Skip to Content

How to Tell If a Propane Tank Is Empty Without a Gauge

SHTFPreparedness may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

Do you know how to tell if your propane tank is empty? This is going to be important to know in a survival situation so we will review below. First, let’s talk more about propane.

Propane has many uses from keeping you warm and cozy to grilling your favorite foods. The portable tanks are great to use when camping because propane has multiple uses. It’s also very convenient to use.

You have several different sizes to choose from when it comes to tanks. If you’re heating your home with propane you’ll need a large tank so you don’t run out often. The 100-gallon tanks are usually the smallest size used for heating.

Of course, propane is also used as fuel for grills, fryers, and gas patio heaters to name a few. The 20 lb propane tank is the standard size used for these and similar appliances. When full they weigh approximately 37 pounds and hold about four and a half gallons of propane.

Transporting Your Propane Tank

Once you know how much propane is left, you will know when you need to get more propane in the tank. In ordinary situations, it’s as easy as taking it to a location to be exchanged or refilled. You won’t have this same luxury in a survival situation, but let’s explore.

Transporting these small tanks to be refilled or exchanged is easy. The difficult part is figuring out when you’re going to run out of propane before you actually do. It can be really embarrassing and very annoying if you run out right in the middle of that big BBQ party!

That’s something anyone would want to avoid. You also don’t want to take any chances when you’re relying on the propane for heat and cooking when camping or during an emergency. Do you know how to measure the propane tank level to avoid running out unexpectedly?

You can lift the tank and try guessing how much is left based on the weight compared to how it felt when it was full. However, that method is not very accurate. There is a better way.

Learn how to check the home propane tank level using the simple method below. It’ll help you keep track of how much gas you use, and you’ll know what to do in an actual emergency. This way, you won’t run out of propane at the worst possible time.

How to Tell if a Propane Tank Is Empty

The large propane tanks used for heating homes have a gauge on top. They’re used to ensure the tanks are filled properly and to alert users when to have the tank refilled. Simply check the gauge periodically to keep track of how much propane you’re using.

Most portable propane tanks do not have gauges on them. This makes it a little tricky figuring out when you might run out of gas. There is, however, 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.

You’ll know when to replace the tank before it completely runs out. This will save you a lot of aggravation so you can concentrate on more important things. For example, making sure you’re storing the propane responsibly.

Storing Portable Propane Tanks Safely

Now you know how to tell if the propane tank is empty or almost empty. You can relax and not worry about running out when you least expect it. It’s easy and only takes a few minutes to check the propane level using this method.

However, you may need to keep a couple of extra propane tanks on hand if you do a lot of grilling, camping or if you use a propane space heater to stay warm outdoors. If you’re going to store propane tanks around your home, know how to do so safely. Follow proper storage procedures to ensure the safety of your family and neighbors.

Even if you only use one tank for grilling out occasionally, it’s still important to know how to store it safely when not in use. Otherwise, it could pose a safety risk. Here’s what you need to do.

Don’t put them inside your home, garage, outside buildings or basement when storing propane tanks. Doing so could cause the temperature inside the tank to increase, which is very dangerous. In other words, keep it outside at all times.

Choose a dry, shady spot for your tanks. Don’t allow the tanks to sit in the direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day. If possible, place them under a shelter to protect them from the sun and other elements.

Make sure your tanks are flat on the ground. If they’re sitting crooked or tilted over, it’s possible the tank could fall over. This could be serious especially if a fire broke out.

Keep propane tanks in an upright position and secure them in place. You don’t want a strong wind knocking them over causing a fire hazard. They should also be at least ten feet away from anything flammable.

Using Propane for Survival Situations

Do you know why you would use propane in a survival situation? It’s one of the preferred fuels available and for good reason. While it may not be as versatile as gasoline, here are some of the advantages propane can provide during an emergency.

When it comes to price, propane is comparable with other options such as gasoline. It’s easy to transport and store the small tanks, which is very important in an emergency situation. When handled and stored properly, it’s safe to use.

Propane can be stored for long periods, provided the tanks are in good condition and not rusted badly. You can fuel a variety of appliances and other devices with this gas. This includes generators, which can make life a little easier when survival is at stake.

You can also use the propane to fuel grills so you can cook or warm up your food. It’s a clean-burning gas so it won’t leave any residue or smell like kerosene leaves behind. It will, however, produce carbon monoxide which can be very dangerous if used indoors.

Propane is very easy and convenient to use since it’s stored in tanks. All you have to do is attach the cylinder and turn the nozzle on. Ignite the pilot light and it’s ready to use.

When storing your propane tank, using it at a backyard BBQ, when camping or using it in a survival situation, always keep them away from children and pets. It’s the best way to ensure everyone’s safety.