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Home heating oil tank volume....how to measure?

Posted by smirkinwill 
smirkinwill Avatar
William McCurdie
Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MG MGB GT "BluThor"

This has been bugging me for years. I've been living in this house for 28 years and back in 1988 I had to replace my oil tank . At the time, I could have sworn that the replacement tank was 250 gallons. However, the tank has a gauge on it and when it's showing flat out empty, and I have it filled, it'll take only 199 gallons. So either the gauge is off or I have a 200 gallon tank.

It's in my basement and I can measure it's dimensions, but how do I convert the measurements into volume?

Thanks.



1969 MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MGB GT "BluThor"
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Gerry Avatar
Gerry Masterman
Prairieville, Louisiana, USA   usa

http://www.referencedesigner.com/calc/cal_07.php

Use inches then divide the answer by 231 and you get gallons I think. Been a while for me



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2010 08:53AM by Gerry.
smirkinwill Avatar
William McCurdie
Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MG MGB GT "BluThor"

Thanks Gerry.

Still a tad confused though.

The tank measures 60" across (I'm using that as the height on the calculator)

For the radius, if I'm doing this right, I measured across the end in the middle and it's 27". If I halve that for the radius and go with 13.5" I get an answer of 34353.287.

Not sure what that is in gallons.



1969 MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MGB GT "BluThor"
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Gerry Avatar
Gerry Masterman
Prairieville, Louisiana, USA   usa

works out to 148 US gallons

Is the tank a true sphere? Seen some that were oblong in cross section. This method would come out low if the tank is not round



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smirkinwill Avatar
William McCurdie
Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MG MGB GT "BluThor"

Thanks again Gerry.

It is oblong. Here's a few pics.

(My wife painted it and chose the color....not me!)



1969 MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MGB GT "BluThor"
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Attachments:
IMG_7979.JPG (34.2 KB) –
IMG_7979.JPG

smirkinwill Avatar
William McCurdie
Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MG MGB GT "BluThor"

one more.



1969 MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MGB GT "BluThor"

Attachments:
IMG_7980.JPG (20.3 KB) –
IMG_7980.JPG

smirkinwill Avatar
William McCurdie
Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MG MGB GT "BluThor"

looks like this one.



1969 MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MGB GT "BluThor"
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Attachments:
oil_tank.jpg (9.4 KB) –
oil_tank.jpg

Gerry Avatar
Gerry Masterman
Prairieville, Louisiana, USA   usa

That tank is not a cylinder. You will have to add the volumn of the strait sides to the 148 gallons to get a real number. Measure the width and height of the square section and multiply them together then devide this number by 231 then add the result to the 148 mentioned above. I suspect you have a 275 gallon tank whick is pretty much a standard according the the web sources I found



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Gerry Avatar
Gerry Masterman
Prairieville, Louisiana, USA   usa

Look here for more tank info
http://www.ableenergy.com/se/capacity.asp

Man I'm glad I don't live where oil is used as home boiler fuel



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nchokie Avatar
R.D. Williams
North Carolina 73, points, SUs, USA   usa
1973 MG MGB

I think you can plug in three dimensions into this calculator and it will give you the volume of the liquid in the tank at different levels of "fullness"

http://freeonlinecalculator.net/calculators/construction/tank.php?action=solve&last=cyl_h&given_data=oval&h_ft=&h_in=&d_ft=&d_in=&fill_ft=&fill_in=[url/] R.D. Williams
Gerry Avatar
Gerry Masterman
Prairieville, Louisiana, USA   usa

There you go-that should do it!



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smirkinwill Avatar
William McCurdie
Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MG MGB GT "BluThor"

OK, I'll go with that.

And yes, be glad Gerry......cost me $525.00 for 199 gallons today. Should last 3 months or so.



1969 MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MGB GT "BluThor"
britcars Avatar
Phil Ossinger
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada   can

In our part of the world, I sometimes hear about a basement oil tank leaking and causing all kinds of problems. Old steel tanks usually rust through the bottom. I believe that new and replacement tanks here must be double walled. A lot of them are now fibreglass. The Environment Dept. requires cleanup which can run into huge dollars.

The local paper reported recently that one home was demolished as the cost of cleanup and soil remediation exceeded the house value many times over.





Adventure before Dementia.
The older you get, the more important it is not to act your age.
smirkinwill Avatar
William McCurdie
Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MG MGB GT "BluThor"

That did it R.D.

Works out to roughly 275 gallons like Gerry figured. Thanks all! Guess the gauge is off by quite a bit....sort of like my GT's fuel gauge.

And Phil, yes I did have to replace the old tank back in 1988. I had just had it filled and happened to be in the basement when I smelled fuel oil. Looked near the bottom of the tank and saw what I thought was a drop of oil. Turned out it was a bubble in the paint. When I touched it, a tiny stream of oil started coming out onto the floor. I grabbed a faucet washer and a self tapping screww and that held long enough to get it replaced. They had to pump out the tank, and put in the new one & refill. If that had happened in the middle of the night or if the leak was on the wall side, it would have been a real mess.

There was an incident here a few years ago where a homeowner had replaced his oil heater with gas. Seems nobody told his regular oil company and under some contracts they come out and fill automatically depending on "degree days". Well, the oil guy hooked up his hose to the outside fill pipe and pumped quite a few gallons of fuel oil into his basement. That smell in small quantities is tough to get rid of. Not sure how it worked out for him.



1969 MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MGB GT "BluThor"
Gerry Avatar
Gerry Masterman
Prairieville, Louisiana, USA   usa

Just curious-do you have any problems with sludge in the tank bottom? Down here in the south sludge/water is sometimes a problem in out diesel storage tanks. What kind of level indicator do y'alls tanks use?



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cfrench Avatar
Carl W. French
Alfred, Maine, USA   usa

The standard tank of your style is 275 gallons.



Carl W. French
Alfred, Maine
Southern Maine LBC welfare shelter
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nchokie Avatar
R.D. Williams
North Carolina 73, points, SUs, USA   usa
1973 MG MGB

Gerry: I use an auto fill service and do not have a gauge on my tank. We do have sludge issues at times on exterior tanks as well as water problems due to condensations. I double filter my line and have a filter on the burner assembly too. Just to keep the delivery guys honest I also use a dip stick to measure my tank volume and back check using some of the crazy math we have been reviewing in this thread.



R.D. Williams


sunny124ny Avatar
Sunny Sonnenrein
Riegelsville, PA, USA   usa
1963 MG MGB "Monty"
1980 MG MGB "Percy"

X2..... We have a standard 275 gal tank as well. The gauges are notoriously unreliable. To us, it wasn't worth the parts and labor of having a new gauge installed (which would then be only questionably reliable). I order online when it drops below 1/4 tank, and it takes less than 200 gals at that point......
:eyepop:

In reply to a post by cfrench The standard tank of your style is 275 gallons.

smirkinwill Avatar
William McCurdie
Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MG MGB GT "BluThor"

No problem with sludge or water.....yet! I figure the original tank was close to 50 years old when the leak developed. Had to be original to the house which is late 40's. Like R.D., I have two filters. A big one that looks a lot like a Tecalemit cartridge type and a smaller one just before the burner. Have the burner serviced and tuned every other year.

Previous homewoner didn't use the basement at all and it was really damp when we first moved in. Since then, we've waterproofed and I run a de-humidifier all year. Keeps it nice a dry.



1969 MGB "Lady Jane"
1971 MGB GT "BluThor"
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