Oil Tank Size? How Big is My Oil Tank?

Date: December 8, 2016

Welcome to your new oil heated home! If this is your first experience with oil heat you likely have some questions. New customers often ask “How do I know the size of my oil tank”? or “How many gallons does my oil tank hold”?

The most common above ground oil tank size is 275 gallons although capacity can range from 105 gallons to 500 gallons. A quick and simple way to determine if your oil tank has a capacity of 275 gallons is to measure the height, width and length of the tank.

oil tank measure

A steel vertical 275-gallon oil tank like the one pictured above measures 27″ wide, 44″ high and 60″ long. There are instances when tanks of the same measurements lay flat. Of course, the size or capacity of the tank is the same however, these tanks are referred to as horizontal 275-gallon oil tanks.

Your oil tank should have a tank gauge that will give you an approximation of how many gallons of oil are in the tank at any time. A typical oil tank gauge resembles the picture below.

oil tank gauge

Now that you know how to determine your oil tank size lets figure out how much oil is in your oil tank. The tank gauge measures oil inventory in increments of 1/4 or 25%. If your gauge reads 1/4 full you have approximately 68 gallons in your tank, 1/2 equals approximately 136 gallons, 3/4 equals approximately 204 gallons.

If your oil dealer provides automatic delivery it is his/her responsibility to keep your oil tank from not only running out but from getting too low. When a tank gauge approaches 1/8 full it increases the chance that sludge from the bottom of the tank can clog oil filters. Clogged oil filters result in the inability of oil to reach the oil burner and loss of heat. Customers who prefer to call their oil company to order oil rather than have their dealer fill their tank automatically are referred to as “will call” customers. If you are a “will call” customer be sure to order a delivery before your tank gauge reads 1/4 full.

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