FAQs on Oil Storage Tanks

If you’re thinking of having an oil tank installed on your property, it makes sense that you’ll have a few questions that need answering. We are always happy to provide honest and impartial advice, so you can get in contact with us if there’s anything specific you would like to ask. Alternatively, read through our most frequently asked questions below:

What is a bunded oil tank?

To understand what is meant by a bunded oil tank, we to know what a bund is. A bund is a containment system that stops fuel from escaping the tank. With oil tanks it is essential that they are bunded in some way in order to prevent oil leaking into the environment. This means you can either construct a bund for the oil tank to sit in, or buy a bunded oil tank – a tank with two skins.

Bunded tanks are effectively a tank within a tank that have the capacity to hold the oil if the first skin were to split or break. If you are buying a single skin tank you would need to construct your own bund, this is why bunded tanks have become very popular.

What are the benefits of oil storage tanks?

Having your own oil storage tanks means that you are not dependent on the national supply and are not at the mercy of their pricing structures. This is another step along the road to self-sufficiency. It also gives you the option to take advantage of price fluctuations. You can buy oil in bulk when prices are low and not have to spend when they are high.

Which material is best for oil tanks?

Oil storage tanks are available in either plastic or steel. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages and it may come down to your specific needs as to which might be best for you. Steel tanks are becoming the most popular thanks to their durability, longevity and value for money. They tend to be more secure and resistance to wear and damage, and need replacing less regularly.

Are there any restrictions on where I can place my tank?

Yes, there are restrictions that you need to be aware of. You oil tank needs to be situated no less than 1.8 metres away from a building, at least 0.76 metres away from non-fire resistant boundaries (for example, a wooden fence) and at least 0.6 metres away from any other screening than does not form a boundary (for example, plants and trees).

Are oil tanks suitable for residential properties?

Yes, definitely. There is something of a misconception that oil tanks are only used either in industrial or agricultural settings. But oil tanks are becoming more common at private residences too. Buying a domestic oil tank can provide your home with oil, and we are seeing many properties choosing this option.

Does an oil tank require maintenance and servicing?

It is best practice to have your oil tank properly maintained with regular servicing and basic maintenance. Getting your tank serviced regularly is inexpensive compared to the cost of having to repair or replace an oil tank, so it’s worth investing in proper maintenance.

How long do oil tanks last before they need replacing?

With good maintenance, oil tanks will last many years before they need to be replaced. It’s generally the case that steel oil tanks last longer than plastic oil tanks. We offer DESO plastic tanks that come with a 2 year warranty, while our own custom steel tanks come with a 5 year warranty.

Do I need to worry about my oil tank over the summer?

Yes, definitely. It may be the last thing you want to think about when you’re away on holiday, but the heat and humidity of the summer months can seriously effect oil tanks. This is because the warmer air can cause condensation and moist air to build up, leading to rust and corrosion. In turn, this corrosion can eventually lead to leaks and other issues, which could be expensive to sort out when you get back from your holidays.

Are you allowed to install oil tanks inside?

Yes, so long as your tank adheres to British Standards. These state that domestic oil storage tanks with a capacity of up to 3,500 litres may be installed within a building as long as the tank features a secondary containment (i.e. an integrally bunded oil tank). The tank also must be contained with a one-hour fire-resistant chamber and located on the lowest possible floor. There should similarly be nothing except the tank in the chamber, with adequate ventilation available to the external environment.

How can I protect my oil tank from theft?

Sadly, oil theft is becoming a rising issue but fortunately there are many things you can do to protect against it. According to OFTEC guidelines, the first things you should do is to regularly check your fuel levels, lock your tank consistently and install movement sensor security lighting around the tank. To be extra secure, you could even fit an alarm system to the tank, alerting you in case the oil level suddenly drops.

Where you place your oil tank can also make a big difference – it should be easily visible from your home. If it’s located behind gates, make sure these are locked at night and when you are not in the house. Many oil tank owners also tend to join neighbourhood watch schemes to keep an eye out for any potential thieves. In cases where you do notice anything suspicious, make sure to contact the local police and ensure that your home contents insurance covers oil theft.

Why is the oil tank storage support base so important?

Whether your oil tank is steel or plastic, the support base is vital to ensure they stay safe and protect the environment. If an oil tank is inadequately supported, this can cause the tank itself to weaken, leading to the eventual escape of stored fuel.

In order to comply with British Standards, the base material should be one of the following materials laid on a hardcore base: concrete (at least 10cm thick), paving stones (at least 5cm thick) or stonework (at least 5cm thick). The overall base should also be larger than the storage tanks itself, with a minimum of 30cm around all of its sides.

Why should I choose SG Tanks for my oil storage tank needs?


As OFTEC registered engineers, you can be certain that our installations and tank replacements are carried out to the highest standards, meeting all of the UK’s strict safety regulations and government guidelines. We supply and install oil storage tanks on domestic, commercial, industrial and agricultural properties all along the South Coast of England, and have a track record for delivering excellent customer service.

Be sure to check out our recent customer testimonials on Checkatrade here, or find out more about our team by clicking here.

Get in touch

For expert advice and information about SG Tanks’ oil tanks installation service, oil tank removal service and new oil tank solutions, our friendly, experienced team is here to help. Simply call 01903 856403 or fill in the form on our Contact Us page and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.

We look forward to hearing from you.

9.9
Read all reviews