How Much Gas Is Left In Your Propane Grill?

Checking propane cylinder

Everyone knows that there are still some beautiful fall days ahead here in the Hudson Valley. So if you haven’t covered and packed away your outdoor grill yet, you naturally want to make sure you have enough propane left in your grill’s tank for your next fall cookout.

Since most propane barbecue cylinders don’t come with a built-in gauge, you’ll need another way to figure out how much fuel is left in your tank—instead of just taking a guess. You obviously don’t want to wait until your grill shuts down to tell you that your propane tank is empty.

Ways To Read Your Propane Level

1. Use water. You can determine the approximate level of propane in a tank by using a little bit of water. Here’s how:

The top of the cool spot is the fill level of the tank – it’s cool because liquid propane inside the tank is absorbing the heat from the water, which makes the metal wall of the tank cool to the touch.

2. Weigh the tank. Most propane grill tanks come with two numbers stamped on the handle – the water capacity (“WC”) and Tare Weight (TW – the weight of the tank when it’s empty). Most grilling tanks weigh about 17 pounds when empty. To measure how many pounds of propane are left in your tank, simply weigh it on a scale and subtract the TW number. For example, if a tank weighing 27 pounds has a TW of 17 pounds, there’s about 10 pounds of gas left – a little more than half a tank.

3. Use an external gauge. External propane tank gauges come in several different forms

Pick the device that you’re most comfortable with and give it a try!

Safety tips for propane cylinders

There are a number of safety tips you should always follow whenever you’re handling cylinders or you’re near one.

Remember: propane cylinders incorporate special components such as valves, connectors, and other parts to keep them safe for use with grills and other propane appliances. Damage to any component can cause a gas leak. Don’t risk it!

We want to make sure you know how to approach propane safety in and around your home or business, no matter how you’re using propane. We encourage you to go here to review propane safety and operation tips, courtesy of the Propane Education and Research Council.