Do you need help choosing the right oil tank?

Are you finding it hard to choose the right tank?

Plastic, steel, bunded (double skinned), non-bunded (single skinned), large or space saving? Don’t worry… it’s not just you! We fully appreciate that we have a wide range of tanks on offer. So, if you are needing some guidance in choosing the right tank for you just give us a call or drop us an email and our expert team can help you select the right tank for your needs. We can also get bespoke steel tanks made to your specification or colour!

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.

Tank location
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 outhouse; however, they need to be self-contained within a 60-minute fire rated chamber.

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