Moffat Heating & Plumbing
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Posts tagged oil

What You Should Do After an oil delivery

oil deliveryAfter your oil top up you should wait around 2 hours before firing up your boiler. The reason behind this is that the new oil being delivered will unsettle any crud/water e.t.c. at the bottom of your tank. This can then flow into your oil line and block your filter/pump causing an unnecessary call out. Giving the tank oil time to settle will help prevent this.

If your boiler starts smoking…

If you notice that your boiler is smoking, then, very simply you need to turn it off and call your heating engineer. The problem will not remedy itself!

Turn your boiler off at the controls (programmer/timer), boiler isolation switch or the switch on the boiler itself. It would also be prudent to turn off the supply of oil to the boiler. This can be done at the tank or if you have one, a small isolation valve just inside your boiler casing.

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.

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.

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!)

Save money with oil clubs

save-money-heating-oilBuying heating oil in bulk from an oil supply company can be expensive. What oil clubs provide is a means of pooling together a group of people who can negotiate a better price for their oil.

Check if your village has an oil club, you may find this information in the local newsletter/magazine or at your local post office.
Agricole oil can also direct you to their oil buying club if they have one in your area.