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In ground oil tank gage (afterthought)...

to install on an existing in-ground oil tank to measure the level? I had a 550 gallon round fiberglass tank installed about 10 years ago, and neglected to take the installer's advice to run extra lines for gage in the basement. Now I'm tired of "sticking it", and the "commander-in-chief" seems to be inquiring about weekly readings. I assume there is no way to utilize the existing supply and return lines. I can do the calculation thing for an approxiamate level, but would still like an actual reading occasionally. Is there some sort of remote sensor that could be installed in the vent (which has direct sight into the tank)? Thanks for any suggestions!


  • Firedragon_4
    Firedragon_4 Member Posts: 1,436
    Everyone I've ever seen

    requires a tank sensor. There were remote vent pipe alarms made years ago (SculSignal) but that's about it.

    Check this out from www.OilTechTalk.com:

  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
    I checked that out...

    looks like a regular pivot arm with float for an above ground or basement tank, that will transmit the level signal to a display in the house. Not an option for my situation, where the tank is buried. Seems good for the extra-lazy crowd! If I could just get a reading somewhere - the basement or outside is fine... Any inventors here want to develope a sonar gage that would sit on top of the vent? Thanks for the quick reply, though!
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    if you have a 2 pipe system you could make one.

  • Tom Blackwell
    Tom Blackwell Member Posts: 20

    Try running a piece of 1/2" pipe to the bottom through the vent and installing a magnehelic gauge on it with a hand pump to charge air into the line. This is a simple bubbler tube and was used for years. The Pneumercator co. used to have just such a device with a built-in hand pump; don't know if they still exist.
  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
    More details, please...

    do you mean make it a 1 pipe system (not recommended for buried tanks?) and use the original return for the gage (only needs one line, not sure of depth installed in tank?)?

    Or is there a way to connect the gage to the 2 pipe system in the basement?

    Please keep in mind that the current setup is trouble-free of nuisance shutdowns, which goes over well with the management!
  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
    Also more details, please...

    how much of this setup could be permanant (since it would all be outside)? Can you provide a little more on how this is hooked up and what procedure for using it? Is it any less involved than using a stick? I looked at the Pneumercator site and could only view instrumentation that looked more appropriate for commercial leakage detection. Thanks!
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    this is a bit of uhm...backyard engineering...

    use the supplyline hook it to a tiger loop combo,so you still have a two pipe supply and return to it(the boiler). take the other line hook a vynil hose to it(the return line) sipohn it ,pullthe hose back up toaboard stick a nail in it(the vyinl hose) and fill the tank . make a mark on the vyinl hose before you fill it. thats where thats at. after you fill it make another mark on the hose thats where thats at.however many gallons you got thats how much difference there is in gallons . now you can run ten gallons out of the vyinl hose into two 5 gallon jugs. thats where thats at. and then nail it back on the wall. you play dot to dots and you have the gauge. i made one of these in the 60's. its cheap and it works like a bubble level .if you write the numbers on a board along side the pipe then you can make them large enough to read.....and remotely decipherable, unlike my writings:)
  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
    The tiger loop may be...

    a possibility - but those buckets? Would the clear tubing extend from floor to ceiling? If a more "standard" gage could work off of the now unused return line, this could be a solution? Thanks big "W"!
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    well, i never said my necessity of an invention...

    would win good house keepings "Designe of the year award" *~/:)
  • Dave-St Louis
    Dave-St Louis Member Posts: 22
    Oil Tank Gauge

    Pneumercator makes a small gauge, their model P-5 that would probably work for your application. Check their website again and scroll down until you see the P-5 model.
    It shows typical installations of a pneumatic operated tank gauge. Good luck.
  • m dewolfe
    m dewolfe Member Posts: 92
    tank level

    my over engineering has forced me to install this at several homes. Add an hour meter onto the burner circut and make a simple calculation with your nozzle size and then have your tank filled to 100 percent full and simply watch the hour meter tick the gallons away. simple and quite accurate we have found.
  • David_5
    David_5 Member Posts: 250
    Good idea

  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
    I've searched further...

    on the Pnuemercator and Petrometer sites for the gauge options. So far it seems that an air bell assembly has to be installed in a 2" fitting at the tank at the time of installation. Since the tank is already in, I am not sure if I want to dig it up and mess with that 2" plug 10 years later. I put in a call to Pnuemercator Engineering to see if there are easier options to retrofit any of their products. I'm really hoping there is some way to utilize the existing return line if I go with the tiger loop on the supply line.
  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
    Thanks, but I'm really looking for...

    an actual level reading. We don't always fill the tank 100 %, and I want to provide something that anyone can read directly. I've gotten shorted on a c.o.d. delivery once - I found with the stick - before and after by 80 gallons!
  • freon12
    freon12 Member Posts: 15

    petrometer's are nice, we installed a few...

    remote read a 150 feet

    sid harvey and re michel sells them
  • oil-2-4-6-gas
    oil-2-4-6-gas Member Posts: 641

    Jim just so you know ALL of the oil level gages are calibrated by -------------the stick---- there is nothing more accurate than the old stick --Petrometer's ,VEEDER roots,Preffered's,pnuemericator's--etc..stop being lazy and keep sticking the tank--you should also have an hour meter on the oil valve --so you can calculate you're usage --verify with your "stick" so you know for sure///i know of a place that recently had to remove their leaking 15,000 in-ground --they found oil leaking in the storm drains 3-miles down the road ---turns out they might have been leaking for 7-10 years--since they have pumped out 30,000 gallons from the well --and they thought they had an inefficient boiler
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