How to Read Oil Tank Gauge

reading your heating oil tank gaugeIf you have never had to read your heating oil tank gauge, it’s a pretty easy skill to master – but one you will definitely want to figure out before a dangerous cold snap makes its way to the North Fork.

Why Should You Learn How to Read Your Heating Oil Tank Gauge?

Here are some heating oil gauge reading basics:

  • The heating oil gauge is almost always on top of the tank. It is a clear glass or plastic tube that is marked with numbers that resemble the gas gauge of your car: F, ¾, ½, ¼ indicators. A red marker or float indicates the amount of fuel left in your tank – if it is at the bottom of the gauge or not visible at all, your tank is empty or near-empty.
  • The most common size of heating oil tank is 275 gallons, but beware: the size of the tank doesn’t indicate how much heating oil it actually holds. A 275-gallon tank actually holds about 225 gallons; the rest of the space is left to allow for air or debris at the bottom of your tank. So if your gauge reads “½” in a 275-gallon tank, you actually have about 110 gallons left, not 135 or so. Other common tank sizes include 340 and 420 gallons (the size is often indicated on the side of your tank; older models may not include that information).
  • To make sure the gauge is working, carefully remove the outer case and gently press the float down. If it bobs back up to the original position, the gauge is working. If the gauge is not working, contact us –we’ll check it out.
  • Some rules of thumb: If outdoor temperatures average about 32° over a 24-hour period, a typical 2,500 square foot house will burn about six or seven gallons of heating oil per day. So, for example, if temperatures are right around the freezing mark and you have a quarter of a tank of oil left in your 275-gallon tank (which, remember, holds 225 gallons), you’ll have enough oil to last about a week (which is why we urge you to call for your heating oil delivery when your tank gets no lower than one-quarter full, especially during cold weather.

    Many factors influence how much fuel you’ll burn, of course – the outside temperature, the efficiency of your heating equipment, and the efficiency of your home, to name a few. Remember: it’s always better to be conservative and order your heating oil early rather than getting stuck in a no-heat emergency.

  • The best way to avoid these risks and hassles altogether? Sign up for FREE Gremlin™ heating oil tank monitoring from Burt’s Reliable.

    You and Burt’s delivery teams will know exactly how much fuel is in your tank at all times; with that kind of precision, you can have complete peace of mind all winter long – and you will never have to look at your fuel gauge again.

    Did you know that Burt’s Reliable is the only fuel company on the North Fork that provides free oil tank monitoring? Now you do! Contact us today to learn more, or to have your heating oil tank monitor installed by our pros. It only takes a few minutes, and if your heating oil tank is outside, you don’t even have to be home for installation.