February 20, 2013

Looking after your heating oil storage tank is essential in prolonging longevity, maintaining efficiency and reducing pollution. Those who are new to heating oil or have just moved into a property with a tank and need some guidance will find the following points particularly helpful.

* Find out what type of heating oil tank you have. A plastic tank (often green) or steel coated tank are most common. Variations come as single-skinned (1 layer fuel container) or double-skinned (twin walled usually steel) or an integrally-bunded tank. This is essentially a tank within a tank that protects from spillage, heating oil loss and damage.

* Know what and where the fittings are. Be aware of the fill point, vent and importantly the contents gauge so you can check heating oil levels. The gauge and spillage alert alarm if you have one, can sometimes be found in your home depending on which type you have. If you are unsure about any of the fittings ask your heating oil delivery driver to go through it with you our drivers are always happy to help! You should also make yourself aware of the supply pipes which may be either over or underground and be kept easily accessible.

* Heating oil is valuable and because of this can be prone to theft. Make sure your tank is locked and secure to help prevent any incidents occurring. CCTV and light sensors around your tank are good for additional security particularly in the most remote areas where the tank isn't clearly visible from the home.

* Keep a log of your tank details so you are prepared with the information should you need to make an order or speak to an engineer. This should include dates of services, make, model, material, capacity and date of installation if known.

* Check where the isolation valve is on the tank in case of a leak or emergency and the heating oil supply needs shutting off.

* Make sure access to the tank is clear of debris, clutter and easy to reach. If in a fenced off area there should be enough space around the tank for someone to walk. Roughly about 2 feet from tank to fence.

* Having an oil spill kit at home is great in case of an emergency to stop as much damage, pollution being made before an engineer arrives.

* Always use professional, registered and fully qualified heating oil engineers to carry out any work on your tank whether it's refilling, fixing or removing.

Rix recommend booking in for annual servicing on your heating oil boiler to ensure you have a safe and efficient heating system. Our quick response team of OFTEC engineers are on hand in case of an emergency even after hours. Contact your local depot to find out if annual boiler serving is available to you.

Click here to download the Rix guide to looking after you oil storage tank

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