How to measure the oil in a tank

Written by jim stewart
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How to measure the oil in a tank
(Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Oil tanks hold the fuel that powers machines like heating furnaces. They require regular monitoring and inspections. Some tanks are made of opaque materials, checking the oil level can be challenging. You can get around the problem by making your own dipstick.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wood
  • Saw
  • Yardstick
  • Pencil

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  1. 1

    Cut a length of wood longer than your tank is deep. The additional length is your handle. Choose a width that is narrower than the tank opening.

  2. 2

    Lay the dipstick down on top of a yardstick and mark it off with a pencil. Make marks on the dipstick at each relevant mark from the dipstick, like every 6 inches.

  3. 3

    Cut into each of the marks on the dipstick with the saw to make a small notch.

  4. 4

    Slip the dipstick into the tank opening until you feel the bottom. Turn the stick around to make sure the oil makes contact with it.

  5. 5

    Pull the dipstick out of the tank and let the excess oil drip off. Check the level against the notches you made to find the depth of your remaining oil.

Tips and warnings

  • You can buy a reusable dipstick if you don't want to make a new one each time.
  • Do not use rotten or splintering wood, or you may contaminate the contents of the tank.

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