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How Much Does a Full Propane Tank Weigh?

Make Sure You’re Always Ready to Grill

propane tank  Danville, VA Grilling season is approaching. Days are noticeably longer and the days are mostly milder—perfect for getting the grill fired up. Whether you’re planning to host a crowd or you’re just throwing something together for the family, you don’t want to run out of propane—but who can remember back to last fall: When was the last time you got your propane grill tank filled up?

Grill tanks don’t have a gauge—so it’s hard to know when they’re running low. Portable tanks tend to be described in pounds, rather than gallons—but much should a full propane tank weigh? When you pick up a full 20-pound tank, it sure feels heavier than 20 pounds.

Here’s how to tell how much propane is left in your grill tank, so you always have plenty on hand when you need it!

Gallons or Pounds?

Why is the propane delivered to your home’s main storage tank always measured in gallons, but when you need a tank for your grill or RV, it’s measured in pounds? The reason is that propane, also known as “Liquid Propane Gas” or LPG, is stored in a liquid state under pressure. It’s easy to measure the gallons as they are dispensed into a large tank. But for smaller tanks, weight is an easier measurement.

It seems straightforward, until you notice that a full portable cylinder usually weighs a lot more than you’d expect from its description. That’s because it’s 15, or 20 or 40 pounds of propane plus the weight of the tank, also called the tare weight. For a 20-pound cylinder, the tare weight is typically about 17 pounds. So a full 20-pound cylinder will weigh about 37 pounds. You’ll find the tare weight on the neck of the cylinder, sometimes as “TW.”

How Full Is Your Tank?

Unfortunately, portable propane tanks don’t come with gauges. That makes it hard to know how much propane is in your tank.

One way is to use a scale. A basic bathroom scale is all you need. To calculate how much propane is in the tank, weigh the tank and then subtract the tare weight from the amount shown on the scale. So, if your 20-pound cylinder weighs 27 pounds, and the tare weight is 17, you have 10 pounds of propane or about half a tank.

If you’re a gadget person, you can pick up a digital propane tank scale at your local hardware store. Most come with a digital app to let you know when it’s time for a fill-up. Or you can buy a gauge to install between the gas line from the grill and the cut-off valve on the tank. It will measure the pressure and show you how full the tank is.

Upgrade Your Grill

Do you use propane to heat your home or to power appliances like your kitchen stove, water heater or laundry equipment? Let the pros at Pico Propane show you the convenience of a propane grill that’s connected to your main propane supply. You’ll never have to think about whether you have enough fuel to grill again.

Ready to learn more? Contact us or stop by our propane appliance showroom today.