If you are thinking about getting a heating oil tank for your home or perhaps you have just moved into a property that happens to have one, this blog will give you a few handy pointers and tips and tricks you may find useful in looking after the heating oil tank properly. It is crucial that you know understand how to look after your oil tank - this is due to the fact that if any issues happen such as spills or leaks, this could be extremely harmful to the environment and cause substantial damage to your surroundings.
Heating oil tanks are one of the most widely used methods of heating homes, this is due to the fact that they are a financially good option and your usage can be controlled via a thermostat. Yet the oil to operate the heaters are stored onsite, and you often purchase the heating oil in a large quantity. This allows you to keep on top of your heating finances.
If you are seeking information regarding how to maintain your heating oil tank, including general weekly or monthly tasks to perform, then read on to find out more.
What is a heating oil tank?
Created from fabricated steel or plastic, a heating oil tank can come as single-skinned, double-skinned (this means it has two layers) or integrally bunded (this means there is a protective layer). Integrally bunded tanks have one tank sitting within another. The outside tank houses the main tank's fittings and vents.
This type of tank tends to provide stronger protection than double-skinned tanks, as there is greater room between the two layers to stop oil leaking externally. Many single and double-skinned tanks require a bund built around them for added protection, however this will rely on where you live and the position of your heating oil tank. The bund itself can hold 110% of the tank's contents.
How much heating oil do I need?
How long your oil will last you depends on many factors, for example, 1,000 litres of heating oil could last up to a year, but it is largely dependent on the size of your house, how long you keep your heating on and whether your oil boiler is efficient. Try to gage how much you're using by keeping an eye on your tank gauge over prolonged periods of time. Your heating oil tanks should come equipped with a gauge in one form or another to highlight the amount of oil that is left. This may be located on the tank, next to it, or displayed remotely.
If your tank doesn't appear to come with one attached, you can in fact purchase one separately. The cost can range from £25 for a basic model, to more than £80 for a digital remote version. It's crucial to have an awareness of your oil tank gauge to ensure it doesn't drop. Ensure you purchase additional oil prior to it becoming less than a quarter full, particularly in the colder months. It's certainly worth being aware of the fact that that you should only fill your tank to around 80-90% to prevent spillages.
How frequently should I have my oil tank be serviced?
Having your heating oil tank looked at yearly to ensure it works is of utmost importance. Various manufacturers even advise an annual six-month check. A professional technician who is licensed with the trade association, Oftec , should do the service.
Inspections tends to come with a fee of around £70-£100. If you have moved into a new home and acquired a heating oil tank, it's worth looking into getting an inspection booked as soon as possible. Steel tanks have an oil-resistant coating, which is required to be maintained to prolong the longevity of the tank. Query with the manufacturer to find out what maintenance is needed besides yearly servicing. You should also have your oil boiler serviced yearly.
Maintenance checks you can do yourself
Other than the yearly service, there are several basic steps you can take to make sure your heating oil tank is in top condition.
Try and keep an eye out for any visible damage, anything along the lines of deep scratches, cracks, discolouration, or significant dents. Look out for any oil that’s come out of the tank, especially around piping, valves or seams. Ensure sure that any outer protection, is not filled with substantial amounts of water, oil, debris or weeding.
Make sure the space the area around the tank clear so you can gain easy access to and around the tank, and also don't allow plants to grow around it. Ensure vents, gauges and access points are shut and covered so that rainwater, bugs or dirt can't get inside. Make sure that gauges and alarms are in good working order, and in particular the batteries. Consult the manufacturer for guidance on how to carry this out. Keits worth having an oil-spill kit handy with drain blockers as well as absorbent materials.
Protecting your heating oil from theft
Heating oil can be expensive, so with this in mind, it's no wonder that it is seen as so highly attractive to potential thieves. With the addition of locks this will help to stop potential thieves, and it is in some cases is a legal necessity. Your supplier will happily advise you on this.
It's also worth covering your tank from public view in order to shield your tank from the road so it is not on display. However, in doing this you must make sure that access to it isn't out of bounds and it complies with guidelines.
You can enquire with an Oftec-registered technician for additional information. You are also advised also put in place motion-sensitive security lighting to inform you if there's an issue. If not this then at the very least an alarm, a reliable alarm will set you back around £80. This will also alert you if the oil level suddenly decreases which is also ideal for notifying you of an oil leakage.
Protecting your home heating oil from the elements
If sludge or water enter the tank, this can build up in the pipework, damage your heating system and negatively impact the system. Water may get in if it’s raining when your oil is delivered, or from condensation. Debris can build up in the tank where oil has been kept for long periods of time. Look for indications of a darkened area at the bottom of the tank; this can be triggered by erosion because of the sludge. You can also purchase water-finding paste which alters colours to show whether water is present. An engineer can get rid of water and sludge and clean your tank, as well as fixing whatever's causing the issue.
What if you have a problem with your oil?
If the oil delivered is of an unusual consistency and unusable, you may well have the same consumer rights as you do for other types of goods and services, which are covered legally by the Consumer Rights Act.
Gastech - providing heating oil tanks and quality plumbing and heating
If you’ve been considering an oil tank installation, our family-run business is on call to recommend the best quality option for you. Here at Gastech Heating & Plumbing are committed to delivering you the best option for heating and cooking using our experienced and qualified knowledge. With a friendly and reliable team of professionals to hand, we’re a top choice of Gas Safe-registered company in South Wales and are proud to have helped residents in the local area keep their homes warm all year around.To find out more about our range of plumbing and heating services or for a free, initial quote, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Gastech today.