How to Check Your Oil Tank Gauge

Making proper use of an oil-based furnace or boiler means understanding your fuel usage and, if you order oil as needed, knowing when it makes sense to purchase more or plan to purchase more. To that end, you’ll need to check your oil tank gauge—and know what you’re looking at when you do. In this post, we’ll discuss how to locate your oil tank gauge, how to read it, and how you might determine its accuracy. We’ll also cover alternative ways to figure out your current fuel level, if your gauge is inaccurate or absent. Continue reading this blog post from the Oil Peddler to learn how to properly check your oil tank gauge on Cape Cod.

What You Need to Know About Checking Your Oil Tank Levels on Cape Cod

Checking Your Oil Tank Gauge at Cape Cod Homes

A standard oil tank installation puts your oil tank either within the basement of your home or outside near a wall, probably somewhere behind your home and out of sight, but you probably know where it is even if you didn’t realize that’s what it was—even a below-average 220-gallon tank is quite large, much less an industry-standard 275-gallon unit or something even bigger.

Once you’ve found the tank itself, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding the oil tank gauge. It will usually be installed on top of the tank, but it could be located wherever it is easily accessible for your tank’s size and location. Your typical oil tank gauge will be a transparent cylinder with a float to indicate the fuel level as a fraction of the total:

  • F
  • ¾
  • ½
  • ¼

Of course, to understand how much fuel that is, you’ll need to do a little math based on the gallon capacity of your oil tank. You can determine that if you have an industry standard 275, you can expect ½ to mean you have roughly 135 gallons left in the tank.

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Confirming Whether Your Gauge is Working

If you have any reason to doubt the function of your oil tank gauge, it’s relatively simple to test. You can remove the outside cover and press the float down—if it pops right back up to the same position, you can trust it to be working properly. If it does not, you’ll need to determine your oil tank’s contents another way (and should probably have a reliable oil tank technician take a look at it soon for servicing).

Checking Your Oil Level Without a Gauge

If your gauge isn’t working when you test it, or you don’t have one at all, you can measure with any long measuring tool that you don’t mind inserting into the tank. Make sure it is clean and sterile as possible, then dip it all the way to the bottom. Of course, this can only be used to get a rough idea of how close to empty you are–unless you have a measurement of the height of your tank when it’s completely full you can compare your current level to.

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Estimating How Long Your Oil Will Last

Calculating oil consumption can get rather complicated. An accurate projection is going to be based on the size of your home, the weather anticipated, even the efficiency of your heating system. If you keep your home unusually warm or cool that can further complicate the calculation.

Using our projection methods, for example, you might determine that a standard 275-gallon oil tank at the ¼ mark has about a week left in it: ¼ of 275 is about 55 gallons, and that much might last that long if the average temperature is going to be roughly freezing and the home in question is about 2,500 square feet. Increase the size of the home substantially or decrease the average temperature, however, and those 55 gallons can go by much faster. Suffice to say, it’s usually a good idea to go ahead and order fuel oil delivery once things get that low, just to be safe.

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Learn More or Order Fuel Oil on Cape Cod from Oil Peddler

Need help figuring out how much fuel you have in your tank, how long you can expect it to last, or where to get more? Don’t worry, the team at The Oil Peddler is always glad to help residents of Cape Cod with all their heating oil needs. Reach out to us today to find out more about heating oil delivery on Cape Cod!