The P. Gagnon & Son Blog

How To Read Your Heating Oil Gauge

Automatic Delivery eliminates worry over your heating oil supply!

oil tank gauge dover, me If you recently bought home that is kept warm with heating oil, you likely have questions about how to manage your heating oil supply.

P. Gagnon & Son is here to help! We provide reliable heating oil delivery and service and have been serving the Seacoast Region since 1904. Our premium heating oil is a blend that includes ultra-low sulfur heating oil (ULSHO), environmentally friendly biodiesels, and UltraGuard, an additive that helps keep your heating system running smoothly and at its maximum efficiency, which can help cut your heating costs.

How does the float gauge in my heating oil tank work?

Most of today’s heating oil tanks employ a float gauge to let you know how much oil is in your tank.
The gauge is placed on the top of the oil tank. The visible part is a plastic vial with markings that read F or Full, ¾, ½, and ¼, and a disc used for indicating how full the tank is.

An arm extends down from the vial into the inside of the tank and has a float on the end. In the middle of the arm, there is a hinge. That hinge allows the float to lower as the supply of heating oil in the tank goes down. As that happens, the arm lowers the disc in the vial.

What do I need to read a heating oil tank gauge?

The only tool you need to read your heating oil tank gauge is your eyes (and glasses if you use them).

See where the plastic disc is located in the vial. Since some discs are thicker than others, the middle of the disc is probably the closest approximation of your heating oil supply.

When should I order more heating oil?

We strongly urge our customers to never let their tank gauge fall below ¼ full before contacting us to schedule a heating oil delivery.

Going lower than ¼ full can put you at risk of a runout, as very cold weather could cause you to use more heating oil than usual and bad weather may slow our delivery schedule.

Here’s approximately how many gallons of heating oil are left in your tank if it’s ¼ full.

275 gallons: 69 gallons

330 gallons: 82.5 gallons

How long that remaining oil will last will vary based on multiple factors such as the size of your home, the condition of your furnace or boiler, and how airtight and insulated your home is. But here’s an example of an estimate:

If outdoor temperatures average 32° over a 24-hour period, a typical 2,500 square foot house will burn about seven gallons of heating oil per day. So, for example, if temperatures hover around the freezing mark and you have a quarter of a tank of oil left in your 275-gallon tank (which, remember, holds 225 gallons), you’ll have a little more than 55 gallons left – about enough to last about a week.

However, if temperatures are colder than that, as they often are here in the Seacoast Region during winter, you could use up your heating oil faster than that. That’s why we make our recommendation to request a delivery before you fall below ¼ full.

If you run very low on, or out of, heating oil, we offer 24/7 emergency heating oil delivery services. Call us any time of day or night.

You can end worrying about running out of heating oil with P. Gagnon & Son’s Automatic Delivery option! We use the latest software, your heating oil usage history, current weather conditions, and the weather forecast to make an accurate calculation of when you will need more heating oil. With that data, we schedule a delivery, so you get your heating oil tank filled before you run low.

How much heating oil will I need to order?

This not only depends on how much oil is in your tank at the time of delivery, but the size of your heating oil tank as well.

As we noted above, the most common sizes of residential heating oil tanks are 275 and 330 gallons. However, those numbers represent the capacity of the tank, not how much heating oil will go into them. This is because there is always a bit of empty space left in the tank to allow for expansion and to prevent overfilling and the spilling of heating oil.

Here is the maximum capacity for each heating oil tank size:

275 gallons vertical: 250 gallons

275 gallons horizontal: 240 gallons

330 gallons vertical: 305 gallons

330 gallons horizontal: 288 gallons

TankSure® protects your tank and your wallet

Heating oil tank failure isn’t just a hassle. It’s expensive and bad for the environment.

With TankSure® heating oil tank protection, you can gain peace of mind knowing that your tank is corrosion-free with an annual inspection at an economical cost. Plus, it comes with a $1,800 replacement warranty in the event of any tank failure! Investing in this plan provides long-term protection for your home.

Become a P. Gagnon & Son customer and have dependable, worry-free heating oil delivery and service!