Oil Tank Replacement: Heating Oil Tank Installation Guide

oil replacement

Heating oil storage tanks have been around for decades, and when properly installed and maintained, they can provide years of safe fuel storage. If you live away from the electrical grid or you want a backup heating system, you should install the oil tank in your home.

To avoid spills and ensure you are on the right side of the law, you have to follow the right oil tank installation tips. To help you out, here are a heating oil tank installation guide to follow:

Don’t use a refurbished oil tank.

Although, a refurbished tank is cheap, you shouldn’t use it. Remember, any oil tank replacement was made for a reason. Either the tank was too old, or it could have been leaking. Re-using a tank is simply inviting problems, so don’t do it.

Get a brand new tank you are sure will stand the test of time. While it will be much more expensive, it will be worth it.

Trained installers should do the installations.

Regardless of the type of oil tank you are installing, ensure trained and experienced installers do the work.

Avoid installing the tank by yourself at all costs. This is because DIY installation has been shown to lead to increased chances of damage and high cleanup costs when spills happen.

DIY installations are also not covered by the warranty, leaving all the burden on your shoulders in the event of an accident.

Install the tank at a safe place, away from fire

It’s rare a new, properly installed tank will cause fire, but it’s always good to be safe than sorry. To be safe, ensure the oil tank is:

  • 1.8 meters away from non-fire rated eaves of the building and non-fire rated buildings such as garden sheds.
  • 750 millimeters away from any non-fire-rated boundaries such as a wooden fence.
  • 1.8 meters away from openings such as doors and windows in a fire-rated building such as a garage or brick-based house.
  • 600 millimeters from any foliage

If you wonder what a non-fire-rated means, it’s any material or item that hasn’t been tested or proven to reduce or inhibit the spread of fire.

If the area you are looking to install the heating oil tank doesn’t allow you to secure the tank under the recommended distances, place a protective barrier around the tank that will last for at least 30 minutes in the event of a fire.

Make it easy for deliveries.

Most homes require at least two oil deliveries a year based on their oil usage and oil tank capacity. Although most delivery companies will try to work with your location, do your part and make their work easy during installation.

Some homeowners install the tank inside the house, such that they have to be at home for the company to access the tank. Don’t do this.  Install the tank in an easily accessible area by the fuel delivery company, whether you are at home or not.

Have a strong foundation

If installing an above ground tank, ensure it has a strong foundation. The tank should be on a cement pad equal to or larger than the tank’s outside diameter. It also should be at least three inches thick.

The tank’s legs should be 12 inches high, made of steel, and should provide at least six inches of clearance between the top of the tank and pad.

If you live in snowy areas, you can put the tank on a pressure-treated wood platform on top of the pad to protect the tank from heavy snowfall. Once on the pad or platform, secure the tank with threaded floor flanges.


These are the tips to consider when installing your oil tank. To ensure the tank is in tip-top shape all the time, have it regularly inspected by a reputable and experienced OFTEC heating engineer. If you can’t find an engineer, get HVAC companies Long Island experienced with oil tank maintenance to do the work.

Remember, the buck doesn’t stop with the repair company. You also should play your role as a homeowner. Clear debris and regularly inspect the tank for cracks, bulges, oil spots, and other signs. This will help you identify problems when they are in their early stages and organize for a replacement if necessary.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top