How to Read Your Oil Tank Gauge

Utilizing oil-fueled heating systems like oil furnaces or boilers is an ideal match for homeowners on Cape Cod. Not only is oil heat safer than alternatives, it’s also convenient, burns clean, and provides some of the most even and powerful home heating in the industry. This said, if you’re new to oil heat you might have discovered one of the most common pain points of maintaining an oil tank: how do you read an oil tank gauge?

As always, Hall Oil Gas and Electric is your partner in keeping your home comfortable and convenient. If you’re here to learn how to read your oil tank gauge, you’ve come to the right experts. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about that important measuring tool on your oil tank. Here are some common questions asked about your oil tank gauge.

Top Questions about Your Oil Tank Gauge:

Where is My Oil Tank?

Typically, oil tank installation will place your tank within the basement of your home, or somewhere on the home’s exterior near the wall—most often these are at the rear of the home, or occasionally along one of the sides. Oil tanks are quite large, usually holding anywhere from 220 gallons to 1,000, though the industry “standard” oil tank size is a 275-gallon basement-installed model.

How Do I Read an Oil Tank Gauge?

The vast majority of modern oil tanks have a gauge installed to make reading your oil level easier. The gauge will most likely be installed on the top of the tank. Normally, it will be a clear cylinder containing a float. Marked on the gauge will be these indicators:

  • F
  • ¾
  • ½
  • ¼

The indicators should be represented in the order above, and from here things are quite simple. If the oil tank gauge’s float is at the bottom of the gauge or not visible anymore, the oil tank is empty or close to empty. Do remember, though, that the oil gauge is telling you the level of fuel present in the tank. It is not providing you with any information about how many gallons you have remaining. You can estimate the number of gallons in your tank by knowing how large the tank is. In an industry standard 275, for example, at ½ you would have roughly 135 gallons remaining.

How Can I Check if my Oil Tank Gauge is Working?

Not sure if your oil tank gauge is actually working? There is a way to test if your oil tank gauge is operational. Carefully remove the outer case and gently press the float down. If it comes right back up to its original position, the oil tank gauge is working properly. If the float does not go back into its original position, then it is not working and you need to contact your local oil delivery company to have the oil tank serviced.

How Do I Check My Oil Level Without a Gauge?

If for some reason your oil tank lacks a proper gauge, or you suspect that the gauge is damaged, you still have a solution! A clean and sterilized yardstick or any longer measuring tool can work just fine. Next time you have your tank completely filled, dip the stick in and mark off the full point. Now, you have an easy reference.

How Much Heating Oil Will You Burn in A Day?

So, now that you know how to read your oil tank gauge, how can you determine how long the oil in your tank will last? At Hall Oil, we have a way of projecting how much heating fuel you will use. Our projections are based on your home size and the weather. For example, if you have a 275 gallon oil tank and only have ¼ of a tank of oil, that equals about 55 gallons of heating fuel oil remaining. If outdoor temperatures average 32 degrees over a 24-hour period, a 2,500 sq. foot home will use 6 or 7 gallons of heating oil per day. This means with a ¼ of oil left, you have about a week before you will completely run out. That is why it’s advisable to order fuel from your local heating oil delivery company if you notice your tank hitting this level.

What if I Don’t Want to Stress About My Oil Tank Gauge Level?

Now you’re thinking like a real heating oil user on Cape Cod! Even if you know how to read the gauge, it’s still only a very rough approximation. And, even knowing how much fuel oil is typically burned on a winter day, things can fluctuate. While we project that you would use 6 or 7 gallons of oil on a day that averages 32 degrees, that would go up if the temperatures dropped significantly. Or, if your home is bigger than average. In New England, it’s quite common to experience stretches of really cold temperatures for days at a time. The best option to avoid being left with a heating emergency is connecting with a local heating oil supply company that provides automatic heating oil delivery.

Specifically, automatic is the key word there. Why? Because companies that offer automatic delivery, like Hall Oil Gas And Electric, monitor your oil tank level on their own. This completely removes the onus from you and places it on experienced professionals. This way you’re never stuck with a low supply, and your needs are covered at all times.

Hall Oil is Cape Cod’s #1 Automatic Heating Oil Delivery Company

Hall Oil Gas and Electric has been providing dependable heating oil delivery to homes on Cape Cod for generations. We genuinely care about the comfort of our clients. We strive to provide a superior experience and supply of heating oil any time you need it. Whether you’re looking to set up automatic delivery, or you need emergency heating oil, Hall Oil is more than glad to provide. Plus, if your oil tank or oil tank gauge need to be serviced or repaired, we are happy to help.

Call (508) 398-3831, visit our South Dennis office, or reach us online to find out more about automatic heating oil delivery on Cape Cod!