Heating oil tank (green plastic, 2000 litres) sprang a leak yesterday

Had an emergency yesterday afternoon. I happened to be hanging the washing outside when I noticed that the heating oil tank had split for about an inch about half-way up the side. The oil wasn't gushing out, but something Had To Be Done urgently. This was at 5:30 pm so the heating oil supplier had gone home. The next door neighbour and I managed to seal the leak temporarily with wet potter's clay and tape so that it just dripped, but I thought I can't leave it like that until the morning, so I called the fire station in Boston for advice (non-999 number).
There is no fire station in the small town where I live in South Lincs, so I called the Boston station and caught the resident fire officer just as he was about to leave. He said straightway he'd send a fire engine, as they had better sealing putty than the potter's clay. They use it on lorry tanks. Anyway, they arrived 20 minutes later - five blokes! Very helpful. Within just ten minutes the guy who seemed to have done it before had sealed it with the stuff they use, which is called Dammit (I've since looked it up on the internet). They covered the Dammit with several layers of what looked like black duct tape.
In the interim I called my heating engineer, who is coming first thing this morning with temporary bund tanks to pump out my tank into. I'll have to get a new tank, but I don't know whether to get a single-skin or a bund tank. The fire officer thought bund tanks were mandatory now, but I still see firms on the internet selling single-skin ones, which my current one is.
Thing is, I took delivery of heating oil yesterday mid-morning and it filled the tank brimfull, so probably the extra pressure of 2000 litres pressing on the tank was enough for it to give way. The tank was manufactured in 2004. I'm just hoping the repair will last until tomorrow morning, but if it bursts open again, the fire officer said just ring 999 as my details will now be on the system already.
Update: I didn't sleep much, so went out to check the repair during the night. It lasted about 6 hours completely dry, but at about 01:30 am this morning I noticed it was weeping slightly. At 04:30 am it was weeping more, and now, at 08:00 am it is dripping ~slightly~ (about a drip every 3 seconds). I gathered the leakage in a plastic bowl, which has accumulated about 2 litres overnight, though some of that may well be rainwater as it6's been raining off and on throughout the night.
The other thing was, a neighbour across the road two or three doors down had exactly the same thing happen to him, according to my immediate neighbour. He had his tank filled right up and it developed a leak soon afterwards! These tanks are now over 11 years old on the estate. They are, I see from the internet, guaranteed for ten years, but I had assumed they last forever.
Questions:
1. What other course of action might I have taken?
2. Should I get a bund tank or is single-skin okay? Note that bund tanks don't come in as many sizes (capacities) and are at least twice the price of single-skin. Howeverm I'm not worried about the cost at the moment. I just want to get it sorted.
3. Should I NEVER AGAIN fill the new tank up to the top?
4. Any further suggestions as to replacing the tank with the new one? My friendly heating engineer will do all the work, but I'm asking what points to remember? How heavy are these plastic tanks when empty?
The tank is round cross-section, about 1m diameter and 2m long.
MM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 24 Sep 2015 08:09:35 +0100, MM wrote:

IIRC, single-skin is permissible up to a certain size and at least a minimum distance from waterways.
If t'were me, it'd be bunded, no question. 2,000 litres of heating oil is not really what you want spilling all over the garden.
Our neighbours have a scabby old steel tank - and, frankly, it stinks of oil. I try very hard to ignore it, but if t'were mine, it would've been replaced by now... I like our gas tank.
I dunno about where you are, but our local builder's merchant have several oil tanks in their yard, and a catalogue on the counter. You, surely, know the bloke behind the counter at yours? Ask him what they tend to sell. Ask your heating engineer what he tends to install, and what he'd do if it were his.

If it hadn't been filled to the brim, might it have split when filled half way? If not this time, next time?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 24 Sep 2015 07:15:58 +0000 (UTC), Adrian

When the heating engineer this morning had finished setting up the pump and started pumping out my tank into a temporary one, he went across the road to check two of the neighbours' tanks. Verdict: Both are ready to burst any time! One neighbour was expecting 1000 litres tomorrow, but quickly phoned and cancelled her order.
My heating engineer said the tank had not been installed in accordance with the regs in force 10 years ago when the 40 properties on the estate were constructed, as it is too close to combustible material (wooden fence) and too close to water courses. Engineer said he will ONLY consider a bunded tank for my replacement, which I fully agree with. I wouldn't wish this hassle on anyone, even if I sell and move on in a couple of years.
A friggin' nightmare, I can tell you. But now all is in hand with the temporary tank containing 1000 litres and I can relax. The leak stopped dripping as soon as we'd pumped out abound 300 litres, so it was deffo that brimful delivery I got yesterday morning that triggered the leak. Thank goodness the fire brigade was so ready to help. He said I was quite right to contact them, as it was a genuine emergency. Some people call 999 to report a kettle that won't come to the boil, he said.
MM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"MM" wrote in message

ONLY replace it with a bunded tank - the Environment Agency will be after you if you have a spillage.
I keep a 1000 litre 'IBC' palletised tank for shifting oil from one tank to another (we have three separate oil central heating systems on the farm) using an electric imersible pump, so in you instance I'd have been able to reduce the leaking tank, and given room, transfer the oil into another one.
Andrew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 24 Sep 2015 08:44:52 +0100, "Andrew Mawson"

Absolutely. The heating engineer who arrive promptly pretty much first thing said he would only consider a bunded tank. Also see my comments earlier re non-compliance with "building" regs (dunno if it was building regs, or some other kind of regs, but the installation was deffo not legal when the poroperties were constructed in 2003/4).

Won't apply now in my case, but as a matter of interest, what does a palletised tank cost? This is exactly what the engineer brought with him this morning.
MM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 24 Sep 2015 17:37:50 +0100, MM wrote:

Bugger all. They're on eBay from less than £20, if you can collect. £70 delivered seems to be the cheapest at a quick glance.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 24 Sep 2015 17:14:22 +0000 (UTC), Adrian

Jeez! That's cheap. I imagined they'd cost a couple of hundred quid or thereabouts.
MM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 24 Sep 2015 17:14:22 +0000 (UTC), Adrian

Follow-up question: Are they also available as slimline? Because we had the dickens of a job moving the emergency tank to the back garden. The heating engineer and his young apprentice are strapping lads, but it took quite an effort. We had to lift the tank high enough to clear the diving fence to the next property, then we slid it along the top of the fence, which held up very well. I say "we", but really all I could do is be a gofer for tools and trestles and support the tank's balance as best I could. I had a 3x bypass two years ago, so I'm not about to do any heavy lifting.
I'm thinking of knocking together a support beam on H/D wheels that will slide down the path. About 6' long beam, height about 6' level with the top of the fence, with a base that stops the contraption from tipping over. Then the spare tank could be slid along the fence AND the beam. Got to be a lot easier - and safer. One misjudgement of the balance and the tank crashes into the neighbour's back garden. We've been lucky so far.
How would you have moved it? Any ideas? After all, eventually the spare tank will have been emptied back into the new main tank and will have to be lifted back along the fence again.
MM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MM wrote:

Given you will soon have a shiny new tank (with presumably at least 10 year guarantee) and now know about soap, dammit and duct tape, and that your engineer can arrange an emergency tank at a few hours notice, why would you bother keeping an emergency tank on site?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 25 Sep 2015 10:01:11 +0100, Andy Burns

Because it's full with a 1000 litres pumped out of my tank until the new tank is delivered.
MM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MM wrote:

I can understand you temporarily having /that/ one in the interim, but it sounded like you wanted to keep a permanent spare around ...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 25 Sep 2015 19:30:47 +0100, Andy Burns

Nope. Just curious, that's all.
MM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 25 Sep 2015 09:57:03 +0100, MM wrote:

There's a rough clue in the "1,000 litres" and "palletised". They're a cubic metre, more or less.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
/Adrian On Fri, 25 Sep 2015 09:57:03 +0100, MM wrote:

There's a rough clue in the "1,000 litres" and "palletised". They're a cubic metre, more or less. /Q
The 700 litre IBCs are a bit skinnier in one dimension.
Jim K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Is this ridiculous, confusing, non-standard quoting style yours? If so, please consider stopping doing it.
--
Today is Pungenday, the 49th day of Bureaucracy in the YOLD 3181
I don't have an attitude problem.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 25 Sep 2015 11:11:12 +0000 (UTC), Adrian

Pallets can be removed during transport, then fitted again, surely?
MM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 25 Sep 2015 19:21:55 +0100, MM wrote:

Which'll remove, ooh, about 75mm from the height, nothing from the width or depth.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 25 Sep 2015 22:13:36 +0000 (UTC), Adrian

I said, are these emergency tanks available *as slimline*? For example, not 1m x 1m x 1m, but 0.5m x 2m x 1m. That would also hold 1000 litres, but would pass down the side of the house easily. The pallet would be removed first, then re-attached after siting the tank. It's just a few screws holding the tank cage to the pallet!
MM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm not aware of slimline 1000L IBC tanks, but you can get them in lower capacities, which are a different size, though not seen so commonly.
These are the things being talked about:
<http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/ibc-container
--
Chris French


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 28 Sep 2015 00:08:06 +0100, Chris French

Thanks for the link. I cannot believe how incredibly cheap these IBC containers are. How reliable ar they? I'm a bit concerned that I've got a 1000 litres of heating oil sitting in an IBC on the back lawn till the engineer installs the new tank.
MM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.