If you use propane to heat up your home or fire the grill, it is important to know the specifics of the propane tank. It is not ideal to run out of propane in the middle of the cookout or insufficient to heat up the entire home.
Especially during BBQ gatherings, it can be embarrassing and burdensome to run out of fuel. Therefore, it is important to know how quickly propane burns, and how to know if you are running low.
How Long Does A Propane Tank Last?
Small, portable propane tanks or DOT tanks are commonly used in many households for grills, water heaters, and fireplaces. They are available in varying sizes from 100 to 1000 gallons.
As per the rule of thumb, the medium-sized grill on full heat burns one or two pounds of fuel per meal. Following this rule, a 20-pound propane tank will last about 18-20 hours when grilling on a medium-sized grill.
Larger grills burn more fuel, therefore, finish a 20-pound propane tank in approximately 10 hours. When cooking on a medium grill, a 20lbs propane tank will roughly last 8 grilling sessions.
Propane is used for furnaces or to run water heaters, here’s how much propane gas will be consumed.
- Furnaces – On average, a home furnace consumes roughly 100,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs). On the other hand, a gallon of propane equals 92000 BTUs. So, a home furnace approximately burns one gallon of propane in an hour. You will be needing hundreds of gallons of propane annually depending on how often the furnace is turned on.
- Water Heaters – According to the rule of thumb, roughly 1.5 gallons of propane is used daily in a typical home to heat water. Depending on the hot water usage, an average homeowner would need to buy more or less 200-300 propane gallons a year.
Propane Never Goes Bad
Propane gas has no expiry date, it does not go bad or lose potency over time. Propane stays good forever, no matter how old it is, an individual can use it even after 100 years.
How to Know If the Propane Tank is Low?
Many households rely on propane for different tasks, therefore, it is important to check fuel levels regularly. Many homeowners might think it is not possible but checking fuel levels is easy and quick. Make sure to check the tank from freezing.
- Large propane tanks are designed with an easy-to-read float gauge system. It uses a floating component to check the level of propane fuel in the tank. The simple dial indicates the percentage of fuel left in the tank.
- Check the in-built gauge if the propane level has dropped to 30%, schedule a refill. A homeowner can top off sooner when the rates are low.
The percentage indicated by the float gauge is not always 100% accurate. It is better to stay on the safe side than to run out.
The lifespan of a Propane Tank
Besides understanding the usage of propane, it is important to know how long a propane tank itself lasts. At each refill, these tanks are visually inspected for leaks, fuel quality, and the overall condition.
Large propane tanks need to be recertified 10 years after their date of manufacture and every five years after that. Regular preventive maintenance keeps the tank in tip-top condition and prolongs the lifespan.
Over 30 years old propane tank needs to be replaced with new ones. Some well-maintained tanks can last up to 35 years.
A 20-pound propane tank will last 18-20 hours of cooking time. The frequency at which you use the propane depends on the size and members of the home as well as the number of appliances using propane.