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How Do I Read My Heating Oil Tank Gauge?
When it comes to home heating system diagnostics, it doesn’t get much more basic than reading your heating oil tank gauge – but like anything else, you won’t know how to do it until you try!
Here’s the lowdown on reading your heating oil tank gauge:
- Your heating oil tank gauge is a clear glass or plastic cube or cylinder, usually located on top of the tank. On its surface are a series of markings: F, ¾, ½, ¼; just like a gas gauge for your car, the numbers tell you how full the tank is, typically indicated by a red marker or float. If the marker is at the bottom of the gauge or not visible, your tank is empty or nearly empty.
- The most common heating oil tank size is 275 gallons, but please note that a 275-gallon tank only holds about 225 gallons of fuel (the remaining volume allows for air and debris). That means if your gauge is half-full, you only have about 110 gallons left – not 135+ gallons! Other common tank sizes include 340 and 420 gallons (if your tank is older, it may not indicate a size on its nameplate; most modern models do).
- How quickly will you use heating oil? That depends on many factors (outdoor temperatures, the efficiency of your heating equipment and the air tightness and insulation of your home, to name just a few). But here’s a (very) rough estimate: If outdoor temperatures average about 32° over a 24-hour period, a 2,500 square foot house will burn about six or seven gallons of heating oil per day. So, for example, if temperatures hover around freezing 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. This is why we urge you to call for your heating oil delivery when your tank is about a quarter full – and why we time our automatic deliveries to that level as well.
- To make sure the gauge is actually 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.
Have any other questions about your heating oil tank or heating oil deliveries? Let us know – we’re happy to help. And remember: for reliable heating oil delivery anywhere in our Hudson Valley service area, we’ve got you covered!
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