Oil Storage Tank Service

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Alemco are one of the leading oil storage tank installers in the South, and as such, offer a comprehensive oil storage tank service. There are many types of tank on offer, which you will find below, and Alemco are experienced with all of them. Below you will also find out some very useful information on tank maintenance and security, which is an important aspect of owning an oil tank.

We also offer a FAQ section which should cover the many queries often asked by owners and prospective owners of oil storage tanks.

Tank TypesTank MaintenanceTank Security

Standard Metal Tank

For customers who still prefer metal to plastic tanks we can offer a design and build facility to cater for most requirements. Finished in any colour of your choice, so long as it is green.

Bespoke Metal Tank

This is particularly useful if the footprint for the tank is limited to a certain length, width or height and cannot accommodate the range of standard plastic tanks. The bespoked bunded metal tank can basically take on any shape and size required.

Commercial Plastic Bunded Tank

Standard 2500 litre bunded plastic tank. Raised on its own purpose built platform. Used on a local commercial farm. As a commercial venture the tank has to be bunded. With fire break walls commensurate with local by laws. Control Of Pollution (oil storage) (England) Regulations 2001 dictate that all commercially installed oil storage facilities over 200 litres should have a secondary containment area i.e a bund and have fire prevention methods installed.

Domestic Plastic Bunded Slimline Tank

Plastic slim line 1000 litre bunded plastic tank. Domestic use, on its own low reinforced level base. Bunded, because of water regulations, concerning drainage. This standard domestic bunded fuel oil storage tank meets with all current regulations and legislations for domestic storage. With all the prevailing requirements, now satisfied.

Domestic Plastic Single Skin Tank

Standard 2500 litre single skin plastic tank. Domestic use, on its own low reinforced level base. As all criteria at present are fulfilled, non bunded selected Non bunded, therefore second containment not required. If you do not have a legal or prevailing need for a bunded tank, consideration should be given to the future. Legislation may change that may make it standard practice to install bunded tanks regardless of individual conditions.

Regulations imposed on oil tank installations are for your benefit. An oil leak is a very costly thing to clean up. Large fines have also been imposed in the past. The main causes of most incidents are badly positioned tanks or they have been put on badly prepared bases and never maintained since installation. An oil tank should be inspected annually then any potential problems can be remedied before they become a major incident.

Oil storage tanks and supply pipes should also be checked during the service as condensation can form within the oil tank, when the oil level is low. The presence of water in an oil tank can cause equipment failure as well as reduce boiler efficiency. Filter elements will need to be cleaned and / or replaced.

Alemco have promoted tank maintenance for many years and we have put together a schedule of works that will allow you peace of mind especially in those winter months when a boiler or AGA breakdown could cause you to be without heat or cooking facilities for some days. The necessary works are carried out on a annual basis and one of the most important functions is to extract any water (condensation) that has built up in the tank and remove this. Condensation will build up over a few years and if left will rust out a metal tank and cause boilers to fail. All tanks, especially plastic, have this problem due to temperature variation and the risk is increased by not having the tank full of oil for the majority of the year.

Safe, Clean Storage

Depending on the installation, you may need a bunded tank. For example, all domestic installations over 2,500 litres in England should have a bunded tank, and all commercial installations above 200 litres should be bunded too. Your OFTEC Registered Technician will be able to advise.

Building Regulations

The Building Regulations for Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland also cover the installation of oil storage tanks. There are requirements for:
  • Correct positioning of tanks with regard to protection from fire
  • Use of bunded tanks in locations where severe environmental damage could be caused by any spillage
  • Provision of a properly designed base to support the tank
  • Correct installation of the pipework between the tank and the appliance
  • Provision of a properly located fire cut off system in the oil supply line
Here are some practical and simple tips on how to secure your heating oil tank. Oil tank security is an issue that has never been higher on the agenda.
  • Firstly, would you leave £1,500 in public view? Of course, you wouldn’t
  • Yet a typical 2,500 litre domestic oil tank can contain up to £1,500 worth of oil
  • Recognising the value of fuel inside a tank is the first step to securing it
  • Oil tanks need to be accessible, so they can be easily filled. But that doesn’t mean they should be positioned in full public view. Instead, position your oil tank somewhere convenient, yet concealed from nearby pavements and roadways
  • Together with fences, trees and plants positioned at the correct distance from your oil tank can be useful in shielding it from prying eyes. But avoid positioning trellises or plants too close to an oil tank – there are legally enforceable separation distances between oil tanks and adjacent structures to minimise fire risks
  • Your OFTEC engineer or local Building Control Officer can provide more advice in this regard
  • Your choice of tank is important. There are 2 types of plastic oil tanks – bunded and single skin
  • Old fashioned metal, single skin oil tanks can be fitted with as many locks as you wish. But whilst they may provide reassurance your tank is secure, the reality is they will deter only the most opportunist of thieves
  • By contrast, a bunded oil tank consists of a tank within a tank. Whilst bunded oil tanks are primarily designed to act as a failsafe in the event of a spill, they are also much more difficult to gain access to, than single skin oil tanks
  • Remember that locks fitted to your tank are only part of the solution. Put yourself in the position of a thief… how difficult would it be to gain access to your oil tank? That’s why it’s important to make sure that any gates on your property are locked and just as importantly, stay locked when not in use
  • Most thieves prefer to shun the limelight rather than bask in it. Modern CCTV systems are not just affordable and easy to use. But being wireless, they are also simple to install. Best of all, they can now be easily bought for under £100
  • Whilst we’re trying to shed some light on how to secure your oil tank… it’s also worth shedding some light directly on to your tank too! Motion activated security lighting is practical, affordable and easy to install. Just remember to make sure you adjust the position of the sensor, so it activates when someone approaches the tank
And finally, remember to monitor how much oil you actually use. There have been cases of householders looking rather silly, after it transpires their oil hasn’t been stolen at all. Instead, they’ve simply lost track of how much they’ve used and unexpectedly ran out. Remote, electronic oil tank contents gauges can help to make running out of oil a thing of the past… and can help avoid embarrassing conversations with your home insurance provider, not to mention the local POLICE.


As one of your leading fuel oil storage tank installers, we receive numerous enquiries about safe, secure and environmentally responsible fuel storage. To find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, please take a look below. If however, you have a question that hasn’t been covered, then please do not hesitate to contact us for further assistance.

What is a single skin tank?
A single skin oil tank consists of a single container in which fuel is stored. Single skin oil tanks are not suitable for the storage of fuel at commercial, industrial or institutional premises; or at domestic installations with an installed capacity of over 2,500 litres – unless installed within a suitably bunded area. For all other installations, an Oil Tank Risk Assessment must be undertaken by a competent person prior to installation and in accordance with the requirements of OFTEC Technical Instruction Book 3.

In anticipation of future possible regulations, serious consideration should be given to fitting bunded tank, even where a single skin tank may currently suffice.

What is a bunded tank?
A bunded tank simply consists of an ‘oil tank within a oil tank’. In the event of a spillage, surplus liquid will collect in the outer tank, thus averting a pollution incident. Bunded tanks are now required at commercial, industrial, institutional, commercial and most domestic premises.
How close to a boundary can I place an oil storage tank?
If the oil tank has a nominal capacity of less than 3,500 litres, it should not be placed any closer than 760mm to a boundary. This assumes that there are no flue outlets or buildings between the tank and the boundary. Where these distances cannot be achieved, the protection measures noted in Oftec Technical Instruction Book 3 and British Standard BS5410 must be provided by means of a 30 minute fire resistant wall which extends a minimum of 300mm above and beyond the ends of the oil tank.
How close to a flue outlet can I place an oil tank?
Oil tanks with a nominal capacity of less than 3,500 litres should not be placed within 1.8 metres of a flu outlet. Where these distances cannot be achieved, the protection measures noted in Oftec Technical Instruction Book 3 and British Standard BS5410 must be provided by means of a 30 minute fire resistant wall which extends a minimum of 300mm above and beyond the ends of the tank.
How close to a building can I place an oil tank?
Oil tanks with a nominal capacity not exceeding 3,500 litres should not be fitted any closer than 1.8 metres to a non fire rated (30 minutes minimum fire resistance) wall or eaves. Where these clearances cannot be achieved, the measures noted in British Standard BS5410 and OFTEC Technical Instruction Book 3 must be provided i.e. the provision of a 30 minutes (minimum) fire resistant wall which extends at least 300mm above and beyond the ends of the oil tank.

It will be necessary to protect exposed eaves forming part of a roof within 1.8 metres of the top of an oil tank to provide a minimum of 30 minutes fire resistance. Cladding can be applied to the eaves in order to prevent fire from spreading to the roof.

For oil tanks with a capacity of 3500 litre or greater, please contact your local Building Control Officer or Oftec.

Can I place an oil tank inside a domestic garage or building?
Internal oil storage tanks should never be installed in a habitable area and if installed internally, should always be contained within an enclosed chamber. Detailed requirements exist for internal oil storage installations. For more information contact your local Building Control Officer or Oftec.
What materials are plastic tanks manufactured from?
All oil tanks supplied by ALEMCO are manufactured from Medium Density Polyethylene (MDPE) – a material that displays excellent chemical and impact resistance properties, making it ideal for external fuel storage.
What are the base requirements for plastic tanks?
All oil tanks must be installed on a flat, level and fire resistant base capable of supporting the weight of the tank when fully laden. If concrete slabs are used they should be a minimum of 50mm thick. The base should extend at least 300mm beyond the widest points of the tank and fully support the base of the tank in its entirety. Piers are not suitable for this purpose and can cause irreparable damage to the tank.
Can I fit a sight gauge to a single skin oil tank?
Technically, sight gauges can still be fitted to a single skin oil tank – subject to prevailing statutory requirements. However, it should be noted that a sight gauge is a potential leak point and as an environmentally responsible supplier we do not supply them and do not recommend them. Preference should instead be demonstrated to fitting an electronic oil tank contents gauge which unlike a sight gauge, is positioned above the maximum level of fuel in the tank, thereby dramatically reducing the likelihood of an environmental pollution incident.
Can I fit a sight gauge to a bunded tank?
No. All bunded tanks should be fitted with an electronic type oil gauging system.
There is a two pin type socket fitted to my tank. What is this for?
This permits an LRC enabled delivery driver to plug in his overfill prevention equipment and is not for consumer use.
Are plastic tanks designed to protect from the damaging effects of sunlight?
Yes. Every tank supplied by Alemco is manufactured from a material which incorporated UV inhibitors. These prevent UV rays from permeating the structure of the tank, thus preventing fuel degradation.
Are plastic tanks fitted with sludge valves/cocks?
No. Today, no openings (other than the tank outlet) are permitted below the maximum level of fuel in the tank. This reduces the risk of accidental spillage. In the event that contaminants (e.g. water) need to be removed from the tank, they should be removed by an appropriately licensed contractor via the inspection aperture fitted to each tank.
I have discovered the presence of water in my oil. How to I remove this?
Please contact your local fuel distributor who will be able to provide advice on how best to remove it.
Are plastic tanks suitable for use with oil fired cookers?
Yes they are.
On warm days there is a slight smell of oil from my tank. Why?
This is perfectly normal and is simply the fuel venting through the weatherproof vent fitted to the oil tank.
What are the advantages of a Tiger Loop?
The Tiger Loop is a de-aeration device which removes air from the fuel prior to combustion. The result is a cleaner, more-efficient burn, with reduced emissions and enhanced cold weather performance.

Additionally, the Tiger Loop can permit the tank to be positioned lower than the burner and up to 30 metres away. Therefore when connected to a pressure jet burner, it is ideal for Top Outlet Bunded Tank installations and eliminates the need for an undesirable return line.

 Please note  that Tiger Loops are unsuitable for use with installations incorporating a vaporising burner.
Does a Tiger Loop require batteries or mains power?
No, it doesn’t require either.
How do I prime a Tiger Loop?
The Tiger Loop is self priming.
What liquids can Apollo and Watchman gauges actually be used to monitor?
Kerosene (C1/C2), Agricultural Fuel Oil (A2), Diesel (D) and Water (H20).