How Do You Remove Heating Oil From A Tank

How Do You Remove Heating Oil From A Tank

Are you changing from oil to gas or replacing your old oil tank with a new one? If the answer is Yes, you may need to either remove or transfer your existing heating oil, (kerosene). How do you remove heating oil from a tank?

The main issue with replacing or disposing of a plastic domestic oil tank is the oil. What do I do with the heating oil left in the tank and how do I pump the oil out of the tank? I explain in more detail both scenarios below.

Heating Oil Kerosene

There are several options available for heating oil that is left in your tank, 1) Donate the oil to a neighbour, family member or friend who i’m sure would be very grateful. 2) Transfer the heating oil to your new tank 3) Dispose of the oil that is left.

Before you donate or transfer your heating oil, do you know how long the heating oil has been sitting in the tank. Kerosene has an expiration date, 18 months to 2 years before it naturally degrades.

Many new homeowners are left to deal with oil tanks full of heating oil, abandoned by the previous owners after a gas conversion. Please remember that heating oil is classed as a hazardous waste and poses a risk to human health if not disposed off correctly.

Heating oil that is contaminated with bacteria, fungus or water must be disposed off and not transferred.

Related: Can You Remove Your Own Oil Tank

How Do You Remove Heating Oil From A Tank

To remove heating oil from your oil tank, you will need a fuel transfer pump and drums suitable for heating oil. You can purchase fuel transfer pumps online or check with your local hire store. Most fuel transfer pumps are portable and do not need an electric power supply. Instead you can attach them to a car or leisure battery to power the pump.

How Do You Remove Heating Oil From A Tank

12v Fuel transfer pump & 25 litre drums

How To Siphon Oil From a Tank

Using a fuel transfer pump is relatively simple. At one end is a filter that ensures no debris is transferred through the pump. On the other end is a trigger, similar to the type found at your local petrol station.

To start transferring heating oil, place the filter end into your oil tank until it reaches the bottom of the tank. Next place the trigger, either into a drum or your new oil tank. Connect the alligator clips to your battery, red goes to plus and black to minus.

Press the button on the pump to start the transfer of oil. A good quality fuel transfer pump can move up to 40 litres of heating oil per min.  If you transfer the oil into drums be careful as a 25 litre drum will fill up quickly. Be ready to depress the trigger and turn the pump off before moving the trigger to the next drum. Turn the pump back on and press the trigger to transfer the oil into the next drum.

At some point during the siphoning of oil, the pump will slow down as the tank empties. When the filter is not fully submerged in oil, the transfer of heating oil will slow considerably. Stop the pump and elevate the far end of the tank so that the remaining oil runs down towards the filter.

How To Pump Oil Out Of A Tank

Elevated domestic plastic oil tank

Let the heating oil settle for 5 mins after elevating one end of the tank. This will allow any dirt and debris to settle at the bottom before starting the pump to drain the remaining heating oil.

Related: Oil Tank Removal Northern Ireland

How To Transfer Home Heating Oil From One Tank To Another

You have probably figured this out already while reading this article. Unless both your old oil tank and new tank are relatively close together, you will need to extend the hose on your fuel transfer pump.

Alternatively you will have to perform a double transfer. Siphon the heating oil out of your old tank into drums, then move the drums next to the new tank and start the transfer of oil from drums into the new tank. Doable yes, just time consuming and a bit of a pain.

Heating Oil Transfer Belfast, Northern Ireland

120 litres of heating oil

The image above is an example of heating oil that we transferred from an old oil tank into drums. Notice the discoloration and inconsistency in colour from one drum to the next. Although a fuel transfer pump does come with a filter, it will only remove large debris that would cause damage to the pump. Dirt and water sit at the bottom of your oil tank, when siphoning an oil tank all the contents are transferred into your new tank or drums.

Heating Oil Transfer Cost

If you consider the initial investment for the fuel transfer pump which can be anywhere between £150 to £300. Then you have the expense of drums £5 – £8 per 20 litres. If your only going to be transferring or draining your oil tank on the one occasion, it will end up costing a considerable amount of money.

Plus take into account your time, learning curve and general hassle of the whole process. Please note that if you wish to move heating oil from one property to another, the official route is to submit a prenotification informing the NIEA of your plans to move hazardous waste.

Oil Tank Draining Service

Are you replacing or disposing of an old oil tank? All oil tanks must be empty prior to moving, if you reside in Northern Ireland, give us a call on 0743 469 1809. We drain and remove oil tanks daily, If your claiming a grant under the affordable warmth scheme. We can provide you with the correct paperwork required to release payment. Read what others are saying about Removerr.