Is it time to check your heating oil storage tank?


If you are one of the 1.5 million homes in the UK using kerosene as an efficient and cost-effective way of heating your home, providing hot water or fuelling your oil range cooker, it has never been more important to check your oil tank. Heating oil can cause serious problems if lost to the environment. It can pollute rivers, harm wildlife and contaminate ground and drinking water. 

The clean-up costs could also be large and are not always covered by household insurance policies. That is why it is recommended that you check your home heating oil tank is in good working order at least once a month, and each time before placing an order. With warmer weather upon us, why not take this opportunity to give your heating oil tank a once over.

  • Make sure that your heating oil tank and the area giving access to it is not becoming overgrown with vegetation and is clear of rubbish and clutter. Not only will your delivery driver need clear access to make your heating oil delivery, but he will also need to make a visual inspection to ensure the tank is fit for purpose and can safely hold its contents. 
  • Once the heating oil tank and surrounding area are clear, check the tank’s base or supports for cracking or subsidence. Your heating oil tank should be based on a solid, level surface that will support its weight when full. Also, think about how the delivery driver will fill your tank - if he must use a ladder, is there a solid surface that is big enough to safely place the ladder on? 
  • Check all visible pipework, valves and filters for damage and signs of leaks, such as dampness or staining, especially around joints. 
  • Check vegetation for signs of dieback, this is a good indication that heating oil has been lost to the environment. 
  • If your heating oil tank is plastic, look for any whitening, cracking, splits or bulging.
  • For a metal tank, you should check for signs of rust, blistering of paint and oil dampness on the joints. 

If you see anything you are worried about or anything that has changed since you last looked, you should take advice from a qualified oil heating professional. Our customer service team will happily recommend someone in your area. If your home heating oil usage suddenly increases unexpectedly, you should check your tank and pipework immediately for leaks. To report an oil spill or leak, contact the Environment Agency’s 24-hour emergency hotline on 0800 807060.     


If your tank needs a top-up of heating oil, click here for a quote today.