Oil Tank Gauge Reading Tips

Posted: February 15, 2021

reading fuel gauge maineIf you’re a heating oil customer, you’ve probably heard us say this before. Still, it bears repeating: automatic delivery is the best way to guarantee you will not run out of fuel, even in the most extreme cold. When you’re an automatic delivery customer, we track your oil usage and make sure you always get your next delivery before you’re even close to running out.

Even so, we know some of our customers prefer to stick with Will Call. Either way, it’s important that you know how to read your heating oil tank gauge. Here are the basics:

  1. Take a look at the top of your heating oil tank. You should see a clear glass or plastic tube with the following markings on the outside, similar to a car’s gas gauge: F, ¾, ½, ¼. A red marker or float indicates just how full the tank is. If you can’t see the marker or float or it has dropped to the bottom, then the heating oil tank is empty or almost empty. When this happens, you need to contact Murray-Heutz Oil & Propane right away to schedule an emergency heating oil delivery.
  2. Confirm that your gauge is in working order. Carefully remove the outer case. Carefully push the float down. If the float bobs back up to its initial position, you know your gauge is working properly. If it does not come back up, please contact us and we will come take a look.
  3. The tank for most homes that use heating oil holds 275 gallons. A “full” tank of this size holds about 225 gallons of heating oil, leaving room at the bottom for debris. With this in mind, a tank gauge that’s at ½ is telling you that it’s holding about 110 gallons of heating oil. For homes with larger tanks, say a 330-gallon tank, this formula still applies. (Most current tanks are marked with their capacity on their nameplate, but some older tanks may not have an indication of this info.)

Heating Oil Supply Q&A

I have a ¼ tank of heating oil left in my 275-gallon tank. When do I need a delivery?
In most cases, a 2,500-square-foot home goes through six or seven gallons of heating oil a day, when the temperature averages 32° F. If you have a 275-gallon tank and your tank gauge is at ¼, you have about a week’s worth of heating oil. As the weather gets colder, or if your home is larger, you will use more heating oil. This is why we encourage you to get your delivery on the calendar before your tank is at ¼.

Does the amount of heating oil I have affect how well my boiler runs?
It does. Boilers run more smoothly when they’re full than when they’re ¼ full. Regularly scheduled fill-ups will keep your boiler running at its maximum efficiency!

Contact Murray-Heutz Oil & Propane today to enroll in automatic delivery or to learn more about heating oil for your Central Maine home.