We're often asked "What's the best oil tank for my home heating oil?". That's a broad question and it’s why we offer a free site visit to assess your oil storage requirements. Every homeowner's requirements are different, but there are a few common factors for choosing the best oil tank for you and your heating system.
OFTEC guidelines suggest a tank size with enough oil capacity to last a year. Often clients may not want to store that much fuel in their garden. Below is a table of typical sizes we use, but each household will consume heating oil at different rates due to individual circumstances. Would you need extra oil for a range cooker? i.e. an AGA, Rayburn or other oil fire range. An AGA will typically use 7L per day, that's 49L per week, approximately 2500L per year. So that will affect oil consumption even if the AGA is switched off during the summer months. Perhaps you could use a smart option to help you keep track of that oil? We can also provide fuel levels in the form of a Watchman Sonic that lets you check from the comfort of your home.
|Capacity||Typical house size||Slimline Tanks||Vertical Tanks||HorizontalTanks|
|650L - 1000L||1-2 Bedroom HouseHoliday CottagesPark Homes||Deso SL650BTHarlequin 650HQIDeso SL1000BTHarlequin 1000HQI|
|1000L - 1550L||2-3 Bedroom HouseHoliday CottagesSmall Commercial premises||Deso SL1000BTHarlequin 1000HQIDeso SL1250BTDeso SL1400BTDeso H1550BT||Deso V1230BTEnvirostore 1300EVBDeso V1340BTTuffa 1400VBHarlequin 14500HQI||Deso LP1200BTDeso H1235BTEnvirostore 1300 Harlequin 1400HQI|
|1650L - 2500L||3-4 Bedroom HouseCommercial PremisesVillage halls / Churches||Titan SSL2000||Deso V2455BTEnvirostore 2500EVBTitan ESV2500||Harlequin 1650Deso H1800BTEnvirostore 1800EHBTitan ES1800Harlequin 2000HQIDeso H2500BTTitan ES2500BTEnvirostore 2500EHBHarlequin 2500HQI|
|Larger homes - high demand
Schools, Village Halls
|Titan ESSL4000||Deso V2455BTEnvirostore 2500EVBTitan ESV2500 Deso V3500BTTitan ESV3500Tuffa 3500VBDeso V5000BTEnvirostore 5000EVBHarlequin 5400EVOTuffa 6000VBEnvirostore 8050EVB||Deso H2500BTTitan ES2500BTEnvirostore 2500EHBHarlequin 2500HQIHarlequin 3500HQI|
As you can see from the table above, there is a large choice of shapes and sizes to choose from. All the above examples are from our plastic bunded oil tank range, from leading manufacturers. We also offer a range of oil tanks with steel bunding. This flexible manufacturing method allows for bespoke sizes and capacities to suit any requirements.
Atlas Tanks, among others, provide us with Slimline tanks. Designed to be narrow and tall they are best suited to installations where space is a premium. These are typically used alongside a garden path or areas with narrow access like garden gates. This shape of tank works well behind a garage or along a boundary. 1000 Litre to 1550L tanks are a good replacement for older, 300 gallon single skinned tanks. That were 2' wide, 4' high and 6' long.
Vertical shape tanks, with a round footprint, offer the best value per litre. They require less moulding material due to a cylinder’s inherent strength, these vertical bunded tanks work well in corners and new installations. Being the strongest design, vertical tanks can be manufactured in capacities from 10,000 litres up to 15,000L for oil storage. They also perform equally as good in smaller sizes.
Horizontal tanks, square in general shape, are the best choice in the 1650L to 2500L range, replacing the old, steel, 600gl tank. 6' x 4' x 4'. Ideal for larger houses with enough outside space for a tank of theses dimensions.
The majority of tanks we supply are of the plastic bunded variety. Most of our Domestic heating oil storage tanks are manufactured from a medium density polyethylene (MDPE). The inner tank is rotationally moulded as a single piece with no seams or joints. This tank is then placed into a 2 part, outer bund. The bottom half of the bund will have at least 110% capacity of the inner tank. The bund top is then bolted to the bottom half of the bund to complete the tank as an integrally bunded unit. The fill point, inspection hatch and level gauge are installed on the inner tank. This protects them from accidental damage, the environment and keeps them out of direct sunlight. The outer bunded top has a large lid to access the inner tank and fittings. These Bunded Fuel Tanks often come with up to 10 Years Warranty.
Steel Tanks have their own benefits too, see more in the comparison table below:
|Plastic||Will not rust.Can be reinforce with steel frames for greater strength.Will not require painting.Does not suffer from condensation.UV Stabilised material.Easy to install with moulded in handles and lighter material for handling.||Only available in 'off-the-shelf' sizes - But lots of choice.Not as secure as steel.UV light from the sun can effect life span, but still expect 20+ years from most good quality tanks.|
|Steel||Bespoke sizes are simple to achieve.Can be manufactured to larger sizes than plastic.Better security, harder and louder to drill or cut.Long lasting and robust when maintained regularly.||Can suffer from rust (Inside & Out) if not regularly painted.Slightly more condensation.Needs more space to allow access for paintingSteel is only as strong as the weakest weld on the joints.Will be heavier than plastic so harder to manoeuvre in a domestic garden.|
Tanks designed for sale in the UK should have a 'Declaration of Conformity' from the manufacturer for their tanks. The primary(inner) tank will have a CE mark if it was manufactured to EN13341. OFTEC produce their own standard for both plastic and steel tanks.
OFS T100 for plastic tanks and OFS T200 for steel tanks. All OFTEC approved plastic tanks will have an ofcert number. A list of approved manufacturers and each tank is on the OFTEC approved list.
A bunded heating oil tank is a tank within a tank. Their construction is steel or plastic and some are steel/plastic hybrids. Bunded tanks offer the best protection from the environment and condensation. Other advantages include inner tank weather protection, prevention of water ingress and other organic garden material: like leaves, insects and spiders. Tank filter kits and pipework feeding the boiler are often blocked by these foreign contaminants.
Single Skin Plastic Oil Tanks are only fit for areas when an existing bund is in place. They are significantly cheaper but come with a fair amount of risk. With no Built in protection from oil leaks, the clean up can become costly. This will eat into your savings from purchasing the Single Skin type of tank.
Firstly, any tank installation must comply with current building regulations which are incorporated in to the OFTEC standards. This includes the physical location of the tank and its distance from certain 'Risks'. Part of the installation process is the 'Oil Storage Risk Assessment' which covers environmental and fire risks. OFTEC form TI/133D Oil Storage Risk Assessment is used prior to an installation to record and identify the risks involved with the proposed installation.
Is the tank capacity over 2500L?
Can the vent pipe be seen at the fill point (Extended or remote filling or the tank)?
Is there a river, stream or water course within 10m?
Is the tank over hard ground, enabling a spill to enter a water course or drain?
Is there a drain, manhole or open drain near the tank?
Is there a well, borehole or spring within 50m of the tank?
Are there any other hazards unique to the location?
If the answer is 'Yes" to any of the above questions then a bunded tank will be required.
Fire Risks to consider, Will the tank be within:
1.8m of a combustible structure? (Typically this can include sheds, wooden garden builds & summer houses, wooden garages etc....)
0.76m of a combustible boundary, this includes hedges, wood fencing, open link fencing and other material which is not fire resistant.
1.8m of an opening in a building, including doors & windows in houses, garages and other buildings.
1.8m of the boiler flue outlet/exhaust?
600mm of Internal fences, trellis and combustible material.
At least a 300mm fire resistant base around the tank.
1.8m of any combustible roof eaves or thatch.
Where these distances can not be achieved, fire barriers or screens can be installed. These include any material with a 30 minute fire rating. Some examples are cement particle board, 4" block work walls and other fire resistant material like rock wool panels. These are specifically designed to resist fire and stop the transmission of any potential fire getting to the tank.
Installation of an oil storage tank is not generally considered a DIY job. Especially if you are replacing an existing tank with kerosene heating oil still inside. Transferring fuel from an old tank to the new one should be undertaken by a professional. This way the redundant tank can also be taken away to recycle. To install an oil tank the installer will need to be registered and qualified with a competent person scheme such as OFTEC and have an OFTEC 600A qualification.
All domestic oil storage tank installations need to comply with 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 and arrange for an inspection. These are costly and time consuming. Similar rules apply in Scotland where you may need to apply for a warrant. More information can be found at the government website here.
However most installations don’t require planning permission. Unless the overall height is above 3.5m or the tank is going to be located nearer to a public highway than the existing house. However please check with your local planning office if you are in any doubt before installation starts. Also check any local regulations and by-laws that may place restrictions on an installation. An example would be Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, most of these require bunded tanks regardless of the oil storage risk assessment.
At Tank Services, we install a wide range of tanks as you would expect. But here is a selection of our favourite tanks, These tanks usually fit best in gardens and tight spaces! Hence why we use them so frequently.
|Tank||Image||Why we love it||Dimensions|
With its slim design and compact dimensions, it has similar dimensions to some 1200L size single skin tanks and 300gl steel tanks, so makes for a good replacement in these locations. Internal steel frame for strength and rigidity, but not in contact with the oil.
|Deso SL1250BT||Like the bunded SL1000BT, compact dimensions and enough capacity to accept a 1000L fill without being too near to empty. Slightly taller the its little brother, but still only 650mm wide (2'1") for narrow access and installations.||
|Deso H2500BT||This is the most compact 2500L bunded tank available at the moment, square in shape for efficient storage and at 1.25m wide, it is a similar width as a 600gl steel tank and most single skin plastic 2500L tanks. Galvanised steel frame adds to the strength for a long life span.||
Well done! You’ve made it to the end of the article. Still not sure which tank is going to suit your needs? Please Call us on 01722 714514 or use our contact form. I hope this helps!