If it’s time to replace your oil tank, then you’ll already be willing to comply with the law, of course, but there are some practical considerations you need to make as well.

You need to think about where you’ll place the tank, the sort of tank you’ll need, how to maintain access for yourself and your Emo Oil delivery drivers, and how to install it properly to stay in warranty and be safe. You also need to think about how to remove the old tank and pipework, and what your insurance provider may think about your new tank.


Take professional advice

Professional tank installers can make sure you comply with legislation and have a tank that fits your needs. They’ll look for nearby bodies of water, boreholes, an overly high water table, wells and so on. These features may restrict where you can put your tank, or require you to use secondary containment measures. It’s worth paying for professional service, as the costs of removing an illegal tank aren’t small.


Where to put it

If a spill or leak goes unnoticed, it’ll soon affect your health, your property, and the wider environment. If you have an underground tank this can be very serious, so choose the best possible place and stay within legal guidelines.

Ideally, you should have your tank above ground and outside your property, preferably with secondary containment. It should be placed where the risk of pollution is low but security is high – outside an oft-occupied room is a good idea so you can see it.

You can install a tank inside a building, but you’ll need secondary containment measures and a fire-resistant chamber. You also need experienced professionals for this set-up.

Also, you need to check if you’re in a flood zone, as oil tanks can easily be damaged in floods, which can be disastrous for the environment.

Keeping access to the tank

You, your delivery driver and your engineer will need easy access to the tank so you can fill, inspect and service it safely. There should be at least three feet of clearance all around the tank, with no hedges, low walls or dense plants.


Can your tanker park safely?

A fuel delivery company will be able to advise you here but you do want to make sure that the tank can easily be delivered as well as filled on a regular basis.


Make sure your tank base is correct

Your tank should be installed on a level and stable base that extends out for at least 300mm in all directions beyond the widest point of the tank. This helps to prevent fire from nearby plants or structures reaching it.

The base itself can be a 100mm slab of concrete or 50mm paving slabs, very closely butted together. It must be a solid foundation.


Elevated tanks

If your tank has to be elevated – maybe it’s feeding into a range cooker – then it must be well-supported and all manufacturer instructions must be followed to the letter. If the tank is plastic it must be well-supported all along its base.


Removing the old tank and pipework

These should be decommissioned and disabled, before being removed as soon as possible. If the pipework can’t be removed, then it should be permanently capped so no-one can use it in error. Your installer should be able to carry away your old equipment as part of the work, so check this and make it part of the contract.

Talk to your insurer

You should get advice from your insurer to make sure they’re happy with your plans and to see how your new tank affects your building and contents policies. They could also give you advice on tank security to keep your premiums lower.


These are just a few of the many things you will want to keep in mind when buying a new oil tank for your home.