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How To Predict If The Propane Tank Has Gotten Empty Or Not?

Nowadays, Propane tanks are used for various purposes and are readily available in all places. Propane cylinders are portable and come in handy when it’s time for outdoor living season or backyard barbeque parties, tents, RV gear, and so on.

But you don’t want to ruin a whole party mood with a run-out propane tank and half-grilled snacks. Thus, it is necessary to check if the propane tank has been filled properly and if you have adequate fuel left for your work.

How to Know About my Low Propane Tank?

There are various methods to tell if the level is low. It includes the gauge method, hot water, cool touch, and weight.

But you can also learn about the level of propane present in the tank by just some simple indications like lifting the propane tank. But it is only possible with a small propane tank.

For large propane tanks, you can use the hot water and cool touch method to get an estimated amount of propane available, more or less.

You can use either of the two methods suggested to get a more accurate value.

How to Check the Propane Level?

The propane level can be easily checked from the gauge provided. Since most of them don’t come with one so the other methods to check the Propane level are as follows:

  • Hot water, Cool Touch
  • External Gauge
  • Weight

1. Hot Water, Cool Touch

This is a manual process and is great if you are camping! This unique process doesn’t require much. All you need is your tank and some hot water.

  • Get a bucket full of warm water. Make sure that the bucket water’s temperature is around the hot tap water’s temperature.
  • Slowly pour the water on one side of the tank. Be careful and don’t trickle it, as the hot water can lead to burns on your hands.
  • Vertically run your hands along the side of your tank and feel for a cold spot. The tank will be warm on the upper side where there is no gas and cool on the lower side where gas is left.
  • The tank is empty if you don’t observe a difference in temperature in any part of the tank.

2. External Gauge

You can also use external gauges to measure the Propane Level.

  • You will require a gauge you can find at various stores to do so. It also comes with LPG cylinders, and you can use this gauge as well.
  • Now, insert the Gauge in the nozzle, and it will reveal to you the pressure of propane present in the tank.
  • Once the pressure is indicated, note down the value and check the initial pressure of the Propane tank.
  • Finally, subtract both values, and you will get an idea of the amount of propane present in the tank.
  • Using an external gauge is the method as it easily indicates the propane level. You can also get it done from the local garages, which keep gauges to check the tire pressure.

3. Weight

To check the Propane level, put it on a weighing machine. It indicates two weights- the tare and gas/liquid.

  • First, note the tare weight. If the weight on the scale is exactly the same as the tare weight, then your tank is empty. If it is not the same, then subtract the weight of propane from the tare weight.
  • Finally, you will get the amount of Propane present in the tank. The only problem with the weighing method is that large propane cylinders won’t be able to be weighed.

How to Calculate the Amount of Propane Left in the Tank?

To calculate the Propane level, you will have to follow the given steps:

  • Step 1: First, find out the initial propane amount by noting down the code given on the tank.
  • Step 2: For different weights, the tank code is different. E.g., If the tank code printed on your tank is TW17.2, then the initial weight of the tank will be five gallons.
  • Step 3: Now, weigh the tank again.
  • Step 4: Lastly, subtract both the values, and finally, you will get the amount of Propane left in the tank.

What are the Signs that the Propane Tank is Low?

There are various ways to know if your propane tank is low. You will observe changes in the behavior of the Proper tanks, such as:

  1. It won’t burn properly if you use it for grilling or barbecuing.
  2. The flame will sputter while using propane appliances
  3. The gas won’t light when normal gas appliances are in use
  4. If you are using it for your gears and the tank is low, they may not work properly.
  5. The tank will feel light, and if you have a good gauge installed, it will show the reading low.


It is necessary to keep checking the propane level of the tank if you rely on it very frequently. The propane tank itself will indicate to you if the level is low by observing the changes in the behaviors of the tank when in use or if it will become lighter than before.

If you are in doubt that your tank is low on Propane, then you can go through the methods to check the Propane level for confirmation. Also, keep refilling the Propane tank to avoid all the extensive work of checking the propane level in the tank and killing your time.

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