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How To Understand Your Oil Tank Gauge

Posted: February 15, 2021

fuel tank level rhode islandIf you’re a heating oil customer, our first recommendation is that you arrange for automatic delivery from Vaughn Oil. This way, you never have to worry about your tank level, as we stay on top of your fuel levels and make deliveries with plenty of time to spare. This is especially important at extremely cold times of year—like right now.

Still, we understand that you may prefer Will Call for your Rhode Island home. If that’s the case, we want to make sure that you know what to do when you’re looking at your oil tank gauge. Here’s an overview, in three easy steps:

  1. Look at the top of the tank. Inside a plastic or glass tube, you’ll see markings like the ones on your car’s gas gauge: F, ¾, ½, ¼. A red float or marker will rest at a spot that indicates how much fuel is in your tank. If you can’t see the marker, or if it has made its way to the bottom of the gauge, your tank is empty—or close to it. In this case, contact Vaughn Oil and let us know right away so we can make an emergency delivery.
  2. Check to see if the gauge is working properly. Take the outer case off, and see if you can carefully push the float/marker down. If it stays down, let us know. We’ll need to come and take a look. If it comes back up, then it’s working.
  3. Learn the meanings of the measurements. A “full” 275-gallon tank actually holds about 225 gallons of heating oil. The “extra” represents the space for debris at the bottom of the tank. That means that a gauge that’s at ½ actually has about 110 gallons of heating oil. Bigger tanks, such as those with a 330-gallon capacity, which are often used for larger homes, also hold less than their “capacity” might suggest. (If you have a newer tank, the nameplate probably indicates its capacity.)

Common Heating Oil Questions

Does the amount of heating oil in my tank affect the way my boiler runs?
Yes, it does. Your boiler will run better if it’s at least ¼ full. Regular fill-ups will prevent a run-out and will keep your oil boiler running as smoothly as possible.

If my tank gauge says the tank is ¼ full, when should my delivery happen?
When the temperature is around 32° F, a home that’s roughly 2,500 square feet will use about six to seven gallons of heating oil per day. If you have a 275-gallon heating oil tank and you see a reading of ¼ tank, then your current supply will last about a week. If you’re a Will Call customer and you see that your tank is down to being ¼ full, you should let us know right away. If the weather gets colder or your home is larger, you will be finished with this fuel in less time. Prevent a run-out and schedule your delivery before your gauge reaches ¼.

We want to hear from you! Do you need to sign up for automatic heating oil delivery? Contact us today and learn more about how Vaughn Oil can help you make the best choices when it comes to heating your Rhode Island home.