Simplifying difficult installations with Tuffa’s Fire Protected Oil Tanks

Charlie of Charlie Dalton Plumbing Services is an OFTEC registered heating engineer based in Winchester. Charlie has a strong reputation within the villages of Hampshire for quality workmanship working with everything from emergency repairs, boiler installations and new bathrooms. Three hundred 10* reviews on Checkatrade testifies to the diversity of his work and perfect customer-satisfaction rate. However, Charlie admits that there has always been one role within heating and plumbing that he has avoided due to being overly laborious and complicated, and that there are plenty of heating engineers in the area who are like-minded. That role is oil tank installations.

1000L steel oil tank installed during the 1970s

Too often old oil tanks have been installed adjacent to buildings in a location incompliant with modern regulations and fire separation distances. This makes siting a replacement tank more complex, leaving the installer with the options of finding somewhere discreet to locate the tank (often difficult or impossible resulting with a tank within an established garden) or constructing a fire barrier which completely interposes itself between the tank and surrounding structures. Charlie explained that constructing a fire barrier changes the installation from a simple day’s work to a two-day slog with almost an entire day dedicated to making a stable frame and fitting the fire boarding or hiring a ‘chippy’ to do the work instead. Either way, the end result isn’t ideal for the homeowner or heating engineer as it’s elaborate, expensive and still an eyesore.

However, Charlie recently discovered Tuffa’s Fire Protected Oil Tank range. With the fire jacket factory-fitted within the tank’s bund, installation is simplified and can be completed within one day and at a standard that the engineer and homeowner are happy with. Adding Tuffa’s range to Charlie’s arsenal has given him the incentive to offer oil tank installations more regularly as a service to his customers. As such, after completing an oil-fired boiler installation for his customer John, Charlie accepted the job of replacing the old tank too.

John’s existing oil tank was installed during the 1970s and inconveniently located next to the garage door in direct view of the window facing toward his neighbour’s house. Charlie explained that while regulations have changed, Tuffa’s Fire Protected Oil Tank could actually be sited in the same location. However, after spending decades looking at the old tank through the window John preferred to hide the new oil tank more discreetly in the garden and turn the area by his window into a nice patio area.

With confidence in the durability of steel tanks, John opted for Tuffa’s 1100L steel bunded oil tank with 30 minute fire rating. These tanks are also built to last with a 30 year minimum design life and a 10 year warranty. While Charlie advised that our 900L tank would be sufficient as a single-occupancy dwelling, John preferred to install the 1100L as an investment to make the house more saleable for couples and families – he envisaged the tank being used for many years to come.

As the 1100L oil tank was already in stock, delivery was arranged for the following Monday and the base could be constructed in preparation. The oil tank was lifted onto some rollers and transported to the base which had been prepared with a fuel line running through a sleeve in the corner. A bent elbow on the outlet meant the Ultra Compact isolation valve and fuel filter (which comes as standard with our oil tanks) could run along the width of the tank which looks much neater and prevents anyone standing on or tripping over the valve. However, due to the innovative design of the isolation valve, it could have been replaced in minutes without the need to train and refill the tank.

With a transfer pump replacing the oil into the new tank, the installation was complete and we contacted Charlie to enquire about his experience with Tuffa and our Fire Protected Oil Tank range:

“The customer is really happy with the installation now the tank isn’t visible through his window, and he likes the simple visual gauge on the tank even more than the Watchman. The whole ordering system with Tuffa has been simple from ordering the tank to delivery and I’ve been kept in the loop the whole time. The delivery drivers have also been top-class and didn’t just rush off as soon as they made delivery but helped to position the tank on the rollers and even lent us some ratchet straps.”

Compliant with installations as close as 300mm from domestic buildings and boundaries, our tanks with 30 minute fire rating are perfect for siting new and replacement oil tanks in tricky locations. Browse our Fire Protected Oil Tank range or contact us for prices including discounts for heating engineers.

Sign up for our newsletter