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posted ago by Katrina241 ago by Katrina241 +138 / -0

As we prepare for SHTF

Don't be caught with an empty tank if yours has no gauge.

There is a very simple way to tell how much propane is left in your tank.

Here’s what I do when I want to know how much propane is left in my tank. I get a container of hot water from the sink and pour it down the side of the tank. Then, I feel the side of the tank to see where the temperature changes occur.

The side of the tank will feel warm where it’s empty and cool where the propane level begins. It’s fast and easy to do so it won’t take up a lot of your time. More importantly, it really works!

This method may not be as accurate as reading a gauge. However, it will be a very close estimate. Now you know how to tell if your home propane tank is empty or close to it.

https://www.shtfpreparedness.com/how-to-tell-if-a-propane-tank-is-empty-without-a-gauge/?fbclid=IwAR1bqPAvQHA7gpTluY9K2HSyAwTYrqES24yrylYiAr2KKs2wGY5LRpuqTek

Comments (38)
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anon82059 10 points ago +10 / -0

There's an easier way. Every propane bottle has its tare weight stamped on it, usually at the top. Put the bottle on a bathroom scale and subtract the tare weight. 5 gallons of propane is roughly 20 lbs.

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amarQ144 10 points ago +10 / -0

My tank is 1,200 gallons, so roughly 4,800 lbs?

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bdizzle3000 13 points ago +13 / -0

your gonna need nadlers scale

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anon82059 5 points ago +5 / -0

Yeah, but if you need a bathroom scale that can handle that, you won't need food when SHTF.

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Patriot_Perks 2 points ago +2 / -0

Nice!

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Katrina241 [S] 3 points ago +3 / -0

I remember this. Of course you'd need to decouple the tank from whatever it's attached to.

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anon82059 8 points ago +8 / -0

Unless, obviously, you're using a propane-fueled bathroom scale.

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mengderen 3 points ago +3 / -0

I wondered why my smart scale has an in put marked "insert gas here"... 😁

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funwithguitars 2 points ago +2 / -0

I just got the new nuclear powered bathroom scale, never have to replace batteries, and the numbers glow in the dark!

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BasedCitizen 5 points ago +5 / -0

Just pick it up and slosh it around a little. If its heavy and doesn't slosh much, its full. If its somewhat light and doesn't slosh much, its near empty. It it sloshes around decently, its close to half full.

Pro tip, get your tanks refilled don't do a tank exchange. They will fill your 20lb tanks to 20lbs. Exchanges are usually only about 15lbs and charge as much if not more.

Speaking of 20lbs of propane, if you really need to know the exact amount in a tank.... weigh it! :) Stamped on the collar of every propane tank is the tare weight (empty weight), usually stamped as "TW nn LBS". Weigh the tank and subtract the tare weight.

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Roadrunner 1 point ago +1 / -0

The only probably with refilling them here is if the tank is older than 2 years and has no inspection date on it, the propane company will not fill it.

It costs $100 to have it inspected in this area.

I can get four filled filled tanks for that price and not worry about inspection.

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MaxdOut 4 points ago +4 / -0

When the tank's inspection is expired do a tank exchange, and then go back to your local refiller. Make sure to pick one with a good date or you be back doing it again soon. Look it over good to make sure it's other wise in good shape.

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LibtardsGotTrumped 2 points ago +2 / -0

When you say inspected do you mean the hydro testing? I was getting my high pressure cylinders recertified with hydro testing for $12 a piece in my area. Call local scuba supplies or fire extinguisher supplies and they should tell you where hydro testing is done cheapest if you ever need that service.

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Roadrunner 1 point ago +1 / -0

They pressure test the tank, and hoses and gages. There aren’t any scuba shops around here or fire extinguisher supply stores either.

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BasedCitizen 2 points ago +2 / -0

Can't say I have ever run into that, but if you do, why not just exchange it at that point then carry on with refills?

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Roadrunner 3 points ago +3 / -0

That is what we do. Except for our large tanks, we own two of them and the third one is owned by the local propane company. We’re lucky on those, they inspect all three once a year free of charge. Living in rural areas have their advantages and disadvantages.

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BasedCitizen 3 points ago +3 / -0

More advantages than disadvantages, if you ask me. :)

BTW, tanks should be good for 12 years from the date stamped on them from what I understand. https://www.ferrellgas.com/tank-talk/blog-articles/how-to-tell-if-your-propane-tank-is-expired-and-what-to-do-next/

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Roadrunner 3 points ago +3 / -0

I agree. That’s why we live in a rural area.

Yes, most tanks are good for 10 to 12 years, however, regulators, hoses, gages are not. Those are what the propane company inspect every year. Those last about 2, sometimes 3 years.

The hoses and tanks are exposed to the elements. The hot sun and freezing temps take their tolls after a couple of years. It is illegal to put covers over them here, because of possible leaks. They have had some spectacular explosions because people covered them up.

We also have to keep the footings on pavers, cinder blocks, or concrete pads. The tank itself cannot touch the ground, because of the alkali in our soil (especially the older tanks, ours are at least 30 years old). They test them for free, so no complaints here.

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Velvetmerlin3000 4 points ago +4 / -0

You sound like a man that knows his propane and propane accessories.

1
INK10 1 point ago +1 / -0

KEK

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FreedomFan1975 3 points ago +3 / -0

I have an extra tank in the basement in case SHTF, so I can still cook without power. Ammo & propane, you won't go hungry.

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FlexPowerhouse 2 points ago +2 / -0

On the TODO list this weekend - Get a 2nd spare gas tank.

This week I purchased 20lb to 1lb bottle adapter to refill my smaller bottles for camping stove. The smaller stove is more efficient than the larger grill. Downside is you only get about 70% of the pressure of the supply tank so no full recharges and lower charges each time.

Also a 20lb to 1lb hose adapter so i can power the smaller grills and jet stoves off of the 20 lb tank directly. Hope this helps someone prep up

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FreedomFan1975 2 points ago +2 / -0

Yeah I feel a lot better having that back up. Also we have a gas station that actually fills them up all the way, which is nice. Not surprisingly, they are a family owned, very American gas station - flags everywhere and I always get compliments on my patriotic t-shirts when I go in there. Also I have a camping grill with at least 4 smaller propane tanks for that, as it's portable and if we had to bug out, I could fit that into the car. Meijer sells a 4 pack of those camping grill propane tanks for like $16 or something, very reasonable.

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Blurpy 3 points ago +3 / -0

You can also use a bathroom scale and weigh it.

https://www.comparepropane.com/how-much-does-a-propane-tank-weigh/

Standard BBQ type propane cylinder is a 20lb. cylinder, and weighs about 17lbs empty. Completely full tank would be about 37lbs full.

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ATLAS_ONE 3 points ago +3 / -0

Who needs propane when you can run your stove off a bottle of Uncle Joe's Build Back Bitters?

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deleted 3 points ago +3 / -0
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FemalePatriot 2 points ago +2 / -0

Yup! They don’t fill up 💯 either. Keep that in mind. Thanks for reminding me. We are @40 but going into winter we should prob have a full fill up

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EarOfCornpop 2 points ago +2 / -0

For safety and expansion you only fill to 80%. I have two 1,000 gal tanks, both full, so I have 1,600 gallons available. This will last a year, so we're set for heating, cooking and hot water. 🙂

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Roadrunner 2 points ago +2 / -0

Lol…….I have lots and lots of mesquite, or cow patties if worse comes to worse.

The small propane bottles are still about 25 bucks at the moment with trade of the empty one.

However, if you have large tanks, such as I do, 100, 250, and 500 gallons, it’s very expensive to fill up. $328 for 150 gallons as of last Tuesday. We’ve been filling our tanks over the summer months 150 gallons at a time. We’ve got them as full as possible which will keep us til mid Feb, depending on how cold it gets. We are in the country, so no city gas lines. We also have a wood Stove in the barn if needed.

This past Feb., it cost $589 for 200 gallons during the big snow storm in Texas, and that was if you could get it. We were lucky, we were able to get it, and even luckier because the electric company we are with was not on the grid that went down during that storm.

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bcfromfl 2 points ago +2 / -0

Wow, I didn't realize there was so much variation of the price in different parts of the country. Here, a 20lb. tank is $14.99 for a fill-up.

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Roadrunner 2 points ago +2 / -0

I assume it’s because of the area and how competition there is.

Gasoline is at $3.49 a gallon here, as of yesterday. Cost me $64 to fill up my truck.

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LibtardsGotTrumped 2 points ago +2 / -0

Don't waste your money on those little propane tanks. They are damn near always underfilled when you swap them out and they waste ALOT of gas when the tanks start freezing up during heavy sustained use. I have a lot of experience with the gas cylinders and high pressure tanks. All gas is under pressure will cause a drop in temperature when you're releasing that pressure. But with a liquefied gas such as propane the expansion occurs inside the bottle in the volume of space above the liquid. With small tanks they don't have alot of mass so it will drop its temperature very quickly. When that happens the amount of gas you're using when it's cold even though it might be the same PSI is much different than when it's warm. It's like when you fill your tires up in the summertime and then come winter time the PSI drops because it's colder. It's the same thing with this when the tanks are cold you're actually running through gas sooner because it takes up less volume when it's cold exiting the bottle then it does if it were warm like around summertime or if you had the bottle sitting in a warm water bath. Call up your local welding supply or high pressure cylinder supplier (not the big name brand companies because they are usually more expensive) and order the 100lb propane cylinders. The difference is night and day as far as the use and how much longer they will last. You can decide if you want to purchase one of the 100-pounders and then just have them fill it or you can even do rental where they'll charge either a deposit fee or a monthly rental of something like $5. In the end it's much cheaper to buy it in bulk like that than it is with a little ones.

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Lonegunman65 2 points ago +2 / -0

A Colman camping stove and a couple of gallons of stove fuel will work just fine if the SHTF.

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Iver 2 points ago +2 / -0

As part of preparing, just get a guage?

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Michonne21 2 points ago +2 / -0

I have a solar grill. 😉

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harleytrvlr 3 points ago +3 / -0

Solar grill:(sidewalk)

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rextexMG 1 point ago +1 / -0

You can just weigh it

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deleted 1 point ago +1 / -0