How to Read Your Tank Gauge

With many customers home more often than usual this year, we are finding customers going through a little more fuel than normal to heat their homes. While we are staying on top of it, this last blast of cold got us thinking. Do you know how to read your tank gauge? 


Heating Oil Tank Gauges: 

The gauge on your heating oil tank is usually a clear plastic or glass cylinder with a float. The gauge has hash marks to mark F, ¾, ½, and ¼. If you do not see your float or it is at the very bottom of your cylinder this means your tank could be empty or near empty. You can test to make sure your gauge is working by carefully removing the outer cylinder and gently pressing down on the float. A properly working float gauge will pop back up to the same position it was in before. If your gauge doesn’t pop back up you may have a faulty gauge. 

Most residential tanks are considered to be 275 gallons but only hold around 250 gallons to allow for air and debris space. At ½ tank, you have about 125 gallons in your tank. A 2,500 sq ft home will burn somewhere around 6-7 gallons of oil a day with temps around freezing. If you notice your tank at ¼ or just below it is important to call for a delivery. Remember the motto, “Reorder at a ¼.”

Propane Tank Gauges: 

Larger propane tanks that are used to heat homes and that are hooked up to home appliances such as a water heater or cookstove typically have gauges on them. To read your propane tank gauge you must first lift the dome cover to expose the gauge. The gauge itself reads just like the gauges in your car. It starts at 0 and goes to 90. However, we never fill the tank completely. This allows room for the propane gas to expand during the warmer summer months. 

Since propane usage can vary so much depending on the number of propane appliances and size of your home, there are a variety of tank sizes we set. No matter the size of your tank, you should always be calling for a fill-up when your tank reaches the 20-30% mark. You’ll notice on your gauge that there is a red zone. It is important to call for a delivery as you reach this zone so you don’t risk running out.