Tank Fill

Everything You Need to Know About Heating Oil Tank Sizes

If you’re moving into a new home with an oil tank that needs to be replaced, it’s helpful to know what heating oil tank sizes are available. But with a variety of shapes and sizes to choose from, it can be tricky to determine which tank capacity is appropriate for your household.

The size of your tank will directly affect how much fuel you can purchase at one time, and ultimately, impact the frequency of refills and your monthly budgeting. 

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • The oil tank sizes available in the UK
  • 3 things to consider when choosing your fuel tank size
  • Frequently asked questions about domestic tank sizes

What domestic oil tank sizes are available in the UK?

Oil tank sizes in the UK range from 500 litres to 10,000 litres, and the size you choose will depend on your unique requirements.

Occasionally, the placement of your oil tank may limit the size you can choose. In such cases, relocating your tank to a different spot may be necessary to install a larger tank. The benefit of a larger tank is the ability to store a greater volume of heating oil, which should prolong the refill intervals.

3 Things to consider before settling on a heating oil tank size

1. The size of your property

When choosing the size of your oil storage tank, it’s important to consider the number of rooms in your home that require heating. As a general rule of thumb, allocate at least 500 litres of capacity per bedroom and an additional 500 litres for your living room and any other space you spend time in.

It’s worth noting that most heating oil suppliers will deliver a minimum of 500 litres of fuel at one time. So, for a one-bedroom house, a 1000-litre tank capacity is necessary, while for a two-bedroom house we would recommend a minimum of 2,000 litres.

2. Your heating oil usage

The size of your tank will also be influenced by the number of people living in your home. That’s because more people generally means a higher demand for hot water and heating. This increased demand may result in more frequent oil refills, which could require a larger tank size to accommodate the additional fuel usage.

Your heating oil usage may not be easy to work out until you have been living in your property for a year or so. We say a year because the amount of fuel you use in the summer will be very different to what you use during the winter months. However, the previous owners should be able to guide you.

All of our heating oil tanks are equipped with a FoxRadar monitor to help you determine the amount of fuel that your household uses. Thanks to this handy smart monitor, you can keep tabs on your oil levels from anywhere and get alerts directly to your phone when your tank is running low.

Read our guide on how to save money on your heating oil bills.

3. How much space there is to store your oil tank

The size of your tank may be limited by the amount of space available on your property. Most domestic oil tanks are located outside, which is typically the safer option. Tanks can also be installed underground, inside a building, or in a basement.

Once you have determined your tank’s location, it is crucial to ensure that it meets the following requirements, even if you’re replacing an existing tank:

  • It is not near any fire or heat source
  • It is 1.8m away from non-fire rated building eaves or buildings, like a garden shed or outhouse
  • It is 1.8m away from any openings, like windows and doors, in a fire rated building, such as a garage and your house (brick based)
  • It is at least 600mm away from any trees, hedges or other foliage
  • It is at least 760mm away from any boundaries, like a wooden fence, that is not fire rated.
  • There is sufficient access for your oil suppliers to make a delivery
  • Your OFTEC registered engineer has easy access to the oil tank for maintenance and servicing.
  • It is sheltered from the wind, rain, sun and other weather extremes
  • It must sit on a base that is sturdy and is able to take the weight of a full tank of oil, such as concrete.

Key takeaway

Choosing an appropriate heating oil tank size is an important decision that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s important to choose the right tank that can adequately meet your household’s heating needs, while also being practical and compliant with regulations.

If you’re still unsure about which domestic oil tank size to install, our OFTEC registered engineers are always happy to provide guidance and recommendations. Give our expert tank team a call on 0345 600 4040 or take a look at our tank installation guide.

FAQs about domestic heating oil tank sizes

Domestic oil tanks can have a capacity ranging from 500 to 10,000 litres, though the typical size for UK households is between 1,000 and 2,500 litres.

Yes, it is possible to install a heating oil tank that is larger than the recommended size for your home. However, it's important to note that larger tanks may require additional space, and may also incur higher installation and maintenance costs.

There are, however, cost-saving benefits in the long run. A larger tank allows you to bulk buy heating oil when prices are low, resulting in longer intervals between refills. This is not only convenient but also reduces the risk of running out of oil during emergencies.

Yes, you can upgrade your heating oil tank size. However, you may be required to relocate your tank to a different spot to accommodate a larger tank. View our oil tank replacement guide.

Sign up to our newsletter

*Required field

Thank you!

Please wait while your order is submitted. Do not try to submit again.