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oil tank removal.

If you live “off the grid” in a rural area, chances are you literally are off the grid – the National Grid, anyway. Homes out in the sticks might have phone lines, but they also often have to generate their own power with a domestic oil tank.

In the modern world, these are safe, secure ways to keep the lights on. Like everything, there comes a time when you might need to remove a domestic oil tank, either because it needs replacing due to age, or you don’t use it anymore. However, they’re predictably difficult to get rid of – and you need an expert to sort out domestic oil tank removal for you.

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When should I get rid of 
my domestic oil tank?

You might need to dispose of an oil tank if it’s leaking, old, or simply not used. The lifespan of an oil tank depends on the type you’ve got and where it is – you may need to replace it simply because of the one you’ve got. However, if it’s 20 years or older, you’ll definitely have to dispose of your old oil tank.

Entry-level, “single-skinned” domestic oil tanks – which only have one layer of steel or plastic – give you the lowest protection against damage or leaking. They’re now largely illegal because of that. If you’ve got one operating on your property, you could be committing a serious offence. Similarly, “double-skinned” or “twin-walled” tanks may be stronger but are treated as a single skin by regulations.

Then there are “integrally bunded” options. Bunded oil tanks are essentially a tank inside a tank, and the outer layer can hold 110% of the inner tank’s contents, as well as the oil tank fittings. Finally, there are underground tanks – while generally safe, they’re very difficult to check for leaks, spills, or damage.

If you’ve got one of these domestic oil tanks, speak to an environmental expert to test it, and you ought to replace it with an above-ground, bunded one instead. In any case, make sure you get a qualified person registered with OFTEC to carry out an inspection to look at the oil tank and pipework, as they’ll be able to tell you if you’re up to code or not.

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How do I dispose of 
my oil tank?

To dispose of an oil tank you must get an OFTEC (Oil Firing Technical Association) registered engineer to assess the tank and building. They will identify any fire or environmental risks involved with removing and disposing of the oil tank. This assessment can lead to the decommission and approval for its removal.

You should not try to remove and dispose of an oil tank yourself. Strict regulations cover how oil tanks must be removed and disposed of properly. There could be a serious environmental and health risk – as well as legal implications and penalties – if you try to remove a domestic oil tank yourself.

The official process for removing and disposing of an oil tank follows these steps:

  • First, an engineer tests how much oil is left in the tank (including the amount sitting on the bottom of the tank). This is contaminated oil that must be disposed of following specific environmental rules.
  • Any clean oil is pumped out of the tank into a holding tank.
  • The contaminated oil on the bottom of is then pumped out and moved into a waste oil container, which will later be removed and taken to a licensed site for disposal.
  • The empty oil tank is cleaned out, de-gassed, and disconnected from the pipes and its base. Before the oil tank removal the engineer will re-test it to ensure there’s no gas remaining and will then issue a certificate confirming this.
  • Next, the whole oil tank is removed if there’s enough access space for a vehicle with a mounted crane to reach it. If not, then a team of specialists can cut up the old oil tank onsite. This involves hot and cold cutting – reciprocating saws for plastic tanks and either a gas torch or a steel nibbler for steel tanks.
  • These pieces or the entire old oil tank are removed, and the engineer issues a Waste Transfer Note. This covers the removal of the hazardous waste material.
old white oil tank outside a building.
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Can I give my oil tank 
away or sell it?

There’s no real second-hand market for domestic oil tanks, so chances are you won’t find a person willing to take it off your hands for free, never mind pay money for it. What’s more, you or whoever’s collecting it may have little-to-no experience of safely removing one – not ideal, given how dangerous they can be, even when they’re as empty as possible.

However, if it’s metal, there’s a chance that a scrap dealer may be interested. It’s worth calling around, as they may even feel it’s valuable enough to remove your oil tank for you (so long as it’s not underground). Loads of merchants have experience of doing it and should have the correct licence.

Will the council collect or take my old plastic or metal oil tank? 

Most, if not all councils won’t remove your oil tank for you. Some may take it off your hands at a household waste recycling centre (HWRC), depending on its size and type. It’s important to call ahead and check. However, before then you must remove it yourself and get it there, which isn’t straightforward.

You might have extra problems when hiring a van to transport even a small oil tank. Harmful chemicals inside an old oil tank can leak. This means you might be charged more, fined after returning it, or even refused a van in the first place, thanks to the danger and mess involved in transporting the container.

Do installation companies take oil tanks away when they replace them? 

If you’re getting your old oil tank replaced with a newer model, your best option for shifting your outdated oil container will be with an installer. It still won’t be cheap – you’ll see a premium on top of the cost of a new oil tank that could run between hundreds and thousands of pounds.

That’s the price of getting it done carefully – give us a call for a comparison quote.

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How much does 
oil tank removal cost?

The cost to remove an oil tank varies depending on a few factors. These include the size, weight, and type of old oil tank, accessibility, where you are in the UK, the transport and vehicles needed, and labour costs. Generally, oil tank disposal costs anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand pounds.

The best way to get a good idea of the oil tank removal cost for your situation is to request a tailored quote. Call 0333 444 0118 or contact us online with the essential information about your old oil tank and we can provide a free no obligation quote for oil tank disposal costs.

What other options do I have 
for oil tank disposal?

In the right circumstances, companies like Divert are more than happy to organise domestic oil tank removal. Gather as much information as you have on your oil tank – and even take some photos – and we’ll see if we can organise oil tank disposal from your home or business in the UK.

You couldn’t pick a better partner. At Divert we ensure that your oil tank is environmentally disposed of in partnership with our network of recycling partners. This makes sure that all reusable elements of what you give us are sensitively handled, keeping as much away from landfill as possible.

Get a free quote for oil tank removal and disposal today – call 0333 444 0118 or contact us online.

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