Genie’s Diary, November 3, 2015

Dear Diary,

The weather’s changing! Getting cooler at night now. That means bringing the plants in from the deck, firing up the furnace, and budgeting for the winter’s heating oil. I already reminded everybody to have their furnace inspected. I hope they did, because we already had our first freeze warning over the weekend.

And know what’s coming next. People are going to start thinking about ordering heating oil. When they are filling up their heating oil tanks or ordering a set number of gallons, get lots of questions, like “how much oil is in my tank?” or “how do I tell how many gallons I have?”

It’s not an exact science, unfortunately. And a lot of people are confused about what a heating oil storage tank gauge really does.

First of all, a heating oil storage tank gauge does not measure the quantity of oil remaining in the tank. It’s a float gauge that simply measures the percentage of the tank contains oil. Its job is to tell the oil level in the oil storage tank, for example, the tank is ¾ full, ½ full, ¼ full, or nearly empty – just like your car. Therefore, it doesn’t give a reading of the number of gallons of heating oil inside the tank. No problemo! Multiplying the total capacity of your tank by the reading on the tank gauge will put you in the ballpark. For example, a 275 tank that is 1/4 full has about 69 gallons.

A common sized residential oil tank holds 275 gallons. But sizes do vary, anywhere from 200 to 275 gallons and there are even some 300 gallon tanks out there. The label that should be welded or glued onto the oil tank will tell the capacity.

Also, keep in mind that heating oil tanks are usually oval, so the gauge is most accurate when the tank is full, half-full, or empty. That will impact your calculation, so err on the side of caution when estimating how much heating oil is in an oil tank.

Another question people ask is “how does the oil driver know when to stop pumping oil my tank is full?” It’s rather genius, and simple! Most heating oil tanks are equipped with a whistle, which sounds as oil replaces the air inside the tank. When the whistle starts to get quiet, this tells the delivery driver that there is very little air remaining in tank because the tank is full. Sometimes whistles don’t function well because bugs seem to find the whistle a comfy place to raise a family. (We genies are used to living in close quarters, so I kinda get it.) Anyway, if the whistle isn’t working, the driver will try to “stick the tank” to determine how much heating oil can be pumped into the tank.  (If the whistle is not working and sticking the tank is not possible, we will not be able to deliver oil to the tank.) The driver may also stop filling the tank before it is completely full, depending on the age and type of the tank. Not to worry, however… No matter what, you will only be charged for the actual number of gallons of heating oil delivered to your tank!

And last but not least — what if your heating oil tank gauge is broken? I have a blog for that!! It’s titled, “Hey, Genie… How much oil do I have?

Now that I’ve answered all your questions about your heating oil tank gauge, you probably want to know what Aladdin’s heating oil prices are! Simply click Get Price here, or at the top right of our website!



Aladdin Heating Oil: The fastest, easiest way to order your home heating oil online.

Just click here.

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