Following the recent spell of hot weather, it’s difficult to believe that the shorter, cooler days of Autumn are just a little over 6 weeks away. Likely nestling undisturbed in a corner of your garden, your oil tank will have seen little action of late. Which means there’s no better time to give it the once over for the season ahead. Our Managing Director, Alison, takes a closer look at how you make the most of Summer, and get your tank ready for Autumn and Winter.  

Photograph of Harlequin 2525HQi Bunded Oil Tank on a background of a field, tree and sky. Accompanying text states 'Check Your Oil Tank This Summer'

Low Maintenance, Not Zero Maintenance 

Today’s oil tanks are inherently low maintenance, but they are not maintenance free. So, they’ll need to be professionally inspected and shown some TLC, by a suitably qualified storage tank technician at least annually. The good news is that many oil-fired boiler engineers are also qualified to install, inspect and maintain storage tanks too… so they can ordinarily service your tank and any ancillary fittings, as they service your boiler. 

When choosing a technician, always choose a member of a recognised, independent, competent persons’ scheme, such as The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC). You can find your local OFTEC storage tank technician by clicking or tapping here. With thousands of OFTEC Registered Technicians throughout the British Isles, there’s sure to be one near you.

Keep Your Tank In Better Condition For Longer

As well as arranging to have your tank professionally inspected and maintained, did you know there are things you can do too, to keep your tank in better condition for longer?

  • Debris can begin to build up around your tank and can prove a potential fire hazard. So, it must be removed periodically. Be especially careful to remove decaying plant material, which as it decomposes, can corrode your oil supply line and ancillary fittings; 
  • Do not allow plants to grow within 600mm (2’) of a tank. Again they can prove a potential fire hazard, so it makes sense to remove weeds periodically;
  • Ensure all lids, caps and vents present on your tank are securely affixed. Poorly affixed fittings can permit water and contaminants to enter the tank. If any fittings should be missing, genuine replacement parts for Carbery, Diamond and Harlequin tanks are available in our Parts Store;
  • Ensure vent points fitted to Single Skin Oil Tanks are free from obstruction. Vents allow your oil tank to breathe on warmer days and prevent your tank from becoming over-pressurised during refuelling – so it’s important they can function as intended;
  • Check weekly for damage, corrosion (steel tanks only), cracks, dark patches of soil, an unusual smell, or dying grass and plant matter, which can signify a leaking tank and should be reported to a Registered Technician without delay;
  • Check Bunded Oil Tanks for the presence of condensate / water, between the inner and outer tanks. This can be removed and disposed of responsibly by your oil storage tank technician;
  • During times of damp weather, check for a rainbow sheen on or around the tank, which again can indicate a leak and should be investigated as a priority;
  • Ensure a label is placed on the tank which describes its contents e.g. Kerosene, Gas Oil, Diesel, Agricultural Fuel Oil etc. This is particularly important on-sites where more than one tank is present and reduces the risk of misfuelling. In many instances, this label will be affixed by your fuel distributor as a matter of routine;
  • Check your tank is fitted with an Oil Care Campaign label or similar guidance, which clearly states what to do should a spill occur. Replacements can be provided by your local environmental authority or can be ordered via the Oil Care Campaign. Ensure a label is affixed to the tank describing the contents stored inside. This will often be provided by your fuel distributor;
  • As well as checking your oil tank, be sure to similarly check your oil supply line and ancillary equipment, for signs of damage, leaks or failure too.

Prepare For The Unexpected

A well installed, inspected and maintained heating oil tank is unlikely to leak. But because the unexpected can never be predicted, it makes sense to ensure you have adequate insurance cover in place. Some home insurance policies provide cover as standard, whilst others do not. Other policies will provide cover subject to notification that oil is stored on your premises. And some will charge considerably more to extend cover to your tank.

Additionally, a number of specialist insurers also provide stand alone policies at competitive prices, tailored to heating oil users. One such company is Oil Spill Insurance Services and you can visit their website by clicking here

Queries? Questions?

If you’ve queries or questions, you’re very welcome to contact us. We don’t install, inspect or maintain tanks, but we can provide general guidance and advice. Call us in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man on 01789 632 151 or from the Republic of Ireland, you can reach us on 01 5268 642. Alternatively, why not e-mail We’re open weekdays from 9am to 5pm – excluding public holidays and look forward to hearing from you. 

Any specific concerns, should always be referred to a competent, professional and independently certified storage tank technician. As a responsible supplier, we always recommend choosing a technician who is independently trained and accredited with an independent competent persons scheme such as The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC). Click here to find your local OFTEC Registered Technician.