How to Read Your Tank Gauge
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How to Read Your Tank Gauge

By: Whitney Blanchard, Delivery Dispatcher at Dead River Company

As a delivery dispatcher at Dead River Company, I frequently give quick tutorials on how to read a heating oil or propane tank gauge.

Because fuel consumption varies based on weather, personal preference, occupancy, and home weatherization, the best and easiest way to determine if you need fuel is by reading your tank gauge.


  • You’ll find the gauge under the black dome on your tank.
  • Look at the big, black numbers on the circular dial.
  • If a propane tank is at or near 65%, a driver typically will not fill that tank to avoid overfilling.
  • Regardless of the size of your propane tank, it’s considered full if the gauge reads 80%. If you’re not on automatic delivery, you’ll want to schedule your next delivery when your tank gauge reads below 25%.

Home Heating Oil

  • You’ll find the gauge on top of the fuel tank, a clear cylindrical dome.
  • Look for the red horizontal line floating in the dome.
  • The amount of fuel left in the tank is indicated by where the red line falls. Once the level is at ¼ of a tank, you should schedule your next delivery if you’re not already on automatic delivery.

In case you’re wondering how many gallons you have in your tank based on the reading, below is a chart showing approximate number of gallons in the tank by gauge level and tank size.

Tank Size Tank Gauge Reading
  25% 50% 65% 80% (Full)
28 gallon tank 7 14 18 22
58 gallon tank 15 29 38 46
118 gallon tank 30 59 77 94
120 gallon tank 30 60 78 96
250 gallon tank 63 125 163 200
325 gallon tank 81 163 211 260
500 gallon tank 125 250 325 400
1000 gallon tank 250 500 650 800


Tank Size Tank Gauge Reading
  1/4 1/2 3/4 Full
275 gallon tank 60 120 180 240
330 gallon tank 75 150 225 300
550 gallon tank 120 240 360 480


If you ever have questions about reading your tank gauge or any other aspect of your home heating system, you can always call your local Dead River Company office and someone will help you.