Top Ten Tips for a Tip Top Tank this Winter from!

19th October 2006
At the heart of any oil heating system... an oil tank!Right at the heart of any oil heating installation is an oil storage tank. And with winter fast approaching, there’s never been a better time for homeowners and householders to check their tank. To help, has produced a series of ‘top tank tips’ to help homeowners and householders ensure their tank remains in tip top condition, all winter long:

1. Has your oil heating system been serviced recently by a professional technician? If not, then make arrangements with your local OFTEC registered engineer. OFTEC is The Oil Firing Technical Association – the training, standards and registration agency for the Always use an OFTEC Registered Technicianoil heating industry throughout the British Isles.

To ensure optimum performance, oil heating systems should be serviced and inspected annually. For details of your nearest OFTEC Registered Technician, call OFTEC on 0845 65 85 080 or click here.

2. Do you have a steel tank? If so, be sure and check for signs of corrosion. And remember, steel tanks often rust from the ‘inside out’. So no matter how well it may be painted on the outside, it can be difficult to determine its condition on the inside. Why not upgrade to a low maintenance, plastic tank instead?

3. If you have a gauge fitted, is it working? If not arrange to have it replaced or repaired. As well as letting you know how much oil remains in the tank, any gauge is a safety critical component when it comes to avoiding accidental overfills.

4. Check pipework and ancillary components (e.g. sight gauges, filters, valves) for signs of any leakage. Where present, this can often be detected by an increase in fuel consumption, a strong smell of heating oil, or by a ‘rainbow’ sheen from any affected component on a damp day. If you think you may have a leak, isolate the supply of fuel from the tank and make immediate arrangements to have it remedied.

5. Water and oil don’t mix! So be sure and make sure all inspection points and fill points are firmly shut and vent covers are correctly affixed.

Modern low maintenance Titan bunded oil tank6. Remember there are now strict regulations in place for the installation of new and replacement tanks. Even at residential installations, most new and replacement storage tanks should be bunded. A bunded tank consists of a tank within a tank and is proven to dramatically reduce the risk of oil pollution in the event of a spillage.

Modern, domestic bunded tanks can cost the equivalent of as little as 11 pence a day over the typical lifetime of a domestic heating installation... so as well as making environmental sense, bunded tanks make compelling financial sense too!

7. Check the level of fuel remaining inside your tank regularly. There’s nothing worse thanModern electronic contents gauges are easy to use and easy to install running out of fuel in the middle of winter. can even supply Apollo and Watchman electronic tank contents gauges which allow you to monitor your tank from the warmth and convenience of your own home!

8. Make sure your tank is correctly supported. Plastic tanks must be fully supported across their entire base and good practice requires that the base should extend 300mm beyond the widest point of the tank.

9. If you have a bunded tank fitted with a bund warning alarm, when was the last time you checked it? In the event that the alarm indicates there is liquid present inside the bunded area, contact your fuel supplier or local OFTEC Registered Technician who can assist with its removal.

10. Finally, make sure your home insurance covers homes with oil heating installations. Many home insurance policies do, but some don’t. Your broker or insurance company will be able to advise.

Cheaper than LPG, less polluting than solid fuel and more accessible than mains gas, oil is a great choice for home heating. And unlike LPG which is potentially explosive, heating oil isn’t even flammable at normal temperatures. It will come as little surprise to learn that oil heating is the UK’s Number 1 choice for home heating with rural homeowners and householders. And in some parts of the UK, more consumers choose oil heating than electricity, LPG, mains gas and solid fuel combined.
Further advice on environmentally responsible fuel storage can be found by visiting's 'Fuel Storage Regulations' and 'Installation Guidelines' features.

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Article Last Updated 23rd October 2006
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