Cracking Plastic Oil Tanks!

crackIt is no surprise that more oil tanks than usual are cracking this year due to a number of factors, this forced the Environment Agency to issue a press release last week. (

Firstly, its roughly 17 years since the first plastic oil tanks were used in the UK and these tanks are only expected to last for around 10-15 years.

Secondly if your plastic oil tank is sited in full sunshine then it’s likely to be at an increased risk of cracking. With the recent high temperatures and long sunny days, it’s worth giving your tank a quick once over every few months.\

Thirdly Corona Virus is one of the reasons behind a truly dramatic drop in the price of oil which in April saw the price at its lowest in over 25 years.

The net effect has been more and more people are stock piling more oil in their tanks than normal over the summer period.

Helen Wakeham, Deputy Director of Water Quality for the Environment Agency said: The Environment Agency is urging anyone with a domestic heating oil tank to check their tank is in a good state of repair before getting heating oil delivered. This is especially important as tanks will be more full than usual through the summer months, increasing the risk of spills and leaks.

I can see cracks on my plastic oil tank; what should I do?

If the cracks are above the oil level then you have a little bit of time, but you need to think about replacing it before your next delivery of oil is required. in your tank then you should replace the tank before your next delivery. If you can see open cracks, then it is vital that you cover them and ensure no water enters the tank. If water was to get in and subsequently mixed with your fuel this is likely to lead to problems such as sludge and blockages.

If you have cracks below the oil level in your plastic oil tank, then a quick, but temporary fix would be to rub solid soap on the crack, this is a very short-term measure to stop it getting worse. You need to have some fuel taken out asap and arrange a new replacement oil tank.

What about warranty?

Many plastic oil tanks were supplied with a ten-year warranty so as long as the manufacturer is still trading, there is a chance to get some money back. However, be aware that newer oil tanks with single skins tend to only have a two-year warranty, so only buy one if you’re on a very tight budget. A far better option is to choose a bunded tank, these all have a minimum of a ten-year warranty.

If you are unsure of what to do if your tank is showing signs of ageing or your considering a new oil tank and would like to know what options are available. Then please contact one of our team on 01953 713560 or e-mail us on


UKIFDA Stay Tank Safe

This video from liquid fuel trade association the UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) contains advice on how to look after your heating oil tank. We thought they had done a rather good job of explaining it al, hope you agree.


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