If you’re a will call customer (that is, if you choose to manage your own heating oil deliveries rather than opting for automatic delivery from Valley Oil), one of the most important responsibilities you have is to keep an eye on your heating oil gauge – especially when temperatures drop here in the Hudson Valley.
Fuel Gauge Reading Basics
Fortunately, reading a tank gauge is pretty easy to do. Here are the basics:
On top of the tank is a clear plastic cube with markings on the outside that look a lot like a fuel gauge on your car: F, ¾, ½, ¼. The numbers tell you how full the tank is, typically indicated by a red marker or float. If the float is at the bottom of the gauge or not visible, your tank is empty or nearly empty.
Most oil-heated houses have a 275- tank – but it’s important to note that your tank will never actually hold that much oil: when full, your 275-gallon tank holds approximately 225 gallons of fuel – the rest of the space is needed to account for air or debris at the bottom of your tank. So if your gauge reads “½”, you have about 110 gallons left; if it reads “¼”, you have about 55 gallons left. Other common tank sizes include 340 and 420 gallons.
An average 2,500 square foot house will burn about six or seven gallons of heating oil per day if the temperature outside is at or about the freezing level. That means that if you have a quarter of a tank of oil left in your 275-gallon tank (which, remember, holds 225 gallons), you’ll have enough fuel to last about a week – which is why we urge you to call for your heating oil delivery when your tank reaches approximately one third full. The colder it is outside, or the larger your home is, the faster your heating system will consume fuel oil – so please keep this in mind when you order your heating oil.
To make sure the gauge is working properly, 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.