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Domestic Fuel Tank Installation and Replacement

Contact our team today for a free no obligation quote

Contact our team today for a free no obligation quote

If your home’s fuel tank is nearing the end of its useful lifespan, we’re here to help. We offer a complete fuel tank replacement service that covers everything from removing your existing tank and safely disposing of its contents to installing a replacement.

Over time, your domestic oil tank can become worn out, leaving you with a heating system that doesn’t work as well as it should. On average, most domestic oil tanks last for 10 years of use, meaning that you’ll likely need to replace your home’s tank at some point.

You might also need to replace your home’s oil tank if it’s become unsightly, if you’re building an extension to your home or for any other reason.

As an experienced, ISO 9001 and PAS 43 certified business, we’re here to make replacing your home’s fuel tank as stress-free as possible. To find out more about our fuel tank installation and replacement services, please continue reading below or contact us on 0800 799 9739.

Our Domestic Fuel Tank Replacement Process

Replacing your oil tank is a complicated process, meaning it’s always best to call in our expert team. Our tank replacement process involves several steps, from viewing your home’s oil tank and working out the best removal approach to draining hazardous materials and more.

Hazardous Materials Removal

Our process begins with removing any remaining kerosene or gas oil from your oil tank. Even if your tank’s fuel gauge indicates that it’s empty, it’s still likely that there is remaining fuel oil inside the tank that could pose a safety risk if it’s not properly removed.

Before we remove your old fuel tank, our OFTEC trained team will thoroughly clean the tank in order to ensure that any and all flammable, environmentally-hazardous materials are removed before removal work begins.

Fuel Tank Removal

Once we’ve safely removed and disposed of any hazardous materials that were inside your old fuel tank, we’ll start the removal process.

Depending on the location of your oil tank, our team will either remove it using an excavator or mounted crane, or using a more specialised technique.

If your domestic oil tank is installed in a location that’s difficult to access, our technicians might need to safely and carefully cut it into pieces to remove it with minimal disruption to your home and property.

For safety reasons, our team will complete this process using cold cutting techniques and safe, spark-free tools.

After your fuel tank has been removed from your property, we’ll provide it to our trusted recycling partner. Instead of being wasted, your old oil tank will be put through an environmentally-friendly recycling process, allowing its raw materials to be put back to use.

The information on this page provides general guidance; your local OFTEC registered technician will be able to provide further advice on your particular circumstances.

In 2021, oil (kerosene) continues to be the most widely used fuel in off-grid homes. However, to reflect that a renewable liquid fuel, such as HVO may soon be available (see our future heating section) we have used the term liquid fuel in this guide to include both oil and low carbon liquid fuels. 

The guidance relating to fuel storage tanks applies to fuel storage tanks up to 3500 litres capacity supplying liquid fuel to domestic properties. Fuel storage tank installations must comply with regional building regulations.

For information on larger tanks or non-residential sites, please email OFTEC’s technical team.  

In England and Wales, OFTEC registered technicians can self-certify that their work complies with building regulations. If you use an installer that isn’t registered with a competent person scheme, such as OFTEC, then you will need to obtain a Building Control Notice and arrange for an inspection, which can be costly and time consuming. In Scotland, you may need to apply for a warrant.

About your fuel storage tank

Modern fuel storage tanks come in all shapes and sizes and can be made from plastic or steel to suit your individual requirements. It is recommended that the chosen tank is manufactured to OFTEC Standards (OFS T100 for plastic or OFS T200 for steel).  In some regions, to minimise pollution risk from fuel spills, it is now mandatory for tanks to be bunded. This means there is secondary containment either integral to the tank or built around it. In other regions your OFTEC registered technician will conduct a risk assessment and advise accordingly, but typically tank installations near a river, well, or any controlled water will require bunding. Fuel tanks have an expected working life of around 20 years with the risk of a costly tank failure increasing with age. Your fuel tank should be inspected every year as part of your annual heating system service and your technician will advise you when you should replace your tank. Your fuel delivery contractor may also highlight issues with your tank and, in extreme cases, could refuse to deliver if they have concerns about the tank’s condition. It is common practice for a contractor to apply a warning notice to a fuel storage tank in addition to reporting any defects to you.

Tank support

If a fuel storage tank is not adequately supported, it could lead to safety concerns, the eventual failure of the tank and even a fuel spill. The base needs to provide continual structural support, even though ground conditions may vary from season to season. The base should be:
Adequate for the weight of the tank and its contents – 1000 litres of fuel weighs just under a ton;

  •  Non-combustible, imperforate and level;
  • Constructed of concrete, paving stones or stonework;
  • Large enough to extend 300mm beyond all sides of the tank.

What are the regulations on location of a liquid fuel tank?

There are now very specific rules governing the location of tanks and it’s important to take these rules into account if you are making subsequent changes to your property. The rules are in place for fire safety reasons and although a fire is highly unlikely to originate in a fuel storage tank, it is very important to protect the stored fuel from fires or heat sources nearby. To protect tanks from an ignition source, tanks should be sited:

  • 1.8m away from non-fire rated eaves of a building
  • 1.8m away from a non-fire rated building or structure (e.g. garden sheds)
  • 1.8m away from openings (such as doors or windows) in a fire rated building or structure (e.g. brick-built house/garage)
  • 1.8m away from liquid fuel appliance flue terminals
  • 760mm away from a non-fire rated boundary, such as a wooden boundary fence
  • 600mm away from screening (e.g. trellis and foliage) that does not form part of the boundary.

If it is impossible to comply with the separation distances, then a fire protection barrier (with a minimum 30 minutes fire rating) should be provided. The separation distance required between the tank and the fire barrier should be a minimal 300mm unless a greater distance is specified by the tank manufacturer. It is possible to site a fuel storage tank inside a garage or out-house; however, they need to be self-contained within a 60-minute fire rated chamber.

Looking after your fuel storage tank

It is your responsibility to maintain the fuel storage tank on your property – spills and leaks can be extremely costly to clean up and can cause contamination to ground water supplies or even building foundations. It is important that you check whether your home insurance covers fuel spills or leaks and whether there are any stipulations or limitations to your policy. Tanks should be visually checked by a competent person at the time of your annual appliance service visit. OFTEC also recommends regularly carrying out a visual check between service visits and particularly after periods of extreme weather conditions as this can put tanks under additional stress. These are some of the warning signs to look out for:

  • Rust
  • Splits or cracks
  • Bulging
  • Gauges falling over or not working
  • Subsidence on the base
  • Sudden increase in usage of fuel
  • Tanks overgrown with foliage
  • Strong fuel smell

If you have any concerns, always contact your local OFTEC registered technician who can advise fully.

Contact us now for more information

Whether you’re interested in having your home’s oil tank replaced or simply want to learn more about our services, we’re here to help. To request a quote, schedule an appointment or simply to talk to a member of our team, please contact us now on 0800 799 9739.