What Is A Double-Wall Heating Oil Tank?

If you’re in the market for a new home heating oil tank, you may have come across double-wall tanks in your research. As with any type of a tank, there are pros and cons to this system which we will walk you through here. Before you pull the trigger on a new tank though, make sure to check out our guide here for choosing a new heating oil tank!

How a Double-Wall Oil Tank Works

Double-wall home heating oil tanks are extremely popular in Europe, and increasingly popular in the United States. These tanks feature a plastic interior tank that acts as the primary holding tank for the heating oil. A metal tank – usually aluminum or steel – surrounds the plastic tank. This exterior tank acts as a backup in case the interior plastic tank leaks.

Double-wall oil tanks, shown here, feature a plastic inner tank and a metal outer tank. Roth North America is a leading manufacturer of these heating oil tanks.

Double-Wall Oil Tanks – Pros:

  • Leak protection: The main advantage of a double-wall tank is enhanced leak protection. In the event the inner tank is punctured, the outer tank will prevent the oil from spilling.
  • Space-savings: Double-wall tanks can feature a taller height, but smaller footprint than traditional tanks. This allows you to put two tanks side-by-side in just about the same space as one steel tank.
  • No corrosion: Unlike traditional steel tanks, the plastic inner tank will not corrode with time. This greatly reduces the likelihood of a leak in the tank.
  • Reduced sludge: Because the tank will not rust from the inside out, you will end up with less sludge in the tank.
  • Warranty: A 30-year warranty is typical on a double-wall oil storage tank. Steel tanks usually feature a 10-year warranty.

Double-Wall Oil Tanks – Cons:

  • Expensive: Double-wall heating oil tanks tend to be more expensive than regular heating oil tanks because of their complex construction.
  • Unfamiliar: Many technicians prefer to install what they know. Since traditional heating oil tanks have been around for 70+ years, many technicians prefer them.
  • Not a direct replacement: Double-wall heating oil tanks have a different footprint than steel tanks. As such, changes may be required to the existing fill and vent pipes going to your tank.
  • Complicated installation: If multiple tanks are being installed side-by-side, a very complex piping methodology must be followed for proper installation.
This complicated plumbing setup is required when installing side-by-side double-wall oil tanks.

Summary: Is a Double-Wall Oil Tank Worth it?

We highly recommend a double-wall heating oil tank. They are not only more compact, but the comfort factor that comes with a plastic internal tank is worth the extra money. Further, when it comes time to sell your house, an oil tank with a 30-year warranty is much more appealing than one with a 10-year warranty.

When making the decision to invest in a double-wall heating oil tank, we recommend checking out our post here on the subject: choosing a new home heating oil tank.

Happy summer,