Commercial /

19 May 2024

Do you avoid the complicated?

Plumbers and Heating Engineers have a difficult job. Constantly under pressure to deliver, blamed for even the minutest of hiccups and essentially held up with supply chain issues, compliance and legislation constraints.

The net effect of these issues results in very qualified tradespeople cherry-picking their work and avoiding anything likely to be overly time-consuming.

Charlie Dalton is a perfect example. Charlie is an OFTEC heating engineer with a strong reputation in Hampshire for quality and service.

Despite his hard-earned reputation, Charlie admits that there is one job within the heating and plumbing landscape that both he and his colleagues have avoided.

Too many heating oil tank installations are laborious, complicated and time-consuming, meaning engineers go out of their way to avoid them.

When Charlie spoke to Tuffa about the options for a new installation he’d been commissioned to look at, we talked about his options, any constraints on location, footprint and supply access etc.

Charlie was surprised (and relieved) to learn about Tuffa’s Fire Protected Oil Tank range.

Charlie explained, “We’ve always avoided heating oil tank installations in the past because the process of compliance, whilst not challenging, can be drawn out with building regulations sign-off and adherence to the location of tank proximity to the building possibly being the most significant obstacle requiring unsightly fireboards bolted to any adjacent walls.”

Charlie goes on to say, “When we have installed a tank for legacy customers, it has almost always been a two-day job allowing for installation prep which might include making a frame, installing fire boarding etc. Fire boards look dreadful, and whilst the customer understands the need for them, never likes the resulting look.”

Tuffa’s Fire Pro range takes a revolutionary approach to fire-protected heating oil tanks.

Tuffa FirePro tanks are fitted with a fire jacket as standard, which means installation is simple even when very close to adjacent walls, buildings and boundaries without needing frames and fire boards. Heating oil tank installation then becomes a very attractive business opportunity.

Once we explained this simplified, effortless approach, Charlie gladly accepted the job of replacing an old heating oil tank after installing an oil-fired boiler.

The original tank was installed in the 1970s. Can you imagine the difference between the regulations then compared to today? The ’70s were, after all, the decade where flairs and massive collars were acceptable!

Build quality and materials offer a minimum lifespan of thirty years and include an impressive ten-year warranty as standard.

While Charlie advised that a 900 Litre tank would be sufficient for single occupancy, the customer saw the 1100L tank as an investment that would make the house more saleable for couples and families. The larger capacity also gave the customer better fuel buying power.

One of the main reasons that engineers avoid domestic installations is the strict regulations around fire separation distances of conventional oil tanks.

The legislative demands complicate installing new tanks and replacing old, dilapidated ones where the tank is adjacent to a building, fence, shed or garage.

Compliance only allows two options. First, installing fire boarding around the replacement tank, OR constructing a new base and fuel line to site the tank a minimum of 1.8m from the building – typically meaning the tank is sited in the middle of the garden, just like Charlie’s customer.

Charlie summarises, “What makes Tuffa’s Fire Pros unique is the factory-fitted fire jacket which allows compliant and simple installation adjacent to buildings and boundaries. We take great pride in our work where form and function meet aesthetics. The FirePro will enable us to achieve this.

Tuffa’s 1100L Fire Pro was in stock, and delivery was rapid, arriving on site the following Monday.”

If you’d like to know more about Tuffa’s FirePro range check out our guide to fire rated oil tanks or contact us and we’ll happily walk through your requirements and options.

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