February 1, 2017

How to check the propane level on an LP tank video

By Sears PartsDirect staff
How to check the propane level on an LP tank video.
How to check the propane level on an LP tank video.

Save yourself the frustration of running out of propane while grilling by learning how to check your tank’s level before you turn on the gas. This video from Sears PartsDirect shows you the easiest and the most precise ways to keep track of your propane so that you’ll always have enough to grill that steak, deep fry that turkey or heat that patio.

Check out our DIY Gas Grill Repair Help page for more troubleshooting advice, repair guides and grilling articles.

Supplies you might need

  • Screwdriver

  • Boiling water

  • Container

  • Magnetic strip

  • Scale

  • Pressure gauge

Hi, Wayne here from Sears PartsDirect. Ever wonder how much gas is in your propane tank? You don't want to run out. Today we're going to show you four ways to check your tank's propane level so you know where you stand before you start using it.

Four ways to check propane level

  • Tap on the tank. The easiest way to check the propane level is by tapping down the side of the tank until you hear the tone change. The tapping sound rings clearly, until you get to the level where the liquid propane starts. Once the tone changes, you've found the tank level.

  • Use boiling water. If you’re having a hard time hearing the difference, another way to get an idea of how much propane you have left is to run a cup of boiling water down the side and then feel the tank with your hand. The tank will feel cooler where the propane level starts. You can also install a reusable magnetic strip on the side of the tank. Pour hot water down the strip and see where the strip changes color to determine your tank level.

  • Weigh the tank. If you want a more precise idea of how much propane is left, you can weigh the tank. Most propane tanks weigh about 17 pounds when empty and can hold 20 pounds of propane, making them weigh about 37 pounds completely full. You can usually find the exact weight engraved on the handle. Weigh the tank and then subtract the empty tank weight to determine how many pounds of propane you have left. If your tank weighs 27 pounds and the empty tank weighs 17 pounds, then you know the tank is half-full.

  • Use a pressure gauge. Another way to monitor tank level is to install a gauge on the tank. Here's a pressure gauge that attaches to the tank outlet. The regulator hose coupler screws onto the outlet of the gauge.

Converting gas level to usage time

So how does tank level equate to usage time? Well, a full propane tank supplies you with enough gas to use for about 10 hours on a medium to high setting for most products. If your tank is 1/4 full, you should have enough propane to use for a couple hours. Keep in mind that this is a rough estimate. Actual usage time varies depending on your product and the heat level you use. These guidelines should be close enough to help you know if you have enough gas to sear those steaks or heat that patio.

You may think you’ll never need this information, as long as you keep a spare tank on hand. Until you forget to fill it.  So keep these tips in mind.

I hope this video helps you out today. Check out other gas grill videos on the Sears PartsDirect YouTube channel and tell us what you think. Subscribe and we’ll let you know when we post new ones.

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