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Posted on: 02/08/2018

CPS Fuels guide to Domestic Heating Oil Tanks - Heating Oil Tank FAQ’s

CPS Fuels guide to Domestic Heating Oil Tanks - Heating Oil Tank FAQ’s

Oil tank FAQs, help and advice on Oil Tanks. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about domestic heating oil storage tanks.

What is a Single Skin Oil Storage Tank?

A single skin oil tank is a container in which fuel is stored. There is no bund or catchment area, i.e second skin, and so in the event of a spillage the fuel would be released into the environment.

Single skin metal oil tank

What is a Bunded Oil Tank?

A bunded oil tank is a tank within a leak proof area or a double skinned oil tank (a tank within a tank). Oil is contained in the inner tank and the outer tank acts as protection. They are designed this way for several reasons. The main reason is that should a leak or spillage occur the fuel would be contained in the bund area, but they can also provide additional benefits such as protection from the weather and elements for the inner tank and any fitted equipment.

Bunded plastic Oil tank cross section

Building regulations advise that all new oil tanks installed are bunded.

Which material is best for Oil Tanks?

Oil storage tanks are available in Plastic or Metal. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

Plastic Oil Tanks

  • Come in a wide variety of sizes and capacities to suit most needs
  • Do not need painting
  • Can be installed straight on a base on the ground without the need to construct piers
  • Readily avaliable fully bunded

Metal Oil Tanks

  • Offer higher levels of security offers protection against theft or vandals
  • Steel tanks do not require a solid platform – can be placed on piers
  • Are available is standard or bespoke sizes
  • Fully compliant with all legislation
  • Require ground works for tank bases

How close to my house can I have my Oil Tank?

An oil tank has to be a minimum of 1.8 metres away from any part of a building or construction that isn’t fire resistant, such as doors, windows, eves and cladding.

What rules and regulations should be followed when installing an Oil Tank?

Oil storage tank installations need to comply with regional Building Regulations. In England and Wales, OFTEC registered technicians can self-certify their own work without involving Local Authority Building Control. If you choose to use someone who isn’t registered with a ‘Competent Person’ scheme like OFTEC, then you will have to obtain a Building Control Notice.

Under oil tank building regulations for England and Wales, if the oil storage tank’s capacity is:

Over 2500 litres – it must have secondary containment (bunding).

Up to 2500 litres – it may need secondry containment (bunding) depending on the outcome of an individual site pollution risk assessment.

However, oil tanks with less than 2500 litre capacity must be bunded if the tank is:

• Within 10 metres of controlled water

• Located where spillage could run into an open drain or to a loose manhole cove

•Within 50 metres of a borehole or spring

• Over hard ground or hard surfaced ground that could enable spillage run-off to reach controlled water

• Located in a position where the vent pipe outlet is not visible from the fill point

• Supplying heating oil to a building other than a single family dwelling.

We would also recommend that you refer to OFTEC for more detailed guidelines and regulations regarding fuel and also see the UK Oil Tank Storage & Building Regulations

Oftec Domestic Heating Oil Tank

We would recommend that you use an OFTEC registered technician to install a new or replacement oil tank as they can self-certify their own work without involving Local Authority Building Control under the ‘Competent Person’ scheme.

If you choose to use someone who isn’t registered with a ‘Competent Person’ scheme then you will have to obtain a Building Control Notice. This will require an inspection of your installation which can be both costly and time consuming. Should the installation not meet the requirements then it will need to be corrected, which might incur significant additional costs.

To find out more about checking your oil level then click here or to see our guide to gauging click here.

CPS Fuels is proud to be an approved JET distributor, giving our customers the benefit of JET’s brand and product security, delivered by friendly people with great local knowledge. At CPS Fuels we constantly check out prices to ensure we're giving you the best deal possible for your home heating oil.

Please get in touch to discuss your home heating requirements. We're here to help any way we can.

CPS Fuels have a steel tank capacity guide here, and we would suggest checking with the manufacturer of any plastic tanks for a capacity guide (strapping chart) for your make and model.

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