Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • april89
    • By april89 9th Jan 18, 2:59 PM
    • 18Posts
    • 1Thanks
    april89
    How to determine the oil type
    • #1
    • 9th Jan 18, 2:59 PM
    How to determine the oil type 9th Jan 18 at 2:59 PM
    We moved into our house a few months ago and the oil tank has slowly been going down. It's currently on 3/8ths of a tank so there's no urgency but we wanted to work out what we need to do when it comes to refilling and we realised we don't actually know what type of oil we need to buy. We understand that there are two main types? But there are no lables on the tank. We might be being really stupid here but how do we find out what type of oil we'd need to order more of?

    Thanks!
Page 1
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 9th Jan 18, 3:42 PM
    • 3,542 Posts
    • 2,192 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #2
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:42 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:42 PM
    Check your boiler instructions or handbook. If you dont have one, look for the boiler spec plate (make, model no etc) and look it up on Google or phone the manufacturer.
    Or even put in on here and someone might help you
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    Look after our planet - it's the only one with beer
    • Ebe Scrooge
    • By Ebe Scrooge 9th Jan 18, 3:50 PM
    • 4,127 Posts
    • 3,569 Thanks
    Ebe Scrooge
    • #3
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:50 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:50 PM
    Unless your boiler is very old, it'll almost certainly be Kerosene, or 28-sec - this is what pretty much all domestic installations run on. A useful little article here : https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/heating-oil/article/heating-oil-explained/what-is-heating-oil


    But if you have any doubts, then follow the above advice from Matelodave.
    I may not know much about art, but I know what I like.
    • dogshome
    • By dogshome 10th Jan 18, 2:59 PM
    • 3,023 Posts
    • 1,539 Thanks
    dogshome
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 18, 2:59 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 18, 2:59 PM
    Welcome to Oil Fired heating - Things you need to Know.

    If you don't have paperwork showing when the boiler was last serviced, and it needs to be done annually, get one done now.

    Do not sign up with any supplier for automatic refills.
    Build a list of Local Suppliers from Yellow pages, (4 or 5) and phone each of them for their price per litre on that day

    Oil prices are tied to the worldwide market and are very volatile, but whatever the state of the market, the best prices will be offered in July when suppliers are desperate for orders
    • april89
    • By april89 10th Jan 18, 3:33 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    april89
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 3:33 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 3:33 PM
    Thanks dogshome. We've been spoilt by always having gas before so it's abit of a learning curve. I have no idea how oil compares in terms of efficiency to gas central heating but it's academic as we can't get gas!

    I think we have about 500 litres left in the tank (my OH says its a 1800L tank and the gauge has just gone down to 3 out of 8 bars) but I'm not certain that will see us through until July as I think we've used two bars since October. It might do but I assume it's like anything. The more urgently you need it the harder it is to get a good deal?

    I also saw on one oil website that the quote asked whether a standard lorry can access the property. This may seem like a stupid question but is a 'standard' oil delivery lorry about the same length as a standard 7.5 tonne lorry?
    • J B
    • By J B 10th Jan 18, 5:43 PM
    • 2,733 Posts
    • 959 Thanks
    J B
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 18, 5:43 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 18, 5:43 PM
    I think we have about 500 litres left in the tank (my OH says its a 1800L tank and the gauge has just gone down to 3 out of 8 bars)
    Originally posted by april89
    Do you trust the gauge?

    Can you 'dip' the tank?
    • april89
    • By april89 10th Jan 18, 8:59 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    april89
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 18, 8:59 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 18, 8:59 PM
    Perhaps naively we have just assumed that the gauge is largely accurate. I'm not sure whether there's a dipstick built in. I'll have a look at the weekend. Otherwise I assume we can just get a stick to dip but being a horizontal cylinder how easy is it to get an accurate manual reading?
    • J B
    • By J B 10th Jan 18, 9:19 PM
    • 2,733 Posts
    • 959 Thanks
    J B
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 18, 9:19 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 18, 9:19 PM
    Otherwise I assume we can just get a stick to dip
    Originally posted by april89
    A clean garden cane perhaps? Broom stale?

    ..... but being a horizontal cylinder how easy is it to get an accurate manual reading?
    Originally posted by april89
    !!!960; R squared?
    • april89
    • By april89 10th Jan 18, 9:27 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    april89
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 18, 9:27 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 18, 9:27 PM
    !!!960; R squared?
    Originally posted by J B
    oh my it's been a long day. I just didn't think about the depth being a segment of a circle! I know I've a lot to learn but I promise GCSE mathematics isn't one of them!!!
    • Ebe Scrooge
    • By Ebe Scrooge 11th Jan 18, 8:18 AM
    • 4,127 Posts
    • 3,569 Thanks
    Ebe Scrooge
    oh my it's been a long day. I just didn't think about the depth being a segment of a circle! I know I've a lot to learn but I promise GCSE mathematics isn't one of them!!!
    Originally posted by april89

    For all practical purposes, you don't need to get an accurate reading. Just use a garden cane, poke it all the way down until it touches the bottom of the tank. You can see where the top of the tank comes up to on the cane. Pull the cane out, you can see how far up the oil has come. It's then very simple to visually estimate whether the tank is 3/4 full, half full, 1/10th full, whatever. I usually order more when it's about 1/10th full.


    Of course it'll never be accurate, as most tanks these days are cylindrical rather than square. But it's near enough in practice.


    As to your other question : "is a 'standard' oil delivery lorry about the same length as a standard 7.5 tonne lorry?" A standard lorry is just the same as the petrol tankers you see driving down the motorway every day. If you live in a fairly "standard" house within a hundred feet or so of a road, then a standard tanker will be fine. Having seen loads of deliveries being made over the years in and around my area, those tanker drivers are very skillful, and can get their wagons pretty much anywhere. And they have very long hoses, so don't need to get right close to the house. It's only if you live up a farm track or suchlike that you'd need to order a smaller tanker. Hope this helps.
    I may not know much about art, but I know what I like.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 11th Jan 18, 10:53 PM
    • 44,096 Posts
    • 52,241 Thanks
    G_M
    * most boilers take Kerosene also called 28-sec
    * very old boilers may be different
    * also Agas or similar may be different
    * as suggested, identify the boiler make/model and use the internet
    * probably worth getting it serviced anyway, and the engineer wll answer all your Qs. I service mine every 2 years or so. People recommend annually, and new boiler warrenties requre annual to maintain the warranty
    * find a local OFTEC registered engineer
    * when buying oil, start by getting a general idea of price with someone online like boilerjuice
    * then shop around, phoning local suppliers - they often beat boilerjuice prices
    * also look for local buying groups which club together for bulk purchases, but again, this does not guarantee best price so still compare
    * I use http://www.oil-club.co.uk/ which has local syndicates, but again, it's not always the cheapest
    * do NOT sign up to one company's 'automatic top up' scheme, or monthly payment scheme - they will top you up when they want (ie at high price points) as well as stopping you shop arround. Instead put a monthly amount away yourself in a savings account to earn interest till it's needed
    * and as you've just moved in, consider the tank: is it old, steel and rusty? If so it may need replacing some time so if you have the cash, why not now fo peace of mind. Or is it new(ish), perhaps plastic, in which case - relax! If in doubt, ask your OFTEC engineer when he services the boiler.
    Last edited by G_M; 11-01-2018 at 11:03 PM.
    • april89
    • By april89 13th Jan 18, 9:52 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    april89
    Thanks everyone. We've had a more thorough look today and your suspicions were right and our boiler takes 28-sec kerosene.

    Luckily the boiler was serviced shortly before we moved in and the oil tank was replaced in 2016 so hopefully it will be a few years before we need to worry about the tank itself needing some pennies spent.

    And thank you Ebe Scrooge. My husband was here when our neighbours had an LPG delivery and said that they used a standard motorway sized tanker so that suggests it will be easy to us to do the same.

    I think our plan is to watch prices over the next month whilst keeping an eye on our tank useage. Hopefully that will mean that we top up at as close to an optimum time as we can...

    Thanks again!
    • Ive got a lovely bunch of
    • By Ive got a lovely bunch of 14th Jan 18, 2:51 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Ive got a lovely bunch of
    my tank has a flat bottom otherwise it would roll over
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

810Posts Today

7,112Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the start of mini MSE's half term. In order to be the best daddy possible, Im stopping work and going off line? https://t.co/kwjvtd75YU

  • RT @shellsince1982: @MartinSLewis thanx to your email I have just saved myself £222 by taking a SIM only deal for £7.50 a month and keeping?

  • Today's Friday twitter poll: An important question, building on yesterday's important discussions: Which is the best bit of the pizza...

  • Follow Martin