How To Tell How Much Oil is in Your Tank

When you’re driving your car down the road, you generally keep an eye on the fuel gauge to make sure you won’t be left hanging on the side of the highway. The same attention should be paid to your home’s oil tank!

Waking up in the middle of the night to a freezing cold house is the home equivalent to running out of gas on the road – it’s incredibly inconvenient and potentially dangerous. Running out of oil can let your home’s temperature plummet, creating the risk of frozen or burst pipes in the walls.

Here’s how to tell how much oil is in your tank:

If your oil tank has a gauge, look at the position of the small floating piece inside the gauge. The lower the piece is in the tube the lower your oil level. If you don’t have a gauge, insert a long oil stick into the tank until it just so hits the bottom of the tank, then pull it out and measure how high up on the stick the oil goes.

Keep reading to learn more about how to tabs on your oil level and what to do when it’s too low.

Keep tabs on the oil tank’s gaugeoil pressure gauge for a car

Your oil tank should have its own gauge to monitor the amount of oil you’re using. It’s important to be able to accurately read the gauge and understand when the best time is to refuel – waiting until the needle is on “E” is a recipe for disaster! Keep an eye on the gauge closely during one cycle and get a feel for how quickly the fuel is used and what one particularly cold night can do to make the needle drop.

Visually inspect the oil level

Sometimes, the oil gauge can be misleading. The best way to be certain about the oil level is through a visual inspection. Grab a flashlight and unscrew the cap at the top of the tank, shining the flashlight down into the tank. If you see light reflected back at you, there’s oil in the tank. If you’re seeing sludge and dirt, the tank is in desperate need of refilling. Call us for a delivery!

Use a dipstick for more accuracy

It’s important to know exactly how much oil is in your tank – just shining a flashlight in might not do the trick, since oil depths can be deceiving. Grab a long dipstick – preferably around 4 feet – or even a broom handle in a pinch. Lower the stick into the opening until you feel it hit the bottom of the tank, then let it sit for a few moments to allow the oil to stick. Pull the stick back up and examine the oil line, just like you would do for a car.

Extend special care for underground tanks

If your home has an underground oil tank, checking the oil depth may not be so simple a task. Choose a long stretch of wire – at least 6 feet – and lower it into the tank just as you would with a dipstick for an above ground tank. The oil will appear reddish-brown on the wire. This way, you’ll know exactly when to call for a refill.

Call Young’s Home Comfort for a delivery

Young’s Home Comfort provides an automatic delivery system, which ensures that you’ll never have to fear running out of oil again. Or, if you prefer to schedule the deliveries yourself, you can simply give us a call and we’ll put you on our schedule. Stay warm all winter with Young’s Home Comfort – contact us to learn more or schedule your delivery today!