Having moved into an 18th-century cottage in a rural part of Northamptonshire around a year ago, Kirsty and her husband set about improving the heating of the antiquated building. While a historic house in a quiet village is idyllic, you can sacrifice comfort for charm and breezy rooms for nostalgia. To combat the cold Kirsty planned replace the old boiler, single radiators and single glazing with modernised heating systems. After all this work it didn’t make sense to leave the old heating oil tank, the last piece before the whole heating system was restored.
Kirsty explained that when she first moved into the cottage she had no prior knowledge of heating oil and how it worked which she found very offputting. Therefore, her first reaction was to research the option of getting the house connected to the national gas network. After speaking with an advisor she discovered the job would be a very big one involving a special projects team with an architect, surveyor, and road workers digging up the village road right up to the end of the drive. The end result of this would have cost “thousands upon thousands” and even then would still require a heating plumber to route the pipe from the driveway to the boiler. Surprisingly, this work wouldn’t be subsidised by the government.
The old heating oil tank was around 25 years old, looked derelict, and didn’t have a watchman sonic so Kirsty and her husband were constantly going outside to visually check the oil levels. Having called an installer to inspect the site he explained that the old tank also no longer complied with building regulations. The tank was sited within a couple of feet away from the neighbouring doctor’s surgery – well within the 1.8m which is the minimum safe distance a conventional tank can be sited next to structures.
The installer recommended Tuffa’s fire protected heating oil tank range. These tanks are integrally fitted with a unique and patented fire rated material. This enables installers to site a tank directly next to, or even inside, a building or other structure. The alternative, which Kirsty sought to avoid, would mean siting the oil tank in an obstructive location in the garden within direct sight of the house “not that the Tuffa tank was an eye-sore”.
After a quick Google search and receiving a second quote from an oil tank manufacturer who were “quite blunt and unhelpful”, Kirsty got through to Tuffa.
Everyone I spoke to at Tuffa was really thorough, friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. The sales team did a great job of alleviating our concerns and broke everything down to layman terms to explain how everything works. – Kirsty
Kirsty also praised our regular delivery drivers at Diamond Freight. Unfortunately, builders from the 1700s didn’t have the foresight to make driveways wide enough for a 7.5-ton hiab lorry. Fortunately, Diamond doesn’t employ ‘jobsworths’ and instead of abandoning the tank on the driveway, Steve suggested using some old rollers left over from all the building work and helped to roll the tank to the back garden ready for installation.
The old dilapidated tank has now been replaced with a new and compliant fire protected tank. Heating oil is no longer a cause for anxiety and with the new Watchman Sonic, which comes with the tank, Kirsty and co. are no longer running outside to check the oil levels. In fact, Kirsty has become a bit of a dab hand and has a tip for others heating their homes with oil: see if there are any heating oil clubs in your area. These are communities of people who have banded together to buy their heating oil in bulk thus lowering the overall cost of each litre of fuel. Kirsty’s club Yobco ended up being considerably cheaper than the mainstream delivery companies she tried. The tank is now full and ready for the bitterest winter.
For more tips, information, advice and industry insights covering everything from the basic question “what is heating oil?” to the money-saving “how can I get the best price for heating oil?” check out An Expert Guide to Heating Oil Storage.
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