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Archive for the Your Fuel Tank Category

When Should You Invest In A New Oil Tank?


Your oil engineer should inform you as to your tanks condition during his annual service visit, it’s an important part of his inspection. Though the cost of replacing an oil tank can cost over £1,000, this is a small amount when compared to the cost of an oil spillage or you and your families safety.

Costs associated with an oil spillage include:

  • Emergency call-out
  • New tank installation
  • Clear up of oil spillage
  • Damage to neighbourly relations
  • Time spent without heating/hot water (upset family members)
  • Damage to garden


A few signs to look out for are:

  • Rusting (on metal tanks)
  • Overhanging of plastic tank
  • Tank located near flammable materials/road/heating flues


In short, if your tank needs replacing, look to do it sooner rather than later.

Five Things You Can Do To Protect Your Heating Oil From Theft

residential-fuel-tankLocal police authorities have been encouraging owners of oil heating systems to hide their oil storage tanks behind fencing and hedges. Whilst I despise the theft of oil from a persons property, it needs to be noted that erecting a timber fence or trellis goes against OFTEC advice when it comes to protecting your tank from fire.

When erecting a fence or trellis or anything that is intended to hide your oil from unscrupulous so-and-so’s please take into account OFTEC’s  advice, it’s there for a reason.

It’s a dog eat dog world and if someone wants your oil, they will have it. The best thing you can do is make your oil less attractive than others;

  • Site the tank in a position away from sight of the road
  • Add a padlock
  • Add a tank alarm
  • Close gates e.t.c.
  • Go as far as to install CCTV in the area if possible.


Read more on the latest advice from the Suffolk Constabulary.

The Importance of oil filters

typical-fuel-oil-filterThe oil filter, regularly overlooked by oil service engineers or those posing as service engineers. This small but important part of your oil line needs to be inspected and replaced at regular intervals (usually your annual service if using kerosene).

Failure to do so can result in fuel starvation at the boiler and ultimately a breakdown and call-out cost. Regular inspection is doubly important if you have an ageing steel tank as these tend to accumulate more ‘crud’ than the newer plastic tanks. For the cost of between £5.00 and £7.50 a year this represents a good investment when compared against the reduced efficiency of the boiler and a potential call out fee.

Oil Tank Checks – Help Your Service Engineer

Dangerous oil tank platform

An illegal and dangerous oil tank arrangement

As the owner, you can help your service engineer by keeping clear the area around the tank so that a visual inspection can be carried out. This allows any potential weak points in the tank, such as rust or leaks, to be spotted early.

An oil storage tank should be checked when the annual service is carried out.

A base that is too small can prove to be both an environmental hazard and a fire hazard. It is important that this can be checked to allow remedial work to be suggested and carried out if possible.

The Dangers Of Running Out Of Heating Oil

Running out of oil for your heating system can prove costly for several reasons

  • The inconvenience of no heating or hot water.
  • The cost of calling out your heating engineer.
  • Potential remedial work to your oil boiler and oil-line.


When you get low on oil in your tank, you start to draw through the ‘muckier’ oil at the bottom. This can block the oil filters on your oil-line, your pump and your nozzle.

  • This will mean either the replacement of filter elements and/or the cleaning of the elements.
  • The oil pump may require dismantling which can then lead to trouble re-assembling necessitate new ‘O’ rings or even a new pump.
  • The oil pump, if run dry by, for example pressing the reset button too many times (manufacturers recommend no more than twice.) then a new pump may be required.


What to do if you are running low on heating oil

If you think you are running low on heating oil check your tank, my preference is to use a clean dipstick. Once you have determined a low level of oil in your tank you need to order some more.  If your oil delivery can’t be made for a few days there are several ways you can ration your oil usage.

  • Use your immersion heater for Domestic Hot Water (D.H.W.).
  • Turn your room thermostat down.
  • Turn off the Thermostatic Radiator valves (T.R.V.) in the rooms where you don’t need them.
  • If you have an open fire (and it’s safe to do so) light a fire. Sometimes it’s cosy snuggling up under a blanket in front of an open fire.
  • Have a shower instead of a bath.
  • Put another layer of clothing on.


All of the above points, barring perhaps the immersion heater usage are ways not only to ration your oil usage but also to save money and help save the environment (which will give you a warm feeling inside!)