If you are planning to install an oil tank on your property in Northern Ireland, it is important to familiarise yourself with the regulations set out by OFTEC. These regulations cover the location of the tank as well as the size and construction of the oil tank base. In this article, we will discuss the regulations for oil tank bases in Northern Ireland.
OFTEC Legal Requirements and Compliance
In the UK, it is important to follow legal requirements and regulations when installing oil tanks and their bases. These measures are designed to protect the environment and prevent pollution, as well as minimise the risks of oil spills, flood damage, and fire. The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) is a trade association that represents manufacturers of heating equipment that use liquid fuel. OFTEC is responsible for establishing the standards for the installation and maintenance of solid fuel heating systems, including the oil tank bases, throughout the UK.
Oil Tank Base Installation
When constructing an oil tank base, it is important to take into account the weight of the tank when it is filled with oil. Kerosene weighs around 0.79kg per litre. If you intend to install a 1000 litre bunded tank which weighs 130kg when empty, the overall weight when it is full will be 920kg.
Oil tank bases are commonly made of either a solid concrete slab or the tank base maybe elevated with breeze blocks, lintels, and flags, depending on the location of the boiler. When installing an oil tank base, it is important to ensure that the bottom of the oil tank outlet is positioned higher than the boiler inlet. This allows for the natural flow of fuel to the boiler through gravity.
However, if the oil tank outlet is lower than the boiler inlet, it can create problems such as the accumulation of air and gas bubbles in the fuel line. To resolve this issue, a TigerLoop may be required. A TigerLoop is a device that removes air and gas bubbles from the fuel line, ensuring a smooth flow of oil to the boiler.
Oil Tank Base Regulations
Before installing an oil tank base, it is important to determine the size of the oil tank that will be installed. The dimensions of the tank will determine the size of the base. According to OFTEC regulations, the oil tank base should be 300mm larger than the circumference of the tank. Regardless of the shape of the oil tank, the base should be 300mm larger on all sides.
Constructing an Oil Tank Base
After identifying and marking the position for your oil tank base, the next step is to dig out the ground to create a level surface and allow for hardcore materials. When constructing an oil tank base using poured concrete, it is recommended to have a minimum depth of 100mm. Additionally, you should include another 50mm of compacted hardcore, making the total thickness 150mm. If the ground where you’re laying the concrete base has poor drainage, it’s advisable to add extra hardcore to compensate for the inadequate drainage.
To ensure the wet poured concrete stays in place until it sets, you will need to create a sturdy formwork using 4 x 2-inch timbers. This formwork must be constructed on top of the compacted hardcore and securely held in place by driving stakes into the ground. It is important to check that the formwork is perfectly level and that the measurements comply with OFTEC regulations.
To increase the durability and minimise the likelihood of cracks in a large concrete slab, it is advisable to incorporate steel reinforcement. This can be done by using either wire mesh or rebar.
Regulations for Oil Tank Location
When replacing or installing a new oil tank, it is often necessary to relocate the tank and its base, especially in older properties. You might be interested in an earlier article, best oil tank location that covers the latest OFTEC regulations regarding the safe storage of liquid fuel on your property.
It is important to note that failing to comply with the new regulations may invalidate your home insurance, in the event of a claim.
Oil Tank Services in Northern Ireland
If you require a new oil tank base, oil tank replacement or oil tank removal, contact Andrew on 07434 691 809. Our technicians are OFTEC registered and can self certify their work which complies with building regulations. If you are claiming a grant as part of the affordable warmth scheme in Northern Ireland, please be aware that all work involving the installation or replacement of oil tank bases, oil tanks and boilers needs to be certified and inspected by building control before payment is released.