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WiFi Home Heating Oil Tank Oil Level Sensor

Gpag
Gpag Member Posts: 1
I live in Southern NH and am on auto-delivery for oil. After an overnight trip this week I came home to an empty oil tank and a very cold house. It's not the first time deliveries were late.

Does anyone have any experience with Wi-Fi oil tank oil level sensors? I want to install one so that I don’t have to rely on an oil company to get here on time.
I am considering this gauge:
https://smartoilgauge.com/shop/product/ccf901i/

If the wi-fi level indicaors work then I won't need to rely on auto-delivery and will have more pricing optons.
I am assuming that I could remove the plug on the top left or right of the tank and install it there.
Thanks for the help.



Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
    I have a few customers that use that particular brand. Seems to work well. As does the Beckett one.
    I have wifi gauges deployed on some very critical tanks.
    Unfortunately, most oil dealers use a degree day type system, to make a best guess for deliveries. It requires some hands on modifying and thinking during the season to predict and prevent customers from running out of heating oil. But as you see on the wifi monitors, the price point is still a little high for oil companies to give or offer them to customers.
    Actual tank monitors are the best way to go.
    But depending on your area, you may just want to stay on auto delivery, and notify the company when your gauge reads about 3/8" to get on their schedule.
    I only say that because cheapest isn't always the best. A lot is going on with bio heat right now, and if you pick a dealer who isn't providing the best on-spec bio heat, or isn't handling/storing it correctly, you could end up with a real problem.
    And then there is service. Most full delivery companies don't usually do service for non-customers in my area. And also in my area there are almost no service-only burner companies. I understand up your way that may not be an issue.
    steve
    HVACNUT
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,127
    edited March 2023
    If your oil reseller is letting you run out the only realistic option for you is to invest in a larger HIGHLAND TANK COMPANY tank within a tank outside your home with a two pipe system to have more oil on site and also have a large enough tank that has an exterior tank that is mounted on integral skids welded to the exterior tank and surrounds the interior tank.

    It will be very difficult to buy kerosene or no.1 fuel oil on a spot purchase basis as you are not a direct customer of the oil distributor you do not do business with on a regular basis.

    STEVEusaPA
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,832
    leonz said:
    If your oil reseller is letting you run out the only realistic option for you is to invest in a larger HIGHLAND TANK COMPANY tank within a tank outside your home with a two pipe system to have more oil on site and also have a large enough tank that has an exterior tank that is mounted on integral skids welded to the exterior tank and surrounds the interior tank. It will be very difficult to buy kerosene or no.1 fuel oil on a spot purchase basis as you are not a direct customer of the oil distributor you do not do business with on a regular basis.
    What? That's the only realistic option? 
    I'm pretty sure the OP found one.
    That's like running out of milk a few times so you go buy a cow. Or almond tree's. Whatever floats your boat.
    @Gpag, I would use the plug on the right because of the existing gauge. I'm not sure which way the float is facing and it might interfere with the sensor.

    STEVEusaPA
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,845
    Im sorry but that's your tank and equipment. You should be down there once or twice a week if not more doing what we call in the building trades rounds. Making sure there's no leaks or other issues. How's a level sensor going to help if there's a water leak, sewage leak? I walk thru my basement 3 - 4 times a week. Sometimes more.
    DJD775
  • Robert_25
    Robert_25 Member Posts: 527
    Have you discussed the recent run-out with your fuel supplier? Ask them if they offer any remote monitoring services to avoid this from reoccurring. Here is a link to the Beckett system that Steve mentioned: https://www.beckettcorp.com/beckettlink-connected-tank-gauge-system/

    I'm sure the level sensor you are considering works fine, but the goal should be to find a way for your supplier to reliably monitor the level of the tank...otherwise that defeats the purpose of automatic delivery.

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
    edited March 2023
    leonz said:

    If your oil reseller is letting you run out the only realistic option for you is to invest in a larger HIGHLAND TANK COMPANY tank within a tank outside your home with a two pipe system to have more oil on site and also have a large enough tank that has an exterior tank that is mounted on integral skids welded to the exterior tank and surrounds the interior tank.

    It will be very difficult to buy kerosene or no.1 fuel oil on a spot purchase basis as you are not a direct customer of the oil distributor you do not do business with on a regular basis.

    This is horrible advice from a non professional.

    I think this site needs disclosures when a non professional is given their (unfortunately in this case 'wrong') opinion for the posts. Anyone stumbling upon this post might thing it's legitimate, correct advice, coming from a professional.
    The other site vets posters, and will put a title under their name if they are a professional, and an asterisk if they are allowed to comment to homeowners.
    I'm sure we can agree, the most important thing for the legitimacy of any help forum website is correct information.

    steve
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,845
    leonz said:
    If your oil reseller is letting you run out the only realistic option for you is to invest in a larger HIGHLAND TANK COMPANY tank within a tank outside your home with a two pipe system to have more oil on site and also have a large enough tank that has an exterior tank that is mounted on integral skids welded to the exterior tank and surrounds the interior tank. It will be very difficult to buy kerosene or no.1 fuel oil on a spot purchase basis as you are not a direct customer of the oil distributor you do not do business with on a regular basis.
    Promoting your products?
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
    pecmsg said:


    Promoting your products?

    I'm surprised he didn't mention switching to coal

    steve
    CLamb
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,127
    edited March 2023
    SteveusaPA, pecmsg,

    I have no financial interest in Highland Tank Company, I am not licensed plumber, I am a retired hard rock miner and homeowner.

    I guess if you do not like my posts and the fact that I am a simple homeowner/nobody living on a fixed income that that has had to put up with people letting me run of heating fuel for my home in sub zero weather because their "driver" was on vacation you can ask to have me banned and I will not come back.

    I switched to Anthracite Coal for my only fuel as a more dependable heat source that costs less money per BTU as the oil company that changed hands in a corporate takeover let me run out of fuel four times.

    I am a simple homeowner that has bad experiences with oil companies letting me run out of fuel "when I was on an automatic delivery schedule", bad plumbers telling me my boiler was leaking or telling me my steel compression tank was the entire problem saying it had to be ripped out when it was the digital aquastat failure, lousy real estate agents, liar property sellers, bad well drillers that claimed they hit bed rock after 292 feet of drilling only to have the well collapse to the bottom of the 92 foot deep well casing that they claimed was sunk into bed rock among many other things.

    YOU do not seem to understand or fail to understand that you get around these types of problems by getting ahead of them and having more oil inventory on hand as a simple solution giving you more oil than you need and overcoming that possibility by having additional fuel on hand as a buffer.

    That is why I suggested investing in a larger above ground tank within a tank to have oil on hand as this person is an absentee owner. This person could always add a second basement tank if he wants and accomplish this objective as well and they might give him enough fuel.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
    Leonz, I think some reading comprehension is in order. The OP simply asked about wifi gauges to help prevent runouts. It’s a bit of a common issue with larger companies who rely on DDAYs and scheduling without understanding the necessity or have the knowledge to make adjustments to anticipate cold weather. The customers' tank gets low, or runs out, they call the oil company, the oil company looks at their computer and it shows the HO 'should have' 3/8ths of a tank, and thus the problem. I get a lot of business from other companies during extended cold snaps, because they can’t keep up with deliveries, or properly counting, accounting for customers usage.
    Oil companies don’t want their customers running out of oil-it’s bad business. If oil isn’t totally banned, you’ll probably see everyone using wifi gauges.
    For an absentee owner, or someone who travels often, this is an example of a good use and need for a wifi gauge, and even a wifi thermostat.

    All the problems you had aren’t what every person, or many people at all go thru with an oil company. Therefore your seemingly extreme solutions don’t really apply.
    For example, outdoor tank in NH is just asking for trouble. Having that much extra heating oil is quite expensive and higher bio concentrations don’t store well for extended periods of time, and will require polishing. Plus the bio portion of heating oil freezes/gels at higher temperatures, so outdoor tanks should be avoided.

    No one wants to ban you. It’s not my website.
    I’m too tired to rehash steel compression tanks.
    Coal. A lot of work. Also not very practical, especially for an absentee owner.
    steve
    HVACNUT
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,127
    edited March 2023
    Some rural homeowners are VERY, VERY, VERY, lucky that they never have problems because the homes they live in were either sears or montgomery ward kit homes built on proper basement walls and foundations with concrete floors and have one pipe steam heat, but heaven help them if they have to
    live without running water for a total of 7 months, hauling water, washing dishes and showering at your inlaws, going without central heat for 2 weeks, dealing with flooded crawl spaces because the neighbors property floods you on three sides or have 2 septic systems replaced among a menagerie of other reasons.

    If the fuel company cannot deliver fuel on time or top off tanks early in the season as a matter of good business practice what good is a wifi tank monitor to him?

    Having a 2 pipe system with a pair of indoor tanks or a large outdoor tank would keep the fuel moving.

    Part of me asks why he does not lower the thermostat to 50 degrees every time there is no one in the home to begin with like my parents did when no one was going to be in the building for extended periods?

    Becoming a rural homeowner can be a blessing or a curse depending on what or does or does not happen.
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,580
    Yes, the wifi smart oil sensor is a great device if you travel, as is, a wifi thermostat and a wifi water leak detector/ automatic water shut off valve if you have a leak.

    Seriously, the smart level sensor is a good purchase and can even send an email to your oil company to make a delivery for you.
  • Illinoisfarmer
    Illinoisfarmer Member Posts: 52
    I've never run out of propane (same church different pew) - in a lot of years of having it, at a number of locations. We've used a couple different suppliers, and the degree day 'keep full' plan has always been successful. My house is geothermal, but there a propane tank for the fireplace, garage heat and generator. Sometimes I see him deliver, sometimes I don't but it's always taken care of - as are the buildings and farm houses I look after. Last fall, I noticed a wire on my house tank that wasn't there before - I happened to see the driver and jokingly asked if he was watching me for the government. He went on quite the speech about how backup generators were making him crazy. I'd never considered it, but there's no way to predict how much propane they've used. He said the wifi level sensors are worth their weight in gold. I have no idea what brand it is - but he showed me on his phone how he could monitor all his tanks - and how he knew what was going on without extra trips.

    In any case, I'm sure the wifi sensors for oil tanks are similar - he had a warning alarm set at 20% to give him time to fill. If that's what you're after - it sounds like it's certainly won the FS guys over.
  • yellowdog
    yellowdog Member Posts: 157
    @Gpag have you talked with your fuel provider and figured out why you ran out? is this a primary home or a 2nd home? has the use of the house changed recently? did they fall behind in the weather from last week? if this is is your primary home, it should be as simple as your supplier upping your k factor in their system. if it is just a poor unreliable supplier issue, than that is the high cost you pay for cheaply priced oil.
  • Condoman
    Condoman Member Posts: 90

    Last summer I bought my own 500 gallon LP tank and had it installed. While the trench was open I dropped in a 3/4" electrical conduit to power the Wyze camera I installed to look at the guage. While not fancy I can look at the tank fill amount at any time.

    You can see the camera pointing at the guage. It has a 1-1/2 PVC coupling over it to cut down on the sun shadow.

    I also have a camera on my oil tank to see the guage on it.