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Over the next few month’s we will be adding a wide range of resources and guides to help you with your fuel requirements.

Please keep checking back as we will be adding new content to this section regularly. Content will range from installation guidelines and regulations to help with choosing the right fuel storage or solution for you.

Fuel & Tank Guides

PPG: Pollution Prevention Guidelines

PPG2: Guidelines for above ground oil storage tanks

These guidelines will help you look after your above ground oil storage tanks safely and to minimise the risk of causing pollution.

PPG8: Safe storage and disposal of used oils

These guidelines are intended to help everyone that handles used oils – from people carrying out a single engine oil change to large industrial users.

PPG26: Storage & handling of drums & intermediate bulk containers

These guidelines are intended to assist all who deal with the storage and handling of drums and Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs). The guidelines are basic requirements to protect the environment.

OFTEC: ‘Easy Guides’ to non-domestic oil storage

OFTEC: Non-domestic oil storage (Over 3,500 litres)

This general guide by OFTEC provides information and advice for non-domestic oil storage over 3,500 litres capacity.

This guide also applies to non-domestic storage tanks which supply to certain commercial buildings, plus domestic tanks over 3,500 litres capacity which are supplying single family dwellings.

OFTEC: Non-domestic oil storage (Up to 3,500 litres)
This general guide by OFTEC provides information and advice for non-domestic oil storage up to 3,500 litres capacity supplying single family dwellings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you drain a generator fuel tank?

    The best way to drain your generator fuel tank is debatable, but many accredited technicians use a specified cleaner along with something akin to a baster to remove all debris or fuel still in the generator fuel tank. Afterwards, you can then leave the generator fuel tank to dry completely.

    Remember that you can always consult a member of our team by getting in contact, and one of our venerable fuel tank experts will get in touch with you, offering you a tutorial on the correct method of generator fuel tank drainage and giving you specialised advice. Also, check out our fuel spillage equipment for when you want to prevent a large mess.

  • How do you clean a generator fuel tank?

    Often, you begin by removing the spark plug, and siphoning out any fuel in the generator fuel tank. This is usually followed by rinsing with a degreaser and emptying again. Afterwards, this is rinsed with clean, hot water. The tank is then normally emptied, allowing it to dry out completely.

    Remember that you can always consult a member of our team by getting in contact, and one of our venerable fuel tank experts will get in touch with you and analyse what your tank specifically may need in terms of cleaning and give you specialised advice. Also, check out our fuel spillage equipment for when you want to prevent a large mess.

    If you find any holes or cracks (usually indicated by beams of light coming through your generator fuel tank, then you will have to consider replacing your generator fuel tank. Any signs of serious rust or corrosion are also an indicator for replacement so do not hesitate to browse our site for replacement generator fuel tanks if you need to.

  • How far does a generator need to be from a house?

    It is a requirement generator fuel tanks be at least 6 metres (19 ½ ft) metres away from any boundaries, houses, or buildings because generator fuel tanks are more than capable of carrying over 3,500 litres of flammable fuel. This is for the protection of life, property, and the environment.

    Another standard of safety is that we ask our clients to remember to position their generator fuel tank so that the engine exhaust is directed away from the windows and doors of the house. Choosing a low-risk location (i.e. a place with limited water) is vital in not only keeping the environment safe but also keeping yourself safe from any accidents

    If ever you feel unsure about the state or rules regarding generator fuel tank recommended regulations, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of venerable professionals. With their expertise, our team can guide you through any situation that arises.

  • How do you clean a portable fuel tank?

    Firstly you want to remove the fuel pump and then empty your portable fuel tank of fuel completely. Then rinse with a degreaser and empty again for extra precaution. Afterwards, insert a hose into the fuel tank and pour clean, hot water and then empty allowing it to dry completely.

    Remember that you can always consult a member of our team by getting in contact, and one of our venerable fuel tank experts will get in touch with you and analyse what your tank specifically may need in terms of cleaning and give you specialised advice. Also, check out our fuel spillage equipment for when you want to prevent a large mess.

    We also recommend that clients inspect their tank once a week for any early signs of problems such as corrosion to the tanks walls or sudden dips in oil levels. Obviously, you will want to extend your portable fuel tanks lifespan as much as possible but you may find that, after several years of build-up, you may have to consider replacing it. If such a situation occurs, don’t hesitate to browse our site for a suitable replacement.

  • What portable fuel bowser brands do you stock?

    Here at RPM Fuels & Tanks, you will find that we proudly offer a featurette of some of the most illustrious and versatile fuel bowsers. From Carbery to Atlantis to Harlequin to Titan, some of the most prestigious names in the fuel bowser business are here. We put quality first.

    RPM Fuels stock the following brands; Atlantis, Fill-Rite, Carbery, Titan, Harlequin, Piusi, and FMT. All of which are well-renowned brands with the fuelling industry and many of which offer a selective range of portable fuel bowsers and tanks, towable and mobile fuel bowsers, highway tow bowsers and site tow bowsers. The products we sell from these brands are of the highest quality and could be exactly what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to start shopping today!

    If ever you do find yourself lost in regard to what brands are incorporated here at RPM Fuels, do not hesitate to get in touch with our venerable team of experts who can guide you on what we have to offer.

  • What is a fuel bowser?

    A “fuel bowser” is a term to describe a portable fuel tanker which is a trailer fitted with a tank designed to carry a variety of substances, most commonly including diesel, petrol, kerosene, and water. They will usually be a two or four-wheeled cylindrical steel container, but not necessarily always.

    Fuel bowsers can be used to deliver fuel to machinery plants, airports and refuel boats. It can also be used in this instance to fuel agricultural or construction equipment and vehicles. You are usually allowed to tow your fuel bowser along public highways but will need UN approval beforehand.

    Remember that you can always consult a member of our team by getting in contact, and one of our venerable fuel tank experts will get in touch with you and analyse what your tank specifically may need in terms of cleaning and give you specialised advice. Also, check out our fuel spillage equipment to prevent a large mess.

  • How do you repair a steel tank?

    Despite their high durability, we have to accept that there can be occasions when steel tanks are damaged and in need of repair. We would firstly recommend that you siphon your tank of any remaining fuel to prevent sticking. There are several different ways to repair your damaged fuel tank.

    Qualified technicians tend to use a verified and reputable repair kit or opt to weld. It is also a good idea to ensure that your tank is empty and clean before making any repairs, and also to make sure you know where your tank’s shut off and isolation valves are.

    If you find yourself lost at any point, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of apt professionals at RPM Fuels and Tanks. Any one of our venerable professionals has years of experience in the fuelling sector and can walk you through the ideal method of repair for your specific steel diesel tank. They can also give you a list of tell-tale signs that your steel diesel is damaged beyond repair and requires replacement.

  • How do you clean a steel diesel tank?

    If your steel tank is dirty or greasy to the point of preventing optimum operations, it’s time clean it. Cleaning your steel diesel tank is a way to ensure the longevity of your storage, and an excellent chance to look-over your tank. Let’s explore how you might clean one.

    Step-by-step you should first empty the steel tank completely then remove the fuel pump, insert a hose into the fuel tank and begin pouring a stream of clean, hot water. Whilst the water is filling, spray a mild detergent or degreaser into the tank. If opening allows, use a brush to loosen debris from the sides of the tank.

    Remember that you can always consult a member of our team by getting in contact, and one of our venerable fuel tank experts will get in touch with you and analyse what your tank specifically may need in terms of cleaning and give you specialised advice.

    AT RPM Fuels and Tanks we recommend that clients check their steel diesel tanks annually when the OFTEC certified heating engineer calls to service the boiler. We also recommend that clients inspect their tank once a week for any early signs of problems such as corrosion to the tank’s walls or sudden dips in oil levels. Tanks are required to have an oil tank contents gauge to help prevent spillage and overflowing.

    You will want to extend your steel diesel tanks lifespan as much as possible, but you may find that, after several years of build-up, you may have to consider replacing your steel diesel tank. If such a situation occurs, don’t hesitate to browse our site for a suitable replacement.

  • How far should a steel diesel tank be from a building?

    At RPM Fuels and Tanks, we like to adhere to the industry standards and models of safety. Steel diesel tanks should be situated at least 2 metres away from any boundaries or buildings, and at least 6 metres away if the steel diesel tank fuel capacity is over 3,500 litres.

    This is the standard most professional oil-related sectors should obey when dealing with non-domestic tanks. Choosing a low-risk location (i.e. a place with limited water) is vital in not only keeping the environment safe but also keeping yourself safe from any freak catastrophes.

    If ever you feel unsure about the state or rules regarding steel diesel tank recommended regulations, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of venerable professionals. With their expertise, our team can guide you through any situation that arises.

  • How long does diesel last?

    Diesel fuel has a shelf-life. The consensus is that it can only be stored on average for between 6 and 12 months. The actual figure may be longer under perfect conditions or shorter if precautions are not taken. The main factors affecting diesel shelf-life are water, microbes, and oxidation.

    There are steps you can take to help reduce the effect of these factors:

    – Keep your tank covered

    – Keep your tank cool

    – Keep your tank topped up

    – Use biocides

    – Keep your tank clean

    – Treat your diesel fuel with appropriate additives

    – Keep your tank maintained

    When degraded diesel is used, it can corrode the insides of diesel storage tanks, engines, and generators. It can also block diesel injectors and filters. So by following these steps, you can help to maximise the life of your diesel fuel, and also your tanks, engines, and generators!

  • How much diesel does a generator use?

    The answer to how much diesel fuel a generator uses will vary according to how much power the diesel generator produces, what fraction of load it is being run at, and how long it is going to be run for. There are however assumptions that can be made.

    The greater the power of a generator (usually measured in kW or kVA), the more fuel it will use per unit of time. The higher the load it is being run at, the great its fuel consumption will be. Naturally, the longer it will be run for, the more fuel it will use.

    For accurate information regarding your specific generator’s fuel consumption at various loads, please contact your manufacturer.

  • What is the difference between red and white diesel?

    White diesel is the ultra-low sulphur diesel typically used for road-going vehicles. White diesel also contains a higher concentration of cetane than red diesel. Red diesel is used for certain types of machinery, tractors, and combine harvesters, with a red dye added to differentiate it visually from white diesel.

    Red diesel (also known in other countries as gas oil) was traditionally used for domestic heating, though its use has since been replaced with Kerosene (also known as heating oil). Its use is typically commercial, and should not be put into a piece of machinery, plant, or vehicle unless the manufacturer recommends it.

  • What does OFTEC stand for?

    OFTEC stands for the Oil Firing Technical Association. A steel diesel fuel tank that is said to be OFTEC certified means that the design meets the strict safety and environmental criteria set by the OFTEC. These vary according to what capacity the fuel tank is manufactured to.

    One key part of OFTEC certification involves the size of the tank’s bund. To be OFTEC certified, a fuel tank with a capacity that is greater than 200 litres must be bunded, with the outer bund being capable of containing 110% of the tank’s storage capacity. Another key factor that decides whether a fuel tank can be OFTEC certified is whether the tank includes a gauge.

    It is highly recommended that your steel diesel fuel tank requirements are discussed with an OFTEC registered technician. They will be able to recommend definitively what material and size of tank you will need based on your situation, requirements, and environment. An OFTEC registered technician will also be able to make recommendations about tank location, base support, and inspections.

  • How much is a diesel generator fuel tank?

    As with other tanks, the price of a diesel generator fuel tank varies according to capacity, extras, and material of construction. Our lines include the space-saving, bunded, 250 litre fuel cube at £1,195.00 + VAT, through to the 3,000 litre, stackable, UN Approved GT tank at £3,395.00 + VAT.

    At RPM, we only stock the highest quality of diesel generator fuel tank, made from the sturdiest steel, with the quality of workmanship in their manufacture plain to see. By purchasing a diesel generator fuel tank from RPM, you get peace of mind knowing that your generator fuel storage tank will last for years to come and will deliver when you need it most.

  • What steel diesel generator tank capacities does RPM stock?

    RPM Fuels and Tanks stocks a wide range of steel diesel generator fuel tanks to cover all requirements and price points. Our extensive range includes compact, portable, 250 litre bunded fuel cubes, all the way through to 3,000 litre, UN-approved generator fuel tanks by GT, and everything in between.

    Our range is fully portable too. There are eyelets at the bottom of the Fuel Cubes and GT range to enable movement by forklift truck. This combination of capacity range and portability makes our selection of steel diesel generator tanks ideal for a long life of service in a range of settings, from industrial, to agricultural to commercial.

  • What is a diesel generator tank?

    A diesel generator tank is an external fuel tank used for powering a diesel generator. A key difference between a diesel generator fuel tank and a standard bunded tank is that the former will typically include a generator feed and return to optimise flow between both generator and fuel tank.

    RPM Fuels and Tanks makes a point of stocking only the most trusted lines of generator fuel tank. After all, the flow of electricity is vital to your project being carried out successfully, on budget, and on time, so why compromise on the source? Fuel your electricity generator with total peace of mind that your generator fuel tank will last in all industrial, commercial, and agricultural applications.

  • How much does a steel bunded fuel station cost?

    The range of steel bunded fuel stations on offer from RPM Fuels and Tanks cater to a range of price points. Our lowest capacity station starts at £1,335.00 + VAT, and the highest capacity tank starts at £4,750.00 + VAT. The inclusion of optional extra components will alter the price.

    There are many variables that impact how much a steel bunded fuel station should cost. The thickness of the steel used, the capacity of the tank, included extras such as battery-operated pumps, nozzles, hose, lockable security cabinets etc are all variables to consider. Whatever your requirements, RPM has the robust diesel fuel storage solution you seek.

  • What is a steel bunded fuel tank used for?

    RPM’s range of steel bunded fuel tanks is ideal for use across a wide range of applications. If you need to store or dispense quantities of diesel fuel up to 10,000 litres in a commercial, industrial, agricultural setting, or on a construction site, we have the solution you seek.

    Our steel diesel tanks feature robust, all-steel construction, ensuring reliability and long life of service under all circumstances. Thanks to this quality workmanship, and the fact that these tanks are bunded as standard, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your steel diesel fuel tank fully satisfies the latest requirements from the EA, OFTEC, and additionally PPG02.

  • What are steel bunded fuel tanks?

    A steel bunded fuel tank is a steel vessel for storing and/or dispensing fuels that features both an inner tank and outer tank. The inner tank stores the fuel, while the outer tank is a failsafe to capture fuel in the event of leakage or spillage from the inner tank.

    By employing this ‘tank within a tank’ approach, a steel bunded fuel tank helps to minimise environmental damage in the event of spillage and helps to provide an extra layer of security against would-be thieves and drill-siphoning. As a result of this ingenuity, bunded fuel tanks are the only legally suitable options for fuel storage in UK-based industrial and commercial situations and are also attractive for domestic use.

    RPM’s range of steel bunded fuel tanks and bunded fuel stations come in capacities of up to 10,000 liters, and features extras including lockable security cabinets, integral diesel pumps, and more. A steel bunded fuel station from RPM is your one-stop solution for safely storing and dispensing large quantities of diesel with total peace of mind.

  • What portable fuel bowser sizes does RPM stock?

    RPM Fuels and Tanks proudly stocks a range of portable skid bowsers at a range of capacities and competitive price points. Available in materials ranging from poly to steel, our range covers all needs, ranging from the 200 litre Titan TruckMaster to the 3,000 litre, UN Approved GT Generator Tank.

    The diversity of capacities available make portable fuel bowsers an attractive choice for the safe, convenient, and accessible storage of diesel fuels. Whether you are looking for a smaller fuel cube to refuel vehicles or machinery away from base, or you need a large, portable fuel dispensing solution for many vehicles on-site, RPM has you covered.

  • What is a UN Approved portable fuel bowser?

    A UN Approved portable fuel bowser is a transportable storage tank that has been designed, constructed, tested, and certified to store and transport dangerous materials on the highway, such as diesel, kerosene, and oil. This ensures that potentially hazardous fuels are moved with safety in mind in quality-built storage tanks.

    With RPM Fuels and Tanks, you can buy with confidence. Our UN Approved skid bowsers are built with robust steel construction, with only the highest quality craftsmanship as standard. Additionally, our skid bowsers are PPG02 compliant where noted. We put health and safety at the heart of what we do and show this with the products in our vast range.

  • What is the difference between a skid bowser and a towable bowser?

    A skid bowser is a portable fuel bowser (or water tank) that is best suited to being moved around on-site by a forklift truck. They can also be transported on a trailer. A towable bowser often features integral wheels, and so can be connected directly to a vehicle for transport.

    Oftentimes you’ll see that skid bowsers feature slots in the bottom for the tines of the forklift truck to be inserted into for moving. This enables them great portability around construction sites, and other various agricultural, commercial, and industrial settings. The lack of wheels on a skid-mount portable fuel bowser also helps provide stability in place once it has been placed where it is needed.

  • What can skid bowsers be used for?

    Fuel specific skid bowsers are most commonly used as a transportable refuelling station within the agricultural, transportation, and construction industries, or for general fuel transport from one location to another (depending on the skid bowser’s UN certification status).

    Skid bowsers able to hold water can be used for transportation, and, when fitted with the correct equipment, dust suppression, plant watering,  and pressure washing. For the above reasons, skid bowsers able to hold water are commonly seen in agriculture, site maintenance, and construction.

  • How often should a fuel tank be replaced?

    Fuel tanks should generally be replaced upon any sign of significant damage, or, as they start to show age towards the end of their estimated lifespan. This lifespan varies slightly depending on the type of tank in use, the material it is constructed from, and the way in which it has been used and maintained.

    Plastic oil tanks typically have a 10-15 year lifespan, supported by a 10-year warranty in the case of many major oil tank manufacturers. The lifespan of these containers can be affected by a wide number of factors, including the design (bunded tanks tend to outlast single skin tanks), conditions, and maintenance. Regularly maintained plastic fuel tanks can last for up to 20 years.

    Steel oil storage tanks are generally thought of as a longer-lasting, more durable alternative to plastic tanks – though each material has its pros and cons. Steel’s natural resistance to damaging factors such as UV exposure, temperature change, and accidental damage assist greatly in extending its expected lifespan beyond the expected lifespan of most other fuel and oil containers, with most lasting up to or beyond 20 years.

    As repairs to damaged, cracked, or split fuel tanks are generally difficult to complete, OFTEC and UK GOV guidelines highly recommend replacing tanks as soon as possible after damage.

  • What is a bund?

    A bund, in fuel and oil storage and dispensing, is a secondary containment unit installed around a vessel or area in which hazardous or dangerous liquids are held – in this case, oil, diesel, kerosene, or AdBlue – to name a few. Bunds may arrive custom moulded as part of a modern plastic bunded tank, or may be constructed of steel, or concrete.

    Bunded tanks operate on a tank within a tank basis, with the outward shell being able to hold at least 110% of the inner tank’s maximum capacity, ensuring that all escaped fuel is contained in the event of leakage or breakage.

  • What should I look for in an oil storage tank?

    There are a number of standards that your oil tank should comply with including the BS EN ISO 9001. All plastic and steel oil tanks sold on the UK market by a reliable manufacturer or distributor should be manufactured to OFTEC, OFS T100 (plastic) and OFS T200 (steel BS799-5) standards. These standards are put in place to ensure fuel storage tanks of all varieties are safe for use throughout their lifespan when properly maintained, working to minimise environmental damage, accidents, and fuel loss.

  • Do I need planning permission for a fuel tank?

    The majority of smaller fuel tank installations do not require planning permission, as they fall within permitted development guidelines when installed correctly. Planning permission, however, will be required if the tank to be installed will;

    • Have a maximum capacity of over 3500 litres
    • Be in excess of 3m in height (or in excess of 2.5 metres in height when installed within 2 metres of a boundary)
    • Be installed within the curtilage of a listed building
    • Be installed on designated or protected land
    • Supply any building not deemed a house (including apartments)

    Further, more extensive guidelines apply to planning permission regulations around oil tanks. For further advice, it is highly advisable to contact OFTEC, or your local planning authority.

  • Do I need a license to store diesel?

    Those owning a home, vehicle, boat, or aircraft may legally store a maximum of 30 litres of diesel without consulting their local authority of the PEA. Volumes of diesel up to 10 litres may be stored in a suitable plastic container, whilst volumes of up to 20 litres may be stored in a metal container. Volumes above 20 but below 30 litres must be contained within a demountable fuel tank.

    Individuals storing between 275 and 3500 litres of diesel on their property must inform their local PEA in writing of their name, address, and the location and amount of fuel to be stored.

    Those wishing to store in excess of 3500 litres of diesel on any property must apply for a license to do so, and follow all current UK legislation relating to diesel and fuel storage.

  • Who are the best fuel tank manufacturers?

    There is no singular ‘best’ fuel tank manufacturer, though, there is a set of industry leaders known for producing a wide variety of tanks suited to a number of different industries, and purposes. Those looking for a fuel containment unit should take into consideration their individual requirements relating to size, durability, budget, site restrictions, usage, and features, before settling on a manufacturer or model.

    Highly regarded fuel storage tank and accessory manufacturers on the UK market today include Harlequin, Atlantis, Carbery, Fil-rite, FMT, Piusi, and Titan – all of which are stocked by RPM Fuels.

  • What is a fuel storage tank?

    Depending on you, or your business’ fuel/oil consumption habits and requirements, a fuel storage tank may be the most cost-effective and efficient way to keep your heating, vehicles, or systems running. Generally defined as a purpose-built, safe container for the ‘bulk’ (above 55 gallons) storage of flammable liquids, fuel storage tanks are large, purpose-built tanks, available in sizes with a maximum capacity of upwards of 10,000 litres, often taking a cylindrical or square form. Fuel storage tanks are most commonly composed of plastic, or steel.

    These fuel storage tanks are available for purchase in a variety of formats, including bunded and single skin, and are suitable for application across a variety of sectors, including residential, commercial, construction, and agriculture.

  • What fuel can be stored the longest?

    Outside of fuels typically stored in a tank or used for transport, the fuels or combustible materials with the longest shelf lives when stored correctly include propane, alcohol, wood, and charcoal. These fuels may be left for years and remain combustible if stored or treated correctly.

    Within the scope of fuels commonly used to power machines or for transportation, Diesel is by far the longest-lasting, with its shelf-life extending beyond a year when correctly stored in a cool, contaminant-free environment. Petrol, on the other hand, is extremely sensitive to oxygen exposure during storage and will last a maximum of 6 months, even when stored well.

    Heating oil has a shelf life of between 18 and 24 months when stored correctly.

  • How do you store fuel long term?

    Purpose-built fuel storage tanks are the key to long term fuel storage – especially in bulk quantities. All oils and fuels last best when stored in a secure, watertight environment. The addition of suitable additives may further extend the shelf life of a correctly stored fuel or oil.

    Diesel, for example, can be stored for anywhere between 3 and 12 months. In order to ensure it lasts, the stored fuel must be kept at a relatively cool temperature, and free from water. The addition of water to any fuel or oil can result in the growth of microbes, which can destroy fuel quality, and even cause tank corrosion. The typical lifespan of heating oil, on the other hand, is between 18 and 24 months, meaning, when stored in a well-maintained tank, one batch of oil may be used to heat your home for two winter periods.

    High quality, well-maintained oil, and fuel tanks provide the perfect environment for long term storage.

  • Why does the fuel nozzle keep shutting off?

    There are a few reasons your fuel dispensing nozzle may be subject to continuous or early shutoff. These include;

     

    • Sensing port issues – the blockage of the automatic sensing port with debris such as sand or grit kay cause premature shutoff. In addition to this, damage to the end of the nozzle may have a similar effect. Ensure your nozzle is clean of debris prior to dispensing, and this issue may be resolved.

     

    • Flow rate – the flow rate occurring must be within the minimum and maximum specifications of the nozzle. If these requirements are not met, the flow may not be measured correctly, or at all. In this case, a new, compatible, nozzle may need to be purchased to resolve the issue.

     

    • Fuel entry type – the space into which the fuel or oil is being dispensed may be complex or poorly designed, resulting in splashback and automatic shutoff. This may be resolved by slowing the dispense rate.

     

  • How often should a flow meter be calibrated?

    There are no universal guidelines for how often an oil or fuel flow meter should be recalibrated – though the manufacturer’s specifications should be followed where possible. If functioning correctly throughout the year, fuel flow meters should be checked on an annual basis, usually as part of a service or cleaning.

    Of course, if issues arise before this, it is worth either investigating the issue independently or calling an OFTEC registered technician to inspect the fuel flow meter and the surrounding system.

  • Why isn't my flow meter counting?

    There are a number of reasons for slow/stopped oil flow counters, some of which include:

    • Calibration –  the flow meter may have simply lost calibration, and be miscounting as a result. This can be resolved relatively simply through recalibration – refer to the pump manufacturer’s website or instruction booklets for product-specific instructions.
    • Flow rate – the flow rate occurring must be within the minimum and maximum specifications of the flow meter. If these requirements are not met, the flow may not be measured correctly, or at all. In this case, a new, compatible, flow meter may need to be purchased to resolve the issue.
    • Power issues – if the flow meter is battery powered, it may simply be low on power. Inserting a new battery may resolve the issue.
  • Why is my fuel pump noisy?

    There are a number of causes of a noisy fuel pump, many of which may be resolved through a service or repair – whilst others may require a fuel pump replacement.  Some of the most common causes of noise within a tank fuel pump include;

    Damaged vanes -any damaged vanes causing noise can be replaced relatively inexpensively.

    Blocked filters – noise may be a sign of a blocked or full filter or inlet. Whilst filters should be replaced, inlets should be accessed and cleaned.

    Worn or damaged bearings – this is a more significant issue and typically requires inspection by a professional.

    Air leaks – most commonly found on the cover plate, air leaks are a common source of noise. This may be resolved by tightening the cover plate, or replacing the o-ring seal.

  • How does an automatic fuel nozzle work?

    Automatic fuel nozzles offer a convenient, arguably safer alternative to traditional manual fuel nozzles. Also known as auto shut off nozzles, automatic nozzles will restrict or stop the flow of fuel or oil when the tank being filled reaches full capacity, preventing fuel loss and overflow, and allowing for peace of mind.

    Automatic nozzles are produced with a variety of flow rates, allowing for use with different fuels, and across a number of industries. They are typically labelled for use with a specific fuel, e.g. diesel.

  • Can oil pipes freeze?

    Whilst the majority of domestic and commercial supply pipes, such as water or sewerage pipes can easily become frozen when the temperature drops, heating oil will not completely freeze in pipes. Even in very low temperatures, the oil present in supply pipes, and within a tank, will at mos,t reach a gel-like consistency. This thickness can prove problematic when filtering or dispensing oil, but generally, does not have as much impact as a frozen pipe or tank.

     

  • How long does it take to install an oil tank?

    On average, installing a new, above ground oil tank will take an OFTEC registered engineer approximately 5 hours. It is extremely important to hire an OFTEC approved engineer when looking to install, replace, or decommission an oil tank in order to ensure all UK procedure is followed, and that your tank is safely installed.

    Procedure to be followed when installing an oil tank includes;

    • All oil tanks containing over 2500 litres installed on domestic properties must have a secondary containment
    • Single skin oil tanks may not be installed under any circumstances in sites within 10 meters of controlled water, within 50 metres of a borehole or spring, or over hard ground allowing for run-off to controlled water.
    • Single skin oil tanks may not be used to store and supply heating oil for any building besides a single-family dwelling.

    For further guidance on oil tank installation regulation, the RPM fuels team recommends consulting OFTEC.

  • When can single skin oil tanks be used?

    It is legal to purchase single skin oil tanks, both steel and plastic, in the UK. However, there are strict regulations on exactly how and where single skin oil or fuel tanks of any size or specification may be installed – making them illegal where placed and used against regulations. RPM Fuels highly recommend fully reviewing the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001, which may be found on the GOV UK website.

    Notable restrictions include;

    • All single skin tanks must have a capacity of fewer than 2500 litres
    • The tank must not be within 10 metres of controlled water
    • The tank cannot be located within 50 metres of a drinking water source
    • The tank must not be located be installed over hard ground allowing for oil run off to controlled water in the event of a leak or spill
    • The tank must be accessible for inspection and refilling at all times
    • The tank cannot supply more than a single family dwelling
  • What is the lifespan of a plastic fuel tank?

    Plastic fuel tanks usually last for approximately 10-15 years – but can last up to 20 years when properly maintained. This longevity is commonly backed up by a 10-year warranty in the case of many major fuel and oil tank manufacturers. The lifespan of these containers can be affected by a wide number of factors, including the design (bunded tanks tend to outlast single skin tanks), conditions, and maintenance. Regularly maintained plastic fuel tanks can last for up to 20 years.

    For those looking for a tank set to last over the 20-year mark, steel fuel tanks may be a safer bet. Though slightly pricier, steel tanks are generally less prone to age and environmental damage.

  • What are fuel storage tanks made of?

    Fuel and oil storage tanks are typically composed of either polyurethane plastic or steel. Steel tanks offer the added benefits of a much higher maximum capacity, increased durability, further protection against theft through drilling, and a longer lifespan (if maintained correctly),  whilst plastic tanks are more easily moved, cheaper to purchase and install, and are less vulnerable to leakage when produced in a seamless, bunded design.

    Whilst it is important to ensure that a plastic tank is somewhat protected from the elements and UV exposure depending on the type of plastic it is made from, steel tanks must be maintained in the form of painting or treatment in order to prevent rusting. Both types of tank must be inspected on a regular basis to ensure any signs of damage or leakage are caught early.

  • What Types Of Steel Tanks Are Available?

    Steel fuel tanks are an excellent option for those looking for increased durability and security in their chosen fuel or oil containment option. Due to its popularity as a tank construction material, steel tanks are available in a variety of formats, including;

    • Single skin – a traditional tank type offering a single-walled containment system.
    • Bunded/enclosed – a safer, more commonly used alternative to single skin tanks, offering a secondary containment facility.
    • Bowsers – available in both single skin and bunded format, bowsers can be used for the transport of a variety of substances, including oil and diesel.  Standard site use and UN approved public highway use are available.
    • Generator fuel tanks – a compact and movable way to store larger volumes of generator fuel.
    • Fuel stations – suitable for both the storage and dispensing of fuels, including diesel.
  • What Is A Diesel Dispensing Tank?

    A diesel dispensing tank is designed with the purpose of both fuel dispensing, and storage in mind. They are typically bunded in order to comply with current UK regulation, and are available in both steel and plastic formats, with the latter typically being more compact. Dispensing tanks include, and are compatible with a wide range of fuel dispensing equipment, including pumps, automatic or manual nozzles, flow meters, vents, and valves. All of these components come together to smoothly deliver fuel from the storage tank, to nozzle.

    RPM fuels are proud to provide a wide range of fuel dispensing units, or fuel stations, which combine storage and dispensing into one convention unit.

  • What Types Of Fuel Can I Store In An Oil Tank?

    Heating oil tanks are typically able to store kerosene (C1/C2), agricultural fuel oil, and heating oil. Certain models may also be suitable for storing (not dispensing) diesel, and biodiesel blends under B5.

    If you’re looking to dispense diesel, biodiesel, or any other agricultural fuel, in order to comply with UK regulation, you may be required to invest in a diesel dispensing tank.

    For more exact specifications, or for further clarification on what fuels our specific models of tank are able to hold, speak to one of our friendly team members over the phone, or through email. We’ll be happy to help. Alternatively, you can contact an OFTEC registered technician for additional advice.

  • What Should I Do If My Oil Tank Has Split?

    Any notable signs of damage to your oil tank, especially splits or cracks, should be immediately reported to an OFTEC registered engineer for inspection and consultation. The severity of a situation in which a crack develops on a tank is generally dependent on whether or not the tank is single skin, or bunded. Whilst a crack in an outer bund will have no immediate effect unless the inner container has already leaked, cracks or splits in single skin tanks can lead to a significant leak or spill.

    Regardless of the type of oil tank, action should be taken as soon as possible to prevent further damage and oil loss. Cracked and split tanks can very rarely be repaired – as any remaining integral damage has the potential to cause significant damage to the environment. This means that following the discovery of a crack or split, you will most likely have to replace your tank.

  • What is the Difference Between a Top Outlet and Bottom Outlet Oil Tank?

    A top outlet tank has its outlet placed on its top, and will only work effectively if pumps and valves are used to put the oil under a sight negative pressure. Top outlet tanks must use some kind of system to pull the oil out of the tank, rather than letting gravity pull the fuel out (this method is seen in bottom outlet tanks). Top outlet tanks often require the installation of a tiger loop or use a return line.

    Many tanks of the UK market are supplied in both a top or bottom outlet model – however, this may not apply to tanks serving oil fired stoves. The incompatibility of top outlet tanks with wick burners often necessitates that a bottom outlet oil tank be installed.

  • What is a fuel nozzle?

    Fuel nozzles, or dispensing nozzles, are the final component in the fuel dispensing system. They can be used to activate and control the flow and delivery of fuel and oil from one source to another. Often produced in both automatic and manual formats, fuel nozzles are commonly equipped with a variety of features, some of which are listed below;

    • Colour coded nozzles labelled according to fuel type to be dispensed
    • Sized nozzles – ensure compatibility with vehicles or machinery
    • Breakaway valves – allow for the safe interruption of fuel flow should a vehicle drive away mid-refuel
    • Pressure sensitivity – ensures flow is restricted until the system is pressurised
    • Dual plane designs – allow for fuel delivery from a number of angles thanks to the inclusion of a swivel joint
  • How can I measure oil flow?

    Oil flow meters are the best way to measure oil flow during dispensing or delivery. RPM Fuels stock a great range of oil & fuel flow meters suitable for a wide variety of uses; our selection includes both mechanical and digital flow meters able to measure oil, diesel, fuel, or heating oil. Fuel flow meters are essential in the management and monitoring of fuel quantities as they are dispensed.

    Oil flow meters are designed to meet the high demands needed for commercial and agricultural use.

  • What is meter creep?
    Meter creep is a known issue seen in dispenser meter displays – in which an increase in volume or flow is displayed by the meter when no fuel is being delivered.
    Most commonly, meter creep is caused by leaks occurring ‘further back’ in the system than the delivery hose – but this issue may also be caused by a temperature difference between the storage tank and hose. Fuel within the hose may have contracted due to cooler temperatures, whilst warmer fuel pumped from the tank will cause expansion. This expansion may cause the meter to jump prior to fuel delivery.
  • How does a fuel dispenser work?

    Fuel dispensers rely upon the simultaneous use of an electronic reading system and physical mechanical system to deliver a consistent flow of fuel, typically to a delivery nozzle. Whilst the electronic system is typically responsible for flow regulation (governing fuel pressure and volume), the mechanical components of a fuel dispenser uses pumps and valves, alongside an electric motor, to deliver the fuel.

    Often, fuel dispensers will dispense using suction, creating a lower pressure within the fuel tank, and higher pressure outside, leading fuel up the delivery hoses towards the nozzle, at which point it is delivered.

     

  • What is fuel dispensing equipment

    Fuel dispensing equipment is responsible for the transfer, dispensing, or pumping of liquid fuel into engine systems, portable containers, or storage tanks. Fuels most commonly used in fuel dispensing equipment include diesel, petrol, oil, and kerosene.

    Fuel dispensing equipment typically comes together to create a complex fuel delivery system using pressure to supply fuel. Common components include pipelines, check valves, delivery nozzles, discharge hoses, and automatic valves, all of which work to create a continuous flow of fuel towards the delivery nozzle, whilst regulating flow.

     

  • Who can use red diesel?

    Red diesel is a low tax diesel, for off-road use only. It is dyed red to allow for the identification of illegal use.

    As red diesel is not for use on public roads, it is most commonly used in agriculture, civil engineering, construction, and similar industries to power off-road machinery and vehicles. This commonly includes tractors, plant machinery, forklifts, and cranes. In addition to this, red diesel may also be used to heat commercial and industrial spaces and can power backup generators.

  • Can you drink from a water storage tank?

    All water tanks marked ‘potable’ and sold on a regulated basis in the UK today are safe to drink from – so long as they are installed and maintained correctly.

    Before the introduction of modern regulations, many ‘potable’ water tanks were constructed of unsuitable materials such as galvanised iron, which could result in the contamination of water over time. Now, tanks are most commonly constructed from a high or medium density polyethylene or plastic – making water stored within them safe for consumption.

    Further regulations put in place to ensure the safety of water tanks on the market today include size guidelines (water tanks too large for the amount of water consumed do not allow for frequent replenishment with fresh water), and a general requirement for close-fitting covers, tight, securely fastening lids, screened vents, and insulation in any new designs.

  • How can I transport diesel fuel?

    For those looking to transport quantities of diesel between 100 and 3000 litres, towable bowsers are an excellent piece of equipment. Typically composed of a cylindrical steel diesel tank mounted on a single, or double axel, bowsers allow for the easy movement of diesel across construction sites, within event areas, and on public highways (UN approved models only).

    Those looking to transport bulk quantities of diesel above 3000 litres may want to consider looking into the hire of a tanker – the standard model of which can carry up to 36,000 litres. An OFTEC consult will be able to provide further information relating to tanker hire.

  • How do you store diesel fuel at home?

    Purpose-built fuel storage tanks are the key to long term fuel storage at home – especially in bulk quantities. All oils and fuels last best when stored in a secure, watertight environment. The addition of suitable additives may further extend the shelf life of a correctly stored fuel or oil.

    Diesel can be stored for anywhere between 3 and 12 months. In order to ensure it lasts, the stored fuel must be kept at a relatively cool temperature, and free from water. The addition of water to any fuel or oil can result in the growth of microbes, which can destroy fuel quality, and even cause tank corrosion.

    High quality, well-maintained oil, and fuel tanks provide the perfect environment for long term diesel storage.

  • How far are oil tanks buried underground?

    Oil tanks, when buried, are usually installed around 0.5 – 1m underground (though an OFTEC registered engineer will be able to advise in accordance with your individual situation), with their access points being a rising pipe known as a ‘fill pipe’. Fill pipes are typically constructed of steel of some variety, and fitted with a secure cap, in order to prevent contamination and theft.

    OFTEC registered tank installers will work to both UK regulation, and to manufacturer’s regulations when installing your tank, and calculating how deep it should be buried.

  • How can I store generator fuel?

    Larger amounts of generator fuel stored for an extended period of time should be kept within a purpose-built fuel storage tank. High-quality tanks, such a those offered by RPM Fuels allow for the creation of an ideal environment for fuel storage when installed and maintained correctly, helping prevent the growth of microbes, and oxidation.

    A great range of diesel generator fuel tanks from RPM Fuels & Tanks for the safe and environmentally sound storage of red and white diesel available in a variety of generator fuel tank capacities, from 250 to 3000 litres. The majority of these tanks are equipped with a generator feed, and are bunded in design.

  • How can I store waste oil?

    Waste oil tanks are an excellent way to store waste oil prior to its disposal or removal from site. Though typically smaller than oil or fuel storage tanks, waste oil tanks are available in both bunded and single skin formats. RPM Fuels currently stock a large range of plastic bunded waste oil tanks, manufactured by Harlequin.

    After storage in a waste oil tank, waste oil may be disposed of in multiple ways, including sending it to a licensed disposal site, such as a garage, or waste disposal facility permitted to handle oil and fuels.

  • What regulations apply to oil storage on a farm?

    All farms or agricultural operations storing in excess of 1500 litres (total) of fuel or oil must comply with UK SSAFO (Storing silage, slurry and agricultural fuel oil) regulations. Exceptions to this may apply to any oil storage put in place prior to 1991.

    Regulatory standards set out within SSAFO include;

    • Tanks used to store fuel or oil must meet ISO 9000 specifications
    • All tanks must be bunded
    • All bunds must have a life expectancy of at least 20 years with maintenance

    In addition to this, all new or enlarged oil or fuel storage systems must be reported to SSAFO 14 days prior to the start of construction.

     

  • What is the best domestic fuel tank?

    There is no singular ‘best’ domestic fuel tank. Those looking for a fuel containment unit for their home should take into consideration their individual requirements relating to size, durability, budget, site restrictions, usage, and features.

    The majority of fuel and oil tanks on the domestic market are bunded. . These tanks essentially consist of a tank within a tank – whilst their inner tank acts primarily to hold fuel, their secondary shell allows for the safe collection of any oil released as a result of a leak. The inclusion of a secondary containment tank (seen in all bunded oil tank designs) allows for the containment of any leaks. In addition to this, the secure design of bunded oil tanks are thought to help prevent fuel theft, and reduce wear and tear through weather and exposure. Bunded tanks are often thought of as the best option for both domestic and commercial fuel and oil tanks, but do sit at a higher price point than their single-skin counterparts, which can be just as effective in single-family dwellings, but are more restricted in where they can be placed.

    Further points to consider include tank material, mainly plastic (cheaper and more common)versus steel (more expensive, but more durable)m and tank format.

  • What is a double walled fuel tank?

    A double-walled fuel tank – though often thought of as a bunded fuel tank, is simply a fuel tank with the added benefit of having a double layer of wall protection. Unless the space between the first and second wall can hold at least 110% of the inner tank’s capacity, a double-walled tank cannot be classed as bunded, and so, falls under many of the same restrictions a single skin tank would be subject to.

    It is highly recommended that those looking for a tank with a safe containment method or extra protection choose a bunded tank over a double-walled tank. Bunded tanks offer easier maintenance, are more compliant with current regulations, and offer more effective protection against spills.

  • Can you store fuel in plastic?

    Fuels including oil, diesel, biodiesel, and some variants of kerosene are normally suitable for storage within a purpose manufactured fuel storage tank. These tanks are made with specific varieties of plastic which prevent breakdown through molecule interaction and are typically labelled per model with which individual fuel they are built to store.

    Petrol is slightly different to the above fuels, as its composition makes it more likely to break down even high-density plastics over a shorter period of time. As petrol can only be stored for approximately 3 to 6 months regardless, it is recommended that it is stored in a steel drum, or purpose-built container.

  • What type of fuel guage is best?

    There are a number of fuel gauge types on the market, but all should serve as an effective indicator (digital or visual) of oil or fuel levels remaining within a tank. There is no one ‘best’ type of fuel gauge – so it’s important to take into consideration your specific requirements during the browsing and selection process.

    You should consider the maximum capacity of your tank, the amount of accuracy you require, your budget, and the way in which you would like to power your gauge – if at all.

    Common gauge types available include:

     

    • Floats – a simple mechanism giving an estimated reading of tank contents through an analog screen.

     

    • Sight gauges – give a literal visual indication of the amount of fuel remaining through pulling fuel into a clear tube affixed to the side of the tank.

     

    • Ultrasonic gauges – use ultrasonic waves to measure oil levels, but typically require a hole to be drilled in the tank. This may go against regulation in some local authorities, depending on the hole location.

     

    • Hydrostatic analog gauges – use a pressure sensor to measure the weight of the oil or fuel remaining in the tank. Produces analog results.

     

    • Hydrostatic digital gauges – use a pressure sensor to measure the weight of the oil left in the tank. Produces accurate readings, which can typically be displayed in litres, mm or %.
  • Do I need a fuel tank filter?

    Fuel tanks, and oil tanks, are highly dependent on filter systems to ensure minimum contamination and debris are present in fuel during delivery and dispensing.  Contaminated fuel is known to cause damage to both fuel pumping equipment, and to the engines and inner workings of the machines and vehicles to which it is delivered. These filters are known to ‘catch’ dust, debris, algae, and other larger impurities.

    Fuel tank filters are one of the most effective ways to ensure your fuel or oil, is dispensed in the best possible condition, helping you maintain every part of your machinery.

  • How do I know how much oil is left in my tank?

    It may sound obvious but it’s helpful to know your starting point. If you’re unsure of the size of your tank and its capacity you should find a label on the tank that tells you. On more recent tanks, it may be on the front or side.

    To measure, many tanks have simple float gauges or sight level tubes that allow you to keep an eye on your oil level.

    If your tank has a digital monitor that plugs into an electric socket inside the house, such as an Apollo or Watchman, ordering when the digit reaches 1 or 2 (1 or 2 bars) is usually the ideal time.

    Most systems are designed to flash at either Level 1 or Level 2. When the monitor first starts flashing at these levels, you still have quite a bit of oil left so there’s no need to panic and turn off your heating – the flashing is merely a visible reminder to place your order.

    If your tank has no gauging system, or you want to double-check the accuracy of your gauge, an alternative basic method to monitor how much oil you have left is to dip the tank.

    To avoid contamination, make sure you use a designated dipstick that is kept clean and used solely for your oil tank.

    To measure your tank manually, take the cap off the top of the tank, which is where the fuel goes in, and put the dipstick right down to the bottom of the tank. When the stick is withdrawn, the oil will leave a mark on the stick consistent with the level of oil. When your tank level gets down to around the last 12 inches (approx. 30cm), we recommend it’s time to order your fuel.

  • Can I fit a sight gauge to a Heating Oil Tank?

    A sight gauge is a small tube typically connected to the bottom of an oil tank line using a feed pipe and attached to the side of the tank (though there are different varieties available). Sight gauges use gravity to provide a visual guide as to the amount of fuel left in a tank.

    A sight gauge may be fitted to an oil tank so long as its fitting does not involve the creation of a new valve below the level of maximum capacity.  UK regulation rules out this option for a multitude of reasons. The primary reason for this ruling is the added risk of spillage caused by the addition of any openings below the maximum level of oil and fuel tanks. Spillages and leaks can be highly detrimental to the environment surrounding a compromised tank, and very costly, so all necessary steps should be taken to avoid them.

  • How do I know when I need to replace the filter on an oil tank?

    The need to replace filters will depend upon a number of factors: the recommended period between filter replacements, the brand of fuel station/filter, and the type of fuel station you have installed. Generally, oil filter cartridges do not require overly-frequent replacement and are most often changed by registered technicians during annual oil tank and equipment cleans, and services where undertaken.

    If you are experiencing cartridge clogging with a relatively new filter, this may be corrected within the oil tank, rather than at the point of filtration. If you require further advice relating to oil tank filters and cartridges, contact one of our friendly team members over the phone, or through email today. We’ll be happy to help you.

     

  • What liquids can be monitored using the Apollo tank gauge?

    The liquids that can be monitored used the Apollo tank guage includes stored diesel, kerosene, gas oil types A1, C1, C2 and D, alongside water, and a variety of chemicals. Apollo tank gauges may also be suitable for use with solid materials.

    For more exact specifications, or for further clarification on whether or not the Apollo is a suitable gauge for your fuel, speak to one of our friendly team members over the phone, or through email. We’ll be happy to help. Alternatively, you can contact Apollo directly through their website.

  • What is a two pin type socket used for?

    A two pin type socket is used to enable the tank to connect to a SecuTech LRC Overfill Prevention System. This system is commonly used by fuel delivery drivers, and should not generally be used by the consumer.

  • What precautions need to be taken when installing a sight gauge?

    There are a number of precautions and measures you should consider prior to and when installing a sight gauge, including:

    • Pressure – consider the amount of pressure likely to be produced within your tank, and the amount your sight gauge is able to withstand.
    • Port availability – where are your existing ports located? This will impact the type of sight gauge you are able to install.
    • Sight gauge quality – compare sight gauges carefully. Ensure they are durable and check their exact specifications.
    • Ease of installation
    • Ease of maintenance
    • Oil fluctuations – if the level of oil in your tank fluctuates frequently, this should be taken into consideration. Bullseye sight gauges are a better fit for those with more consistent levels, whilst columnar gauges may better serve a fluctuating tank.
    • Additional hardware and installation requirements.

     

  • Should oil tanks be fitted with sludge cocks/valves?

    No oil tank should be fitted with sludge cock or valves – UK regulation rules out this option for a multitude of reasons. The primary reason for this ruling is the added risk of spillage caused by the addition of any openings below the maximum level of oil and fuel tanks. Spillages and leaks can be highly detrimental to the environment surrounding a compromised tank, and very costly, so all necessary steps should be taken to avoid them.

    When inspection or contaminant removal is required, this should be done through the inspection aperture, and by an OFTEC licenced technician.

  • Does the RPM Fuels & Tanks Tank Fitting Kit have an isolation valve?

    Yes, the fitting kit comes complete with a 1/4 turn isolation (or shut off valve) so maintenance can be carried out on the fitting kit or supply pipe – even when your heating oil tank is full of oil. To find out more about our tank fitting kits, go to our tank equipment page, or contact one of our friendly team members over the phone, or by email. We’ll be happy to help you find the exact fuel tank equipment you’re looking for.

  • Does fuel go off?

    Regardless of how well they are stored, all types of fuel will ‘go off’ eventually – though shelf life varies from fuel to fuel, and is highly dependent on the conditions in which it is stored.

    Diesel has a shelf life of between 3 and 12 months depending on the storage method, and type of additives used. Should it be exposed to water, diesel is highly likely to suffer from microbial growth and contamination, worsening the quality significantly. After the 12 month mark, diesel tends to thicken and can block filters, causing issues in all applications.

    Petrol – whilst less commonly stored in large tanks, has an average life expectancy of around six months. Heat exposure can be extremely detrimental to this fuel.

    The typical lifespan of heating oil, on the other hand, is between 18 and 24 months, meaning, when stored in a well-maintained tank, one batch of oil may be used to heat your home for two winter periods.

     

  • Where do I find an OFTEC installer?

    All of OFTEC’s trained and registered technicians, installers, and engineers are listed on their website. OFTECs search facility is able to match customers with local professionals through a set of a few simple questions. After selection, your OFTEC qualified installer will visit the site on which you intend to install your oil or fuel tank, and ensure everything is in order and in line with regulation, before assisting with the commission of any existing tanks (if required), and safely installing a new tank.

  • What are the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) Regulations?

    The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001 regulates English above ground oil storage and covers petrol, diesel, vegetable, synthetic and mineral oils. Regulations imposed by The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) require home and business owners storing more than 200 litres of oil in any format to use a secure method of containment. These containment methods commonly include tanks, drums, and bowsers.  These regulations assist greatly in the prevention of environmental damage caused by oil tank leaks and spills.

    Further detail regarding these regulations can be found on the GOV UK website.

  • What are the Oil Storage Regulations (OSR)?

    The Oil Storage Regulations England applies to all above ground oil storage containers holding a capacity of over 200 litres and all private domestic oil tanks that hold a capacity over 3500 litres. Further information regarding the OSR may be found on the GOV UK website.

    If you’re an oil tank owner, or are looking to install an oil tank but require further guidance regarding the OSR, contacting OFTEC may be the best course of action. Their registered technicians are able to assess situations on an individual basis and will advise in line with the OSR.

  • What is the life expectancy of an oil storage tank?

    The life expectancy of an oil tank varies greatly depending on the material from which it is constructed, its function, the way in which it was installed, and the way in which it is maintained.

    Plastic oil tanks typically have a 10-15 year lifespan, supported by a 10-year warranty in the case of many major oil tank manufacturers. The lifespan of these containers can be affected by a wide number of factors, including the design (bunded tanks tend to outlast single skin tanks), conditions, and maintenance. Regularly maintained plastic fuel tanks can last for up to 20 years.

    Steel oil storage tanks are generally thought of as a longer-lasting, more durable alternative to plastic tanks – though each material has its pros and cons. Steel’s natural resistance to damaging factors such as UV exposure, temperature change, and accidental damage assist greatly in extending its expected lifespan beyond the expected lifespan of most other fuel and oil containers, with most lasting up to or beyond 20 years.

    These guidelines are highly influenced by the way in which tanks are maintained and installed.

  • What is the best way to transport diesel?

    For those looking to transport quantities of diesel between 100 and 3000 litres, towable bowsers are an excellent piece of equipment. Typically composed of a cylindrical steel diesel tank mounted on a single, or double axel, bowsers allow for the easy movement of diesel across construction sites, within event areas, and on public highways (UN approved models only).

    Those looking to transport bulk quantities of diesel above 3000 litres may want to consider looking into the hire of a tanker – the standard model of which can carry up to 36,000 litres. An OFTEC consult will be able to provide further information relating to tanker hire.

  • How can I store fuel long term?

    Purpose-built fuel storage tanks are the key to long term fuel storage – especially in bulk quantities. All oils and fuels last best when stored in a secure, watertight environment. The addition of suitable additives may further extend the shelf life of a correctly stored fuel or oil.

    Diesel, for example, can be stored for anywhere between 3 and 12 months. In order to ensure it lasts, the stored fuel must be kept at a relatively cool temperature, and free from water. The addition of water to any fuel or oil can result in the growth of microbes, which can destroy fuel quality, and even cause tank corrosion. The typical lifespan of heating oil, on the other hand, is between 18 and 24 months, meaning, when stored in a well-maintained tank, one batch of oil may be used to heat your home for two winter periods.

    High quality, well-maintained oil, and fuel tanks provide the perfect environment for long term storage.

  • Do I need planning permission for an oil tank?

    The majority of residential oil tanks supplying single family dwellings, particularly heating oil tanks, do not require planning permission, as they fall within permitted development guidelines when installed correctly. Planning permission, however, will be required if the tank to be installed will;

    • Have a maximum capacity of over 3500 litres
    • Be in excess of 3m in height (or in excess of 2.5 metres in height when installed within 2 metres of a boundary)
    • Be installed within the curtilage of a listed building
    • Be installed on designated or protected land
    • Supply any building not deemed a house (including apartments)

    Further, more extensive guidelines apply to planning permission regulations around oil tanks. For further advice, it is highly advisable to contact OFTEC, or your local planning authority.

  • What is OFTEC?

    OFTEC stands for the Oil Firing Technical Association. Launched initially as a trade association with the intent of raising the UK heating industry’s standards, OFTEC now acts as a ‘competent person registration scheme’, helping individuals and businesses across the UK select qualified tradespeople to complete oil and heating related work in line with all current UK legislation.

    OFTEC  accesses and certifies engineers, whilst overseeing technician’s training who are providing services in commissioning, servicing, installation, and plant operation that entails the use of oil-fired equipment.

  • What capacity is my oil tank?

    The majority of oil tanks purchased in the UK will come fitted with a detail or identification plate, found on the outside of the tank. For example, most polyethylene or plastic tanks are fitted with a metal plate, or embossed with an identification number, and code indicating the tank design and capacity. The code H3500 would indicate that your oil or fuel tank is a horizontal tank with a maximum capacity of 3500 litres.

    If this plate or embossing has become obscured, and you’re unsure of your tank’s capacity, it is important to contact the manufacturer to establish tank details prior to accepting further deliveries of fuel or oil.

  • How much fuel can you store at home?

    Current English regulation states that;

    • Those owning a home, vehicle, boat, or aircraft may legally store a maximum of 30 litres of fuel without consulting their local authority of the PEA. Volumes of fuel up to 10 litres may be stored in a suitable plastic container, whilst volumes of up to 20 litres may be stored in a metal container. Volumes above 20 but below 30 litres must be contained within a demountable fuel tank.
    • Those looking to store above 30 litres up to 275 litres of fuel at home must inform their local PEA, and will be required to list their full name, address, and the location at which the fuel is to be stored.
    • Those storing above 275 litres up to 3500 litres will be required to obtain a petroleum storage certificate and licence. In addition to this, restrictions may apply to the type of tank used for storing larger volumes of fuel.
    • Those wishing to store over 3500 litres of fuel at home must apply for planning permission, and will generally be required to follow business level regulations.
  • What is controlled water?

    Controlled waters refers to all water that is below the ground in the saturation zone and in direct contact with the ground. This can include canals, rivers, streams, lakes, and estuaries. There is strict regulation in place in the UK regarding the proximity of oil and fuel tanks (particularly single skin varieties) to controlled water. These regulations help prevent environmental damage, and the potential contamination of drinking water in the event of a leak or spill.

    Controlled water related regulations for oil and fuel tank placement include;

    • Single skin oil and fuel tanks may not be installed under any circumstances in sites within 10 meters of controlled water, within 50 metres of a borehole or spring, or over hard ground allowing for run-off to controlled water.
    • Oil and fuel tanks may not be installed over a hard surface or ground allowing for runoff to controlled water sources.

    For further information on these regulations, refer to the GOV UK website, or to OFTEC.

  • How much are skid bowsers?

    The price of a skid bowser will vary depending on the size, type, and features required.  Whilst single skin versions suitable for site and private use only tend to be the least expensive offering on the market, UN certified skid bowsers are typically placed at a higher price point.

    RPM fuel’s range of steel and plastic skid bowsers ranges from approximately £395 to £3195 in accordance with the above factors. In addition to this, RPM fuels provide bespoke steel skid bowsers constructed to your exact requirements. Estimated prices for these tanks will be provided upon consultation.

  • What is a skid bowser?

    Skid bowsers are similar to towable bowsers – but lack the towable functionality provided by a wheeled trailer. Instead, skid bowsers are more suitable for transport through lifting with a forklift, or through attachment to larger trailers. They consist of a tough steel chassis – generally equipped with pockets for lifting, and groves for fixing, and a cylindrical steel tank (available in both single skin and bunded format).

    RPM Fuels’ wide range of skid bowsers includes road legal, UN Approved, skid base diesel models for the safe and environmentally responsible transportation of diesel fuel on the highway.

  • What are the UK towable bowser regulations?

    UK towable bowser regulations are variable according to usage and bowser type. In addition to this, the ADR do not recognise the term bowser, making regulation sightly more difficult to follow for many bowser users. If a bowser is called a wheeled trailer fitted with a tank, the following regulations generally apply;

    Diesel and gas oil

    • The tank must not be “permanently fixed to a motor vehicle or trailer”.
    • The tank’s maximum capacity must be below 3000 litres.
    • The tank must be designed for ‘mechanical handling’.
    • The tank must be safe, and properly maintained.

    Petrol

    • The tank must meet all of the requirements above.
    • The tank must be FL certified.
  • How much diesel can I tow?

    Diesel towing restrictions are dependent on the features of the bowser used, and the kerb weight of your vehicle.

    Those with a small diesel bowser without brakes may tow whichever is less of these two options – up to 50% of the kerb weight of their vehicle, or 750kg.

    Those towing a larger diesel bowser fitted with brakes should not exceed 85% of the vehicle’s kerb weight.

    Diesel bowsers up to 1000 litres may be towed without an ADR licence, however, due to recently introduced regulations, a towing licence may be required depending on when you passed your driving test.

  • What is the difference between a ball switch and eye switch?

    The majority of non-commercial vehicles suitable for towing are fitted with a ball hitch – a type of connector which requires part of the bowser’s frame to be lifted over a ‘ball’ to attach it. This may be a difficult task to undertake if the bowser is full, but generally provides a simple, secure way of connecting your vehicle and bowser.

    Commercial vehicles, on the other hand, are often fitted with an eye hitch, which makes use of a pin system, meaning the vehicle can simply reverse to the bowser until the connectors are aligned. This is more suitable for larger bowsers, as it completely removes the need for lifting – hence why it is a more commonly used connector system commercially.

  • How much are towable bowsers?

    The price of a towable bowser will vary depending on the size, type, and features required.  Price variations are generally influenced by whether or not the bowser is highway legal, maximum capacity, fuel type carried, and axle type. In addition to this, bunded bowsers tend to be more expensive than single skin bowsers.

    RPM fuel’s range of towable ranges from approximately £2000 to £4500 in accordance with the above factors.

  • How long will a bowser last?

    As bowsers are typically composed of a robust layer of steel, they typically last for many years, with some manufacturers offering warranties of up to 10 years on towable bowsers. In order to ensure your bowser lasts for as long as it is intended to, it’s important to conduct regular inspection and maintenance.

    The tank itself should be inspected for any signs of damage, wear, or leaks on a regular basis. When transporting fuel, no water should be present inside the tank – this can allow for the growth of corrosion-causing microbes. When not in use, the bowser should ideally be kept away from areas in which it will be exposed to hot or extreme conditions.

    Paint may be reapplied on a semi-regular basis to assist in preventing corrosion.

  • What is a VIN plate?

    A VIN plate can be used to assist in calculating whether or not your vehicle meets weight restrictions related to fuel bowser towing, and in establishing the amount your vehicle can tow.

    Typically listed in the vehicle handbook/specifications, or under the bonnet, a VIN plate lists a 17 character VIN number, and the maximum authorised gross train weight for the vehicle model. This may be added to the filled weight of your bowser, which can be calculated by using 1 litre of diesel = 0.82 Kg, (added to bowser weight, typically listed on its serial plate).

     

  • What is a Bunded Fuel Bowser?

    Bunded fuel bowsers provide a secondary layer of protection against damage and fuel spillage through their tank within a tank’ design. The inner tank of a bunded bowser is used for the storage of the fuel or liquid to be transported, commonly including diesel, petrol, or kerosene. In order to meet current bund regulations, bunds, or the tanks surrounding the inner tanks,  must be able to hold marginally more fuel than the maximum capacity of the inner tank.

    All bunded fuel bowsers to be transported on public highways must be UN certified.RPM Fuels are proud to offer a wide selection of UN certified, towable bowsers suitable for a variety of purposes and industries.

  • Do I need a towing licence to tow a bowser?

    Those with a valid driving licence issued after 1 January 1997 may drive a car or van weighing up to 3500kg MAM towing a bowser of up to 750kg MAM (a bowser of over 750kg MAM may be towed so long as the combined MAM of the bowser and towing vehicle does not exceed 3500kg).

    Those with a valid driving licence issued prior to the 1st of January 1997 can typically drive a vehicle and bowser combination of up to 8250kg MAM.

    Diesel bowsers up to 1000 litres may be towed without an ADR licence, however, due to recently introduced regulations, a towing licence may be required depending on when you passed your driving test.

    All fuel bowsers over 1000 litres require an ADR licence and may require a town licence. In addition to this, they may be no more than 2.55 metres in width and weigh no more than 3500kg.

    All bowsers and tow bars must be in compliance with current regulations relating to highway driving to allow for legal towing on public roads.

  • What is a Bowser?

    A Bowser is a trailer fitted with a tank designed to carry a variety of substances, most commonly including diesel, petrol, kerosene, and water. Designed in both single skin and bunded formats, bowsers most commonly take the form of a cylindrical steel tank mounted on an A-frame chassis, with two, or four wheels. Bowsers are available in formats obeying UN highway regulation (suitable for towing on public roads), and a standard format (suitable for use on private roads, and within sites).

    Towable bowsers are most commonly used to provide and transport fuel for machinery or plant operation use, and are a staple on construction sites, events grounds, and agricultural land.

  • Can I Tow a Fuel Bowser on the Road?

    Bowser towing regulations vary depending on the type of vehicle towing the bowser, the type of bowser used, the type (and volume) of fuel to be towed.

    The bowser itself must be suitable for towing, and UN-approved in order to be legally used on UK highways. Towable browsers are usually labelled as such and are constructed on robust chassis featuring lights or reflectors, and handbrakes. Standard browsers may only be towed within sites, or on private roads.

    Diesel bowsers up to 1000 litres may be towed without an ADR licence, however, due to recently introduced regulations, a towing licence may be required depending on when you passed your driving test.

    All fuel bowsers over 1000 litres require an ADR licence and may require a town licence. In addition to this, they may be no more than 2.55 metres in width and weigh no more than 3500kg.

    In addition to this, your vehicle must have an adequate weight limit allowing for the towing of a bowser. This limit may be found on the VIN Plate. To calculate the weight of a fuel bowser when filled, use 1 litre of diesel = 0.82 Kg. Add this number to the bowser weight, listed on its serial plate.

  • What should I do if my oil tank leaks?

    It is important to manage any oil or fuel escaping the storage tank as soon and effectively as possible. Contact a registered specialist in oil and fuel management to assess the situation, and proceed according to their advice. Smaller spills or leaks may often be contained using a spill kit or tray, available for purchase through RPM Fuels.

    In the event of a more significant spill, all remedial work should be undertaken by a qualified specialist – this may be covered by your insurance. If the spill has contaminated the surrounding soil, this may need to be removed or overturned. Any oil present in the surrounding water must be removed.

  • What is the cleanup cost for an oil spill?

    The cleanup cost for an oil leak or spill is highly dependent on individual circumstances, including the scale of the spill, and the damage caused by the fuel or oil. Additional costs include the removal and disposal of the tank at fault. Whilst a smaller cleanup may be completed for just a few hundred pounds, larger leaks can contaminate soil, groundwater, and controlled water – in significant cases, remediation can cost thousands of pounds.

    For this reason, it is highly important to inspect your oil or fuel storage tank on a regular basis, noting and reporting any significant signs of damage or leakage to an OFTEC registered technician, who will be able to review the issue from a professional standpoint and offer further advice and assistance.

  • What is a spill tray?

    Spill trays, also known as drip trays, are a containment method designed to capture leaking oil as it falls or leaks from its container or storage tank. Whilst smaller spill trays are perfectly suited to ‘jerry cans’, larger spill trays may be placed under storage containers or barrels in order to aid containment. Oil or fuel collected in these trays can be stored in this way on a temporary basis, and are excellent for containing smaller leaks, but generally cannot be used to contain large spills or leaks (more than 200 litres).

    In order to ensure spill trays will have sufficient capacity to contain a leak, they must be emptied on a regular basis.

     

  • What is a spill kit?

    Spill kits, when designed specifically for oil and fuel, help minimise the impact of an oil leak or spill in the early stages, or, in the case of a relatively minor event. These kits may also assist in the cleanup of grease. Spill kits typically contain;

    • A labelled bin, to be kept within reach at all times. Contaminated material may be placed in this.
    • Absorbent ‘socks’, or flexible tubes designed to be placed around the edge of the spill area, and contain it.
    • Absorbent cushions designed to catch liquid runoff.
    • Absorbent pads designed to soak up the majority of the liquid. Oil spill kit specific pads are often designed to be water repellent, meaning they may be used in cleaning oil spills in bodies of water.
    • Labelled disposal bags.
    • PPE, including gloves and eye protection.
  • How much does it cost to replace an oil tank in the UK?

    The cost of replacing an oil tank varies greatly depending on the size, type, material, and function of replacement tank required. Further pricing factors to take into consideration include the removal and disposal of the existing oil tank and installation of the replacement tank. Whilst installing a new oil tank can be expensive, it’s important to keep in mind that the majority of manufacturers offer a 10-year warranty on all bunded tanks (steel and plastic), meaning they should serve you for an extended period of time.

    Oil tanks offered by PRM Fuels range in price from anywhere between £395 for an 1100 litre single skin oil tank to approximately £10,000.

     

  • How do you know if your oil tank is leaking?

    Oil and fuel tanks can leak for a variety of reasons; though the primary root causes are either incorrect installation or a lack of maintenance. Over time, older tanks in particular may show signs of wear more than previously, and might, eventually, crack or leak. Signs your oil tank is at risk of leaking include;

    • Noticeable damage to the surface of the tank, including dents, deep scratching, or cracks
    • Damp, wet, or stained patches around or under the tank.
    • Splitting (in plastic tanks)
    • Interior or exterior corrosion or rusting (in steel tanks)
    • A stronger oil smell than usual
    • Damaged or dead grass around the tank
    • Visual evidence of oil around the tank

    Whilst smaller spills or leaks may often be contained using a spill kit or tray, larger leaks may require serious remedial work. An OFTEC registered technician should always be contacted to assess and advise in the event of a suspected or confirmed leak.

  • Can you fix a leaking oil tank?

    In the vast majority of cases, once an oil or fuel tank is damaged to the point of leaking, it cannot be fixed. Temporary measures such as sealing cracks with strengthened tapes may help resolve the issue on a temporary basis, but a leaking tank will most likely need to be replaced entirely in the long run to prevent environmental damage and fuel loss.

    For this reason, it is important to inspect your oil storage tank on a regular basis, noting and reporting any significant signs of damage or leakage to an OFTEC registered technician, who will be able to review the issue from a professional standpoint and offer further advice and assistance. Smaller spills or leaks may often be contained using a spill kit or tray, available for purchase through RPM Fuels.

     

  • Does homeowners insurance cover oil tank leaks?

    Whether or not your homeowners insurance covers an oil or fuel tank leak is entirely dependent on the exact specifications and stipulations of your package.  If you have evidence that or suspect your storage tank is leaking, it’s important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to establish where you stand and prevent further damage or oil loss.

    If your insurance does not provide cover for oil tank leaks or spills, the UK Spill Contractors Accreditation Scheme, or OFTEC may prove helpful in finding a trusted, local contractor to assist in the initial cleanup, and further advise on the situation.

     

  • What causes an oil tank to leak?

    Oil and fuel tanks can leak for a variety of reasons; though the primary root causes are either incorrect installation or a lack of maintenance. Other common, more specific reasons for storage tank leaks include:

    • Extreme temperature changes leading to brittleness and cracking in plastic tanks
    • Damage to tank equipment, including sight gauges
    • Feedline wear and tear
    • Corrosion (seen in steel tanks)

    It is important to manage any oil or fuel escaping the storage tank as soon and effectively as possible. Contact a registered specialist in oil and fuel management to assess the situation, and proceed according to their advice. Smaller spills or leaks may often be contained using a spill kit or tray, available for purchase through RPM Fuels.

  • Is a leaking oil tank dangerous?

    Correctly installed, maintained, and used oil tanks can last for up to 20 years without incident depending on composition and circumstances. However, when leaks do occur, the oil released into the environment can be highly damaging to the environment, and population, especially if it is allowed to contaminate controlled water sources. Leaks, especially when left unattended can pollute soil, groundwater, water sources, and wildlife.

    While oil itself has a relatively low toxicity to humans, prolonged exposure can be harmful, causing nausea, throat irritation, and, over the long term, serious health problems like liver damage.

    For this reason, it is extremely important to follow local oil and fuel storage guidelines when selecting and installing a containment tank. Using a bunded or double-walled tank can assist greatly in reducing the impact of any initial leak or spill. If a spill has already occurred, assess the situation, and consult a professional in oil tank spillage. For minor leaks or spills,  a spill containment kit or tray may be the best solution.

  • How do you store fuel for a generator?

    Larger amounts of generator fuel stored for an extended period of time should be kept within a purpose-built fuel storage tank. High-quality tanks, such a those offered by RPM Fuels allow for the creation of an ideal environment for fuel storage when installed and maintained correctly, helping prevent the growth of microbes, and oxidation.

    A great range of diesel generator fuel tanks from RPM Fuels & Tanks for the safe and environmentally sound storage of red and white diesel available in a variety of generator fuel tank capacities, from 250 to 3000 litres. The majority of these tanks are equipped with a generator feed, and are bunded in design.

  • What is a bulk storage tank?

    Bulk storage tanks, also known as containers, are purpose-built vessels used to store a high volume of fuel, usually for an extended period of time. Bulk fuel storage is commonly used in domestic (heating), agricultural, and commercial (haulage and transportation) fields. Bulk storage is most commonly used to store fuel prior to or during use, but may also be used to store fuel waste products prior to disposal. 

    Bulk storage can a be highly cost-efficient fuel storage option, lending itself to the storage of oil, diesel, and non potable water. Whilst the majority of high capacity bulk containers are constructed with steel, smaller options (approximately 6500 litres and below) are available in a plastic format.

  • Does diesel go off?

    Diesel will go off over time, lasting, on average, between 6 to 12 months in a typical storage situation. When stored particularly effectively, or with an additive, this storage life may be extended beyond the 12-month mark.  In order to lengthen the lifespan of diesel stored in a steel tank, precautions must be taken to ensure no water is present in the tank, that the fuel is kept relatively cool, and that the tank is properly maintained. Inspections should be made on a regular basis to ensure these conditions are being met.

     

  • Are single skin oil tanks legal?

    It is legal to purchase single skin oil tanks, both steel and plastic, in the UK. However, there are strict regulations on exactly how and where single skin oil or fuel tanks of any size or specification may be installed – making them illegal where placed and used against regulations. RPM Fuels highly recommend fully reviewing the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001, which may be found on the GOV UK website.

    Notable restrictions include;

    • All single skin tanks must have a capacity of fewer than 2500 litres
    • The tank must not be within 10 metres of controlled water
    • The tank cannot be located within 50 metres of a drinking water source
    • The tank must not be located be installed over hard ground allowing for oil run off to controlled water in the event of a leak or spill
    • The tank must be accessible for inspection and refilling at all times
    • The tank cannot supply more than a single family dwelling
  • What is a bunded fuel tank?

    Bunded oil tanks are a commonly used, and highly recommended form of oil storage, offering a higher level of protection against leakage than ‘single skin’ tanks through their ‘second skin’ design. Bunded tanks, whether steel or plastic, generally consist of an inner tank (used to store the fuel) and an outer tank (which acts as a protective seal in the event of spillage). The design of bunded fuel tanks prevents fuel loss and extensive environmental damage in the event of a spillage.

    In addition to this, bunded tanks are thought to add an extra layer of security against thieves using a ‘drilling’ method to siphon oil, and be further resistant to the elements. The above is especially true in the case of steel fuel storage tanks, which are particularly durable.

    Bunded tanks are a legal requirement at all commercial and industrial premises storing oil in the UK and Channel Islands, but are commonly used domestically.

  • Is diesel corrosive to metal?

    Whilst diesel itself is not corrosive to metal (including steel, the most commonly used metal in storage tanks sold worldwide), the presence of conductive materials in it can lead to corrosion. The introduction of water to fuel commonly results in microbial growth, particularly in the case of diesel and biodiesel. This microbial growth both compromises the quality of the fuel and corrodes its storage container. This issue can be resolved by ensuring the integrity of your tank’s lids, caps, and pipes, conducting regular inspections, and removing water or contaminated fuel at the first opportunity.

    It is important to note that some additives, when mixed with fuel, may result in corrosion. It is important to check the compatibility of any additive or substance to be added to stored fuel with your tank and fuel type to avoid this.

  • How much are steel fuel storage tanks?

    The price of a steel fuel storage tank will vary depending on the size, type, and features required.  Whilst single skin tanks tend to be the least expensive steel offering on the market, some with enhanced safety features may be listed at a higher price point than a small bunded steel fuel tank.

    Generally, single skin tanks are less expensive than bunded tanks, with the price increasing with size or capacity. RPM fuel’s range of steel fuel storage tanks ranges from approximately £395 to £4300 in accordance with the above factors. In addition to this, RPM fuels provide bespoke steel fuel tanks constructed to your exact requirements. Estimated prices for these tanks will be provided upon consultation.

  • Can steel fuel tanks rust?

    Whilst steel storage tanks are known to be more robust than their plastic counterparts, they can be vulnerable to corrosion – primarily caused by heat, water, and condensation – all of which can result in microbial growth, the main cause of steel tank corrosion. This is particularly prevalent in the storage of diesel or biodiesel.

    It is important to avoid corrosion where possible, as it may negatively impact tank integrity, and cause oil spillage, especially in single skin tanks. Ensure your tank is inspected on a regular basis, and that any water present is removed. Steel tanks can be painted or coated with protective barriers in order to help prevent corrosion – many manufacturers supply this feature as a standard, but some tanks will require re-painting as time goes on.

  • Are steel oil tanks better than plastic?

    Whether or not a steel or plastic oil or fuel tank is ‘better’ generally depends on the individual needs of their users. Whilst steel tanks offer a much higher top capacity, increased durability, further protection against theft through drilling, and a longer lifespan (if maintained correctly), plastic tanks are more easily moved, cheaper to purchase and install, and are less vulnerable to leakage when produced in a seamless, bunded design.

    Whilst it is important to ensure that a plastic tank is somewhat protected from the elements and UV exposure depending on the type of plastic it is made from, steel tanks must be maintained in the form of painting or treatment in order to prevent rusting. Both types of tank must be inspected on a regular basis to ensure any signs of damage or leakage are caught early.

  • How long do steel fuel tanks last for?

    Steel fuel storage tanks are generally thought of as a longer-lasting, more durable alternative to plastic tanks – though each material has its pros and cons. Steel’s natural resistance to damaging factors such as UV exposure, temperature change, and accidental damage assist greatly in extending its expected lifespan beyond the expected lifespan of most other fuel and oil containers, with most lasting up to or beyond 20 years.

    Of course, the lifespan of a steel tank is highly dependent on correct maintenance, installation location, base quality, and the quality of steel used in the construction of the tank. A high-quality tank inspected and maintained on a regular basis will last for a lengthy period of time.

  • What is the difference between potable and non potable?

    Potable water storage tanks are used to store potable water – water that is safe for human consumption. These tanks tend to be constructed of a food-grade, medium density polyethylene, and approximately 250 litres in capacity on average – but can range from anywhere between 5 to 30,000 litres.

    Non potable water storage tanks, on the other hand, are used to store water which may no be used for human consumption. They are commonly installed on agricultural and commercial properties. It’s important to note that in general, the majority of plastic water tanks on the market are non potable due to the porous nature of many commonly used plastics – so look out for potable or non potable product labels or descriptions before selecting your storage tank.

  • Are plastic water storage tanks safe?

    All water tanks sold on a regulated basis in the UK today are safe – so long as they are installed and maintained correctly.

    Before the introduction of modern regulations, many ‘potable’ water tanks were constructed of unsuitable materials such as galvanised iron, which could result in the contamination of water over time. Now, tanks are most commonly constructed from a high or medium density polyethylene or plastic – making water stored within them safe for consumption.

    Further regulations put in place to ensure the safety of water tanks on the market today include size guidelines (water tanks too large for the amount of water consumed do not allow for frequent replenishment with fresh water), and a general requirement for close-fitting covers, tight, securely fastening lids, screened vents, and insulation in any new designs.

  • What is a waste oil tank?

    Waste oil tanks allow for the on-site storage of contaminated or waste oil prior to removal and disposal. Though typically smaller than oil or fuel storage tanks, waste oil tanks are available in both bunded and single skin formats. RPM Fuels currently stock a large range of plastic bunded waste oil tanks, manufactured by Harlequin.

    After storage in a waste oil tank, waste oil may be disposed of in multiple ways, including sending it to a licensed disposal site, such as a garage, or waste disposal facility permitted to handle oil and fuels.

  • How long can you store biodiesel for?

    Regardless of storage method, all fuels stored over a long period of time will degrade. This is particularly true of diesel, which can be stored from anywhere between 3 and 12 months, sometimes longer when the correct additives and preservatives are added. Biodiesel fuels are less predictable than diesel fuels, with five main factors influencing the amount of time they stay fresh for in storage – microbe contamination, light, storage temperature, oxygen exposure, and feedstock.

    Microbial contamination is a prevalent issue in biodiesel storage, as biodiesel provides an excellent environment for microbes to feed. Microbes may be introduced to fuel any time it is contaminated by water, meaning it’s important to keep your storage tank secure, and your fuel dry.

    In addition to this, it’s important to avoid unnecessary oxygen exposure to prevent a loss of oxidative stability.

     

     

  • What size of diesel storage tank do I need?

    The size of diesel tank required to adequately meet your fuelling needs depends on a number of factors, including the fuel efficiency of the vehicles or machinery to be powered, the frequency of use and refuelling, and how often you would like to refill the tank itself. Clients looking to avoid frequent refuelling, or looking to take advantage of current and future diesel price fluctuations may consider purchasing a larger tank for further storage.

    For example, a tank with a capacity between 1000 and 1500 litres would be most suitable for those fuelling farm vehicles covering 1-20 acres of agricultural land, those fuelling between 1 and 10 light commercial vehicles, or between 1 and 2 heavy vehicles, such as HGVs.

  • What is bulk fuel storage?

    Depending on you, or your business’ fuel/oil consumption habits and requirements, bulk fuel storage may be the most cost-effective and efficient way to keep your systems running. Generally defined as fuel/oil stored in quantities any larger than a 55-gallon drum, the term bulk fuel storage usually covers the containment of fuel in large, purpose-built tanks, available in sizes with a maximum capacity of upwards of 10,000 litres.

    These fuel storage tanks are available for purchase in a variety of formats, including bunded and single skin, and are suitable for application across a variety of sectors, including residential, commercial, construction, and agriculture.

  • How long can you store diesel for?

    The lifespan of diesel in storage, like any fuel, is highly dependent on the conditions it is stored in. Diesel stored in an allocated plastic container that receives correct maintenance will generally last for between six and twelve months, so long as it is kept relatively cool, and completely dry – that is, water is not allowed to leak into the container. In order to extend diesel’s lifespan past this in storage, stabilisers are generally used.

    The information above applies to diesel fuel only, not biodiesel or blends.

    Dedicated diesel fuel storage units, both steel and plastic, can be found in the diesel section of RPM Fuels’ website.

  • Why do plastic fuel tanks crack?

    Plastic tanks, particularly when located outdoors, are subject to a number of harsh conditions that may cause strain and cracking – especially in the case of single skin plastic tanks.

    Tanks subject to extreme temperature changes, incorrect installation, low levels of maintenance, continued exposure to sunlight, and heavy rain are particularly subject to damage, much of which cannot be repaired after it has occurred.

    • Uneven bases – cause an uneven distribution of pressure throughout the tank, which may lead to cracking, especially when the tank is full.
    • Incorrectly closed caps and lids – tanks subject to open lids can intake a high amount of rainwater if conditions are right. Water contamination can cause bacterial growth, particularly where diesel is being stored.
    • Sunlight – single skinned plastic tanks, particularly those not composed of materials designed to withstand UV exposure may warp, whiten, and weaken when exposed to direct sunlight on a regular basis.
    • Temperature changes – cold weather, particularly heavy snowfall, can cause plastic to become brittle and break.

    In order to avoid these common causes of damage, it is important to ensure the correct installation of your tank, and to inspect it for damage, or signs of strain on a regular basis.

  • Are plastic fuel tanks safe?

    Both plastic and steel fuel tanks can be used to safely store a variety of fuel types.

    Safe fuel storage is reliant on both a high-quality tank, and its correct installation, use, and maintenance. A well designed, well maintained, and correctly placed plastic tank can last for up to 20 years without incident. It is, however, important to note, that single skin plastic fuel tanks are more likely to suffer damage as a result of age, a lack of maintenance, or exposure. If left unnoticed, this damage may lead to leaks, causing significant environmental damage. For this reason, it is important to consult an OFTEC registered technician when first installing a fuel tank of any sort, and secondly, inspect your tank for signs of damage on a regular basis.

  • How much are plastic fuel storage tanks?

    The price of a plastic fuel tank is highly dependent on its size, design, intended function, features, and brand. Whilst single skin tanks tend to be the least expensive plastic offering on the market, some with enhanced safety features may be listed at a higher price point than a small bunded plastic fuel tank.

    Generally, single skin tanks are less expensive than bunded tanks, with the price increasing with size or capacity. RPM fuel’s range of plastic fuel storage tanks ranges from approximately £900 to £5000 in accordance with the above factors.

  • How long do plastic fuel tanks last for?

    Plastic fuel tanks typically have a 10-15 year lifespan, supported by a 10-year warranty in the case of many major fuel and oil tank manufacturers. The lifespan of these containers can be affected by a wide number of factors, including the design (bunded tanks tend to outlast single skin tanks), conditions, and maintenance. Regularly maintained plastic fuel tanks can last for up to 20 years.

    For those looking for a tank set to last over the 20-year mark, steel fuel tanks may be a safer bet. Though slightly pricier, steel tanks are generally less prone to age and environmental damage.

  • What size is my oil tank?

    Knowing the size of your oil tank and its capacity will make ordering fuel a lot easier and may assist in ordering a replacement or new tank if necessary. The majority of oil and fuel tanks of the UK market, regardless of manufacturer, have a product label listing all product details and dimensions, including size, and capacity. This label should be placed at the front or side of the tank on plastic tanks.

    Both domestic and commercial tanks sold on the UK market generally range in capacity from between 1000 to 2500 litres – though tanks of up to 10,000 litres can be purchased from specialist suppliers. RPM Fuels currently offer tanks between 100 and over 6000 litres.

  • Can oil tanks be installed indoors?

    Internal oil storage tanks should always be contained within an enclosed chamber, but never installed in a habitable area. Detailed requirements for the installation of oil storage tanks within habitable buildings and domestic garages can be acquired from OFTEC – but include;

    • Tanks installed indoors must be stored at the lowest level, inside a fire-resistant chamber.
    • All indoor tanks must be fitted with a secondary containment system (e.g. bund)
    • All drains and offshoots in the proximity of the tank must be closed or sealed
    • The tank must be accessible for inspection or refilling at any time
  • What are the base requirements for an oil tank?

    According to UK building regulations, oil tanks must be installed on a stable, flat base extending a minimum of 300mm beyond the tank at its widest point. This base is most commonly constructed of concrete or paving slabs between 50 and 100mm thick, all of which must be smooth or closely butted in order to ensure integrity for the lifespan of the tank. The base must be appropriate to the ground it is constructed on.

    Oil tank bases help ensure the integrity of the oil tank itself, and can greatly assist in preventing the spread of fire to surrounding foliage or structures.

    Though base requirements may vary depending on oil tank use or construction material, all bases should fully support the tank, and adhere to both UK regulation and manufacturer’s instruction.

  • What size of oil tank do I need?

    For domestic properties, generally, a capacity of 500 litres should be allowed per room in the house – however, there can be advantages to purchasing a tank larger than this rule of thumb calculation suggests – primarily surrounding cost. The amount of oil used by a household varies hugely. According to Tuffa, ‘a typical three-bedroom household using kerosene for heating only, and mostly on weekends and evenings, will use around 1,600 litres of oil annually.’

    Both domestic and commercial tanks sold on the UK market generally range in size from between 1000 to 2500 litres – though tanks of up to 10,000 litres can be purchased from specialist suppliers.

  • Can I relocate my oil tank?

    Before moving an oil tank, an assessment of the newly chosen installation site must be conducted in order to establish any safety and environmental risks attached to location, including proximity of controlled water, and fire risk. It is highly recommended that this installation is undertaken by a trained, or OFTEC registered technician, who will be able to provide expert advice relating to both safety and planning. Any relocation planned and carried out by an OFTEC registered technician will be legally compliant.

  • How do I dispose of an oil tank?

    Oil tanks, on both domestic and commercial properties, should generally be disposed of or ‘decommissioned’ by an OFTEC registered technician. This allows for the process to be completed safely, and efficiently.

    During the decommissioning process, engineers use a range of pumps, fuel storage, and additional equipment to dispose of any old or contaminated oil, before removing the tank itself. In the majority of removals, technicians will measure the amount of oil remaining in the tank, and note any contaminated (or waste) oil. This oil will be pumped out into an alternative storage or holding tank, whilst contaminated oil is disposed of. The tank itself will then be cleaned, disconnected, and disposed of. All old pipework should be removed and disposed of.

    Following the complete disposal of an old or damaged oil tank, a new one may be installed if the chosen or old site, and tank, meet all current UK requirements.

  • How close to a boundary can I place an oil tank?
    Though specific regulations for oil tank installation in relation to property boundaries vary from region to region, a good rule of thumb to follow is if the tank is less than 3500 litres, it should not be placed within 760mm of a combustible boundary e.g. a fence, assuming that there are no outlets or buildings between the tank and the boundary.
    In addition to this, oil tanks cannot be installed closer than 1.8 meters to the property or any extensions of property, including eaves, sheds, and gazebos. These regulations are put in place to help prevent the spread of fire to all properties within proximity of the oil tank.
  • Can oil tanks be repaired?

    Unfortunately, once damaged, oil tanks are most often unrepairable, particularly in the case of cracks and spillage. For this reason, it is important to regularly inspect the condition of your oil tank. If any signs of damage are noted, an OFTEC registered technician should be contacted. The tank can then be fully reviewed from a professional standpoint.

    This technician will be able to advise on whether or not the tank should be replaced, and suggest maintenance procedures where possible.

    If tank lifespan is a primary concern for you, investing in a high-quality model tends to be highly beneficial. The majority of established tank brands and models come with a 10-year warranty (bunded), and can last in excess of 20 years when correctly maintained.

  • How do I protect my oil tank from the sun?

    The best way to ensure your oil tank is protected from UV damage is at the point of purchase – it’s very important to ensure our tank has been manufactured using UV inhibitor materials if UV damage is a concern in your chosen installation location. These materials will reduce the impact of constant light exposure on your tank, and can be especially important in extending the life expectancy of plastic oil tanks. In situations where location is flexible and planning permission allows, the use of a shelter, indoor installation, or buried installation may resolve this issue.

    Purchasing a high-quality plastic oil tank is an investment – those manufactured with longevity in mind will save time and money in the long run. RPM Fuels’ carefully selected range of fuel tanks, ranging from steel to bunded, offer you a long-lasting, waste saving, safe storage solution for your fuel management system.

  • Can I lock my oil tank?

    Oil tanks have become an attractive target for thieves in recent years – particularly in less populated areas of the UK. Having fuel stolen from your tank can be a costly, and upsetting experience – however, there are ways in which you can ensure your tank, and the fuel within it, are protected.

    Both steel and bunded oil tanks are thought to be more secure than their single skinned counterparts – simply due to their increased resistance to drilling. The stronger the material your tank is composed of, the more difficult it is for thieves to access the fuel within it.

    Generally, oil tanks installed indoors or underground are targeted less – however, obtaining planning permission for this may be difficult. Where this is not suitable or possible, installing your tank within view can be beneficial.

    The vast majority of oil tanks sold today will allow for the placement of padlocks on the inspection cap – removing a potential point of access for thieves. Those looking to secure additional points of entry may need to purchase specialist locks or bars. Oil tank cages are a robust, and commonly used option, particularly on commercial properties.

    So, in short, yes, with the correct fitting fill point, manhole access, inspection point, or cabinet access, your oil tank can be locked and left secure.

  • Where can I put my oil tank?

    Oil tanks must be located at least 1.8 metres from the nearest dwelling under UK regulation – but must be 760mm from the nearest property boundary. In the event of a fire, this distance would help prevent spread to all properties within close proximity, minimising damage. Where this is not possible, planning regulations may stipulate the installation of a firewall, often required to extend 300mm above, and out from the tank.

    It is highly recommended to install tanks above ground (not buried), and outside unless additional planning permission is to be sought. Oil tanks buried underground must not be installed in areas with high levels of groundwater. Tanks installed in buildings must be bunded (or possess some kind of secondary containment system). The vast majority of local planning regulations dictate that indoor tanks must be installed in a fireproof chamber of some sort. 

    Oil tanks should always be installed by a trained, knowledgeable professional.  For further information on tank installation guidelines, the RPM Fuels team highly recommend consulting your local planning authority, and OFTEC guidelines. 

  • What is a single skin oil tank?

    Single skin oil tanks are fuel storage vessels consisting of just one layer – whereas the more commonly used bunded oil tanks consist of two in order to prevent spillage and contamination. The design of single skin tanks are generally less secure, meaning UK regulation imposes strict restrictions on where, when, and how they may be installed – for example, they cannot be installed on commercial properties under any circumstances.

    Despite this, there are a number of single skin oil tanks on the market, most often at lower price points than their bunded counterparts. If you’re considering a single skin oil tank, it’s important to ensure your planned installation site complies with all regulations – consulting OFTEC may assist in clarifying this.

  • Do domestic oil tanks have to be bunded?

    According to UK regulation and law, all oil tanks containing over 2500 litres installed on domestic properties must have a ‘secondary containment’ – i.e., bunding. For tanks with a capacity under 2500 litres, this regulation varies slightly. Generally, a site pollution risk assessment should be completed prior to installation, taking into consideration the proximity of all controlled water sources which may be polluted in the event of a leak – an event which may be more likely if a single-skin oil tank is used.

    Single skin oil tanks may not be installed under any circumstances in sites within 10 meters of controlled water, within 50 metres of a borehole or spring, or over hard ground allowing for run-off to controlled water. In addition to this, single skin oil tanks may not be used to store and supply heating oil for any building besides a single-family dwelling. For further guidance on oil tank installation regulation, the RPM fuels team recommends consulting OFTEC.

  • How long do bunded oil tanks last?

    The vast majority of plastic bunded oil tanks come with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty as standard – as is demonstrated by top brands Harlequin, Titan, Carbery, and Atlantis. It is not uncommon for plastic bunded tanks to outlast this warranty, lasting between 15 to 20 years when correctly installed and maintained. Maintenance procedures for plastic bunded oil tanks can include ensuring the base of the tank is consistently even, that the tank is kept clear of additional weight, conducting regular inspection for cracks or strain, and ensuring an absence of rainwater.

    Those seeking a lifespan past this point may look to invest in a steel bunded oil tank – these are generally designed to withstand more than 20 years of use with light maintenance.

  • What is a bunded oil tank?

    Bunded oil tanks are a commonly used, and highly recommended form of oil storage, offering a higher level of protection against leakage than ‘single skin’ tanks through their ‘second skin’ design. These tanks essentially consist of a tank within a tank – whilst their inner tank acts primarily to hold fuel, their secondary shell allows for the safe collection of any oil released as a result of a leak. The inclusion of a secondary containment tank (seen in all bunded oil tank designs) allows for the containment of any leaks, helping property owners comply with regulation, and avoid environmental damage. In addition to this, the secure design of bunded oil tanks are thought to help prevent fuel theft, and reduce wear and tear through weather and exposure.

    Bunded tanks are a legal requirement at all commercial and industrial premises storing oil in the UK and Channel Islands, but are commonly used domestically.

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    We have over 20 years of experience in the fuel and fuel storage industry and aim to provide a high-quality product and service at some of the most competitive prices available. Contact us today to find out more.

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