Am I Out of Heating Oil? Learn the Signs You’re About to Run Dry


out of heating oil penn mar

How do you have peace of mind that you won’t run out of gasoline when you’re on a road trip? The fuel gauge and gas light that will always allow you to keep an eye on how much fuel you have left and alert you if your level is low! Unfortunately, heating fuel levels are often not as obvious, which means you may not immediately know if you are running out of heating oil. How can you determine the amount of oil remaining in your tank and prevent it from running dry?

How Much Heating Oil Is Left In My Tank?

If your tank is the most common size, 275 gallons, you should first check your gauge. Use the reading on your heating oil tank gauge and the chart below to see approximately how many gallons after left in your tank.

Tank Gauge Reading Gallons Remaining Approximate
Full 275
7/8 241
3/4 206
5/8 172
1/2 138
3/8 103
1/4 69
7/8 34

Am I About to Run Out of Heating Oil?

If your heating oil tank gauge appears not to be working or you do not have one and need to confirm how much oil is left, you can use a long, clean stick or dowel to check the oil. Slowly lower the stick into the tank to see how high up the oil comes. Measure the depth and then utilize the chart below to determine approximately how much oil is left. If you find yourself running low, call Penn-Mar Oil Company as soon as possible to schedule a delivery before you run out of heating oil.


275 gallon (44″ depth)
550 gallon (49″ depth)
Oil depth Gallons Remaining Gallons Remaining
1″ 3 3
2″ 8 7
3″ 15 14
4″ 23 21
5″ 32 23
6″ 42 28
7″ 53 48
8″ 63 58
9″ 74 69
10″ 86 81
11″ 98 92
12″ 110 104
13″ 122 117
14″ 135 129
15″ 148 143
16″ 160 156
17″ 172 169
18″ 184 183
19″ 196 197
20″ 207 211
21″ 217 225
22″ 228 239
23″ 246 254
24″ 255 268
25″ 264 283
26″ 270 297
27″ 275 312
28″ 326
29″ 340
30″ 354
31″ 368
32″ 382
33″ 395
34″ 408
35″ 422
36″ 434
37″ 447
38″ 459
39″ 470
40″ 482
41″ 493
42″ 503
43″ 513
44″ 522
45″ 530
46″ 537
47″ 544
48″ 548
49″ 550

The Signs You Are Out of Heating Oil

If you can’t get an accurate measurement of your oil depth, your gauge is malfunctioning or something else is wrong, other signs that you are out of oil include:

  • You hear banging or clanking noises when your furnace turns on, or when you attempt to start it
  • When walking through your home, it feels like the heat is not constant or consistent from room to room
  • You need to restart or reset your furnace often

How Can I Prevent Myself from Running Out of Heating Oil?

At Penn-Mar Oil Company, our automatic delivery customers benefit from the peace of mind that our team will monitor their fuel levels all winter long. Our complimentary automatic delivery service anticipates your heating oil levels so you don’t need to worry about your levels. Call us today at (717) 276-9621 to enroll.

Don’t Run Out of Heating Oil with Penn-Mar Oil Company

Penn-Mar Oil Company is proud to be the preferred heating oil provider of Pennsylvania and Maryland residents since 1936. We offer high-quality kerosene, heating oil and off-road diesel, all backed up by our exceptional customer service and convenient delivery service. To order heating oil, please call us today at (717) 276-9617 or visit us online.