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Community Energy Club is an oil buying club bringing together the collective buying power of domestic, community and business heating oil users across the South West.

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Keeping your oil tank healthy

It’s important to keep your tank in good condition to avoid unnecessary waste and costs.

Checking your tank is fit for purpose needn’t take much time, but could save you thousands of pounds. An unfit tank can leak oil (and money!) and be a potential environmental hazard. Suppliers will also refuse delivery if your tank is in an unfit state.

This page lists the main things you need to think about to make sure your tank is in good working condition, along with some further advice and guides to look at.

Find out more about your tank

This guide from OFTEC and the Environment Agency has some very useful explanations and pictures of different tanks and their components. Once you know the type of tank you have, you can find out about the signs of wear to your tank.

Inspect you tank regularly (recommended once a week), checking for:

  • Cracks
  • Holes
  • Heavy rust – metal tanks can rust from the inside out. Your technician should check for this during a service.
  • Tank stability
  • Damage or interference

If you notice anything unusual about your tank, then you should have a technician come out to investigate.

Make sure your tank is well supported

The tank should have a suitable base and support. If a tank is not supported correctly, then the tank itself can weaken, leading to failure and oil escaping.

Have your tanks serviced regularly

One of the best ways to ensure your tanks stays healthy is to have it checked every year by a registered technician. They should check the tank, secondary containment and pipework to ensure everything is working as it should be. They will also clean out any water that is in the tank.

Record how much oil you use

Recording how much oil you use is also useful. It means that you will notice if you start to use a lot more than usual, and that there might be something wrong with your tank.

Keep a spill kit

Keep a kit containing sorbent products such as sand or earth near to your tank. You can use this to soak up any oil immediately after a spill, but only if it is safe to do so.

Check your insurance

Your home insurance may not cover you for loss of oil or pollution clean-up costs.

Your tanks should also:

  • Be manufactured to OFTEC standards, (OFS T100 for plastic and OFS T200 for steel). You can find a list of OFTEC registered manufacturers on www.oftec.org
  • Comply with fire separation distances. These can be found in this guide to domestic oil storage

The Environment Agency have also put together a very useful guide called ‘Getting to know your oil tank’ which will give you further information on looking after your tanks.