Author Archives: Sarah Rhodes

Water  in your heating oil tank – all you need to know

With strong winds, storms and rain, and now snow, we’ve seen it all over these recent months. Storm Isha, closely followed by storm Jocelyn, brought widespread strong winds and heavy rain, particularly across the north of England. Fallen trees, damage to buildings, and loss of power impacted many of us, but one thing we may have overlooked is how the continual wet weather may have impacted our heating oil tanks.

In this blog we’re going to take a look at what to look out for, how to dispose of water if you do have it in your tank, and how to avoid it getting into your tank in the first place. After all, prevention is always better than cure as water contamination can cause various issues such as corrosion of your tank, microbial growth and decreased heating efficiency. And often the first you’ll know about it is when your boiler starts playing up!

How does water enter a heating oil tank?


Seasonal changes where temperatures fluctuate throughout the year can cause condensation to form inside the tank. The condensation will accumulate at the bottom of the tank as water is denser than heating oil. As the condensation builds up, it will, over time, lead to an accumulation of water in the bottom of the tank. Condensation is more common in the warmer months of the year as the weather starts to warm up. Your tank’s internal temperature will be cooler than the outside temperature, and as moist air cools down inside the tank, water vapour will form water droplets.

Over time this water, along with a sludge made up of black particles in the heating oil, will build up, and when you have a delivery, can be stirred up and fed through to your central heating boiler, affecting its performance.

Using our Premium Heating oil can help. It’s specially formulated to reduce the amount of sludge that builds up in your tank over time, as well as make your boiler run at its best. It also contains corrosion inhibitors which will help stop your tank from rusting, as well as metal deactivators that help reduce fuel degradation. And it’s environmentally friendly too!


If your heating oil tank has cracks or holes, faulty seals, a damaged vent, or a badly fitting lid, rainwater can seep into the tank. This is why we recommend you inspect your tank on a regular basis. Check the tank and pipework yourself for signs of cracks, corrosion or any other physical damage. Also, look out for any signs your tank may be leaking such as oil stains on or around the tank, or a strong smell of oil. We also recommend you have your tank inspected annually – an OFTEC registered heating oil engineer will do this as part of your annual boiler service.

If you do suspect your heating oil tank is leaking, get immediate advice from an OFTEC registered oil heating engineer.

How to check if you have water in your tank

If you suspect you have water in your tank, it’s all but impossible to detect it from an external examination alone as water at the bottom of your tank can’t be seen.

A water-finding paste can be used which is a cost-effective way of finding out whether or not you do have water in your tank. Simply smear the end of a clean garden cane or dipstick with the paste, making sure that your cane or dipstick is long enough to reach the bottom of your tank. Leave it there for a minute or so, then when you pull it back out of your tank, if there’s water present, the paste will react, and will change colour.

How do I get rid of water contamination?

If you do have water in the bottom of your tank, it’s important to get rid of it as soon as you can and before it builds up sufficiently to enter the fuel line and do damage to your boiler. There are a couple of ways you can do this.

If you have an old metal tank, there may be a run-off valve at the bottom which can be used to drain off the water. You should always drain it into a container and this should then be sealed and stored before being disposed of – it’s very important that it doesn’t spill and cause contamination. 

However, plastic tanks don’t have this facility so if you’ve only got a small amount of water in your tank, you can use a highly absorbent tank dryer. It’s a water filtration device which sinks into the bottom of your tank with a cord attached, and will absorb the water. When it’s fully swollen, you will need to remove it from your tank and dispose of it safely and responsibly as any water that’s removed will be contaminated.

Tank sponges are also available – these are simple to use and have a recovery string so they can be removed from the tank easily.

However, if you have a large quantity of fuel in your tank, in other words, more than a few centimetres, we would recommend you call on a professional. An OFTEC registered oil heating engineer will be able to assist and also advise on how to prevent you from getting water in your tank again in the future.

Once any water in your tank has been removed, you may need to flush the boiler feed pipe, and also replace fuel filters potentially. Again your engineer will be able to assist with this.

We hope you’ve found this information useful – keeping an eye on your tank all year round is definitely the way to go to keep your heating oil tank water-free, avoid any problems in the future, and avoid the potential of big repair bills coming your way. It’s definitely worth the effort.

But we’re always here to help and advise you if you do have any concerns. Just call us on 01757 270 337 or email us at

Summer Saver Offer

Extended until 31st August!

Our Summer Saver* offer gives you £10 off an order of 500 litres or more of heating oil. Originally running until this Monday, 31st July, it’s now been extended for orders placed on or before 31st August 2023.

Plus, it also includes a free upgrade to our Premium Heating Oil which burns more efficiently so saves you money. You can click here to learn about the benefits of using Premium Heating Oil above standard domestic kerosene.

Don’t miss out – call me today on 01757 270 337, and quote SUMMERSAVER to receive your discount and upgrade.

*Terms and Conditions of our Summer Offer:

Our Summer Saver Offer is open to White Rose domestic customers and prospective customers over the age of 18.

This offer provides a £10 discount off the total price of an order of a minimum quantity of 500 litres of heating oil, plus a free upgrade to our Premium Heating Oil.

To receive the £10 discount, you must quote SUMMERSAVER at the point of order. 

The closing date for the offer is 31st August 2023. To qualify for the Summer Saver offer, orders must be placed by close of business on that date.

Deliveries must be made within the existing Northern Energy oil delivery area and must be to a suitable and functioning heating oil tank.

Northern Energy reserves the right to withdraw, amend or temporarily suspend this offer at its discretion.

By benefitting from this offer, all recipients will be bound by these Terms and Conditions. Any personal data provided will be processed in accordance with GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Kareena’s tips on caring for your boiler

Summertime is the ideal time of year to give your oil central heating boiler a bit of TLC and reward it for its hard work over the cold, winter months. In the long run, maintaining your boiler can save you money, make it run more efficiently, and alert you to potential problems which if left, could lead to costly repairs or even the need for a new boiler.

So, I wanted to share my simple, top tips with you to give you some help and guidance on how to give your heating oil boiler a bit of pampering. Especially important just now with the current cost of living crisis – let’s face it, we’re all feeling the pinch!

Get your boiler serviced annually

My first tip is to get your boiler serviced each year. You will need to switch your heating oil boiler off at least an hour before your engineer services it, so that all parts have sufficient time to cool down. So having your boiler serviced in the summertime makes perfect sense as it’s the time of year when you don’t need your central heating switched on.

I would most definitely recommend you only get your boiler serviced by an OFTEC qualified heating oil engineer. You can find one by visiting the OFTEC website. The engineer will check your boiler for any signs of wear and tear that could potentially lead to problems in the future if not rectified, change the nozzle which, if blocked, will slow your boiler down and replace any damaged or worn parts, give your boiler and components a good clean, check for impurities and do a carbon monoxide check (carbon monoxide is the lethal gas that’s often referred to as the ‘silent killer’). And your engineer will also check your heating oil tank too as part of your boiler service.

Check your boiler pressure

If your boiler’s pressure bar is too high or too low, it could lead to damage and heating problems, so it’s important to check the pressure on a regular basis. If the pressure is too high there’s more risk of leaks in the system, and if it’s too low, the system won’t work as well. Your boiler’s instruction manual will tell you where the pressure gauge is and what the pressure should be, but if you’re concerned, call out an OFTEC registered engineer to take a look.

Bleed your radiators

Over time, air can become trapped within your radiators, which will reduce the efficiency of your heating system. If your radiators have cold spots, make gurgling noises or take longer than usual to warm up, then they need bleeding. Your heating system needs to be switched off while you do this – although it’s best to bleed them while they’re still a bit warm.

However, I’d recommend you bleed them once a year, even if they’re working properly.

You will need either a radiator key or a flathead screwdriver, depending on the  type of radiators you have, and a bit of water is likely to come out, so some old cloths or towels to put on the floor. Then just turn the bleed valve until the trapped air begins to hiss. When a little water starts to trickle out, that means that all the trapped air has gone, and you can close the valve again.

Treat your boiler with our Premium Heating Oil

Our Premium Heating oil is specially formulated to optimize the performance of your boiler. It does come at a small, additional cost, but trust me when I say it’s worth it!

It’s a cleaner burning, more efficient fuel than our standard kerosene – it enhances boiler efficiency by up to 15%, lowering fuel consumption due to better fuel economy, and it also reduces fuel-related breakdowns and boiler service problems. That’s because it helps stop rust developing in your boiler and also prevents sludge building up in your tank.

Don’t run out of oil

It might seem obvious, but keep your eye on your fuel level and I’d really advise you don’t let it get too low, or even run out. If your tank runs dry, it can cause problems for your boiler and your oil fired central heating system.

Of course, the first thing that will happen if you’ve run out of home heating oil, is that your boiler will shut down. It’s possible you will need an engineer to restart it. But also, over time, sludge can settle at the bottom of your tank, especially if it’s old – if your heating oil level falls too low, this sludge can be drawn into your heating system and boiler, clogging filters and preventing your system from working properly. Again, you’ll need an engineer to clean the filters and fuel lines and re-start your boiler.

So I’d always recommend you check your fuel level regularly – the best and easiest way is by dipping it with a clean garden cane, but you can also fit a gauge to monitor your levels.

Then there’s our automatic refilling service which takes care of all this for you – we’ll monitor your heating oil tank for you and top you up when we’re in your area, so you don’t have to think about it and can have peace of mind you’ll not run out of heating oil.

I hope you’ve found my tips on how to look after your heating oil boiler helpful. And don’t forget, I’m always here on hand to give you help where I can and have a chat.

You can call me anytime on 01757 270 337 or email me at

Kareena’s 6 quick tips to reduce energy costs at home

With rising inflation and the ongoing cost of living crisis, we’re all feeling the pinch and looking at ways we can save money.

With typical energy bills almost doubling since this time last year, we all need to look for the best ways to reduce our energy usage and save money so here are some simple steps you can take at home. Let’s face it, we all need to do what we can. Whilst installing cavity wall insulation or other such home improvements can be expensive, here we’re looking at some things you can do at home that are quick and easy and don’t cost a lot of money.

Turn down your thermostat:

Turning down your central heating thermostat by just 1 degree C could save you up to £100 a year according to energy experts.

And get your boiler serviced – look after it and it will look after you. A boiler that isn’t maintained will become less efficient and so getting your boiler serviced regularly is a good move.

Turn down radiators too:

According to the Government’s Help for Households website, turning down radiators in the rooms you don’t use could save you up to £70 a year. When a room is not is use, turn radiator valves down to between 2.5 and 3, and increase again when the room is back in use. That way, by not turning radiators off completely, your boiler won’t have to work as hard to increase the temperature again. And don’t forget to close internal doors to keep the heat in the rooms you use.

Unplug appliances:

We’ve all probably been guilty of leaving our phone charger plugged in and switched on even when our phones are fully charged. Almost all electrical appliances will draw power continuously unless they are unplugged, so remember to turn power off at the socket, or unplug them completely when your phone, your TV or your computer is not in use.

Be savvy with your laundry:

Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers are some of the highest home energy consuming appliances. Another big way of saving money is by washing your clothes on a 30 degree C cycle rather than at 40 degrees C or higher. This in itself could save an average of £40 a year, but combine that with reducing the use of your tumble dryer, and it could add up to a saving of £110 a year. Tumble dryers are one of the most-energy intensive devices in our homes.

Close windows and blinds:

If you want to keep your heating oil costs down, curtains are the way to go as even double glazed windows aren’t great insulators. Warm air escapes through windows, so keep your heat in by closing your curtains and blinds at dusk, especially if your radiators are situated below your windows. And if you’re thinking of buying new curtains, choose thick or thermally lined ones.

According to Country Living, the Office for National Statistics conducted a survey which found that only around half of UK households say they have closed all their curtains at night to keep heat in.  Your curtains will provide an extra barrier against heat loss and reduce draughts, making your rooms feel cosier.

Don’t overfill the kettle:

How many times have you filled the kettle to make just one cup of tea? Most of us will admit to occasionally doing this and boiling more water than we actually need. Kettles are one of the most used appliances in the kitchen, so avoid overfilling your kettle and just fill with enough for what you need.

We hope you find these tips helpful but for more warm home hacks, download the Energy Saving Trusts guide which has loads of information on what’s happening with energy bills, tips on how to keep the heat in and make the best of your boiler, and much more.

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Simply brilliant from ordering to delivery. Staff helpful and humorous. Really helpful and very very efficient.