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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!)