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Old 10-22-2017, 08:18 AM   #1
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How to check propane level

how do folks check how much gas is left in their propane tanks. mine dont have gauges except for a sight glass that shows green or red. I would like to be able to tell if I am getting low without unhooking the tanks and lifting one to see if there is much left in there. Is there a gauge one could buy and mount on the valve tree or what. I have 2 tanks and when one runs out I can just switch over but I would like to be able to keep better tabs on things if there is a way.
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runamuck View Post
how do folks check how much gas is left in their propane tanks. mine dont have gauges except for a sight glass that shows green or red. I would like to be able to tell if I am getting low without unhooking the tanks and lifting one to see if there is much left in there. Is there a gauge one could buy and mount on the valve tree or what. I have 2 tanks and when one runs out I can just switch over but I would like to be able to keep better tabs on things if there is a way.
I have 2-40 lb tanks and a 20 lb. I used to weigh them with a fishing scale. Then I bought a nifty checker that makes it so easy! I was sceptical at first, but it works fine. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00Q7...9eL&ref=plSrchClick image for larger version

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Old 10-22-2017, 09:16 AM   #3
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You can also pour hot tap water down the side of the tank and use your hand to feel where the tank goes from warm to cool. The LP will keep the tank cool.
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:09 AM   #4
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There are many ways.. Some tanks do have dial type gauges. But generally those are only fixed tanks like on a Motor home, not "luggable"

Weight is the most accurate way But you need an accurate scale

Some folks yammer about pressure gauges but they only tell you IF you have liquid in the tank, not how much.

You can "Sound" the tank.. tap on the side using something like the handle of a table knife or most anything solid and notice where the sound changes.

Or there is a LCD strip. It may be magnetic or "peal and sticik"

You apply it to the side of the tank, heat a kettle (Tea kettle) of water on the stove using Propane. Pour the water over the strip

Part of the strip will change color.. the part that does not .. that's where the propane is liquid.
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Old 10-22-2017, 11:36 AM   #5
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Clear propane tanks... Don't laugh, they do exist.

If I ever have to replace tanks I'll consider them.

Downsides are cost and I'd think they'd be much slower than metal to transfer available ambient heat to the liquid to keep the vapor pressure up as you draw off them in cold weather.
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:37 PM   #6
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When I run out of propane in a tank I then fill it having switched to the other full tank. If in doubt I take them both in. I have used gauges which seem to not be accurate. I know this does not answer your question but works for me.
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:53 PM   #7
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Valve both cylinders (tanks are in MHs) in service
When 'Red/Green' indicator turns RED the 1st cylinder valved in is empty and now needs to be removed and refilled.

20# cylinder holds 4.7 gallons
1 gallon has 91,333 btu

So pay attention to 'red/green indicator

OR just pour hot water down side of cylinder and look for frost line or feel for cold area.

There are those 'temp sensitive' tape strips .....but if you have propane cylinder cover you have to remove to see them
The in-line gauges measure pressure which remains good until cylinder is empty

Viking makes those fiberglass translucent cylinders......$200 for 4 gallon version
Viking also has a Trident Marine version .......$170/4 gallon
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:10 PM   #8
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How to check propane level

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkerreknit View Post
I have 2-40 lb tanks and a 20 lb. I used to weigh them with a fishing scale. Then I bought a nifty checker that makes it so easy! I was sceptical at first, but it works fine. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00Q7...9eL&ref=plSrchAttachment 180641


I too use one of these. Can be a little fussy in use. I found that cleaning the side of the tank I intend to take my readings from with silicone spray makes it a lot more consistent.
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Old 10-22-2017, 06:45 PM   #9
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I bought these on Amazon to be able to check propane levels on my IPhone.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
So far, the work good.
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:42 PM   #10
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thanx all I may just try one of those Dometic sonar sticks..
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:15 PM   #11
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Turn on the stove and heater, splash some hot water on the tank.
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:03 PM   #12
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You can also pour hot tap water down the side of the tank and use your hand to feel where the tank goes from warm to cool. The LP will keep the tank cool.
X2 It’s free and it works!
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:56 AM   #13
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not the easiest.

a bathroom scale.

my 30 pounders... empty is 25 pounds.. a good Fill is 55 pounds...
so 30 pounds of fuel.
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