How Do I Check My Fuel Tank Levels?
Written on: February 15, 2021
If you do choose to manage your own heating oil or propane deliveries, one of your most important jobs is to keep an eye on your fuel levels. If you’re new to your heating system and haven’t had to check your fuel gauge yet, don’t worry – It’s easy to do. Here are the basics.
Checking A Propane Tank Gauge
- A full-sized residential propane tanks typically has a built-in fuel gauge, usually located under the tank dome or cover.
- The gauge looks like the gas gauge in your car, with numbers that show how full the tank is as a percentage. Most gauges read from 0 to about 90 percent; tanks are never filled to 100 percent capacity because propane gas expands as temperatures rise (space must be provided to allow for the expansion).
- Please don’t wait until the last minute to order fuel! As a rule of thumb, order propane when your tank is no less than one-quarter full.
Checking A Heating Oil Tank Gauge
- Your heating oil tank gauge is usually a clear glass or plastic cylinder located at or near the top of the tank.
- The gauge is marked with numbers that look a lot like a car’s fuel gauge: F, ¾, ½, ¼. A yellow or red marker or float tells you how much fuel you have left; if the marker is at the bottom of the gauge or not visible, your tank is empty (or close to it).
- To make sure the gauge is 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 for a heating system repair.
- A common heating oil tank size is 275 gallons, but that’s a little misleading, since a 275-gallon tank actually only holds about 240 gallons of fuel (the remaining volume is left for air and debris). That means that if your tank 275-gallon heating oil tank is half-full, you really only have about 120 gallons left.
- As with propane, please don’t wait until the last minute to order fuel! Order your heating oil when your tank is no less than one-quarter full.
Please keep in mind: many factors will affect the speed at which you will use up your heating oil – the efficiency of your heating equipment and the air tightness of your home, to name two. The one factor that will have the greatest impact on your fuel usage, however – at least in terms of the speed of your fuel use – is the weather. In fact you could use 50 percent more fuel on a day that reaches single digits than you do if the temperature hovers around the freezing mark.
The takeaway here: Keep a close eye on your fuel use, especially as temperatures drop. You are probably using propane or heating oil faster than you think!
Automatic Fuel Delivery: Hassle Free Tank Watching
Of course, if you don’t want to hassle with reading gauges or calling for fuel deliveries, there’s an easy way to do that: sign up for FREE Automatic Delivery from Ace-Robbins.
We’ll estimate your delivery based on computer modeling and your past usage, getting your heating oil or propane to you when your tank is about one-quarter full.
Have any other questions about your propane or heating oil tank? Just ask – we’re happy to help. And remember: for reliable heating oil delivery and propane delivery in Wyoming County, PA, trust the pros at Ace-Robbins!