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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most frequently asked questions; if you have any further questions please email us at mail@tankservices.co.uk.

What is a bunded tank?

A bunded oil tank simply consists of a tank within a tank,  the fuel is stored in the inner tank and the outer tank acts as a failsafe so that in the event of a spillage, excess fuel will collect in the bund.  They are a requirement at commercial, industrial and institutional premises.

Where can I find a copy of the oil storage regulations?

The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001 are available from the Government website.  If you have any site specific queries, feel free to call or email our OFTEC qualified engineers.  We’ve got an article here which you might find useful.

Do I need a bunded tank?

For domestic premises, an oil storage risk assessment needs to be carried out by the engineer.  All non-domestic oil storage tanks over 200 litres need to be bunded.  A bund is required if:

  • you are storing over 2500 litres
  • your tank is
    • near an open drain or loose fitting manhole
    • within 10m of controlled water such as a river, stream etc
    • located where any spillage could travel over hard ground to reach controlled water.
    • located within 50m or a borehole, spring or well
  • your tank vent is not visible from the fill point (such as an extended fill point).
  • your oil use is for a building other than a single family dwelling.
  • there are any other unique hazards to your site.

Who are OFTEC?

OFTEC is the Oil Firing Technical Association for the petroleum industry.  It was launched in April 1991 to construct a framework within which oil firing in the UK and Republic of Ireland could operate with a greater degree of technical expertise and efficiency.  One of its first priorities was to set up a system of training and registration for technicians engaged in commissioning, servicing, installation and plant operation with oil firing equipment.  The scope of the scheme has since been extended to cover technicians engaged in oil delivery.

Where can i find installation advice?

OFTEC’s consumer area of their website contains useful guides and information, or you can browse our articles which cover the regulations and costs of installing a new oil tank.

What are the rules on tank location?

Tanks are required to comply with fire separation distances in order to adequately protect the stored fuel from a fire or heat source, which may originate nearby.  Tanks should be sited:

  • on a solid base, level and at least 42mm thick, that extends a minimum of 300mm around the footprint of the tank
  • 1.8m away from non fire rated eves of a building; openings such as doors or windows; any appliance flue terminals; a non fire rated building or structure such as a shed
  • 0.76m away from non fire rated boundaries such as a wooden fence.

If this is not possible then a fire rated barrier with at least 30 minutes protection should be provided 300mm higher and wider than each applicable face of the tank.

Can I fit the tank myself?

Oil tanks need to be installed by a competent person; if you do not use an OFTEC registered installer, you will have to contact your local building control.

Can I install a tank in a building, garage or shed?

Internal storage tanks should never be installed in a habitable area and should always be contained within an enclosed chamber.  Detailed requirements exist for the installation of oil storage tanks within habitable buildings and domestic garages.  For more information, contact OFTEC.

What’s an ‘oil loop’?

An oil loop (also known as a tiger loop) is a de-aerator that helps remove any air or gas bubbles from the oil pipe.  Most frequently required when the oil tank is lower than the burner unit or when using a top outlet tank.  Please note that the oil burner pump must be able to be configured to use a two pipe system to work with the oil loop.  Consult an OFTEC engineer for more information.

What’s a remote acting fire valve?

Building regulations require a remote acting fire valve as a safety device.  The purpose of the valve is to monitor the temperature of the appliance and isolate the oil supply in the event of a fire or significant rise in temperature due to a fault.

I’ve got water in my oil, what should I do?

Contact an OFTEC engineer.  Our procedure is to draw off as much water as possible from the bottom of the tank using a vacuum pump.  We then dip the oil tank with a water detection paste to test if we’ve removed it all.  We then add a product called ‘fuel set’ which will emulsify small amounts of water into the oil and allow it to burn off harmlessly.  After that any filters will be cleaned or changed and the supply pipe is cleared.  Bleed the air out of the supply pipe and fire the appliance.

I want to transport some diesel between sites, what tank do I need?

You need to use a UN approved container often referred to as an Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) and depending on the quantity of diesel, you will need to display orange plates and have certain safety equipment.  For more information contact us and ask for our leaflet ‘diesel fuel, you and the law’.

What is Adblue?

Adblue is the registered trademark for AUS32 (aqueous urea solution 32.5%) and is used in a process called selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen from the exhaust of diesel engined motor vehicles.  Adblue is carried on board SCR-equipped vehicles in specially designed tanks, and is dosed into the SCR system at a rate quipvalent fo 3 to 5% diesel consumption.  Basically, Adblue is a liquid chemical injected into the exhaust system of trucks, coaches and large commercial vehicles to help lower toxic exhaust gases.  Adblue requires specific storage tanks and pumps as the chemical composition is quite aggressive towards mild steel and yellow metals.  Also the temperature needs to remain above a certain level to keep the product within the designed specification.  Pumps, hose fittings and nozzles are best manufactured from stainless steel or special plastics.

IMPORTANT: Whilst every effort is made to keep this information up to date, Southern Tank Services cannot be held liable for errors or omissions.  Compliance with statutory requirements is the responsibility of the person(s) who install, use and maintain products supplied by Southern Tank Services.  If you have concerns over compliance, you must seek professional advice, contact your local building control officer, your local environmental authority or OFTEC.  Southern Tank Services advises that oil storage installations should be installed and maintained by an OFTEC registered technician. 

Southern Tank Services will not be responsible for installations or product use that does not comply with prevailing statutory requirements.

 

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