How To Tell How Full (or Empty) Your Propane Tank Really Is

how-to-know-how-full-or-empty-your-propane-tank-is

Nearly everyone has the typical 20-pound (5-gallon) barbecue grill propane tank, and many people have stocked up with extra tanks for various reasons – but how do you accurately know how empty or full your propane tank really is?

Here’s the best way to find out how much propane is left in your tank:

(UPDATED)

 

Weigh The Propane Tank

All propane tanks have 2 weights stamped onto the top handle (the collar). One represents the tank’s empty weight and the other represents its full weight (full with water… see below).

propane-tank-tare-weight-tc-wc

TW (T.W. Tare Weight)

This is the weight of the tank itself when empty.

WC (W.C. Water Capacity)

This is the weight of the water required to fill the tank (yes, water).

 
The typical 20-pound (5-gallon) barbecue grill tank will hold 47.6 pounds of water.

Regulations limit the propane level to not exceed 42% of the water capacity of the tank.

Long story short – The safe maximum weight of propane in a typical barbecue grill tank is 20 pounds (42% of 47.6 = 20 pounds).

 

 
So, what do we do with this information to discover how empty or full your propane tank is?

Simply weigh your propane tank and subtract it’s tare weight.

h-110-hanging-scale

For example, I just weighed my bbq grill tank and it weighs 32.6 pounds. The tare weight stamped on the collar is 16.6 pounds.

32.6 – 16.6 = 16 pounds

20 pounds is considered full, so 16 pounds is still pretty full. 4/5 full.

 
You can use any scale. A floor scale, or a hanging scale.

There are several clever scales on the market whereby you can push a ‘tare button’ (very useful). I’ve been using the H-100 hanging scale (multiple uses), for my 20 & 30 pound portable propane tanks (bbq and RV).

Here’s a BBQ grill tank gauge that’s calibrated specifically for a 20-pound (5-gallon) tank.

Original Grill Gauge

 
Here’s a chart where you can check the stamped W.C. on your propane tank and cross reference the maximum pounds of propane that will safely fill it.

Propane Cylinder (Tank) Filling Chart

W.C. — Pounds Propane

2.39 — 1
4.78 — 2
7.17 — 3
9.56 — 4
11.9 — 5
14.3 — 6
16.7 — 7
19.1 — 8
21.5 — 9
23.9 — 10
26.2 — 11
28.6 — 12
31.0 — 13
33.4 — 14
35.8 — 15
38.2 — 16
40.6 — 17
43.0 — 18
45.4 — 19
47.8 — 20
59.7 — 25
71.7 — 30
78.8 — 33
83.6 — 35
95.6 — 40
105.1 — 44
119.5 — 50
239.0 — 100

88 Comments


Modern Survival Blog is a Top Prepper Website

  1. Fill level September 2, 2014 1:07 PM
    • Stuart September 4, 2014 9:17 PM
      • Travis September 6, 2014 11:00 PM
        • Nothing to do with "Blow Your Ass UP" August 8, 2015 11:31 PM
          • INO August 20, 2015 10:34 AM
          • Lol September 8, 2015 6:13 PM
          • Jared November 3, 2015 10:20 AM
          • Jared November 3, 2015 10:22 AM
          • Kevin November 20, 2015 2:21 PM
        • Nothing to do with "Blow Your Ass UP" August 8, 2015 11:32 PM
    • Jared November 3, 2015 10:24 AM
    • RattInnaCage October 31, 2016 7:34 PM
  2. Ancona September 2, 2014 2:29 PM
  3. Ken Jorgustin September 2, 2014 3:52 PM
    • OldAlaskan March 29, 2017 5:27 PM
  4. Peanut Gallery September 2, 2014 6:08 PM
  5. gary in bama September 3, 2014 12:22 AM
    • Linda September 4, 2014 9:35 PM
      • Eman Saila September 15, 2014 7:45 PM
  6. Mark September 3, 2014 6:52 AM
  7. Linda September 4, 2014 9:34 PM
    • Schneb April 9, 2015 8:45 AM
      • Jim May 25, 2015 8:39 PM
        • Jared November 3, 2015 10:10 AM
  8. Trevor Toews July 18, 2015 11:01 PM
  9. Trevor Toews July 18, 2015 11:02 PM
  10. Charles House September 5, 2015 8:00 PM
  11. TNT September 7, 2015 4:33 PM
  12. Doug October 9, 2015 10:40 PM
  13. Jared November 3, 2015 10:07 AM
    • McGyver March 29, 2017 3:43 PM
  14. NRP November 20, 2015 2:35 PM
    • another cheap sob January 16, 2016 5:00 PM
    • kevinH March 29, 2017 8:21 AM
      • McGyver March 29, 2017 3:45 PM
        • kevinH March 29, 2017 4:08 PM
  15. Woody January 26, 2016 8:54 AM
    • poorman March 29, 2017 11:11 AM
      • McGyver March 29, 2017 3:48 PM
  16. Okiedokie February 1, 2016 6:52 AM
  17. Okiedokie February 1, 2016 6:59 AM
    • Doc Jackson March 29, 2017 6:35 PM
      • NRP March 29, 2017 6:52 PM
      • 11HE9 March 29, 2017 10:50 PM
  18. Daryll March 23, 2016 3:05 PM
    • Ken Jorgustin March 23, 2016 5:08 PM
      • JLynne November 28, 2016 4:14 AM
  19. Will May 11, 2016 12:48 AM
  20. Tom June 1, 2016 4:56 PM
  21. Wyldekioti September 8, 2016 2:11 PM
  22. Jess September 28, 2016 2:46 PM
  23. horsinround1974 October 22, 2016 3:28 PM
    • Gotshorted January 20, 2017 3:25 PM
      • McGyver March 29, 2017 3:52 PM
  24. lchris December 20, 2016 5:26 AM
    • NRP December 20, 2016 10:34 AM
  25. Lynn December 31, 2016 7:45 PM
    • McGyver January 1, 2017 1:50 AM
      • Lynn January 2, 2017 12:00 PM
  26. Dennis December 31, 2016 8:01 PM
    • Lynn January 2, 2017 11:55 AM
  27. Gotshorted January 20, 2017 3:22 PM
    • MIke Kitsch February 13, 2017 3:27 PM
  28. Slingshot March 29, 2017 7:46 AM
  29. Ron March 29, 2017 10:05 AM
  30. Nailbanger March 29, 2017 10:21 AM
    • Ken Jorgustin March 29, 2017 11:59 AM
    • TSgtGreg March 29, 2017 12:39 PM
    • Grey March 29, 2017 1:10 PM
      • Nailbanger March 29, 2017 5:52 PM
        • Grey March 29, 2017 6:08 PM
  31. aka March 29, 2017 11:51 AM
  32. NRP March 29, 2017 1:59 PM
    • Nailbanger March 29, 2017 6:03 PM
  33. CaliRefugee March 29, 2017 2:02 PM
  34. CaliRefugee March 29, 2017 3:13 PM
  35. Nihilist March 29, 2017 3:46 PM
  36. Texasprepper March 29, 2017 5:03 PM
  37. BigBadCat March 29, 2017 7:02 PM
  38. kenny March 29, 2017 7:03 PM
  39. Tex N March 29, 2017 8:08 PM
  40. HDbastard March 29, 2017 10:26 PM
  41. Jacksoneson March 29, 2017 11:30 PM
  42. Not so Sure April 7, 2017 9:48 PM
  43. Coley May 12, 2017 10:49 AM
    • FinallyOuttaCA May 12, 2017 12:14 PM
  44. Sandra Hexner June 7, 2017 4:38 PM
  45. Jack Titchener July 11, 2017 8:27 AM
Vote for MSB -Top Prepper Website

Read our Comment Policy

For off-topic discussion, visit the latest:
'Weekly Preparedness' post

For the most recent comments from all articles:
'Recent Comments' page

Leave a Reply

Email optional - will not be published