Usage Meter for Oil Central Heating
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Usage Meter for Oil Central Heating

by DomR » Wed Jan 03, 2024 11:11 am

I've recently moved into a old property that has a conventional oil boiler, with the oil tank setting in the garden just the other side of the wall to the boiler. The heating system is shocking due to many years of neglect, so I'm in the middle of trying to make it more efficient. While it's very possible to me to see if the radiators are heating up and the changes I have been making are improving the feel of the system in the house, there is currently no way for me to tell if I'm being efficent with the oil of things are warmer because I'm burning more oil!
Currently the only way to tell how much oil is in the tank and if there is a need for a top up is by a homemade notched dip stick which has a notch for full and one to say when we need to order another 500 litres. I'll get to my point now, I have seen digital oil level readers that plug in and display the amount of oil in the tank as lines which I'll be investing in at some point, but what I'm really after is a flow meter. Something that will be able to tell me the amount of litres I have used and am currently using - like the gas smart meters do.
Do these exist? And are they the kind of thing I can DIY fit? Are they going to break the bank with the expense?

Any advice and experience with such a device?


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Re: Usage Meter for Oil Central Heating

by stoneyboy » Thu Jan 04, 2024 10:51 pm

Hi domr,
I don’t think knowing the oil flow rate into your boiler is going to help, your boiler will be fitted with a nozzle which will be marked with its flow rate when firing probably 0.75, 1.00 and 1.25 gallons per hour. You could time how long your boiler fires for but this will vary depending on the weather.
Overall you are probably better fitting a mechanical gauge to the top of the tank and record usage from this. You would have to calibrate it - they only give level readings.
One of the most important things is to make sure you boiler is running at the highest efficiency - your service engineer should be able to give you a printed record of the boiler test results including its efficiency.
Regards S

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Re: Usage Meter for Oil Central Heating

by ericmark » Fri Jan 26, 2024 4:01 pm

I would also like to see how much oil is used, and likely best option would be to connect an old electric clock to the little light which says it's running.

However not too keen going inside boiler to connect it up. If the boiler plugged in it would be easy, a simple energy monitor, but it does not, it connects using a FCU.

As to ordering oil, my supplier will fit a device to auto reorder oil when getting low, but hight of oil in tank will not really help, it drops so slowly.

So I had boiler serviced, not worth DIY, as they came with equipment to sample flue gases which simply costs too much, so boiler I pay for a service.

However I want to only heat rooms enough, and no more, and only when being used, and this I can DIY. So 9 programmable TRV heads.

However the TRV can only control when the boiler is running, and this is a problem. I have tried to get the TRV and wall thermostat to work in harmony, it worked with parents gas modulating boiler, but does not seem to work with oil.

I tried setting the wall thermostat in hall to go up half a degree every two hours to keep boiler running, and tried setting to 20 degs stright off, and it seems to depend on the day, very cold better stright to 20 degs, warmer days better in steps.

I have been considering two wall thermostats in parrellel. On in hall and one in living room, likely second one would be Drayton Wiser, then could swap wifes bedroom TRV to a linked one.

But last few days it has been working well.

So what are you using now? I have Nest Gen3, 5 x eQ-3 TRV's, 3 x Energenie TRV's and one TP-Link Kasa TRV, the latter shows the days history, which I find helpful.

So what do you have? Maybe between us we can work something out.

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