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Heating Oil Tank – Top Tips

Your Tank and heating oil are both valuable assets and should be looked after properly. Proper maintenance can potentially add years to the life of a plastic bunded tank and protect the oil inside from contamination or spillage.

We have compiled some advice on how to look after your tank which will hopefully save you both time and money.

OFTEC Inspection

An OFTEC inspection for your tank is similar to an MOT for your vehicle.  You should arrange your tank to be professionally inspected every year by an OFTEC qualified heating engineer to ensure it is safe to use. Oil tanks have a life expectancy of around 20 years but can last much longer depending on how well it is maintained. On the other end of the spectrum, a poorly maintained tank may last as little as 5 years.

An OFTEC trained heating engineer will review the condition of your tank and  provide independent advice on when you should replace it. They will also provide tips on how it should be maintained to extend its life cycle and answer any questions you may have giving you completepeace of mind.


Visual Inspection

A heating oil tank which large crack on the top

In the same way a Car can become unsafe between MOT inspections, your tank can become unsafe inbetween OFTEC inspections. We would recommend that you check your tank at least once a month and certainly before every delivery.  Our drivers will always carry out a visual inspection before delivery but give yourself some peace of mind by doing some basic checks:

  • Cracks – Check for any small cracks on your heating oil tanks
  • Overgrowth/Obstacles – Remove any obstacles or overgrowth from your tank as this may hide the condition
  • Stretch Marks – Look for any large or small stretch marks on the tank which could be the first signs of a developing crack
  • Split – Any splits/bursts on the tank even on the outer-bund should be dealt with urgently
  • Bulges – Check for any bulges on the tank and deal with them immediately
  • Corrosion – Check all pipework for rust or corrosion
  • Seals – Check all seals for oil leakage as this could damage the environment and cost money
  • Tank Subsidence – Check around the base for any subsidence as this could cause damage to your tank
  • Discolouration – If the tank is bleached white or faded, it may be reaching the end of its life.
  • Smell – Kerosene heating oil has a very strong smell, if you can smell this suddenly you may have a tank leak.
  • Dampness/Stains – Check the ground beneath your tank for any dampness or stains as this would suggest a leaking tank


A cracked tank could lead to water ingress or an oil spill which could be extremely catastrophic to the environment and cost you a lot of time and money.

If you are worried or have any questions at all about the condition of your tank, we will be more than happy to provide advice and share our expertise. Call our tank advice line on 01698 537 152


Fuel Additives

Heating Oil Additives are designed to increase the efficiency of your oil and can help prolong the lifespan of your heating oil tank. The components of a heating oil system over time can become clogged with residue and decrease the performance and efficiency of the system overall.

Additives are mixed with the heating oil to not only lower emissions and preserve the oil for a longer shelf life, but also lubricate your heating oil system to reduce carbon and residue build up which improves the efficiency of the system and ensures more complete combustion.

We highly recommend using fuel additives which can be purchased at a low cost by asking for Premium Kerosene on your next order for the benefits mentioned. Considering the cost of heating oil tanks and system components, it is likely this will be a worthy investment


These are just some of the steps you should take to maintain a healthy heating oil tank and system but there is much more than can be done. 

Feel free to contact our tank advice line on 01698 537 152 where you will receive FREE, friendly advice from tank experts. 

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