Keeping track of your heating oil is probably the last thing on your mind these days. With more time spent at home, however, your oil usage may be up this year. In this post we’ll discuss the three most common oil tank gauges: dip sticks, float gauges, and the Smart Oil Gauge®.
Oil Tank Dipstick
The most basic type of heating oil gauge is a dipstick. A dipstick can be used to manually measure how many inches of oil are in a tank. Once you’ve taken this measurement, you can refer to a heating oil tank chart to determine how many gallons are in the fuel oil tank. Dipsticks are most commonly used with below ground tanks, as there is no other way to measure the contents of the tank.
Fuel Tank Float Gauge
The second type of gauge is a float gauge. This is the most common type of gauge for above ground tanks. It features a float that sits atop the oil and moves down as the level lowers. This type of fuel oil gauge gives only an approximate oil level in the tank.
Smart Oil Gauge – WiFi Heating Oil Gauge
The most modern style of heating oil gauge is the Smart Oil Gauge. This type of oil tank gauge uses an ultrasonic sensor to precisely measure the oil level. It is extremely accurate except for in the top 8″ of the tank. When the oil is that high in the oil tank, it is too close to the ultrasonic sensor to get a precise reading.
Which Oil Tank Monitor is the Best?
To compare these oil tank gauges, we looked at four factors: Value, Accuracy, Remote Access, and Ease-of-Use. The dip stick is the most cumbersome to use, so it has the lowest value for money. Furthermore, we gave the float gauge 2 out of 5 points for ‘remote access’ because some folks install WiFi cameras to look at the float gauge remotely.
In sum, the Smart Oil Gauge is by far the best overall heating oil tank monitor available. And the nice thing about the Smart Oil Gauge is that you can still keep the old float gauge in the oil tank. Additionally, if you’d ever like to use a dip stick to verify the tank level, you can do that as well. Just open up a bung on your heating oil tank and insert the dipstick.