When a home heating oil tank needs replacing due to damage or simply because it is showing signs of age, there are are a few important points to consider before you make that investment. At Enviroleak, our years of experience in replacing leaking and compromised oil tanks has resulted in a wealth of knowledge on the subject and this is our short guide to shopping for a new heating oil tank.

Fabricated Steel or Plastic (MDPE Medium Density Polyethylene)

Heating oil tanks are made from either fabricated steel, or plastic.  The choice of which material you choose to instal for depends entirely on usage, whether domestic or commercial and whether the tank will be exposed to dangers, such as extreme weather, falling objects etc. Most domestic households choose the polyethylene tank, purely for economy and convenience and heed the advice of the experts on where to place the tank.  

Single Skin, Double skin and Bunded Tanks

A tank can be single skinned or double skinned, which is fairly self-explanatory.    In certain cases, a bund, or surround may also be needed to ensure that the tank is well protected in the event of a leak.  Unlike Bunded and double skinned oil tanks, Single skin tanks offer no form of secondary containment and in the event of a bulging, damage and a leak, an environmental pollution incident may result.   If you are purchasing a tank for a commercial setting you may be legally required to use a double skinned and ‘Bunded ‘tank.  Seek advice from the retailer or an expert such as ourselves, if you are unsure of the best option for you.

Local Environment

If you are purchasing or replacing a tank that will be situated within 10 metres of a stream, lake river or canal, or an open drain or manhole, you will need to take extra precautions when buying a tank. Again, you will need a double skinned bunded tank and you are legally required to ensure that leaks will be avoided at all costs.  If a leak occurs, it may need to be reported to the EPA.  Prevention is the best option, and the choice of tank is vital in this.  If you are within 50 meters of agricultural land or a freshwater spring or well and if the site has any other specific risks or hazards.   At Enviroleak, we can advise on the needs of any particular site in order to prevent costly leaks and clean-ups, and to ensure that the oil is kept safe and sound in its new tank.


Running out of heating oil is more than just an inconvenience, it is detrimental to your boiler and the heating system itself as dirt and sludge may be sucked into the system.  Choose a tank with a fuel electronic gauge point. If your tank does not have one, invest in one.  A gauge will let you know when the oil needs to be re-filled and also alert you if there has been a leak or theft.

Avoiding Theft

Heating oil is expensive. Most kerosene tanks now come with locks at the inspection point of the tank.  If you don’t have one, it is worth investing and protecting this pricey commodity.

It is probably best not to be tempted by second-hand tanks that will have no warranty and may have hidden damage that will cause you grief in the days ahead.   Buy your new tank from a reputable company and check that it is covered by your home or commercial insurance policy.

In the event of a leak, or a suspected leak from your heating oil tank, just pick up the phone and contact Enviroleak and our dedicated skilled staff will talk you through the next steps in stopping the leak, minimising the damage right through to the clean up and the replacement of that tank. Bear in mind that installation is an important aspect of tank replacement. Our team of engineers are experienced, trained and fully insured for domestic and commercial installation work.