Don’t cut corners when replacing your oil tank, households urged
OFTEC is urging households to avoid cutting corners if they need to buy a replacement oil tank this autumn.
The warning comes amid reports of consumers purchasing unsafe second-hand oil tanks or attempting risky ‘DIY’ oil tank installation projects, as many look to reduce costs in the midst of the current cost of living crisis.
OFTEC has raised concerns that, by purchasing a secondhand tank, households are unknowingly putting themselves at risk of costly repairs in the future.
Malcolm Farrow from OFTEC said: “New oil tanks are built to rigorous standards and, if installed correctly, will give many years of reliable service. Whilst a cheap deal may be tempting upon first glance, it is impossible to guarantee the condition or history of a second-hand oil tank, which brings with it added risks and potential costs which you could be liable for.
A well installed and maintained oil tank is very dependable and will have an expected working life of around 20 years. In a second-hand tank, signs of ageing may be difficult to spot with the naked eye, particularly if the tank is empty, but could contribute to fuel leaks or eventual tank failure. The loss of fuel and clean up could be costly for the homeowner, so second hand tanks are best avoided.”
OFTEC also strongly advises against any DIY oil tank projects and urges households to contact a professional instead.
Malcolm said: “Household budgets are understandably tight in the current cost of living crisis but when it comes to installing a new oil tank, doing it yourself is not only dangerous, but it can also have real practical implications. Fuel distributors may highlight issues with your tank and may refuse to deliver if they have concerns about your oil tank’s condition.”
Under Regional Building Regulations, oil tanks must be installed by a qualified professional to minimise the risk of pollution from potential fuel spills, and of a fire from a nearby source spreading to a tank.
Malcolm added: “If you do need to purchase a new oil tank, it must be installed by a competent person who can ensure it is safe, secure and complies with all up-to-date regulations. OFTEC registered heating technicians, for example, are trained and assessed to industry recognised standards and can support households with all aspects of oil tank installation and maintenance.”
More information about replacing your home’s oil tank can be found here. You can find a local registered heating technician near you at https://www.oftec.org/find-technician
Domestic oil tanks should be bunded for added protection
An OFTEC registered technician inspects a customer’s domestic oil tank