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Thread: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

  1. #1
    CC Guest

    Default Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    The easiest way to check the fuel level in propane tanks
    is to boil water in a pan or kettle then pour the hot water
    down the side of the tank. When you slide your hand down
    the tank where you poured the water, the temperature will go
    from hot to cold,
    Where it has turned cold is the level of gas in the tank.
    In the winter, the gas coming from the tank will cause a frost
    line around the side of the tank. This will also indicate fuel level.
    CC

  2. #2
    Kathleen Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    CC wrote:

    > The easiest way to check the fuel level in propane tanks
    > is to boil water in a pan or kettle then pour the hot water
    > down the side of the tank. When you slide your hand down
    > the tank where you poured the water, the temperature will go from hot to
    > cold,
    > Where it has turned cold is the level of gas in the tank. In the winter,
    > the gas coming from the tank will cause a frost
    > line around the side of the tank. This will also indicate fuel level.
    > CC


    Nice intellectual exercise. Or you can look at the pressure gauge on
    the grill, or, you can heft the tank, then lift another that you know
    damned good and well is empty to compare.

    Energy costs being what they are, I need damned good incentive to turn
    an indoor stove burner on, especially given that the propane supplier I
    use only charges for what's actually dispensed.

    I own 4 tanks. Generally speaking, at any given point in time, one is
    in use, two are full, one is bone dry. Given that I purchase dog food
    and various horse supplies at this particular vendor, this constitutes
    no real hardship.

    With outside temps running nearly 100 F, there's no freakin' way I'm
    boiling any water to check my propane level.


  3. #3
    pussywillow Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks


    "Kathleen" <khhfmdeletethis@[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:tq6jk.5278$[email protected]..
    > CC wrote:
    >
    >> The easiest way to check the fuel level in propane tanks
    >> is to boil water in a pan or kettle then pour the hot water
    >> down the side of the tank. When you slide your hand down
    >> the tank where you poured the water, the temperature will go from hot to
    >> cold,
    >> Where it has turned cold is the level of gas in the tank. In the winter,
    >> the gas coming from the tank will cause a frost
    >> line around the side of the tank. This will also indicate fuel level.
    >> CC

    >
    > Nice intellectual exercise. Or you can look at the pressure gauge on the
    > grill, or, you can heft the tank, then lift another that you know damned
    > good and well is empty to compare.
    >
    > Energy costs being what they are, I need damned good incentive to turn an
    > indoor stove burner on, especially given that the propane supplier I use
    > only charges for what's actually dispensed.
    >
    > I own 4 tanks. Generally speaking, at any given point in time, one is in
    > use, two are full, one is bone dry. Given that I purchase dog food and
    > various horse supplies at this particular vendor, this constitutes no real
    > hardship.
    >
    > With outside temps running nearly 100 F, there's no freakin' way I'm
    > boiling any water to check my propane level.


    It's still a good tip if one does not have a gauge to measure gas.



  4. #4
    CC Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks


    "Kathleen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:tq6jk.5278$[email protected]..
    > CC wrote:
    >
    >> The easiest way to check the fuel level in propane tanks
    >> is to boil water in a pan or kettle then pour the hot water
    >> down the side of the tank. When you slide your hand down
    >> the tank where you poured the water, the temperature will go from
    >> hot to cold,
    >> Where it has turned cold is the level of gas in the tank. In the
    >> winter, the gas coming from the tank will cause a frost
    >> line around the side of the tank. This will also indicate fuel
    >> level.
    >> CC

    >
    > Nice intellectual exercise. Or you can look at the pressure gauge
    > on the grill, or, you can heft the tank, then lift another that you
    > know damned good and well is empty to compare.
    >
    > Energy costs being what they are, I need damned good incentive to
    > turn an indoor stove burner on, especially given that the propane
    > supplier I use only charges for what's actually dispensed.
    >
    > I own 4 tanks. Generally speaking, at any given point in time, one
    > is in use, two are full, one is bone dry. Given that I purchase dog
    > food and various horse supplies at this particular vendor, this
    > constitutes no real hardship.
    >
    > With outside temps running nearly 100 F, there's no freakin' way I'm
    > boiling any water to check my propane level.


    Most people don't have 4 propane tanks sitting around, and I'm sure
    many others
    don't have an extra tank. Driving 10 miles or so the where ever to
    fill a half
    full tank doesn't make much since to me, In some area's (where I
    live,) when you fill a 20#
    bottle, you pay for 20#'s whether it takes that amount or not,
    Now, lets see, how much energy or heat is really produced by boiling a
    kettle or pan of water
    to make sure the above doesn't happen,
    To each their own,
    CC



  5. #5
    [email protected] Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 23:19:54 GMT, "pussywillow"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >"Kathleen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:tq6jk.5278$[email protected]..
    >> CC wrote:
    >>
    >>> The easiest way to check the fuel level in propane tanks
    >>> is to boil water in a pan or kettle then pour the hot water
    >>> down the side of the tank. When you slide your hand down
    >>> the tank where you poured the water, the temperature will go from hot to
    >>> cold,
    >>> Where it has turned cold is the level of gas in the tank. In the winter,
    >>> the gas coming from the tank will cause a frost
    >>> line around the side of the tank. This will also indicate fuel level.
    >>> CC

    >>
    >> Nice intellectual exercise. Or you can look at the pressure gauge on the
    >> grill, or, you can heft the tank, then lift another that you know damned
    >> good and well is empty to compare.
    >>
    >> Energy costs being what they are, I need damned good incentive to turn an
    >> indoor stove burner on, especially given that the propane supplier I use
    >> only charges for what's actually dispensed.
    >>
    >> I own 4 tanks. Generally speaking, at any given point in time, one is in
    >> use, two are full, one is bone dry. Given that I purchase dog food and
    >> various horse supplies at this particular vendor, this constitutes no real
    >> hardship.
    >>
    >> With outside temps running nearly 100 F, there's no freakin' way I'm
    >> boiling any water to check my propane level.

    >
    >It's still a good tip if one does not have a gauge to measure gas.
    >


    A gauge on a propane tank is basically a useless gadget. Propane is
    stored in the tank as a liquid but for most purposes, like a backyard
    grill, it is drawn off as a gas (vapor). The gauge will read full
    until all the liquid has vaporized and then it will drop like a rock
    as the propane vapor is used.

    Ross.

  6. #6
    Mark Thorson Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    CC wrote:
    >
    > The easiest way to check the fuel level in propane tanks
    > is to boil water in a pan or kettle then pour the hot water
    > down the side of the tank. When you slide your hand down
    > the tank where you poured the water, the temperature will go
    > from hot to cold,


    BOOM ! ! ! :-)

    > Where it has turned cold is the level of gas in the tank.
    > In the winter, the gas coming from the tank will cause a frost
    > line around the side of the tank. This will also indicate fuel level.
    > CC


    If you just want to know whether it's got enough
    stuff for a BBQ, just pick it up and shake it.

  7. #7
    Kathleen Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    CC wrote:
    >
    > "Kathleen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:tq6jk.5278$[email protected]..
    >
    >> CC wrote:
    >>
    >>> The easiest way to check the fuel level in propane tanks
    >>> is to boil water in a pan or kettle then pour the hot water
    >>> down the side of the tank. When you slide your hand down
    >>> the tank where you poured the water, the temperature will go from hot
    >>> to cold,
    >>> Where it has turned cold is the level of gas in the tank. In the
    >>> winter, the gas coming from the tank will cause a frost
    >>> line around the side of the tank. This will also indicate fuel level.
    >>> CC

    >>
    >>
    >> Nice intellectual exercise. Or you can look at the pressure gauge on
    >> the grill, or, you can heft the tank, then lift another that you know
    >> damned good and well is empty to compare.
    >>
    >> Energy costs being what they are, I need damned good incentive to turn
    >> an indoor stove burner on, especially given that the propane supplier
    >> I use only charges for what's actually dispensed.
    >>
    >> I own 4 tanks. Generally speaking, at any given point in time, one is
    >> in use, two are full, one is bone dry. Given that I purchase dog food
    >> and various horse supplies at this particular vendor, this constitutes
    >> no real hardship.
    >>
    >> With outside temps running nearly 100 F, there's no freakin' way I'm
    >> boiling any water to check my propane level.

    >
    >
    > Most people don't have 4 propane tanks sitting around, and I'm sure many
    > others
    > don't have an extra tank. Driving 10 miles or so the where ever to fill
    > a half
    > full tank doesn't make much since to me, In some area's (where I live,)
    > when you fill a 20#
    > bottle, you pay for 20#'s whether it takes that amount or not,
    > Now, lets see, how much energy or heat is really produced by boiling a
    > kettle or pan of water
    > to make sure the above doesn't happen,
    > To each their own,


    When the outdoor temperature approaches 100 and the so-called heat index
    is well above, turning on a single burner, whether to boil water to test
    the fill level of a gas tank or to cook a pot of pasta is pretty much
    out of the question, especially when the A/C is already running non-stop
    to maintain 78 degrees indoors. Hot foods are cooked outdoors, the rest
    is salads and fresh fruits.

    Utilizing energy-sucking tests to determine the fill level of a single
    tank is a false economy. Suck it up and buy a spare.


  8. #8
    George Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    CC wrote:
    > The easiest way to check the fuel level in propane tanks
    > is to boil water in a pan or kettle then pour the hot water
    > down the side of the tank. When you slide your hand down
    > the tank where you poured the water, the temperature will go from hot to
    > cold,
    > Where it has turned cold is the level of gas in the tank. In the winter,
    > the gas coming from the tank will cause a frost
    > line around the side of the tank. This will also indicate fuel level.
    > CC


    I have seen liquid crystal stickers (that change color with
    temperature)sold for that purpose. Also you could check it with a
    non-contact thermometer which are now really inexpensive and handy to
    have around for lots of similar purposes.

  9. #9
    Zeppo Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    >
    >>It's still a good tip if one does not have a gauge to measure gas.
    >>

    >
    > A gauge on a propane tank is basically a useless gadget. Propane is
    > stored in the tank as a liquid but for most purposes, like a backyard
    > grill, it is drawn off as a gas (vapor). The gauge will read full
    > until all the liquid has vaporized and then it will drop like a rock
    > as the propane vapor is used.
    >
    > Ross.


    The bottle mount on my grill has a spring loaded gauge that works off the
    weight of the bottle. Its accurate enough to let me know when to have the
    spare bottle standing by.

    Jon



  10. #10
    Hairy Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks


    "CC" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:Yv5jk.269103$[email protected]..
    > The easiest way to check the fuel level in propane tanks
    > is to boil water in a pan or kettle then pour the hot water
    > down the side of the tank. When you slide your hand down
    > the tank where you poured the water, the temperature will go from hot to
    > cold,
    > Where it has turned cold is the level of gas in the tank. In the winter,
    > the gas coming from the tank will cause a frost
    > line around the side of the tank. This will also indicate fuel level.
    > CC
    >


    Actually, the easiest and most accurate way is to weigh the tank. Bathroom
    scales will do nicely.
    The typical 20# tank weighs about 18# empty, and of course, 38# full.
    Some tanks will differ on the empty weight, so to be sure, just look for the
    Tare Weight (TW) stamped into the valve guard (or carrying handle).

    Dave



  11. #11
    Woolstitcher Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks


    "CC" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:CR7jk.137433$[email protected]..
    >
    > "Kathleen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:tq6jk.5278$[email protected]..
    >> CC wrote:
    >>
    >>> The easiest way to check the fuel level in propane tanks
    >>> is to boil water in a pan or kettle then pour the hot water
    >>> down the side of the tank. When you slide your hand down
    >>> the tank where you poured the water, the temperature will go from hot to
    >>> cold,
    >>> Where it has turned cold is the level of gas in the tank. In the winter,
    >>> the gas coming from the tank will cause a frost
    >>> line around the side of the tank. This will also indicate fuel level.
    >>> CC

    >>
    >> Nice intellectual exercise. Or you can look at the pressure gauge on the
    >> grill, or, you can heft the tank, then lift another that you know damned
    >> good and well is empty to compare.
    >>
    >> Energy costs being what they are, I need damned good incentive to turn an
    >> indoor stove burner on, especially given that the propane supplier I use
    >> only charges for what's actually dispensed.
    >>
    >> I own 4 tanks. Generally speaking, at any given point in time, one is in
    >> use, two are full, one is bone dry. Given that I purchase dog food and
    >> various horse supplies at this particular vendor, this constitutes no
    >> real hardship.
    >>
    >> With outside temps running nearly 100 F, there's no freakin' way I'm
    >> boiling any water to check my propane level.

    >
    > Most people don't have 4 propane tanks sitting around, and I'm sure many
    > others
    > don't have an extra tank. Driving 10 miles or so the where ever to fill a
    > half
    > full tank doesn't make much since to me, In some area's (where I live,)
    > when you fill a 20#
    > bottle, you pay for 20#'s whether it takes that amount or not,
    > Now, lets see, how much energy or heat is really produced by boiling a
    > kettle or pan of water
    > to make sure the above doesn't happen,
    > To each their own,
    > CC
    >
    >


    or, you can just set the tank in a sunny area for 20 min or so ... no need
    to boil water.



  12. #12
    ChattyCathy Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    Mark Thorson wrote:


    > If you just want to know whether it's got enough
    > stuff for a BBQ, just pick it up and shake it.


    Eggzactly.

    --
    Cheers
    Chatty Cathy

    Egg tastes better when it's not on your face...

  13. #13
    ChattyCathy Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    CC wrote:
    >
    > Most people don't have 4 propane tanks sitting around, and I'm sure
    > many others
    > don't have an extra tank. Driving 10 miles or so the where ever to
    > fill a half
    > full tank doesn't make much since to me, In some area's (where I
    > live,) when you fill a 20#
    > bottle, you pay for 20#'s whether it takes that amount or not,


    I would suggest you stick to those suppliers that only charge you for
    the propane required to fill up the tank because you are being 'ripped
    off', IMHO. And surely, charging you for something they didn't actually
    sell you is borderline 'illegal'? Hmmm. Unless they have a 'fixed
    price' for filling up a 20# tank, regardless of how much propane they
    use to fill it? Sneaky. I'd still go elsewhere, or wait until it was
    completely empty - and you have your method of determining that, I see.

    > Now, lets see, how much energy or heat is really produced by boiling a
    > kettle or pan of water
    > to make sure the above doesn't happen,
    > To each their own,


    Indeed. To each their own.

    --
    Cheers
    Chatty Cathy

    Egg tastes better when it's not on your face...

  14. #14
    Lou Decruss Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 21:42:14 -0500, "Hairy" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >"CC" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:Yv5jk.269103$[email protected]..
    >> The easiest way to check the fuel level in propane tanks
    >> is to boil water in a pan or kettle then pour the hot water
    >> down the side of the tank. When you slide your hand down
    >> the tank where you poured the water, the temperature will go from hot to
    >> cold,
    >> Where it has turned cold is the level of gas in the tank. In the winter,
    >> the gas coming from the tank will cause a frost
    >> line around the side of the tank. This will also indicate fuel level.
    >> CC
    >>

    >
    >Actually, the easiest and most accurate way is to weigh the tank. Bathroom
    >scales will do nicely.
    >The typical 20# tank weighs about 18# empty, and of course, 38# full.
    >Some tanks will differ on the empty weight, so to be sure, just look for the
    >Tare Weight (TW) stamped into the valve guard (or carrying handle).
    >
    >Dave
    >

    Exactly! The only way to know is a scale. If the TW isn't marked you
    can weigh the empty tank and use a marker for future reference.

    Lou


  15. #15
    Andy Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    Lou Decruss said...

    > On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 21:42:14 -0500, "Hairy" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>"CC" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>news:Yv5jk.269103$[email protected]..
    >>> The easiest way to check the fuel level in propane tanks
    >>> is to boil water in a pan or kettle then pour the hot water
    >>> down the side of the tank. When you slide your hand down
    >>> the tank where you poured the water, the temperature will go from hot
    >>> to cold,
    >>> Where it has turned cold is the level of gas in the tank. In the
    >>> winter, the gas coming from the tank will cause a frost
    >>> line around the side of the tank. This will also indicate fuel level.
    >>> CC
    >>>

    >>
    >>Actually, the easiest and most accurate way is to weigh the tank.
    >>Bathroom scales will do nicely.
    >>The typical 20# tank weighs about 18# empty, and of course, 38# full.
    >>Some tanks will differ on the empty weight, so to be sure, just look for
    >>the Tare Weight (TW) stamped into the valve guard (or carrying handle).
    >>
    >>Dave
    >>

    > Exactly! The only way to know is a scale. If the TW isn't marked you
    > can weigh the empty tank and use a marker for future reference.
    >
    > Lou



    A less precise method is to spray the tank with hot water. The outside of
    the tank will foam up to the level of the propane.

    Andy


  16. #16
    George Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    ChattyCathy wrote:
    > CC wrote:
    >> Most people don't have 4 propane tanks sitting around, and I'm sure
    >> many others
    >> don't have an extra tank. Driving 10 miles or so the where ever to
    >> fill a half
    >> full tank doesn't make much since to me, In some area's (where I
    >> live,) when you fill a 20#
    >> bottle, you pay for 20#'s whether it takes that amount or not,

    >
    > I would suggest you stick to those suppliers that only charge you for
    > the propane required to fill up the tank because you are being 'ripped
    > off', IMHO. And surely, charging you for something they didn't actually
    > sell you is borderline 'illegal'? Hmmm. Unless they have a 'fixed
    > price' for filling up a 20# tank, regardless of how much propane they
    > use to fill it? Sneaky. I'd still go elsewhere, or wait until it was
    > completely empty - and you have your method of determining that, I see.


    A flat fee is pretty common for a small tank whether you exchange a tank
    at the big box or go to a propane dealer. The real rip off price wise
    are the big box places. The local propane place is now charging around
    $9 to fill a 20# tank. It is > $20 at the big box places.


    >
    >> Now, lets see, how much energy or heat is really produced by boiling a
    >> kettle or pan of water
    >> to make sure the above doesn't happen,
    >> To each their own,

    >
    > Indeed. To each their own.
    >


  17. #17
    Arri London Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks



    ChattyCathy wrote:
    >
    > Mark Thorson wrote:
    >
    >
    > > If you just want to know whether it's got enough
    > > stuff for a BBQ, just pick it up and shake it.

    >
    > Eggzactly.
    >
    > --
    > Cheers
    > Chatty Cathy
    >
    >


    That's what we do. Lots of sloshing means more LPG in there than little
    sloshing, never mind that a full tank is heavier than one at half-mast


    There are cheap stick-on gauges that probably work by measuring the temp
    of the liquid in the tank. Never tried one so can't comment on
    effectiveness. While running the grill, a hand on the side of the tank
    will also give a fair indication of level; can feel the temp difference
    between the gas phase and the liquid quite readily.

    We don't really have room to store a second full tank safely, so
    checking it often is the next best option.

  18. #18
    Tracy Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    Lou Decruss wrote:
    > On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 21:42:14 -0500, "Hairy" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> "CC" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> news:Yv5jk.269103$[email protected]..
    >>> The easiest way to check the fuel level in propane tanks
    >>> is to boil water in a pan or kettle then pour the hot water
    >>> down the side of the tank. When you slide your hand down
    >>> the tank where you poured the water, the temperature will go from hot to
    >>> cold,
    >>> Where it has turned cold is the level of gas in the tank. In the winter,
    >>> the gas coming from the tank will cause a frost
    >>> line around the side of the tank. This will also indicate fuel level.
    >>> CC
    >>>

    >> Actually, the easiest and most accurate way is to weigh the tank. Bathroom
    >> scales will do nicely.
    >> The typical 20# tank weighs about 18# empty, and of course, 38# full.
    >> Some tanks will differ on the empty weight, so to be sure, just look for the
    >> Tare Weight (TW) stamped into the valve guard (or carrying handle).
    >>
    >> Dave
    >>

    > Exactly! The only way to know is a scale. If the TW isn't marked you
    > can weigh the empty tank and use a marker for future reference.
    >
    > Lou
    >

    Could you also weigh it full and subtract the capacity?

    -Tracy

  19. #19
    Lou Decruss Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 11:37:02 -0400, Tracy <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Lou Decruss wrote:
    >> On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 21:42:14 -0500, "Hairy" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>> "CC" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>> news:Yv5jk.269103$[email protected]..
    >>>> The easiest way to check the fuel level in propane tanks
    >>>> is to boil water in a pan or kettle then pour the hot water
    >>>> down the side of the tank. When you slide your hand down
    >>>> the tank where you poured the water, the temperature will go from hot to
    >>>> cold,
    >>>> Where it has turned cold is the level of gas in the tank. In the winter,
    >>>> the gas coming from the tank will cause a frost
    >>>> line around the side of the tank. This will also indicate fuel level.
    >>>> CC
    >>>>
    >>> Actually, the easiest and most accurate way is to weigh the tank. Bathroom
    >>> scales will do nicely.
    >>> The typical 20# tank weighs about 18# empty, and of course, 38# full.
    >>> Some tanks will differ on the empty weight, so to be sure, just look for the
    >>> Tare Weight (TW) stamped into the valve guard (or carrying handle).
    >>>
    >>> Dave
    >>>

    >> Exactly! The only way to know is a scale. If the TW isn't marked you
    >> can weigh the empty tank and use a marker for future reference.
    >>
    >> Lou
    >>

    >Could you also weigh it full and subtract the capacity?


    Sure. Mark the weight full and empty and you'll be set. But the best
    plan for someone who does much outdoor cooking is to have at least one
    spare. I have 8 tanks so that saves me lots on trips to the store.
    I've got 2 outdoor chests just like this one:

    http://tinyurl.com/648cnl

    They hold 4 tanks each. Since they double as benches they're a good
    addition to a backyard. Chances are anyone who has room for a grill
    will have room for the chest/bench. And there's room for additional
    storage of bbq tools, table candles, bug spray, and whatever else you
    use for outdoor entertaining. I keep a lamp and an extension cord in
    one of mine. The easier I make it to set up the patio quickly the
    more it gets used.

    Lou

  20. #20
    Nancy Young Guest

    Default Re: Checking amount of gas in propane tanks

    Lou Decruss wrote:

    > Sure. Mark the weight full and empty and you'll be set.


    Welcome back!

    > But the best
    > plan for someone who does much outdoor cooking is to have at least one
    > spare. I have 8 tanks so that saves me lots on trips to the store.


    8 tanks, wow. I usually go through 2 refills a year.

    Nice storage chests, and much better than looking at a bunch
    of stuff lying around.

    nancy

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