Do you remember the last time you checked your oil tank levels? If you’ve stopped to think and you can’t remember, then it’s definitely a simple check that’s long overdue. In this new blog post, we’ll explain how frequently you should be checking and what to look for when you do. It’s also important to be aware of fuel theft and take precautions to ensure that your supply of home heating oil remains where it should – inside your oil tank.
How frequently should you check your oil tank levels?
In the winter, we would recommend that you check your oil tank levels around once a fortnight, as you might be surprised at how much you’ll use when the temperature drops outside. In the summer months when you’re not using as much home heating oil, it’s ok to check to check your tank less frequently, but just make sure to still do it regularly (about once a month) to keep an eye on it. If you use your oil to heat the water for your shower you’ll still need to top it up for this reason.
What to check?
When checking your oil tank levels, you’ll also want to check your oil tank itself for any signs of damage or force around the openings. Your oil tank can become damaged and weathered over time, so you should be aware of any changes to it – like rust spots, leaks, damp patches under the base (if visible) and always make sure the caps are replaced properly after you’ve checked the oil tank levels and had a delivery, to prevent any rainwater getting inside the tank and altering the quality of the fuel.
How to check your oil tank levels accurately
Some people think that tapping the side of the tank to gauge how much oil is left is an accurate method, but trust us we’ve seen how wrong this can be! It’s also not enough to assume that every year you need to order oil in the pattern (i.e. the same months as the previous year), as weather patterns and amounts ordered each time could be different, and well as obviously your consumption history. The best way to check is to get a gauge – and there are several types available, depending on your needs:
- There are simple sight gauges, which just use a clear tube which runs up the side of the tank allowing you to easily see what’s left.
- There are also float gauges, where the float level moves as the amount of oil in the tank increases or decreases.
- For an accurate reading, use an electronic gauge, which calculates tank dimensions in the unit so it can calculate the air pressure and depth, and provide an extremely accurate reading. Some electronic gauges can be linked to your phone, so you get an alert when the oil falls below a certain level. This can be very helpful in alerting you of fuel theft – if the oil levels fall drastically in a short period you’ll also get an alert.
Fuel theft & precautions
Sadly, fuel theft is a very real crime, and although it is more common in rural areas of Ireland it pays to be vigilant no matter where you live. Some simple precautions include:
- Adding a visible tank lock to your oil tank (just remember to remove it before you get a delivery of home heating oil)
- Some thorny bushes planted near your tank
- Exterior lighting around your home on a sensor
- Lockable gates or fences so that it’s not easy to access your property
Remember to stay alert to any suspicious activity around your neighbours’ homes too, and report anything untoward to the authorities.
Have you checked your oil tank yet? If you have and decide that it’s about time you topped it up, you can get a cheap quote for home heating oil from us any time on our website using our simple online form.