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How Much Grill Time Is Left in Your Propane Tank?

Tips for Figuring It Out

propane level check massachusettsThere’s so much to love about Massachusetts during the summer—lobster rolls, pool parties, and firing up the BBQ grill. Now is a great time to take advantage of all the benefits grilling with propane offers. And propane grills offer a lot of advantages. Here are a few:

  1. They’re easy to start.
  2. They provide precise temperature control and consistency.
  3. They’re powerful and heat up quickly.
  4. They’re easy to clean.
  5. They’re cost-effective.
  6. They won’t let you down if there’s a power outage.
  7. Propane has a great safety record. Click here for safety information.

When it’s time to fire up the grill and get cooking, you don’t want to get caught without enough gas! Not sure if you have enough propane to make it through your next BBQ? Don’t worry, there are some easy ways to check your propane level.

Checking Your Propane Level

Here are three methods for checking your propane level:

The warm water method. This is a safe and simple way to determine how much propane is left in your tank.

  1. Fill a small bucket with warm to hot tap water.
  2. Pour the water down the side of the tank.
  3. Run your hand along the side of the tank and feel for a cool spot. The top of the cool spot indicates the fill level of the tank because the liquid propane inside the tank will absorb the heat from the water and make the metal wall of the tank cool to the touch.

Weighing the tank. Most propane grill tanks come with two numbers stamped on the handle. One is the water capacity (WC) and the other is the tare weight (TW). Your tank’s tare weight is its weight when it’s empty. Most grilling tanks weigh about 17 pounds when they’re empty and can hold about 20 pounds of gas.

To calculate how many pounds of propane are left in your tank, simply weigh it on a scale. Once you have its weight, subtract the tank’s TW number from its current weight.

Installing an external gauge. You can choose from a variety of gauge types:

  1. Inline pressure gauges install between the gas line from the grill and the cut-off valve on the tank, measuring pressures to determine how full the tank is.
  2. Analog propane scales look like luggage scales and are pre-set based on your tank’s TW.
  3. Digital propane tank scales give a digital readout of remaining cook time and gas fill percentage. Some even connect to smartphone apps.

How Much Grill Time Do You Have?

At the end of the day, what you really want to know is how much grilling can you do with the amount of propane in your tank?

On average, a medium-sized grill on high heat will use approximately two pounds of fuel per meal. That means you can get 18 to 20 hours of cooking time on a medium grill with a 20-pound propane tank. With a larger grill, that 20-pound tank might run out after 10 hours of cooking. However, all of these are just estimates, so it’s always good to have a backup so you’re always ready to grill.

You Can Count on W.H. Riley & Son

W.H. Riley & Son provides service you can count on. We’ve been meeting the fuel needs of Massachusetts since 1873. We pride ourselves on providing our residential and commercial customers with the highest-quality fuels and highest standards of safety and service.

Contact W.H. Riley & Son today to learn more about the services we offer.