Best Oil Tank Location

Best Oil Tank Location

What is the best oil tank location for oil storage tanks? Maybe your replacing an old, damaged tank or installing a new one. I think we can all agree that domestic oil tanks that are used to store heating oil are pretty unsightly. It is common practice for the majority of householders to place their oil tank out of sight. Common oil tank locations are behind a garage, shed, in the corner of the garden, next to a boundary fence or wall.

Table of Contents

  1. Why is Oil tank Placement Important?
  2. Best Oil Tank location?
  3. Oil Tank Base Regulations
  4. Do Oil Tanks Need to Be Higher Than The Boiler?
  5. Oil Tank Disposal Companies

Why is Oil Tank Placement Important?

Kerosene heating oil is extremely toxic to plants, animals and humans. As of January 2021 oil tank regulations changed, domestic oil tanks are considered a hazardous waste which must be controlled. This change effects every householder across Northern Ireland who stores heating oil to heat their home. Why? home insurance, your policy may be invalid if you do not safely store heating oil on your property.

Oil spills caused by leaking oil tanks cause significant environmental pollution. According to Aviva insurance, Northern Ireland accounted for around a third of incidents since 2017 in the UK. Homeowners should check  with their home insurance provider, to ensure that they are covered in the event of an oil leak.

Best Oil Tank Location

Before determining the best location for your oil tank, you first need to be aware of the guidelines set by the Oil Firing Technical Association, (OFTEC).

Oil storage tanks due to the risk of fire should never be placed directly beside a building or boundary fence. You should allow a distance of:

  • 760mm from a non-fire rated boundary, such as a wooden fence
  • 600mm from a boundary hedge or shrubbery
  • 1800mm (1.8m) away from doors, windows of a garage or house
  • 1800mm (1.8m) away from the eaves of a building or garden sheds

The maximum amount of heating oil a domestic tank may hold is 3500 litres. Oil tanks that hold 2500 litres or above, must contain a secondary holding tank referred to as a bunded oil tank.

Best Oil Tank Location

Ideal oil tank placement

Oil Tank Base Regulations

A strong well constructed oil tank base is essential for ensuring the safe and secure storage of kerosene. Oil tanks when full of heating oil, are heavy.

  • 1000 litres kerosene weighs 0.819kg per litre = 819kg
  • Bunded oil tank 1000 litres weighs 125kg
  • Total combined weight = 944kg

When building an oil tank base it is important to consider the following:

1) The oil tank base must extend beyond the circumference of the oil tank by a minimum of 300mm. The base should also be a solid continuous slab which provides even distribution of weight.

2) Tank bases should be constructed from concrete, concrete blocks, paving stones or paving slabs. If the area where the tank base is to be built has poor drainage, additional hardcore should be used to ensure the base does not sink under the weight. If the base is to be cast and filled with poured concrete, the thickness should be at least 100mm thick.

Domestic Oil Tank Bases

Concrete poured oil tank base

Do Oil Tanks Need to Be Higher Than The Boiler?

It is recommended when determining the best oil tank location, that your tank be installed higher than the boiler. Gravity helps the flow of oil from the tank to the boiler. If the oil tank is level, lower or there is a long distance between the tank and the boiler, a device called a tigerloop oil de-aerator can be used. A tiger loop system is used to remove air from the fuel line and prevent air locks and burner shut downs. This greatly reduces problems with the oil pump and fuel nozzle.

Tigerloop Oil De-Aerator

Tigerloop oil de-aerator

Oil Tank Disposal Companies

If you are replacing your oil tank or converting from oil to gas, you will need to dispose of your old tank responsibly. As I mentioned earlier, all domestic oil tanks are classes as hazardous waste. Removerr is licensed by the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency to safely remove and dispose of decommissioned oil tanks across Northern Ireland.

Contact Removerr on 07434 691 809 or email

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