Types of Oil Tanks Explained

October 08, 2020

Selecting an oil tank can be a daunting process as there are many different types of oil tanks to choose from, with multiple shapes, sizes and capacities to consider. To help you decide on the best oil tank for you, we’re going to explain the differences between the four main types of oil tanks, as well as offering some guidance on the best size and construction of oil tank to opt for based on purpose and usage.

Types of oil tanks:

1. Single-Skinned Oil Tanks

One of the many types of oil tanks you can choose from is a single-skinned oil tank. As single-skinned oil tanks only offer one layer of protection against an oil leak, they’re usually installed in a secondary containment system, such as reinforced concrete or masonry bund.

Although single-skinned oil tanks are less expensive, they have an increased risk as they don’t have built-in protection from oil leaks. This means that the clean-up resulting from a potential oil leak can be expensive and reduce your overall savings in the long run.

Here are some conditions that need to be met for single-skinned oil tanks:

  • The capacity of the oil tank must be less than 2500 litres
  • No other potential environmental hazards nearby
  • The tank isn’t located within a Ground Source Protection Zone
  • Cannot be installed if the tank is within 10m of controlled water (stream, river, septic tank etc.)

2. Double-Skinned Oil Tanks

Double-skinned tanks (aka, twin-walled tanks or dual containment tanks) have two layers. The two layers provide secure containment of chemicals and liquids, along with helping to protect against an oil leak in the case of a tank failure. It is recommended that double-skinned tanks are also installed in a secondary system.

3. Integrally Bunded Tanks

Integrally bunded tanks offer the best protection against an oil leak, as the attached bund can hold 110% of the inner tank’s capacity as well as the fittings. Bunded heating oil tanks are usually made out of steel or plastic, however, some are steel/plastic hybrids.

An integrally bunded tank is considered to be the best oil tank on the market. This is because they offer the very best protection from any oil leaks and condensation due to the insulation provided by their air gaps in the bund.

4. Underground Tanks

Oil tanks are not limited to being installed outdoors. If compliant with building regulations, oil tanks can also be installed indoors and underground.

Underground tanks require professional construction and may require planning permission. The benefits of installing a tank underground are that they can significantly save you space, and they have a reduced risk of being targeted by thieves due to being out of sight.

However, the disadvantage of underground tanks is that they can be difficult to maintain due to being underground. For this reason, most households install their tank outdoors.

The Best Oil Tank Material – Plastic vs Steel

Oil tanks can be made out of both plastic and steel. Plastic tanks require less maintenance and aren’t as vulnerable to failure and rust in comparison to steel tanks.

However, steel tanks are arguably more secure as thieves can easily drill into plastic tanks to siphon off oil. Also, as steel tanks are heavier, they’re more difficult to steal.   

Best Oil Tank Sizes – What size oil tank do I need?

  • 650 litres to  100 litres – are usually utilised in 1 to 2 bedroom houses
  • 1000 litres to 1550 litres – are usually utilised in 2 to 3 bedroom houses or small commercial buildings
  • 1650 litres to 2500 litres – are usually utilised in 3 to 4 bedroom houses or larger commercial premises
  • 2500 litres plus – are usually utilised in homes with 4+ bedrooms or larger commercial premises

Rix has a huge selection of tanks that are suitable for a variety of different purposes to suit all needs and tastes. Choosing the best oil tank for you can be quite a daunting experience, so if you are new to heating oil or are thinking of getting it for your home, please read our guide for more information. Alternatively, contact your local Rix customer service team who are fully trained and happy to help with any questions you may have.

What to Look for in an Oil Tank Inspection

 October 05, 2020

Completing heating oil tank inspections at regular intervals is crucial to ensuring that your tank operates at an optimum level. Therefore, in this article we’re going to explain the four things to look our for in an oil tank inspection, so any issues can be spotted early on to prevent environmental damage and any heavy repair costs in the long run.

Who Is Responsible?

Any individual who stores hazardous substances, such as oils, is responsible for ensuring the substance is contained correctly, along with being responsible for cleaning up any spills, to prevent any releases that can damage the environment.

The Environment Agency has warned homeowners that failing to carry out basic oil tank inspections as well as an annual check by an OFTEC registered technician, could lead to spills and leaks that can amount to a large financial and environmental cost.

Protect the Environment

Jonathan Atkinson, a Groundwater and Contaminated Land Technical Specialist, said: “Oil can be hazardous in the wrong setting and escapes can be harmful to plants and animals and a threat to their habitats, as well as impacting water quality and resources.

“We believe the best way to protect the environment is through pollution prevention. Most leaks can be easily spotted, so we are encouraging people to check around the tank, pipework, taps and gauges, looking particularly for any signs of corrosion, bulging, damage and drips.” says Alison Gidlow for the Environment Agency.

Heating Oil Tank Inspections

Here are just a number of basic checks that need to be carried out in a heating oil tank inspection:

1. Check for signs of degradation or corrosion

The following visual signs of corrosion or degradation can become apparent when completing an oil tank inspection:

  • Discolouration
  • Cracks
  • Rust
  • Weeping
  • Oil staining
  • Any signs of bulging

These are all signals that your heating oil tank will need attention, and your heating oil supplier may be able to offer further advice or provide a range of boiler services. Even if the crack/split is on the outer-bund of your tank, you must replace this immediately to avoid fuel contamination and leaking. 

2. Check for a build-up of debris and vegetation

Your tank vent outlet and tank bund should be dry and free of all debris and vegetation to offer the best protection. If you have a rainwater shield or an insect screen, this should also be cleared of all dirt and rubbish.

Rix can provide you with heating oil tank health checks and replacement services where we dip for the presence of water, ensure the removal of any water and complete a water-absorbing tank dryer fitting for you.

3. Inspect the area surrounding your heating oil tank

The area surrounding your heating oil tank should also be checked for any signs of changes to the base and supporting structure, such as oil staining. Site tanks must be as far away from drains, streams and ponds to avoid any environmental damage.

4. Secondary containment

Having secondary containment surrounding your heating oil tank will prevent oil from escaping if a leak occurs. If you have a domestic tank which stores over 3,500 litres, having a secondary containment is a legal requirement.

Remember: Regular Check-Ups are Key

Completing a heating oil tank inspection at regular intervals is crucial to ensure that any potential issues can be spotted and tackled early on, and you could save yourself a lot of money and effort in the long run.

What’s more, if you’ve recently moved to a property with a heating oil tank, it is especially important to arrange a professional inspection as you really don’t want to pay the price for someone else’s neglect of arranging oil tank inspections.

You also must monitor how much oil you use. Therefore, if the volume of oil being utilised suddenly escalates, you may have a leak. Underground tanks are to be tested in three to five-year intervals, and if your underground tank is over 20 years old, you must ensure that it is leak tested once a year.

If you wish to know more about our heating oil tank inspection services from Rix, please fill out a form on our website so we can arrange a call back. Alternatively, you can speak to your local depot directly.

Pros and Cons of Renewable Energy


There are many benefits of using renewable energy; it comes from a source that continuously restores itself, meaning that the availability to utilise that energy source is infinite. However, there are arguments against renewable energy to consider; it can be expensive to install and sustain, as well as being completely weather dependant. Here, we explore both the pros and cons of renewable energy sources and outline the UK Governments vision for renewable energy and how low-carbon gas power is likely to work alongside this in the near future.

Benefits of using renewable energy

1.Potential infinite energy supply

The use of renewable energy ensures that you will have a continuous supply of energy for years into the future. It’s no secret that fossil fuels aren’t sustainable in the long term, as they come from finite sources which will eventually run out one day.

2.Reduce your carbon footprint

When fossil fuels are burnt, this contributes to the rising levels of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. These gases are then trapped within the atmosphere, which can lead to negative effects of global warming and climate change. Renewable energy sources reduce your overall carbon footprint as the levels of greenhouses gases emitted are lower compared to fossil fuels.

3.Renewable energy isn’t subject to price fluctuations

The price of renewable energy isn’t influenced by what’s happening in the wider market; giving you a level of control of your energy costs. The Carbon Trust reports that compared to ten years ago, the price of offshore wind in the UK is less than a third of what it used to be. However, there are additional costs to consider, including the initial installation, upkeep of renewable energy technology and the immediate effect on the nature around the site.

4.Saving money and reducing costs

As well as potentially reducing your annual energy bills, installing renewable energy sources in your home means you can claim up to £5000 from installation costs through the Governments Green Home Grant.

Arguments against renewable energy

1.Renewable energy is weather dependent

It’s no secret that renewable energy is reliant upon the elements. The weather can only be predicted, never guaranteed. The change of each season can also impact the level of power generated. For instance, it’s most likely that winter months won’t generate as much solar power compared to the summer months, as solar power is reliant on the sun’s rays to generate sufficient power.

Dependent on which country you live in, the weather will impact the amount of renewable energy generated. For instance, wind-powered renewable energy is reliant on wind strength to turn wind turbines to generate power.

2.Expense and development

When it comes to renewable energy sites, it requires a large sum of initial investment to cover the cost of setting up the renewable energy generators and the labour involved. Renewable energy sites can’t be developed in any random location; you need to ensure that there’s an area of land large enough to set up the site. Wherever these sites are set up, it will take away from natures environment.

3.Visually unappealing

Renewable energy sources are often met with criticism from those in the local area for being visually unappealing. The vast depth of solar fields and the height of wind turbines, for instance, are often known as an eyesore and take away from the existing view.

4.Noise levels

Hydropower and wind turbine sites can generate substantial levels of noise. If these sources are close to a populated area, this could disturb and upset the residents and lead to a whole host of problems between you and the local community.


What is the UK Governments promise to renewable energy?

By 2050, the UK Government are working towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. This follows an amendment to the Climate Change Act 2008 in July 2020, which entails working towards a green industrial revolution to bring the UK’s current emission levels down by 100% to an emission level similar to that seen in 1990.

Gas power is likely to become the dominant fossil fuel power used, as gas has less of a negative impact on the environment compared to the impact of carbon. Non-renewable energy sources, like domestic heating oil, will continue to be used alongside renewable energy sources as the best way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

If you have any questions about how you could potentially lower your carbon footprint by switching to using domestic heating oil in your home, please get in touch with your local Rix customer service team. We will be more than happy to answer any questions or queries that you may have.

3 Features of a Zero Carbon House


When designing or renovating your home, it’s important to consider eco friendly house plans to try and play your part in reducing your carbon footprint. To help you on your way, we’ll be exploring the below questions:

  • What is a zero emissions house?
  • What are the benefits of a zero carbon house?
  • What three features to consider when designing eco friendly house plans?

In response to global warming, the UK Government passed a law to be net-zero emissions by 2050, with the desire of a green revolution. This law is the most ambitious to be set in the world and focuses on reducing any climate change impact. So, how can you help? By working towards achieving a zero carbon house.

What is a zero carbon house?

A zero carbon house, also known as a zero emissions house,  should be considered within any eco-friendly house plans. A zero emissions house takes into account the type of energy used when constructing the house, how much energy is used in the construction and considered the energy sources used to heat and power the house once occupied.

The main emphasis of the ‘zero carbon’ is for homes to be as energy-efficient and environmentally responsible as possible. Also, to make a positive contribution towards sustainability, such as ensuring the house is sufficiently insulated and adequately airtight.

The benefits of a zero emissions house

1. Reduced energy bills

A zero emissions house is built with both yours and the environment’s needs in mind. As the name implies, a zero carbon house is designed to emit very low to no carbon. By being built and powered using environmentally friendly and sustainable materials and energy, in turn the cost of your energy and water bills is reduced.

2. Sustainable building

An element that most people don’t consider when building or designing a house is ‘how does this built impact the planet’? A traditional house build involves the use and cost of electricity and emits carbon. For example, Inside Housing claims half a tonne of carbon dioxide is emitted from one tonne of concrete in a house build. A zero carbon house takes into account the use of sustainable materials during the construction of the house.  

3. Save on installation costs

The Government offers incentives for a sustainably ran house. The Green Home Grant Scheme means homeowners or landlords can claim back up to £5,000 to make their home more energy and efficient up until the end of March 2021.

Three features to consider in eco friendly house plans

Here are some top tips if you are renovating or starting from scratch to get your home and domestic heating oil system running with ‘zero carbon’.

1. Windows

For both heat insulation and helping reduce the cost of domestic heating oil bills, double glazed uPVC windows are highly effective in keeping energy in your home. However, with older properties, they might not fit with the ‘look’ or be appropriate, so other options include secondary glazing or having a thorough restoration which will work just as well.

2. Insulation

The design of your house should not only be aesthetically pleasing but airtight and well ventilated for you to feel the benefit from your domestic heating oil. It is estimated that 66% of heat loss in the home is through a badly insulated roof. To avoid this make sure you have 150mm-200mm of insulation in the attic from either conventional materials or natural, Eco-friendly ones like Thermafleece made from Sheeps wool, Flax 100 from flax and hemp, plus several other sustainable options. It also imperative to creating a sustainable, ‘green’ home that you are fully fitted with cavity wall insulation. Having the space between the outer and inner walls filled makes a big difference in preventing heat loss and is a small investment that will pay for itself over a short period of time.

3. Boiler

A domestic heating oil boiler should have annual servicing to maintain performance and efficiency. To help keep energy bills low, reduce the thermostat by just 1*c, this can cut the cost of your domestic heating oil by up to 10%. Another way of conserving energy, money and lowering carbon emissions is by adding thermostatic valves to radiators to stop unused rooms being heated and wasting domestic heating oil.

To build a zero carbon house requires a large amount of savings and investment. If you’re looking for a more affordable way to reduce your carbon emissions, why not consider your heating oil? The majority of UK homes with older heating systems, use standardised kerosene oil. At Rix Petroleum, we offer K+ Premium Heating Oil to heat your home efficiently. As the oil is utilised more efficiently, the CO2 levels emitted are kept at a minimum and in turn saves you money with lower heating costs.

We all want to see an economically healthy, viable and sustainable future. Please get in contact with Rix if you have any questions or queries, or check out our blog for further heating oil tips and advice.

Warnings issued about rise in heating oil thefts

 February 02, 2013

Police are urging residents across the country to check the security of their heating oil tanks after a recent bout of thefts in rural areas.

During the festive period reports were made from homes across the UK that significant amounts of heating oil had been stolen from outdoor tanks. Opportunistic thieves are making the most of the well stocked tanks and are getting away with hundreds of litres of heating oil which is upsetting, expensive and inconvenient to those affected.

The most common way of draining the heating oil is siphoning from unprotected tanks. This uses a hose or pump to get the liquid out through the fill nozzle. A simple preventative measure for this could be keeping your tank in a padlocked, fenced area or by having it less exposed in a more discreet part of your land. 

Depending on what make and model of heating oil tank you have there may already be some level of protection but additionally a great way to keep your oil safe is with a tank alarm. As most crimes happen during the night when its dark and people are asleep the alarm signal will alert you in your home if there is a sudden drop in oil levels so you can take immediate action by ringing the police. This will help them in trying to save your oil and catch the offenders.

Prior to carrying out the theft properties are usually ‘scoped out’ to see which ones are the easiest targets. Sensor lighting or CCTV is a great deterrent against heating oil thefts especially if you have a large property where the tanks aren’t easily visible.

If you are concerned about the safety of your heating oil tank or would like some advice about increasing protection then contact your supplier who should be there to help if not other reputable companies like Rix Petroleum are happy to help with a  dedicated telephone care team that gives continued guidance and support to their customers.

Although rural properties are more vulnerable due to their remote location and fewer neighbours, all heating oil consumers need to be extra vigilant with their security measures to help prevent such incidents occurring.

How to Save Money on Your Heating Oil

 March 20, 2013

Because the price of heating oil has risen exponentially in the last couple of years, more and more homeowners in UK are looking for new innovative ways to save more money on their utility bills, especially during the winter. If you have paid hundreds of pounds last winter heating your home, it is time to consider saving more money this coming winter. By following these tips, you can save up to £100 on your monthly bill.

1. Buy the Heating Oil Earlier. This is probably the most important aspect when it comes to cutting down your fuel bills and overall heating expenses. Because there are several factors which contribute to the oil’s price variation in UK, you need to conduct a thorough research in order to be able to distinguish the best time to buy heating oil. Usually, specialists have concluded that the best time to stock up with oil is in the early autumn, during September and the beginning of October. Remember to order as much fuel as you can because you don’t want to run off of it in the middle of January, when temperatures fall below 0 degrees.

2. Turn Your Thermostat Down. By turning it down by just 1 degree you will be able to reduce your fuel bills with over 10%. Moreover, ensure that the thermostat is accurate. Ask a qualified OFTEC engineer to examine your oil fired boiler in order to adjust the thermostat setting if you think that the temperature in your room is not acceptable.

3. Insulate Your Home. If your home is not insulated according to the standards, the heat will be lost faster and consequently you will pay more on your bill. Insulation is a great way to keep the heat in and cold out or viceversa, so make the most out of it if you want to save more money this coming winter. Remember that cavity wall insulation can retain up to 35% more heat, helping you save an extra £30 each month on your fuel bill.

4. Buy a Modern and Better Boiler. Sometimes it is time for a change. In order to significantly improve the boiler operating costs and to save more money on your fuel bill, invest in a new and more performant oil-fired boiler. Modern boilers are more energy efficient than old boilers and have a lower risk of failure.

5. Keep Away From Direct Debit. Even if some direct debit schemes could prove quite helpful because they allow you to spread the cost of home heating oil across a 12-month period, they could prove more costly on a longer period of time. You will notice that paying in advance can save you a lot on the long run, so be careful where you invest your money in.

6. Use Your Kitchen More. Lastly, if no other method works or you simply don’t want to insulate your home or you can’t or don’t want to turn down your thermostat, there is one thing you can do: allow the heat from your kitchen to escape into the whole house. After cooking a meal in the oven, keep the oven door open and you will soon notice an increase of the air temperature in your home.

Knowing your heating oil tank

 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.

Recession Proof Ways to Reduce Cost of Heating Oil Prices

 February 25, 2013

The economic strife and particularly recession compelled many Britons to adopt austerity measures to save money. While domestic heating remains a central activity in many homes, many people don’t seem to know how to survive the scare of rising heating oil prices. If you are cash-strapped or living on a budget then you might want to consider some of the following ways to lower the cost of heating in your home.

1.) Insulate Your Home

A properly insulated home is the key to lower heating oil prices and maintain warm internal temperatures even in winter. Insulate the wall and ceilings properly to prevent heat loss in winter. Alternatively, you can also use carpets and rugs on bare floors such as tile or stone which are naturally cold.

2.) Use Double glazing

If you are using old-fashion window panes then consider switching to double glazed windows. These are much more efficient which means you won’t be heating your home to attain favorable internal temperatures. Replace single window panes with double glazed windows since they are highly energy efficient.

3.) Embrace Renewable Energy

Solar and domestic wind energy are great ways of generating own power while saving money. The good thing about renewable energy is that it can be used to supplement domestic heating boilers. In the long run, this saves you a lot of money while increasing fuel efficiency.

4.) Service Your Boiler Regularly

Do you want to slash the cost of heating in the long run? If so, make sure that you undertake regular repairs and maintenance of your boiler. Remove sludge deposits as they increase heating costs and reduce heating efficiency. Regular service can help you maximize your domestic heating without spending more on heating oil.

5) Use Premium kerosene

If you have been using standard heating oil then you might want to consider switching to premium kerosene which is much more efficient and friendly to your boiler. This can help you lower the cost of heating and prolong the life of your boiler.

That’s just about it! With these simple measures, you can beat the cost of rising heating oil prices and guarantee your household warm comfy nights even in the most coldest months.

Identifying the facts about heat loss in the UK

 May 16, 2013

A number of factors in your home can contribute to heat loss, meaning that you may be inadvertently wasting energy on a daily basis by not addressing some bad habits.

Here are just some of the most common areas which are responsible for heat loss, and the measures you can take to improve heat retention.


Poorly insulated areas in your home can contribute significantly to heat loss, with loft/roof space, uninsulated walls and uninsulated solid walls standing out as particular culprits.

Good insulation works to keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer, with the small air pockets – air being a poor heat conductor – inside the insulation reducing the amount of heat that can move from between the exterior and interior of your home.

As a result installing the right type of installation can help to maximise the gains from the heat in your home, and this can include roof insulation, cavity wall insulation and solid wall insulation (both internal and external).

The combined impact of these measures can stand to make you annual savings of up to £1,270 a year – with the average annual energy bill only coming it just above this level at £1,420.

However, it is important to note that all of these measures will involve an initial financial outlay.


Drafts can also be a contributing factor to heat loss, with ventilation and draughts making up to 20% of heat loss in an average home. While your home will need ventilation to ensure a supply of clean air, draft excluders can be used to reduce drafts in your home.

With windows and doors also contributing to up to 20% of heat loss in your home, you may also want to consider installing a door with a high-performance insulating material, as well as double-glazing, which can save homeowners as much as £170 a year.

Finding energy-efficient home heating oil could also help to minimise heat loss significantly. 

Simple ways to make your home more environmentally friendly

 June 17, 2013

Being eco-conscious comes as second nature to many Brits and efforts to save the planet have now been incorporated into our everyday decision-making, from the household goods we purchase to the type of car we drive.

Here are just a few ways you can transform your home into an environmentally-friendly haven that even ‘Mother Nature’ would be proud of.

Go green with your decor

If you are planning to give your home a decorating overhaul in time for summer, why not give a nod to the latest ‘green’ home decor products at the same time? From toxic free paint to furniture made from recycled materials, there is no end to the number of ways that you can spruce up your home while still keeping the future of the planet in mind.

Stock up your cupboards with green essentials

From toilet paper and kitchen roll that has been Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, which provides consumers with the confidence that the products they are buying are ‘are not contributing to the destruction of the world’s forests’ , to cleaning products that use natural ingredients, your shopping list can be transformed into a model of eco-consciousness in a few simple steps.

Make a few small adjustments

Becoming an eco warrior and champion for the planet doesn’t necessarily involve making drastic changes to your home. From the turning of the light switches when not in use to filling up your kettle with just the right amount of water required to make a decent ‘cuppa’, simple shifts in your daily habits can literally make the world of difference.

Ensure that all your appliances are as energy efficient as possible

Ensuring that you use the most energy efficient appliances available will help to reduce your overall carbon footprint as well as your heating bills. This also applies to oil-fired boilers for heating oil users, as well as key appliances such as your fridge and washing machine.