A guide to heating oil storage

This guide will provide you with all the information you need in regards to your domestic heating oil storage and tank.Domestic heating oil is often purchased in bulk from a local supplier and delivered into your oil tank. Modern oil tanks come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, often ranging from a 1,000 -1,600 litre capacity. If you are considering switching to using oil for your central heating purposes, an OFTEC registered engineer will be able to advise you on a suitable tank to meet your home heating requirements.Heating oil should be stored in a plastic or steel tank, some heating oil tanks are ‘bunded’ which means it is essentially a tank within a tank.  These types of tanks can help to minimise the risk of pollution from an oil spill and also help to deter thieves from stealing your oil as they are slightly harder to access.

Servicing and inspection

Heating oil storage tanks should be maintained and serviced by an OFTEC registered engineer at least once a year. The engineer will check the tank is in good condition and replace any parts which need replacing. All oil supply pipes will also be checked for any leaks or damage. Although the prospect of paying for an oil tank service may be off-putting it could save you money in the long run by preventing any leaks or expensive damage.Oil leaks can have detrimental effect on the environment and wildlife so it is important to keep an eye on your tank and have it inspected if you notice any signs of external erosion or wear and tear. Between your annual services, you are responsible for making sure the oil tank is in good condition.

Tank location

In terms of where the oil tank is situated in relation to your property, it needs to have a good distance from any heat sources or buildings.According to OFTEC it should be at least 1.8m away from a non-fire building such as a garden shed, any openings (e.g. doors or windows) and oil-fired appliance flue terminals.It should also be 760mm from any wooden boundary fence and 600mm away from any trellis or foliage.

Tank support

The oil tank needs to be on a suitable base for the size of the tank. This is for safety reasons as well as environmental protection.The base should be made of the correct material for the weight of the tank, it should be non-combustible and level. The most common type of materials used for an oil tank base include concrete (at least 100mm thick), paving stones (42mm thick) or stonework (42mm thick) which should extend 300mm around the base of the tank. The purpose of the base is that it will continually support the oil tank throughout all weather conditions and ensure it does not move or weaken.