Propane Gas question - Checking the level?

After a search of the boards I only found that the gas ‘smell’ will get noticabally stronger when the tank is about 10% fuel remaining.

Is there some other way I can get an idea how full the tank is?

Will a stud finder work? how about using the gas rapidally and somehow find the chenge in temp inside the tank denoting the gas/liquid line? Any of these work, any other suggestionns?

These guys sell a liquid crystal strip that changes color at the level of the liquid propane inside the tank. Just stick it on the tank.

Depending on the temp/humidity outside…you may be able to visually see the condensation line of demarcation even without the temp strip

If you are talking about a small propane tank you could weigh it, some gas grills come with a built in scale for this purpose. My larger propane tank for my gas fireplace has a guage on it, perhaps you could add one.

It is a large propane tank used for hot water and cooking. I wouldn’t think a gague (based on pressure) would work unless all liquid was gone.

Perhaps the strip would work.

The condensation method hasn’t worked in the winter

I don’t know anything about smaller tanks, but why wouldn’t a gauge work? The one on the 300 gallon tank in our yard is at 85% right now.

Alton Brown of FoodTV’s Good Eats showed a way. Take a cup of boiling water. Pour it down the outside of the tank. After a few seconds you’ll be able to feel with your hand where the tank goes from hot to cool. That’s the level of the gas.

thanks AskNott that’s the one I was looking for (cheap).

I never bought into the gauges because I can’t understand how they work. I would think the pressure should be constant till you are out of liquid.

Unlike CNG (compressed natural gas) which the pressure decreases as you use it.

The gauge on mine (500 gallons used for cooking, heating and the dryer) has a % full marking. Works like a charm.

Doesn’t yours? I thought they were all made to the same standard.

No gauge

None at all? Who’s your service company?


Our guages at work are magnetic float guages. I’ll explain if interest exists. :wink:

Color me paranoid, but is it really SAFE to be pouring boiling water over a propane tank?

Totally safe unless it pours on your toes

Color me can’t spell gauge.

File this in the stupid questions department if you want but how do you know when to refill if you don’t have a gauge?

My 300 gallon propane tank, used for heating and water, has a gauge under the little hood. It would be a big deal if it ran dry. My 20 gallon tank on the barbeque does not have a gauge but it is no big deal if it runs out.

OK, OK I will look fo rthe gauge.

I use the hot water trick, but note that it does not have to be boiling - hot from the tap works just fine. The amount of heat that gets absorbed by the gas (as opposed to the metal tank itself) is minimal, so no danger of raising the pressure in the tank to a dangerous level just by pouring a couple of cups of hot water on the tank. Now if you had a water shortage and wanted to use a blowtorch instead…:eek:

Just to add this is in my vacation house so It’s not like I can just go out back and check it right now.

I’ll let you know if it does and how the hot water method works.

As for how they fill it w/o a gauge, I though the vavle has a device in it that will stop the refill once it gets to a certain level,