RPM Fuels & Tanks Blog


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Welcome to the RPM Fuels & Tanks blog, here you will find a great range of advice, industry news and new product information. RPM Fuels & Tanks is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of fuel tanks, fuel bowsers and fuel dispensing equipment and management systems. We have over 21 years experience in the oil storage industry and aim to provide a high quality product and service at highly competitive prices.

We supply a huge range of oil tanks and fuel dispensing equipment, including fuel pumps and fuel management systems throughout the United Kingdom. We service a wide range of business and commercial customers including agriculture, haulage, local councils, utility companies, commercial premises and the construction industry. Get in contact with us today to enquire about our fuel storage services.


Prevent Water Contamination in Diesel This Winter

With higher bio content now present in both white (on road) and red (off-road) diesel, water in fuel has become an increasing concern for many tank owners. The issue has come about due to weather conditions becoming a lot colder and harsher. During winter there is a risk of water freezing in the filter. There is also a risk of ice crystals building up on the filter, which can restrict the flow and compromise the pump’s dispensing performance. What’s more if the filter is almost full and the water freezes you can find that your fuel may not flow at all. The end result can be refuelling restrictions and costly downtime.

According to The Myth of Condensation in Fuel Tanks by David Pascoe, ‘an empty 200 gallon fuel tank could contain a maximum amount of 22.8 grams of water vapour at 86°F, and 12.92g at 50°F’. As diesel fuel is denser and less volatile than that of petrol, air and moisture are allowed to infiltrate the fuel. It is also known that diesel contains 5% biofuel, which can increase the diesel’s ability to absorb water. What’s more this percentage of biofuel is said to soon increase.

What’s caused by contamination?

Contamination in your fuel tank can lead to many other types of contamination. If water is present in your oil tank it can promote microbial growth, bio-degradation of diesel and the growth of the fuel bug. Bio-degradation of diesel fuel can cause filter plugging and damage within the engine’s fuel system. Water can also accelerate the diesel fuel oxidation, which could lead to the formation of acids and gums in your fuel.


With a spare filter at hand you can prevent water contamination from occurring. You may even wish to replace your water filter. At RPM Fuels and Oil Pumps we stock the popular CIM-TEK water and particle diesel filter that can help to prevent any damage from occurring to vehicles and machinery.

It is also advisable that you test your diesel fuel for water content. This will help you to prevent engine fuel filter blockage and any equipment damage and downtime.


Protect Your Heating Oil

The Suffolk Constabulary and its partners have launched their annual campaign to remind the public about thefts of commercial and domestic heating oil supplies.

Theft of heating and diesel oil has been a problem for many years and the police have noticed an increased in this type of crime whenever the price of crude oil rises. According to police analysts the number of cases has grown from 70 in 2009 to 137 in 2011.

It is anticipated that heating oil thefts will increase through the next five months to an estimated 90 cases in Suffolk, of which 70 of these cases will take place in the West of the county. Currently Stowmarket is the area that is producing the most cases of heating oil theft. However, Mildenhall, Bury Rural and Hadleigh sectors also generate a large proportion of cases. According to police analysts these areas combined account for just over a third of heating oil thefts in the whole of Suffolk. 

The leaflet that has been produced by the Suffolk Constabulary, ‘Heating Oil, Security Advice; Don’t Become a Victim, Protect Your Oil Tank’ outlines all the insurance and safety measures that can help protect heating oil supplies across the county. There are a few simple steps that households and businesses can take to protect their tanks.

Don’t Become A Victim; Protect Your Oil Tank Tips:

Check your insurance

A good precautionary measure is to ask your insurance provider if you’re covered for fuel thefts, oil seepages and deliberate wear and tear. Environmental clean-ups can prove to be expensive. Ensuring that you’re protected against any spills can help to prevent any surprise costs.

You may also be interested in our spill containment kits.

Position your oil tank

The position of your tank is crucial. It needs to be positioned in a way that doesn’t prevent oil supply companies from gaining access to refill the tank, yet it needs to be concealed to put off potential thieves. If the tank is close to the home, a thief may consider the risk of being seen too high. You could conceal the tank behind an outbuilding (shed or garage) or screen the tank with the use of fencing or a hedge. Remember to close and secure any gates that lead to the tank.


Thieves often come prepared with tools to gain access to their target. Closed shackle padlocks are recommended by the police as croppers cannot get a good grip on the metal hoops (shackles). Another option you may want to consider is an alarmed padlock that activates a 110 decibel sound when tampered with.

You may also be interested in having a Locking Fill Point Cap to secure your oil.

Security level gauges/linked alarms

Our oil level gauges are a great precaution to put in place as they will tell you when the tank suddenly falls in fuel level.  The police have also recommended that if you have already installed an alarm for your property ask your provider if they can also add an alarm link to your heating oil tank.

Security lights

Security lights can make your property much harder to target for thieves. Low energy ‘dusk ‘til dawn’ lights that are positioned close to your tank, will make it easier for you to be aware of any suspicious activity.

Defensive perimeter planting

Planting bushes can make it difficult for a potential thief to gain access to your tank. It can also make it easier for the police to identity thieves if they have ripped clothing due to forcing their way over the hedge. The police recommend that you grow or plant:

  •          Berberis x Stenopylla Crataegus Monogvna (Hawthorn)
  •          Ilex Aquifolium (Holly)
  •          Pyracantha (Firethorn)
  •          Rosa Rugosa.


The popularity for CCTV cameras has grown in recent times. However, this can be a costly measure to implement. Make sure you assess your needs before spending a lot of money.


Buy Oil Early for Winter

It has been warned that the real “danger period” for fuel shortages will be throughout December in the run up to Christmas. It is during this period that many consumers top up their oil tanks. What’s more with the potential for severe weather conditions this can cause problems when trying to get oil deliveries out. The ‘Buy Oil Early’ campaign is urging households to stock up on oil before the onset of severe winter weather.

Many industry and consumer groups have united in the hope that their ‘Buy Oil Early’ campaign will make a difference to households in rural areas during winter. In 2010 the country experienced a bitterly cold November and December, and due to the weather conditions many homes were unable to receive their heating oil.

The campaign run by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), the Citizens Advice Bureau, Consumer Focus, and the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) aims to prevent history repeating itself, and urges consumers to bulk buy their oil earlier rather than later.

Expectations: Winter Weather Conditions

  • Weather is set to become progressively colder throughout November and into early winter
  • Severe frosts are predicted in places
  • Snow across higher ground is expected to follow cool periods

The message to fill your fuel tanks with as much oil as possible has also been backed by the Government with John Hayes, Energy Minister telling DECC: “I welcome the campaign by consumer groups and industry to encourage heating oil consumers to stock up early this winter.

“Previous severe winters show that it is better to stock up before the cold weather sets in, when suppliers have spare delivery capacity.

“Ordering oil later risks longer delivery times, especially if cold weather increases demand and disrupts deliveries.

“I would also encourage all consumers to save money on heating their homes by ensuring their homes are fully insulated.”

However, there are concerns that financial constraints could stop homes from stocking up for winter. This could put vulnerable households at risk if adverse weather conditions do hit and disrupt fuel deliveries. In light of this ‘Buy Oil Early’ is also imploring consumers to shop around for the best fuel prices.

With weather predictions showing risks of snow and cold periods throughout November and early winter it is strongly advised that households in rural areas stock up on oil to avoid any risks.


OFT launches an inquiry into the pump prices of our petrol and diesel

Concerns over fuel prices have been felt for a number of years and this is something that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) wishes to address. The body is calling for information submissions from the UK diesel and petrol sector, fuel retail industry and consumer bodies to identify any problems that OFT could investigate. The OFT are asking for bodies interested in relaying their views on the topic, to do so by 17th October.

OFT’s Claire Hart said: “We are keenly aware of continuing widespread concern about the pump price of petrol and diesel and we have heard a number of different claims about how the market is operating.

“We have therefore decided to take a broad based look at this sector, to provide an opportunity for people to share their concerns and evidence with us. This will help us determine whether claims about competition problems are well-founded and whether any further action is warranted.”

The areas that OFT wish to examine include:

  •          If prices are truthfully being reflected at a consumer level
  •          Whether there are any problems involving competition, with a specific focus on supermarket and large oil companies
  •          Discovering if there is a lack of competition in remote areas of the UK
  •          Determine whether concerns over fuel prices can be address by adopting techniques of other national competition authorities

FairFuelUK’s spokesperson, Quentin Wilson commented: “There is a widespread feeling that when oil goes up, pump prices rocket immediately – but when the oil prices falls, pump prices don’t reflect that call. This causes a sense of complete exasperation and anger.

“Anything that brings transparency and openness to a £32 billion market that’s always been shrouded in mystery will be good for consumers, businesses and the UK economy. We want full disclosure to make sure pump prices in this country are fair, reasonable and, most importantly, go down quickly when the price of crude falls.”

Support for the investigation has also been offered by the Road Haulage Association, with RHA’s Chief Executive, Geoff Dunning commenting: “Diesel accounts for over a third of a haulier’s operating costs. Between June 2007 and June 2012, diesel prices have risen by 43%; a rise which will no doubt have had a significant depressing effect on the economy.”

OFT aim to publish their findings in January.


Fuel prices have risen 142% and are set to increase

It has been reported by the Belfast telegraph that since Northern Ireland signed the Good Friday Agreement in 1988, fuel bills have escalated by an astonishing 142%.

The latest date released by the Office of National Statistics states that from April 1988 to July 2012, utility bills have increased by 142%. Fuel saw one of the highest peaks in rising prices during this time period, going up 101%.

The data was released soon after it was announced that inflation had risen. Richard Ramsey from Ulster Bank revealed that UK inflation rose 0.2% to 2.6% in July.  This was unexpected news as many analysts predicted inflation to drop to 2.3%.

Mr Ramsey said:"Whilst the annual inflation rate always grabs the headlines, it is the cumulative rise in consumer prices that has been squeezing household incomes," he said.

"Since the credit crunch began in August 2007, UK consumer prices have risen by 17%.

"Meanwhile, food prices increased by less than 17% between April 1998 and August 2007 whereas since the credit crunch began nearly five years ago prices have spiralled by almost 31%."

Dr Esmond Birnie, chief economist for PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Northern Ireland said: "However, inflation is still 50% below last September's peak and the general trend remains downwards, with the increase in air fares, particularly to European destinations, a major contributor to today's figures," he said.

"So long as the eurozone crisis remains unresolved, the UK and its regions cannot expect to see any significant recovery."

With prices spiralling since the credit crunch began by almost 31% and the recent news of inflation increasing to 2.6%, fuel prices are set to rise once more putting further pressure on struggling families.