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  • Writer's picturePinnock Brothers

Choosing the Right Oil Tank Size for Your Property: Size, Type, and Placement

You're standing in your garden, eyeing the space where your new oil tank should go. It's a big decision, and you're feeling the pressure. Don't sweat it! This guide is here to help.

You'll learn how to pick the perfect size tank for your needs, where to place it, and how to maintain it. You're not just choosing a tank. You're investing in your home's future. So, let's get started and find your ideal oil tank size.

plastic oil tank in garden

Key Takeaways

  • The size of the property and the number of rooms requiring heating should be taken into account when choosing the tank size.

  • Allocate a minimum of 500 litres per bedroom and an additional 500 litres for the living room and other spaces.

  • Consider the number of people living in the property as it can impact the demand for hot water and heating.

  • Use a monitor to track oil usage and receive alerts when the tank is running low.

  • OFTEC's standards should be followed when selecting the type of oil storage tank (plastic or metal) and whether it should be single-skinned or double-skinned.

  • Bunded oil tanks may be required near controlled water systems.

  • Placement considerations include ensuring the tank is not near any fire or heat sources, maintaining appropriate distances from non-fire rated buildings and openings in fire-rated buildings, ensuring sufficient clearance from trees, hedges, and boundaries, and providing easy access for oil suppliers and maintenance personnel.

Residential Oil Tank Sizes

To determine the appropriate size for your oil tank, consider factors such as the size of your property, the number of bedrooms, and the number of people living in your house. Calculating your oil consumption is essential in choosing the right tank size to avoid unnecessary costs and maintenance.

Here are some key points to help you determine the appropriate oil tank size:

  • Most domestic properties in the UK have tanks between 1,000 and 2,500 litres.

  • Take into account the size of your property and the number of bedrooms, as this will give you a rough estimate of the amount of oil you'll need. Consider additional rooms and living spaces, as couples and children sharing rooms may require larger tanks.

  • A minimum of 500 litres per bedroom is recommended, and all oil fuel suppliers have a minimum capacity of 500 litres. However, additional considerations should be made for larger families or homes with extra living spaces.

  • Avoid choosing a larger tank if your oil usage is low, as this can lead to increased servicing costs.

  • Oversized tanks may also result in potential issues such as the settling of oil and the accumulation of dirt or silt.

  • Monitor your oil consumption regularly to help in future estimations.

  • Remember, oil usage can fluctuate during different seasons due to the impact of weather conditions on oil consumption. In colder months, you'll likely use more oil, so a larger tank might be necessary.

Guidance From Previous Owners on Oil Usage

To gain insight into your oil usage, consult with the previous owners of the property regarding the amount of oil they typically consumed. Their experience can provide valuable information on historical oil usage, allowing you to make an informed decision when choosing the right oil tank.

Here are a few points to consider:

  • Ask the previous owners about their average oil consumption per month or year.

  • Enquire about any factors that might've influenced their oil usage, such as the size of the property or the number of occupants.

  • Seek their advice on how oil usage may vary seasonally, as this can affect the tank size you need.

  • Discuss any specific considerations they had when it came to maintaining their oil tank, such as regular servicing or monitoring oil levels.

  • Finally, ask them if they encountered any issues or challenges related to their oil usage that you should be aware of.

Understanding Oil Storage Tank Types

When choosing the right oil tank for your residential property, it's important to consider the different types of oil storage tanks available. Two popular types are plastic and metal tanks, each with its pros and cons. Plastic tanks are lighter, easier to install, and less prone to corrosion, whereas metal tanks are more robust, durable, and fire-resistant. However, metal tanks can rust if not properly maintained.

You can get bunded and single-skinned oil tanks. Bunded tanks have an additional layer of protection, making them double-skinned and providing extra security against leaks. Regulations for oil tank installation may require the use of bunded tanks near controlled water systems to prevent contamination. On the other hand, single-skinned tanks have only one layer and are more commonly used in situations where there's less risk of leaks.

It's crucial to understand the regulations in your area regarding oil tank installation to ensure compliance and safety.

Standards for Oil Storage Tanks

To ensure compliance and safety, it's important to follow the standards set by OFTEC for oil storage tanks. These standards include OFS T100 for plastic tanks and OFS T200 for steel tanks. Here is what you need to know about these standards:

  • OFS T100: This standard applies to plastic oil tanks. It sets guidelines for the design, construction, and installation of plastic tanks to ensure their durability and resistance to leaks or spills.

  • OFS T200: This standard applies to steel oil tanks. It focuses on the quality and strength of steel tanks to prevent corrosion and ensure long-term performance.

Placement Considerations for Oil Tanks

In choosing the right spot for your oil tank, several factors need to be considered. These include oil tank regulations, safety precautions for oil tank installation, and the tank's physical dimensions.

The location you choose must be easily accessible for refueling and maintenance. It should also be far from flammable materials and safe from potential fire hazards. Maintain appropriate distances from non-fire rated buildings and openings in fire-rated buildings. Make sure there's sufficient clearance from trees, hedges, and boundaries to prevent any potential fire hazards.

Additionally, the chosen spot must be compliant with local oil tank regulations and suitable for the tank size that fits your needs. Provide easy access for oil suppliers and maintenance personnel to ensure efficient servicing. It's important to place the tank on a sturdy and suitable base to prevent any accidents or damage.

Selecting the right spot isn't just about ticking off a checklist. It's about creating a safe, harmonious living environment. Remember, proper placement and installation of your oil tank is a critical step towards a warm, secure home.

Ensuring a Sturdy and Suitable Base for the Oil Tank

To ensure the stability and longevity of your oil tank, it's crucial to establish a sturdy and suitable base for its installation. The oil tank base requirements are essential to ensure the stability and durability of the tank.

The base should be strong enough to support the weight of the tank, along with the oil it contains. It's recommended to use a concrete base that's at least 150mm thick, reinforced with steel mesh or bars. The base should be level and smooth to prevent any stress or strain on the tank.

Additionally, it's important to ensure proper drainage to prevent water accumulation around the tank. By following these oil tank base requirements, you can ensure the stability and durability of your oil tank installation.

Monitoring and Maintenance Tips

Throughout the lifespan of your oil tank, it's essential to keep a close eye on oil usage and perform regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance.

To make your job easier and to increase your tank lifespan, here are some tips:

  • Invest in monitoring technology that can help you track oil usage and detect leaks early.

  • Regularly check the tank for signs of damage or corrosion.

  • Schedule yearly inspections with a certified professional to ensure your tank is in top shape.

  • Keep the area around your tank clean and free from debris that could cause damage.

  • Always maintain an adequate level of oil in the tank to prevent condensation and corrosion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Process for Replacing an Old Oil Tank With a New One?

You'll need to hire a professional for tank installation, ensuring compliance with all regulations. They'll remove the old tank, prep the area, then install and connect your new one. It's a seamless, hassle-free transition.

How Is the Oil Tank Connected to the Heating System in a Residential Property?

Your oil tank is connected to your heating system via a fuel line. Proper tank installation ensures heating efficiency. The fuel line transports the oil from the tank to your furnace, generating heat for your home.

How Can One Safely Dispose of an Old or Damaged Oil Tank?

To safely dispose of an old or damaged oil tank, you'll need to hire a professional for tank decommissioning. They'll handle the hazardous waste and ensure the tank's removed without contaminating your property.

What Steps Should Be Taken in Case of an Oil Leak or Spill From the Tank?

In case of an oil leak, don't panic. Immediately contact emergency services and your oil supplier. Use leak prevention measures like absorbent materials. It's crucial to act swiftly to mitigate environmental damage and potential hazards.

Are There Any Specific Insurance Considerations for Properties With Oil Tanks?

Yes, for properties with oil tanks, you should check your insurance policy. It's crucial to ensure tank maintenance is covered, as leaks could lead to costly clean-ups. Don't overlook this when choosing your policy.

Are There Any Specific Regulations or Permits Required for Installing an Oil Storage Tank?

To ensure regulations compliance, you may need installation permits for an oil storage tank. Check with local authorities for specific requirements. It's important to follow regulations to ensure safe and proper installation.

Can I Use an Above-Ground Oil Storage Tank Instead of an Underground One?

Yes, you can use an above-ground oil storage tank instead of an underground one. Pros include easier installation and maintenance, but cons include visibility and potential for damage in extreme weather conditions.

What Are the Potential Risks or Hazards Associated With Oil Storage Tanks?

The risks associated with oil storage tanks include leaks, spills, and environmental contamination. Hazards can include fire and explosion risks, as well as health hazards from exposure to toxic fumes or chemicals.

How Often Should an Oil Storage Tank Be Inspected or Maintained?

To ensure safety and efficiency, oil storage tanks should be inspected and maintained regularly. Frequency and regulations vary, so refer to industry guidelines or consult a professional for specific recommendations.

Are There Any Environmental Considerations or Precautions to Take When Storing Oil in a Residential Property?

When storing oil in a residential property, there are important environmental considerations and precautions to take. These include preventing leaks, using double-skinned tanks, and ensuring proper maintenance to avoid contamination and harm to the environment.


In conclusion, by carefully considering the size, type, and placement of your oil tank, you can ensure a safe and efficient heating system for your residential property. Following industry standards and consulting with previous owners can provide valuable guidance.

Remember, choosing the right oil tank is crucial for safety and compliance. So, take the necessary steps to make an informed decision and enjoy peace of mind knowing that your oil storage needs are met.


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