Choosing A Fuel Tank, Part 1
Many of our customers call and ask for advice on which oil-tank is best for them, and I think this is worth sharing. There a few important things to remember when choosing a fuel tank, the first one being that they can only be used for Kerosene, which may seem obvious to some, but not all, and so fuel type is our first point to consider.
As I said, it is not possible to store pressurised fuels such as LPG in an oil tank. Oil tanks are only really suitable for storing oil. You can sometimes use an oil tank to store rainwater, but for environmental reasons you must only store rainwater in a tank that has never been used to store oil. The partly corrugated side walls of an oil tank allow most modern ones to be made out of plastic, ensuring that it will never corrode or degrade (within it's rated opperational lifetime). The side walls are designed to withstand the weight of the fuel within pushing outward, without distoring the shape of the tank. Some tanks are stronger than others, often with extra strength added by a 'double layer' of sidewall. This brings us on to our second point...
Single Skinned or Bunded?
A bunded oil tank is constructed almost like a tank within a tank, often with the internal wall being corrugated so that it makes relatively little contact with the outside wall. This both adds structure (and with it strength) and gives your tank more protection from gardening accidents. The extra safety added by a bunded tank is considerable, with bunded versions often having an equivalent wall thickness of several inches in key areas and a strength which is many times greater than their single skinned versions. So, if you have concerns about collisions with cars or mowers, especially in cold winter months, then a bunded tank may suit you better. What about the size?
A typical British household might use around 2000-3000 litres of heating oil in a year. If you use heating oil to fuel appliances such as an AGA you might find this quantity to be higher. If you have space limitations, then that sets your tank size for you. If you don't have any space limitations it then becomes fairly easy to determin the size of the tank you might need, simply by looking at consumption versus refill. If you have little desire to refill your tank frequently it makes sense to install a fairly large tank, or if you have a fuel budget in mind it is best to balance the size of the tank with how often you might need to have it refilled. A 650 litre tank might need to be refilled 4 times in a year, and with indistry-wide minimum order levels of 500 litres at best you'd only have a 150 litre margin of error between placing your refill order and running out... this can be a risk in remote areas.
Hopefully, this gives you a steer on things to consider when buying or replacing an oil-tank. Our full range is available here, and you can ask a question or get more advice here.