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Do You Know How To Use Your Oil Tank Gauge?

Written on: February 15, 2021

fuel tank gauge new yorkIf you use heating oil, you’ve probably heard that we highly recommend automatic delivery, which guarantees that you’ll never run out of fuel. With automatic delivery, we schedule deliveries to your Western New York home based on your usage and the weather.

Even so, some of you may prefer Will Call. If you have chosen Will Call, it’s especially important that you know how to use your heating oil tank gauge so you can reliably let us know when it’s time for a delivery. When the weather is colder than usual—like it is this month—understanding your tank gauge can make a big difference in your family’s comfort. Here are a few key suggestions:

  1. Find the clear tube on top of your tank. You’ll notice that it’s marked with similar increments as your car’s gas gauge: F, ¾, ½, ¼. You’ll see a red marker or float that indicates how full (or empty) your tank is. If you can’t see this, or if it’s all the way at the bottom, then your tank is empty and you should contact Hometown Energy to let us know right away. It’s likely that you need an emergency delivery.
  2. Confirm that the gauge is in working order. Remove the outer glass or plastic case. Gently try to push the float/marker down. If it comes right back up, it is working. If it does not come back up, let us know as soon as possible so we can come assess the situation.
  3. Understand what the measurements mean. When full, a 275-gallon heating oil tank actually holds about 225 gallons. The remainder is left “empty” to allow for debris at the tank’s bottom. So if your gauge says the tank is ½ full, it means you have about 110 gallons of heating oil. This also applies to larger tanks, which are used for bigger homes. So a 330-gallon tank also holds less than its “capacity” suggests. (Newer tanks are labeled with their size on the nameplate.)

Frequently Asked Heating Oil Questions

Is my boiler’s performance affected by the amount of fuel in the tank?
Yes, it is. You’ll see a better performance from your boiler when you keep it at least ¼ full at all times. Regularly scheduled deliveries will eliminate the risk of run-outs, and in turn, your boiler will run at its best.

I’m a Will Call customer, and I see that my tank is ¼ full. What should I do?
For a home that’s approximately 2,500 square feet, you’ll use about six or seven gallons of heating oil per day, when the temperature is roughly 32° F. With that in mind, a 275-gallon heating oil tank that reads ¼ on the gauge has about a week’s supply of fuel remaining. Will Call customers should always let us know right away when the tank reaches ¼, but ideally, let us know a little in advance of that. If the weather is colder or your home is larger, then you will run out more quickly, so please take these factors into account.

If you’re considering automatic delivery or want to learn more, please contact us today! We want to help you make the best equipment, fuel and delivery choices for your Western New York home.