Can You Remove Your Own Oil Tank

Can You Remove Your Own Oil Tank

A common question raised on many forums by homeowners,”Can You Remove Your Own Oil Tank”?

Homeowners all over the UK are switching to renewable heating sources to heat their homes. More homes are making the change from heating oil to gas in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and cut costs.

Plastic oil tanks have been a common feature of many homes for decades. They are used to store heating oil (kerosene) which powers our boilers and heats our homes. Due to climate change, fossil fuels are being phased out and oil boilers will no longer be installed into new homes by 2025.

If all homeowners changed to an alternative source of fuel to heat their homes other than heating oil. Where then do all the obsolete heating oil tanks go? and can you remove your own oil tank or do you need to call a professional.

How do I get rid of my oil tank?

Disposing of a domestic oil tank is not as simple as you may think. Due to new legislation passed by the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency on the 1st January 2020, all oil tanks and their contents (kerosene) are deemed as hazardous waste.

So what does this mean, can you remove your own oil tank? YES. Below I explain the steps and equipment required to safely remove your oil tank.

1. Heating oil removal

The first thing you must do is assess the level of heating oil remaining in the tank. Never try to remove an oil tank that still contains heating oil. The easiest way to evaluate the level of oil remaining is use a long stick or simply peer through the 4 inch fill point at the top of the tank.

100 litres of heating and below is a realistic amount of oil to remove on your own. If your oil tank is quarter full and the size of your tank is 1000 litres, you will have 250 litres remaining. At this point due to amount of heating oil left, I recommend calling a professional to remove this amount of oil.

For smaller amounts of heating oil, proceed as follows. The equipment you will need, 12v fuel transfer pump, 12v car battery, 20 litre plastic drums a reciprocating saw or a sharp hand saw.

Heating oil removal equipment

Drain as much heating oil out of your tank using the 12v fuel transfer pump. Once the tank is fairly empty and its weight has been greatly reduced, elevate one end so the remaining oil runs to the end of the tank. Continue to drain until all of the heating oil has been removed into drums.

You may be surprised by how much heating oil is left in the tank. Even when your boiler stops working, there can still be as much as 50 – 120 litres remaining below the outlet valve.

Heating Oil Disposal Northern Ireland

Heating oil left in tank after boiler stops working

Please note, you cannot dispose of heating oil at your local recycling centre.

2. Cutting a plastic oil tank

There are two main reasons for cutting your tank into sections, 1) If your working on your own, the shape, size and weight of your tank will make it unrealistic to move by yourself. Empty single skin oil tanks weigh on average 60kgs and bunded oil tanks 100kg.

2) The other reason for cutting your oil tank in half is disposal. Some council recycling centres allow plastic oil tanks, but they must be empty of oil and cut in half.

Cutting a plastic oil tank into manageable sections is made simple by using a reciprocating saw. We regularly cut tanks in half that have limited access for removal, it takes on average 2 minutes to cut a standard tank in half. You can use a hand saw to cut up a tank, it will be laborious, tiring and you will probably end up with a sore arm.

Can You Remove Your Own Oil tank

18v Reciprocating Saw w/ 240mm Wood Blade

3. Disposing of an oil tank

How and where to dispose of old heating oil tanks? As I mentioned earlier some council recycling centres in Northern Ireland allow oil tanks. The stipulation is that they must be empty of all traces of heating oil and cut in half. Before you set off with your cut up oil tank squeezed into your car, check with your local council first.

Oil tank cut into manageable pieces due to limited access

Alternatively if your local council do not accept oil tanks, give us a call on 0743 469 1809 and ask for Andrew. There is a charge for our oil tank removal service of £140 per tank. All tanks are disposed off legally following the guidelines of the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency.

Any company who is moving an oil tank must submit a prenotification to the NIEA. Submitting a prenotification informs the NIEA that on a certain date an oil tank will be moved from (your address) to a licensed waste facility for processing.

It is an offense to move hazardous waste without informing the NIEA of your intentions.

Can you remove your own oil tank? Yes and NO, you are as a homeowner obligated to follow the guidelines implemented by NIEA. On the other hand if you do remove your own oil tank you are far less likely to be fined.

Boiler Replacement Scheme

Did you know that you may eligible for grant to replace your old boiler and remove your old oil tank.

You may qualify for the boiler replacement scheme if you:

  • live in Northern Ireland
  • own and occupy your property as your main home
  • have a household gross income less than £40,000 per year
  • have a boiler which is at least 15 years old

Should you qualify, you will need to provide three pieces of paperwork 1) Waste carriers license, 2) Waste management facility license 3) Prenotification.

Removerr can provide all the relevant paperwork required by the housing executive for claiming a grant. If you have any questions or would like to book an oil tank removal, call us on 0743 469 1809 or email inquiries@removerr.co.uk. We cover all of Northern Ireland.

How Much Does Oil Tank Removal Cost

How Much Does Oil Tank Removal Cost

Removing a domestic oil tank is no longer a simple process due to new legislation. All oil tanks and their contents, (kerosene oil) are now deemed as hazardous waste. This has increased the price of removing an oil tank. So, how much does oil tank removal cost in Northern Ireland?

Oil Tank Removal

For the purposes of this article I am going to relate to domestic plastic oil tanks, above ground. The cost of removing oil tanks that are buried or constructed of steel dramatically increases. In most cases from my experience most households in Northern Ireland have plastic oil tanks 1000 – 2500 litres in capacity.

Based on my own research, the cost of removing an oil tank varies from £250 – £500. The cost to remove an oil tank increases substantially if there is heating oil present. Most large companies who offer the service, oil tank removal do not want to remove small amounts of heating oil. Anything less than 500 litres is not cost effective, some companies will, but they charge a premium rate for the service.

Removerr Oil Tank Removal Service: Call 0743 469 1809

Environmental Health Agency Northern Ireland

Did you know that all companies / individuals who remove oil tanks must be registered waste carriers with the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency. You can check any companies waste license here registered waste carriers transporters.

Prior to the removal of an oil tank a pre-notification must be submitted to the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency. A pre-notification states that on a certain date an oil tank will be lifted from (your address) and transferred to a licensed waste management facility for disposal.

The operator has 24 hours before the pre-notification expires, failing to apply for a pre-notification is breaking the law and subject to a fine and criminal proceedings. For more information on pre-notifications and related fees contact hazwaste@daera-ni.gov.uk.

How Much Does Oil Tank Removal Cost

There is good news if your looking for a trusted company to remove your old tank without costing the earth. We charge £150 for the removal of domestic oil tanks across Northern Ireland. Before contacting us, please read the guidelines below.

1) Oil tanks must be disconnected from boiler and empty of heating oil. Please note that when the boiler stops working does not mean the oil tank is empty. There will be 20 – 100 litres of heating oil left in the bottom depending on the size and shape of the oil tank.

2) Please inform us when placing an order if there are any obstructions that may hinder our efforts to remove your oil tank.

3) Prior to collection invoices must be paid before a collection order is raised.

4) We require the following information to book an oil tank removal, the address of the tank is to be collected from. Contact name and number and an email to send the invoice to.

For a fast efficient oil tank removal service call Removerr on 0743 469 1809 or email inquiries@removerr.co.uk.

Where Can I Dispose Of An Oil Tank?

Up until new legislation was passed deeming oil tanks and their contents as hazardous waste. Some local council recycling centres used to take old oil tanks as long as they were empty of heating oil and cut in half. This unfortunately is not the case anymore for most recycling centres within Northern Ireland.

The new legislation implemented by the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency, has in my opinion caused more of a problem, in relation to the disposal of domestic oil tanks.

To recap, all oil tanks have to be disposed of at a licensed waste management facility. A consignment note with a pre-notification must be submitted to the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency. Any company or individual removing oil tanks must hold a valid waste carriers license.

What If My Oil Tank Still Contains Oil?

As I mentioned earlier all tanks must empty of heating oil before removal. Our team will refuse to remove any oil tanks that have heating oil left in the bottom of the tank. There is also an additional call back charge to revisit your property to remove the tank once it has been emptied.

Small amounts of heating oil 20 – 100 litres are difficult to dispose off. Large companies do not want to handle such small amounts of oil and will decline any inquiries to do so.

Disposing of Heating Oil

How then do you remove the small amount of oil left in the bottom of my tank before removal. There are several options available for domestic householders.

1) If your converting from oil to gas ensure that your plumber drains your tank fully before you sign off on the job. They are obligated to do so according to the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency.

2) Elevate the tank at one end and drain the remaining oil into 20 litre drums using the outlet valve tap located at the bottom of the tank.

3) Cut the tank in half using a reciprocating saw, then pale the remaining oil out of the tank and pour into 20 litre drums through a fuel funnel.

Heating Oil Removal Service Northern Ireland

If for any reason you feel uncomfortable removing heating oil using any of the options above. We do offer a service where we can remove the heating from the tank prior to removal.

Please note, although we can remove the heating oil from the tank and place the oil into 20 litre drums. We cannot remove the oil from your premises. It’s not a perfect solution, but it does allow for the safe disposal of your oil tank.

Heating oil once in drums could be donated to neighbors, friends or family members. I’m not remoedcmnding you do this, but I have heard of people advertising heating oil on facebook for free. I’m not sure of the legal implications on doing so, but a domestic customer is far less likely to be fined than a company.

I hope this article shed some light on how much does oil tank removal cost in Northern Ireland. If you have any questions or would like to book our oil tank removal service call Removerr on 0743 469 1809 or email inquiries@removerr.co.uk.