As the cold weather rapidly creeps up, now’s the time to ensure you can keep your home and family warm throughout winter. If a domestic oil tank is your only source of heating, then it’s essential to do all you can to prevent it from freezing up and breaking down, during the busiest and coldest time of year.

Ideally, oil tanks should be stored inside where temperatures are warmer. However, for many, this isn’t possible. This article advises how you can prevent your oil tank and its content from freezing this winter, to keep your home nice and snug.

How To Prevent Your Heating Oil From Freezing

Prevention is always better than emergency call-outs and enduring even colder nights. By following our recommendations below, you can prepare your tank for the harsh winter weather.

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Add Insulation

Your fuel lines are an essential part of moving heating oil from your tank to your home. Wrap your fuel lines and supply system with waterproof insulating materials such as foam, this will protect them from freezing and help retain the heat.

Bury Fuel Lines

By moving fuel lines underground, the temperature is warmer and the earth will naturally insulate them. It also means they’re protected from external elements. If you do bury your fuel lines, ensure their trench is 450mm deep.

Try Blended Heating Oil

Combination heating oil often has a lower freezing point, however, it may not always be compatible with your oil tank or boiler. Before switching your oil, always speak to a heating expert to see if this is the right solution for you.

Shelter Your Oil Tank

An adequate shelter or shed will protect your tank from the elements and help contain heat within the tank. It also prevents water or snow from sitting on top; potentially turning into ice, seeping into your tank and polluting your oil.

Add Heating Oil Additives

Treated oil which contains certain additives are designed to prevent oil freezing. They also have many other benefits such as removing impurities from your oil, reducing tank wear and tear, and helping your fuel burn more efficiently.

Check Your Tank

Regular maintenance of your oil tank will ensure it’s in peak working performance. You can also spot signs of concern and resolve them before they become bigger issues. Our Winter Oil Tank Guide has everything you need to cover.

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At What Temperature Does Heating Oil Freeze?

When temperatures fall to around 16 Fahrenheit (-8 degrees), heating oil will start to freeze. This isn’t like water turning into ice; when oil freezes, it turns into a thick, gel wax that sticks to and clogs up your heating system. Furthermore, when it thaws, there may still be a thick residue that will continue to cause problems.

What To Do If Your Heating Oil Is Frozen

If your heating has stopped and you’ve discovered your oil is frozen, contact a heating engineer straight away. In the meantime, you can attempt to thaw your fuel lines with a hairdryer, but be mindful of using these in wet or snowy conditions. Never use an open flame to dethaw your pipes. Alternatively, you can layer up with warm clothing and invest in electric blankets or heaters to stay warm until the problem is resolved.

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Check With An Oil Tank Expert

If you’ve noticed your heating system isn’t performing as it should, or any issues with your tank and heating oil, please get in touch with our friendly team. We can make expert recommendations or find solutions to make sure your home remains cosy through winter.