil tanks with less than 2,500 litre capacity must be bunded if the tank is:

  • Within 10 meters of controlled water (rivers, streams, lakes, canals, coastal waters, estuaries and groundwater)
  • Located where spillage could run into an open drain or to a loose manhole cover
  • Within 50 metres of a borehole or spring
  • Over hard ground or hard surfaced ground that could enable spillage run-off to reach controlled water
  • Located in a position where the vent pipe outlet is not visible from the fill point
  • Supplying heating oil to a building other than a single family dwelling

Underground domestic heating oil storage tanks are also available.

For information on domestic oil tank regulations, and how to look after your heating oil tank, check out our full guide.  We would always recommend you have your tank installed by an OFTEC oil heating engineer.  Or if you would like to have a chat, we're always here and will talk you through your options. Call us on 01423 770 666.