Regular Oil Tank checks
Your oil is a valuable commodity and you need to look after it.
When should I check my oil storage?
We recommend you have a look at your tank at least once a month and every time before you place an order to have your it filled to make sure it isn’t damaged or leaking.
What should I look for?
You should look for anything on or around your tank installation that could indicate a leak is likely to happen, or oil has been lost to the environment. You should:
- make sure that the tank installation isn’t becoming over grown with vegetation that would hide the condition of the tank
- check the tank base or supports for cracking or subsidence
- ensure the tank has a working contents gauge; if this has a valve make sure it’s closed
- check all visible pipework, valves and filters for damage and signs of leaks, such as dampness or staining, especially around joints
- check vegetation around the tank for signs of die-back
- check secondary containment (tank bunds) for liquid or rubbish
- check that drip trays for remote fill pipes haven’t got any oil or water in them, check the waste oil information for how to dispose of any liquid
If you have a plastic tank you also need to check for:
- whitening, cracking and splits in the plastic
- bulging or deformation of the tank profile
If you have a metal tank you also need to check for:
- signs of rust, pitting and blistering of paint
- oil dampness on seams and welds
If you see anything you’re worried about or that’s changed since you last looked you should take advice from a qualified oil heating professional. A plastic oil tank can’t be repaired; if it’s starting to show signs that it’s deteriorating you are likely to need a replacement tank.
If your oil use suddenly increases unexpectedly, you should check your tank and pipework immediately for leaks. Tank monitoring devices are available that give early warning of a rapid drop in oil level.
Make sure your oil storage tanks and oil supply pipes are checked by a competent person at least annually; usually at the same time as your annual boiler service.
Where can I get further advice?
For general advice on the installation of heating oil storage tanks and oil tank maintenance, contact a competent person. Competent Person Scheme (CPS) operators typically offer a local technician search facility online or by phone. CPS operators can be found online at the Competent Persons Register.