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Things to consider when relocating your home heating oil tank

Are you planning an extension to your property? If so, you might need to relocate your oil tank to make room. Or, if your tank is old and needs replaced, you might consider moving it to a different location in the garden which suits you better. There’s more to consider however than just where would be easiest for you, but you might not know what these other factors are, which is why we’ve written his blog post to help you. Here are the top things to consider when relocating your home heating oil tank in your garden.

Check the regulations

Because oil spillages are so damaging to the environment, even on a small domestic scale, there are regulations in place to limit the potential risks from relocating your oil tank on your property. You will need to contact a registered technician to carry out this assessment and check for potential fire and environmental hazards posed by the decision to relocate your home heating oil tank elsewhere in your garden. See the Environmental Protection Agency website for more information. It’s also a good idea to check your own house insurance cover and confirm if you are covered for oil spillages and tank damage.  

Best to do it empty

If you plan to relocate your tank, it makes sense to let the oil run down first so you can move an empty tank. This can pose additional problems for your boiler though as any sludge or dirt in the bottom of the tank can then be forced into your fuel pipes and cause blockages and breakdowns. The alternative is that you will need to get the remaining oil siphoned out of the tank and re-added when the tank is in its new position, but you will need a professional to help you with this due to the increased risk of accidental spillage.

Check the location is suitable

Obviously if your garden is small, it won’t make sense to move your tank much, but if you plan to move it a good distance away from where it is at present, you’ll need to consider if the new location is close to a water source, if the tank spillage would run into an open drain, if the ground under the tank is level and stable, and if the oil is required to heat another building apart from your home (like a garage or workshop). Also, consider the location of your fuel lines and water pipes. There is likely to be some disruption to the rest of your garden while you complete this project.

Cost of relocation

Obviously, this is quite a large job and not for the faint-hearted, or ill-qualified, so in most cases you will require the professional services of an engineer to carry out initial risk checks and then safely remove and install your tank. Make sure you get a quote for this work before you start, and if it’s still too expensive a task to undertake at present, consider some alternatives. If the tank is simply a bit of an eyesore in its current location, add some colourful potted plants around it to detract from it (these can also work as deterrents for fuel thieves as they don’t like obstacles). Just make sure you don’t obstruct the oil tank in any way that could make it difficult to get a heating oil top up.