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275 gallon oil tank - how long should it be between fill-ups?



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 8th 07, 06:37 PM posted to alt.home.repair
Joe
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Posts: 171
Default 275 gallon oil tank - how long should it be between fill-ups?

How many gallons of heating oil should I be going through a month? I
filled up my tank on November 7th and my gauge stopped working so I'm
not sure when to request a refill. Knocking on the sides of the tank
makes it seem like it's well below half - maybe even a quarter full.
Should I have used that much in two months? I'm in CT and it's been a
very mild winter (70 degrees on Saturday). My oil burner is an
effecient 7 year old McClain and I live in a fairly insulated 1300 sq
ft Cape Cod. My oil heats my house and hot water (hot water is one of
those mini tanks that connects to the oil burner that automatically
heats water on demand), my stove is electric. Anyone is a similar
situation care to share with me their fillup averages?

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  #2  
Old January 8th 07, 06:41 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 146
Default 275 gallon oil tank - how long should it be between fill-ups?


Joe wrote:
How many gallons of heating oil should I be going through a month? I
filled up my tank on November 7th and my gauge stopped working so I'm
not sure when to request a refill. Knocking on the sides of the tank
makes it seem like it's well below half - maybe even a quarter full.
Should I have used that much in two months? I'm in CT and it's been a
very mild winter (70 degrees on Saturday). My oil burner is an
effecient 7 year old McClain and I live in a fairly insulated 1300 sq
ft Cape Cod. My oil heats my house and hot water (hot water is one of
those mini tanks that connects to the oil burner that automatically
heats water on demand), my stove is electric. Anyone is a similar
situation care to share with me their fillup averages?


Your supplier may schedule fillups on the basis of degree-days and your
past history. You could ask him.

You could also remove the gauge with a wrench and "stick" the tank
through the opening.

  #3  
Old January 8th 07, 06:53 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 6,757
Default 275 gallon oil tank - how long should it be between fill-ups?

Joe wrote:

How many gallons of heating oil should I be going through a month? I
filled up my tank on November 7th and my gauge stopped working so I'm
not sure when to request a refill. Knocking on the sides of the tank
makes it seem like it's well below half - maybe even a quarter full.
Should I have used that much in two months? I'm in CT and it's been a
very mild winter (70 degrees on Saturday). My oil burner is an
effecient 7 year old McClain and I live in a fairly insulated 1300 sq
ft Cape Cod. My oil heats my house and hot water (hot water is one of
those mini tanks that connects to the oil burner that automatically
heats water on demand), my stove is electric. Anyone is a similar
situation care to share with me their fillup averages?


Just buy a new tank gauge, they aren't expensive perhaps $30. They are
also easy to replace if they are separate, if it's the combined gauge
and breather Y fitting, just get the standalone gauge and install in on
one of the other tank top openings (usually four) and ignore the old
gauge.

Unless you jump to the lowest price at the moment each fill up, just
have the oil company put you on scheduled delivery and you won't have to
worry. The first few times they'll come extra early to insure you don't
run out, and based on the degree days and the gallons in each delivery
the software they use will calculate a proper fill interval for you and
adjust it as needed based on the weather. It works very well.
  #4  
Old January 8th 07, 07:55 PM posted to alt.home.repair
dpb
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Posts: 1,033
Default 275 gallon oil tank - how long should it be between fill-ups?


Pete C. wrote:
Joe wrote:

How many gallons of heating oil should I be going through a month? ..


What have you averaged previously?

Just buy a new tank gauge, they aren't expensive perhaps $30. ...


Or use a clean broomstick handle or similar as a dipstick...

  #5  
Old January 8th 07, 07:58 PM posted to alt.home.repair
Joe
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Posts: 171
Default 275 gallon oil tank - how long should it be between fill-ups?

I tried to replace the tank gauge. I think this tank is about 50 years
old and the gauge started to fall apart when I tried to twist it. It
also looks like there is some kind of grey sealant that has welded
itself to the threads over the years. There are no other available
holes on the top of the tank. There is one where the oil comes in and
another where it goes out. The tank was inspected when I bought the
house and was declared in good shape. As far as buying oil is concerned
I was offered a plan in the fall but the prices were too high back then
- about $2.70 per gallon so I have been buying the oil from a
wholesaler for $1.99 but he doesn't do schedules and you have to call
him to fill up. I'm just wondering if every two months is about
standard. The last thing I want to do is run out and have my pipes
freeze.

  #6  
Old January 8th 07, 08:10 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 222
Default 275 gallon oil tank - how long should it be between fill-ups?


Joe wrote:
I'm just wondering if every two months is about
standard. The last thing I want to do is run out and have my pipes
freeze.



Depends on how well your home maintains the heat...insulation, etc. My
past home in Upstate, NY which was a cape about 50 years old, I was
filling up every month in the winter which got to be pretty expensive.
With The home I have now, a ranch around 25 years old, I am filling up
about 4 times/year.....which is quite a difference. The home now
maintains the heat VERY well.

Does your cape have insulation on the attic floor? If planning on
stsying there for a long while, might want to think sealing your home
nice and tight. Probably pay for itself with that amount of fuel.

  #7  
Old January 8th 07, 08:23 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 3
Default 275 gallon oil tank - how long should it be between fill-ups?

Joe wrote:
How many gallons of heating oil should I be going through a month? I
filled up my tank on November 7th and my gauge stopped working so I'm
not sure when to request a refill. Knocking on the sides of the tank
makes it seem like it's well below half - maybe even a quarter full.
Should I have used that much in two months? I'm in CT and it's been a
very mild winter (70 degrees on Saturday). My oil burner is an
effecient 7 year old McClain and I live in a fairly insulated 1300 sq
ft Cape Cod. My oil heats my house and hot water (hot water is one of
those mini tanks that connects to the oil burner that automatically
heats water on demand), my stove is electric. Anyone is a similar
situation care to share with me their fillup averages?


Hey Joe . Check with your oil supplier or a tank dealer. See if you can
get a gallon per inch chart that matches your tank. Then use some sort
of rod to measure the inches of oil, and with a chart, convert inches
to gallons :-) Works well !!

Whiteoak

  #8  
Old January 8th 07, 08:23 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 747
Default 275 gallon oil tank - how long should it be between fill-ups?

Joe wrote:

I tried to replace the tank gauge.



SNIP

I would not mess with any tank fittings,
including the gage port,if it won't come out easily.

This may sound a bit extreme, but I would wire
a clock (old time one with hands that go 'round :-)
directly to the burner motor.
This will let you keep a total of the burner
running time and, knowing the nozzle size,
the total consumption in gallons.

You may not have to pull the burner out to
find the nozzle size. See if there is an old nozzle
laying about or repair slip which gives it.

Jim
  #9  
Old January 8th 07, 08:44 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 6,757
Default 275 gallon oil tank - how long should it be between fill-ups?

Joe wrote:

I tried to replace the tank gauge. I think this tank is about 50 years
old and the gauge started to fall apart when I tried to twist it. It
also looks like there is some kind of grey sealant that has welded
itself to the threads over the years. There are no other available
holes on the top of the tank. There is one where the oil comes in and
another where it goes out. The tank was inspected when I bought the
house and was declared in good shape. As far as buying oil is concerned
I was offered a plan in the fall but the prices were too high back then
- about $2.70 per gallon so I have been buying the oil from a
wholesaler for $1.99 but he doesn't do schedules and you have to call
him to fill up. I'm just wondering if every two months is about
standard. The last thing I want to do is run out and have my pipes
freeze.


You simply can't go by a number of days between fill ups since your
consumption is not a constant.

The software the oil companies use takes heating degree days into
account along with your past usage to determine a gallons to degree day
ratio for your account. By tracking the degree days since your last fill
up and knowing the size of your tank the software schedules the next
delivery. I'm not aware of any similar tracking software for home use.

Have the tank gauge replaced when you have your burner's next annual
service. It shouldn't add much to the cost of the service call if you
tell them in advance so they have the part with them.

As for checking the level now, if there are no other ports on the top of
the tank you can use you won't be able to get an accurate reading
easily.

You may be able to use one of the stick on level gauges intended for LP
tanks to get a decent reading. They only cover a short range so you'd
want to stick it to a fairly low point on the tank, perhaps 1/4 of the
way up the end. These gauges are basically liquid crystal thermometers.

The way they work is you pour a little hot water on the gauge which
causes it to change color. In a few seconds it starts to change back as
it cools. Since the tank surface that is in contact with liquid inside
will cool more rapidly you will see that area change back first
indicating the approximate liquid level.

The LP gauges work reasonably well on steel LP tanks so they should work
ok on a steel oil tank. They are also cheap so it's worth a shot since
your other option is to tap the tank and try to find the liquid level.

For backup against having your pipes freeze, you can get two 5 gal cans
of diesel fuel to keep as a reserve. Diesel fuel and home heating fuel
are basically the same other than red dye in the untaxed heating fuel.
Heating fuel is also known as "off road diesel" and frequently used for
construction equipment that is only operated off road and not subject to
transportation fuel taxes. 10 gal would be enough to keep you going
until a next day oil delivery.
  #10  
Old January 8th 07, 09:22 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 591
Default 275 gallon oil tank - how long should it be between fill-ups?


"Joe" wrote in message
ups.com...
How many gallons of heating oil should I be going through a month? I
filled up my tank on November 7th and my gauge stopped working so I'm
not sure when to request a refill. Knocking on the sides of the tank
makes it seem like it's well below half - maybe even a quarter full.
Should I have used that much in two months? I'm in CT and it's been a
very mild winter (70 degrees on Saturday). My oil burner is an
effecient 7 year old McClain and I live in a fairly insulated 1300 sq
ft Cape Cod. My oil heats my house and hot water (hot water is one of
those mini tanks that connects to the oil burner that automatically
heats water on demand), my stove is electric. Anyone is a similar
situation care to share with me their fillup averages?


Consumption varies widely ... some homes are drafty and under-insulated and
some folks like 80 degrees.

My 2400 sq. ft. home never used more than 800 gal. per year. It was in SW
PA and some of the winters were fairly severe. This home had triple glazed
windows and no leaks. I replaced the doors and gaskets to eliminate the
drafts. If you can feel cold air drafts, you are wasting energy.


 




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