What size of oil tank should you install in your home?

March 30, 2021
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If you are moving into a home with an oil tank that may need to be replaced, then you need to understand what size of oil tanks are available, and how to best decide which size is the most suitable for you.

The size of your tank will help determine how much oil you can refill it with and will therefore impact how often you need to fill your tank, and how much each refill costs.

So, it’s important that you understand what options are available, and what factors will influence the tank that’s best for you.

This blog will help you understand everything you need to know about the capacity of your oil tank.

Related content: How often does an oil tank need refilled? (and what factors will affect this)

What size of domestic oil tanks are available?

Domestic oil tanks come in a range of sizes and materials, to suit your household needs.

They usually come around 500 litres up to 10,000 litres in capacity. But we can’t say there is really a standard size, as it very much depends on your personal factors, which you will need to consider before installing or replacing.

If you have an existing tank, then you might just want to replace it with the same size that you currently have. However, you might find that you have room for a larger tank, or that you are able to move it to a location with more room if necessary.

If you have the space, and ability to install a larger tank, then it might be a good idea. It is often possible to take advantage of economies of scale if you order a larger volume of oil, and having a larger tank allows you to do this.

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How do you decide what size of domestic oil tank you install in your home?

What oil tank that you install will depend on your personal circumstances. There are a few things that you should consider when installing or replacing your oil tank:

  1. How many rooms do you have in your home?
  2. How many people live in your home?
  3. How much space do you have for a storage tank?

Let’s dig into these a little more…

1. How many rooms do you have in your home?

How many rooms you have will usually impact the capacity of the oil tank that you need to install.

As a rule of thumb, it’s recommended that you have a tank capacity of around 500litres, per bedroom in your home at minimum. As mentioned, there are benefits to installing a bigger tank than this if you have the room.

This is also the minimum volume of oil that many suppliers will deliver at one time.

2. How many people are living in your home?

The number of people living in your home will likely be linked to the number of bedrooms that you have, so the above rule of thumb will probably still apply.

However, the more people you have, the quicker you will go through oil, and the larger capacity tank you should install. Again, going for the biggest tank that you have room for.

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3. How much space do you have for a storage tank?

In some cases, the size of your tank will be tightly dictated by the space that you have available. Most oil tanks that we see are installed outside, as it tends to be a safer option.

If you are replacing an existing tank, then you will easily be able to calculate how much room you have. However, if you are thinking of moving location, then there are a couple of considerations you need to consider:

Your number one priority is ensuring your tank is stored away from a fire or a heat source. They should also be:

  • 1.8 metres away from non-fire rated eaves of a building or non-fire rated buildings such as garden sheds.
  • 1.8 metres away from openings such as doors or windows in a fire rated building such as a brick-based house or garage.
  • 760 millimetres away from any non-fire rated boundaries such as a wooden fence. (Non-fire rated means materials or items that haven’t been tested or proven to reduce or inhibit fire spread.)
  • 600 millimetres from any foliage.

If you have identified a space, the other things you should consider are:

  • How easy it will be to access for a delivery?
  • How easy it will be to access for maintenance?
  • Is it sheltered from weather?
  • Is the base level, and suitable to hold the weight of a full oil tank?

Assuming all these bases are covered, then you can determine how much space is available in a suitable location, and see how big a tank you are able to install

Related content: What is the best place for an oil tank? 5 key considerations.

In summary: What size of tank should you install?

The size of your oil tank may be dictated by the current size and location of your current tank.

You need to make sure that the tank you install is sufficiently big for your usage, however we would recommend going bigger if possible, to take advantage of economies of scale on oil costs.

Ultimately, the larger your oil tank, the longer you will be able to go without having to refill – which is great not only for that never-ending to-do list but helps to ensure that an emergency shortage is less likely to occur.

If you are looking at installing a new or replacement oil tank and you would like some guidance, then please get in touch with our team and we’ll be happy to help.

Related content:

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