What to Look For When Buying A Home Heating Oil Tank

26/05/2021 | Fuelfighter
Reading time: 3 mins

If you live off the grid, it is worthwhile reading up on what to look for when buying a home heating oil tank. The below guide offers various tips and general advice in choosing and maintaining your oil tank so your house can be kept warm throughout the year.

Oil Tank Overview

Home Heating Oil tanks work by pumping domestic heating oil, also known as Kerosene and 28 second heating oil, into hot exhaust gases. These gases then travel through a heat exchanger that eventually turns into heated water. This heated water then gets transferred to your radiators which subsequently heats your home. 

Your home heating oil tank is unique to your property and not shared by anyone else. Ideally, your tank needs to be filled with a plentiful supply of kerosene to ensure you never run out, especially during the winter months. 

How Should a Home Heating Oil Tank look?

What to Look For When Buying A Home Heating Oil Tank


All tank designs will vary depending on your location and where your tank is situated. Outside home heating oil tanks can be made from fabricated steel or plastic and can have one or two layers of protection or be protected internally by an integral bund.  A tank with an integral bund gives better protection than single or double layers around a tank because a bunded tank is essentially a tank sitting within a tank, so there is more space to contain any leaks.  If you have a single or double-layered tank, you will need to have a bund built around them to prevent oil spillages.

Choosing a Size

The size of the kerosene tank you buy will come with restrictions concerning the space around your property. If you have no limits, then you can compare your consumption to refill rate and purchase accordingly. It is worth noting that with larger tanks, you can order more fuel in a delivery, which will probably work out cheaper in the long run. Prices can range from £500 to over £2000 depending on the size.

Position of the Tank

An oil heating tank can be outside or inside. If the tank is outside, you can not place it near a water source as the supply could become contaminated if there were a leak. Outdoor fuel tanks can not be near driveways or places where there is the risk of them becoming damaged. It is best to keep your outdoor tank in a safe, hidden area and have a padlock or alarm system installed to deter theft. It is also important to remember to make sure your oil tank is still visible for deliveries.

Storing your oil heating tank indoors offers further protection from the weather and opportunistic thieves or vandals, but you still need to adhere to fire and building regulations.

How Much Boiler Oil Will I Need?

The number of people living on your property will usually determine how much boiler oil you will consume and what size of tank you need to purchase. Oil consumption will differ for every household, and it will also depend on whether they use the oil to heat only the rooms, hot water, or both. As a guide, 2000 litres of domestic heating oil would probably last a year for an average 2-3 bedroom house.

Essential Regulations

There are many different regulations regarding whether your tank is at your home, farm, or business. For more information about the legal requirements based on your circumstances, see the government website

Best Place to Buy a Home Heating Oil Tank

You can buy home heating oil tanks online or through local businesses. You could start by asking an OFTEC registered technician. The OFTEC website can help you to find a seller near to you. See the OFTEC website for more information. 

Price of Heating Oil

The price of heating oil can be unpredictable. It is usually cheaper in the warmer weather as there is less demand to heat your home to the extent to which the winter period requires. Click here for a quote from Fuel Fighter to see how much you can save.

Condition of the Tank

There should be no leaks or cracks, and any visible pipes should not look damaged.  It is worth requesting to see the tank’s paperwork if you are unsure of any possible legal breaches.

Tank Maintenance

  • If water gets into your tank, it can be difficult to remove. Check your oil tank and ensure all lids are secure to prevent rainwater contamination - signs of bulging could indicate a weakness in the walls.  
  • Get to know where your tank’s fittings are, including the oil tank gauge - so you can check your oil levels. 
  • Check your tank is free from clutter and that there are no cracks, rust or discolouration, or any stains around the ground supporting it.  
  • Make sure your oil heating tank is compliant with building regulations and that it meets OFTEC standards. If you are buying a property with a tank already installed, ask to see the tank’s legal paperwork. 
  • Familiarise yourself with where your underground pipework is situated so that you can prevent damage from activities such as gardening or groundworks at your property.    
  • Boiler care should be considered a priority and carried out regularly. Click here for more information on arranging a service or finding a local OFTEC registered technician.

Oil Leak Tips

  • Purchase a domestic heating oil spillage kit and keep a copy of your insurers guide to dealing with spillages and leaks close by in case of emergencies.  
  • In the event of an oil spill or leak, you should call your insurance company straight away. Where necessary, you also need to report the incident to the Environment Agency

For more home heating oil tips and advice, please visit our blog.

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