All About Heating Oil Tanks

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Bare with me, this may seem a bit off topic for Decorology, but if you are thinking of buying/selling a home, or live out in the country – the issue of an oil tank WILL come up.  We live in the ‘burbs of DC and it ended up being a little issue when we were in settlement.  If you think you may need to know about this stuff, read on, if not, enjoy the eye candy!

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If you’re thinking about switching to home heating oil, or you’ve recently moved into a house that’s off the gas grid and already has an oil-fired heating system, then you’ll want to know more about that all-important tank that sits (or will soon be sitting) in your garden.

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Here’s what you need to know

Your oil tank will be made from wither fabricated steel or durable plastic and it’ll usually be situated outside – some tanks are in an outhouse or even underground, but this is rarer. Your tank will also be either single-layered or double-layered, or it may be integrally bunded, which means it has an in-built protective layer. If you can afford a bunded tank, then go for one, as it’s essentially one tank inside another, with the outer tank accommodating the inner tank’s pipes, vents and other fittings. Bunded tanks offer a lot more protection from cracks, leaks and spills, as the external tank can hold 110% of the inner tank’s full capacity. This is ideal when you’ve just scored the cheapest oil from supersaveroil!

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The legal lowdown

If you’re about to install a new tank, whether it’s your first tank ever or a replacement, then you need to make sure it’s manufactured to meet all the relevant safety codes. You can talk to an OFTEC-registered technician to help you to choose the right tank for your home and your needs, and to find out where the best place for the tank is. Safety regulations vary slightly across the UK, so you need to know your local requirements before you start.

You should also have your tank inspected at least once a year by an OFTEC engineer to make sure it’s in a safe and good condition.

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Moving into a property with an existing tank

If your new home already has a tank and you’re feeling a bit intimidated by it, then you should arrange an inspection. Steel tanks in particular need looking at one a year or so because they have a special oil-resistant coating to extend their working lives. You can also have a chat with the inspector to find out what maintenance needs to be done by you alongside the annual service.

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4 images above via http://www.cottages-gardens.com/

The different sizes and prices of oil tanks

Tanks vary in size from 1,000 litres to 3,500 litres, although the 3,500-litre types are more for commercial premises. You can expect to pay £500 to £600 for a smaller, single-layered tank and around £2,000 for a large bunded one.

In addition to the off-the-peg tanks, you could also have a custom-designed tank for your specific needs. However, you should always have a gauge to tell you how much oil is left – this can be either outside the tank or remote. If your tank doesn’t already have one you can buy one – either a basic one or a digital one, which will cost a bit more.

It’s vital to keep a close eye on your oil levels to avoid your tank getting too low, as this can lead to sludge or air being drawn into the boiler, which can be very expensive.

*disclosure: this post syndicated by Super Saver Oil

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