How to Safely Monitor Your Propane Tank

If you run out of propane while the valve or gas line is open, you could find yourself with a leak when it’s refilled.  Air and moisture that gets into an empty tank may also lead to rust and fluid buildup inside the tank, which will decrease the concentration of the odor of propane: making it harder to notice leaks.

These are the best ways to monitor your propane tank and ensure that you’re not running out any time soon.

Warm Water, Cool Hand

One of the quickest ways to tell how full your tank is is to use the warm water, cool hand, method.  To do this, pour warm water over your sealed tank, and then run your hands around the side of your tank.  The propane cools the water on the exterior, so when you slide your hand over the level, you’ll be able to feel a temperature difference in the liquid on the surface of the tank.

This is an easy way to measure, but it won’t always give you a clear reading.  If your results come out unsure, try another method.

Using A Gauge

A gauge is a fantastic way to get an extremely precise measurement. For example, instant-read meters allow you to look at the volume of propane in terms of the percentage of the tank filled.

They work by measuring the pressure inside the tank and then determining how much of the container is full and empty.  This is a clear and precise measurement and requires that you remember to remove it when your take is open and replace it when the tank is full again.

Tipping the Scale Method

This method is riskier since it requires you to move the tank.  If the propane is in a larger tank, this may not be the choice for you.

In this method, you’ll weigh the tank itself.  Most of these containers are stamped with an empty or ‘tare’ weight that they’ll consider when there’s no gas inside of them.  Place your tank on a scale and then subtract this tare weight to determine how many pounds of propane are left in your tank.  You can break it down further to determine how many gallons are left, but this isn’t always necessary.

Getting A Trustworthy Supplier

Many companies that supply propane will offer to come out and get a read on your tank if you think that you’re running low or you’re not sure how much is left.  Some may charge a fee for this service, while many others include it as part of the services you pay for every month.

When seeking out a propane supplier, look for one that offers this service or offers to walk you through checking the levels over the phone to ensure that you use their tanks correctly and rid yourself of any risk of mistakes.

Using A Digital Monitor

Digital monitors can be connected to your phone so that you get updates on your fuel usage.  This is better for larger systems since they’re expensive and give very precise readings.  

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