Oil Tank Level Indicator Project/Idea
Updated: 09/10/03
Description Diagrams Notes
Description | Diagrams | Notes

Oil Tank Level Indicator Idea.........  There will be more descriptive text coming soon.  Please see the diagram below for a depiction of an adjustable oil tank level indicator (contact closure when level drops below user-preset level).  I have a similar unit connected to my two 275 gallon home heating oil tanks.  Reed switch outputs are connected to my JDS Stargate HA system for notification.

Oil Tank Level Indicator Idea

(copied from a previous email of mine)

Subject: Re: Oil tank level
Date:     Sun, 17 Feb 2002 23:15:27 -0500
From:  Tom L <lingling@edgenet.net>

Unfortunately, the last year has been hectic and I just havn't gotten around to
updating my webpage stuff.  Hopefully in the next few months, I'll make some
much needed changes.

As for the Oil level idea,... I've attached a little drawing I made for another person years ago.  This is what I have been using for 4-5 years now and have had no problem what so ever.  And as you have probably guessed, as busy as I am,... It has saved me many times!!.  Basically, I have adapted the existing oil tank level indicator such to attach (via double sided tape or like) a small disc-like magnet I had hanging around the shop.  This magnet should easily fit in the inside of the clear tank level tube (the tube that the oil level bar/indicator slide up and down in) such not to hamper the sliding action of the existing indicator/tube assembly.  You then reassemble the unit (screw back on the clear tube/idicator) and attach a magnetic reed switch (can get from local Radio Shack) to the outside of the tube.  I decided to use a rubber band such that I can easily change the position of the reed switch to my desire. When the magnet (now attached to the white disk/indicator) falls below a level (level where center of reed switch is located), the reed switch will trigger. I then have this switch attached to my HA system (JDS Stargate) and it makes sure I know that the oil level is low (I have mine set so that it triggers when the level drops to around 1/4 of a tank). My HA system flashes lights, sounds an alarm (sounds like a submarine Dive, Dive!).  Nevertheless, I have not ran out of oil in the 5-6 years since it has been in use.

One word of caution,.... never use high voltage around you oil tanks! (A no brainer I hope).  Be sure that the voltage level is around 5 volts and low amperage,  The good thing about using a reed switch is that if any arcing happens around the switch contacts, the arc will happen in the enclosed glass envelope, unable to ignite anything.  Be sure that you have real good, soldered connections on the reed switch and you'll be safe.  In any case, please use caution.

Hopes this helps!  Again, feel free to stop by my web page in the coming months for anticipated changes !  (keep the fingers crossed!).

Tom Laureanno


> Tom,
> Please send me an email when you have completed the section about oil tank
> level alarm.  I was toying around with the idea myself, but have not a clue
> exactly where to start.  I was stupid enough to let it run dry already this
> winter.  I am BRAND NEW to home automation ( 2 days old to be exact) and
> could really use tips from an experienced user.


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Oil Tank Level Indicator

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Oil Tank Level Indicator

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Return to Tom's X-10 Ideas Webpage
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