More than 1.1 million households in the UK have oil central heating, meaning they are not connected to the main gas grid.

Oil boilers are similar to gas boilers, but there are some important differences you should be aware of.

What happens if my oil boiler runs out of fuel?

Unlike gas boilers, however, oil boilers can run out of fuel. Failing to top up your tank with kerosene or gas oil could mean you’re left without heating and hot water in some cases. This could mean you need to call out an engineer to get the heating system started again.

Many oil boilers have mechanisms built into them to automatically switch the burner off if there is no oil to combust, so a lack of fuel won’t cause any safety issues. However, letting your tank run empty can mean that the residue and dirt at the bottom can become trapped in the fuel line, particularly if you have an old oil storage tank.

This will mean that your boiler doesn’t work when you hit the reset button. You may need to bleed your fuel supply system which you can do yourself, but it is best to call an expert if you are not confident in doing this yourself.

Restarting your appliance after you’ve run out of fuel could be as simple as pressing a button, but it may also be more complicated than this.

Don’t rush the process, when your tank is topped up, let it settle for an hour or so before firing up your heating system, as sludge can be stirred up from the bottom, clogging the fuel lines and causing damage.

Prevention is better than a cure

Avoid these issues entirely by keeping your oil tank regularly topped up. This will save you the time, effort and cost of having to bleed the system yourself or call out an engineer.

Get in the habit of checking your tank regularly, or schedule the regular delivery of oil to your home to avoid this from happening.

Western Fuel: Reliable home and commercial heating oil suppliers in the South West

If you require regular delivery of home heating oil or heating oil for commercial or agriculture use, we can help. Get in touch with our friendly team to discuss your needs in more detail, we are happy to work around your schedule to arrange a suitable solution tailored to your needs. Please give us a call on 01278 431451 or email