Guide to Domestic Oil Storage

Guide to Domestic Oil Storage

Domestic Oil Storage

This guide applies to oil storage tanks up to 3500 litres capacity supplying oil to single family dwellings for heating and cooking purposes.

Depending on where you live, regulations may vary slightly. The information here is a general guide, and you should check with your nearest OFTEC registered technician which regulations effect you.

Oil Storage Tanks

Modern oil storage tanks come in all shapes and sizes and can be made from plastic or steel. The size and type will depend on your individual requirements. It is recommended that your tank is manufactured to OFTEC standards (OFS T100 for plastic tanks or OFS T200 for steel).

Protecting the Environment

To minimize the risk of pollution from an oil spill, some installations must have secondary containment (a bund). This can be achieved by either choosing an integrally bunded tank or constructing a bund around a tank. The bund must be capable of holding at least 110% of the tanks contents. An OFTEC registered technician can advise whether you need a bunded tank using a standard risk assesment. Typically, installations near a river, well or any controlled water are likely to require bunding.

Tank Location

It is unlikely that a fire could be started by a domestic oil storage tank and its contents. However, tanks are required to comply with fire separation distances in order to adequately protect stored fuel from a fire or heat source, which may originate nearby.

Tanks should be sited:-

  • 1.8m away from non-fire rated eaves of a building;
  • 1.8m away from a non-fire building or structure (e.g. garden sheds);
  • 1.8m away from openings (such as doors and windows) in a fire rated buidling or structure (e.g brick built house/garage);
  • 1.8m away from oil fired appliance flue terminals;
  • 760mm away from a non-fire rated boundry such as a wooden boundry fence;
  • 600mm away from screening (e.g. trellis and foliage) that does not form part of the boundry.

If it is impossible to comply with these requirements, then a fire protection barrier with at least 30 minutes fire rating should be provided. A minimum separation distance of 100mm is required between the tank and the fire rated barrier unless a larger distance is specified by the tank manufacturer.

In some situations, the oil storage tank can be sited inside a building such as a garage or outhouse. Installations of this type require the tank to be self contained within a 60 minute fire rated chamber.

Back to Basics

The need to provide suitable bases and supports for oil storage tanks is of paramount importance for reasons of both safety and environmental protection. The base should be :

  • Adequate for the weight of the tank;
  • Non-combustable, imperforate and level;
  • Constructed of concrete, paving stones or stonework;
  • Large enough to extend 300mm beyond all sides of the tank.

If an oil storage tank is inadequately supported, the tank itself can be weakened leading to the eventual failure and escape of the stored fuel. During the life of an installation an oil storage tank base will need to provide continual structural support, even though ground conditions may alter from season to season and year to year.

Building Regulations

Oil storage tank installations need to comply with reginal building regulations. In England & Wales, OFTEC registered technicians can self certify their own work without involving local authority building control. But if you choose to use someone who isn’t registered with a ‘Competent Person’ scheme like OFTEC, then you will have to obtain a building control notice and arrange for an inspection which can be costly and time consuming. Similar rules apply in Scotland where you may need to apply for a warrant.

Annual Inspection

It is important that oil storage tanks are inspected annually, preferably by an OFTEC registered technician.

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There are many additional componets connected to your oil storage tank that can make life easier that can be purchased from Fueldump. We supply oil storage tank contents gauges, overfill prevention valves, tank alarms and oil top off take valves. We also supply locking filler caps and vent caps to keep your heating oil safe from theives.

visit our Oil tank accessories page here :- Oil storage tank accessories