The Differences Between the Smart Oil Gauge and the Duo

The newest addition to the family of Smart Oil Gauge devices is the Smart Oil Gauge Duo, and it is increasing in popularity. With the inclusion of the Duo, we have made a lot of changes to the device. If you have used both models of gauges, you can see some of them right off the bat after taking the cap off. But today, I’ll be covering all of the noteworthy differences between these two devices.

Different Cap Designs

One of the things that you’ll immediately notice is that the caps on both devices are vastly different. The original Smart Oil Gauge has a white cap installed onto the top of the gauge. However, the Duo has a gray cap that comes apart in two pieces. The top piece of the Duo cap sits directly onto the top of the Duo and the other part of the cap can be screwed on. While the standard gauge only has that white cap that screws onto the top of the gauge.

Now, these caps might just seem to be just simple caps. However, these caps are much more different than you would think. The regular gauge’s white cap doesn’t provide a complete seal to protect the interior of the device. Which isn’t an issue on indoor tanks. However, on outdoor tanks, it can cause moisture to fill up the interior of the gauge. That’s why we typically recommend wrapping some Teflon tape around the top threads of the gauge.

But with the Duo, that is no longer necessary. We designed this cap to be able to provide a seal to protect the interior of the device, which is why the cap comes in two pieces. The top piece sits directly onto the top of the gauge and the second piece of the cap will screw down onto the top threads protecting the top cap’s seal.

Indoor and Outdoor Usage

Another major difference between the gauges is the usage of indoor and outdoor tanks. The standard Smart Oil Gauge has an Indoor model and an Indoor/Outdoor unit. The indoor/outdoor model is more suitable for outdoor use but can be used on indoor tanks as well. The indoor-only model is strictly only for indoor usage.

Meanwhile, the Duo has only one model, that can be used on both indoor and outdoor tanks! We recently had a beta testing program that allowed some of our users to test the Duo on their outdoor heating oil tanks! We had done some significant testing on our end to ensure that the gauge would be able to work on outdoor tanks. However, nothing would prove to be more valuable than data in the field. Now after our successful beta testing program, we can safely say that the Duo can be used on outdoor tanks!

No Blind Spot

While I mentioned this in our previous Smart Oil Gauge Duo blog post, it is still important to know that the Duo has no blind spot. When you get a delivery of heating oil, there is usually only a few inches of headroom in the tank that is usually left open for air. With the original gauge, it wouldn’t be able to pick up the top 8″ of the tank very well. This is because the gauge’s signal would bounce around a lot at the top of the tank. The amount of gallons that the gauge would show on your app would vary depending on your tank size. But ultimately the gauge would read less oil than what you had in the tank. If you are interested in learning more about the blind spot, we have an in-depth article here regarding it.

This is what the blind spot on the standard Smart Oil Gauge looks like. You will see that the gauge is able to clear the blind spot once the oil level in the tank has cleared the top 8″ of the tank.

However, with the Smart Oil Gauge Duo, we’ve completely gotten rid of the blind spot. The Duo has an operating distance of 0″-72″ inches, which means it’s able to pick up oil within the top 8″ of the tank that the original Smart Oil Gauge isn’t able to pick up. This makes the Duo more accurate in the long run because it has a wider operating range.

Adapter & Tank Compatibility

While the standard Smart Oil Gauge has three separate adapter types that it’s compatible with, the Duo only has two adapters that it’s compatible with. The standard Smart Oil Gauge has an adapter for 1.25″ NPT tank fittings, 1.5″ NPT fittings, and Roth tanks. Meanwhile, the Smart Oil Gauge Duo only has adapters for 1.5″ NPT fittings and Roth Tanks. This is because the Duo gauge cannot fit in the 1.25″ NPT fitting adapter.

However, despite their differences the Duo and standard Smart Oil Gauge both have relatively the same tank compatibility. They are both incompatible with Roth 1500L tanks while being compatible with other Roth tanks. But unfortunately, the Duo is not compatible with tanks that have a 1.25″ NPT fitting. This is because as mentioned previously, the Duo cannot fit in the 1.25″ NPT fitting adapter.

Different Interiors

One of the most useful parts about the duo compared to the standard Smart Oil Gauge is the ability to take out the interior of the gauge and take it with you inside to troubleshoot. For example, say you have a change to your WIFI network and you need to update the credentials on the app. With the Duo, you can take the interiors of the gauge out and take them inside your warm house to troubleshoot! This makes troubleshooting the Duo much easier than troubleshooting the standard Smart Oil Gauge.

In the above photo, you’ll see that the two different models of smart oil gauges have different interiors. The Duo on top will allow you to take out the interiors and bring them inside to troubleshoot. Meanwhile, with the standard gauge, the boards are seated into each other.

However, unfortunately, with the standard Smart Oil Gauge, the boards are connected. This makes it very difficult to take the interior parts out of the standard gauge. Taking the interior parts out of the gauge will only cause the boards to disconnect which can make reconnecting the boards a little more difficult.

Operating Ranges

We mentioned this briefly in our Smart Oil Gauge Duo introduction post, but the Duo and Smart Oil gauge have two different operating ranges. The standard Smart Oil Gauge has an operating range of 8″-72″. This is because the standard gauge only has one sensor on the bottom. When there is oil within the top 8″ of the tank, the signal that the gauge sends tends to bounce around the top of the tank a lot. Which will cause the gauge to read less oil than what’s actually in the tank when you get a fill. This is the Smart Oil Gauge’s blind spot. Due to this blind spot, the standard gauge cannot pick up those top 8″ of the tank because there is not enough room to send the signal.

As shown in the above graph, the gauges have two different operating ranges. The Duo has a 0″-72″ operating range because it is a dual-ultrasonic sensor. While the standard Smart Oil Gauge has only one ultra sonic sensor.

However, the Smart Oil Gauge Duo has a dual-ultrasonic sensor that both takes readings and sends them. This gives the Duo an effective operating range of 0″-72″. This means it can take a reading within the top 8″ of the tank even after you get a fill! This ensures that you’ll be able to know how many gallons of oil you have in your tank after your fill!

Should You Buy a Standard Smart Oil Gauge or a Duo?

Now this begs the question, which gauge should you buy? Well, this also depends on your tank setup. If you have a tank that has a 1.25″ NPT fitting, then you’ll need to buy a standard Smart Oil Gauge because the Duo isn’t compatible with the 1.25″ NPT fitting adapter.

However, if you are willing to deal with the blind spot then the standard Smart Oil Gauge is perfect for you! While it’s not as accurate as the Smart Oil Gauge Duo, it is very accurate within the 8″-72″ inch operating range that it has.

But, if you’re the type of person who likes knowing what your tank level is at all times, then I would recommend purchasing the Smart Oil Gauge Duo!

Happy Heating,