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How to Tell if Propane Tank is Empty – Full Guide

Article By: Suraiya Fardous - November 15, 2023
How to Tell if Propane Tank is Empty ΓÇô Full Guide

Propane tanks are a lifesaver whenever we need power outdoors. We can use it in an RV, cook outdoors, or use it even inside the house. But a problem with these tanks is that they run out of gas at one point. We always need to make sure that we are refilling them before they reach the low levels.

But how to tell if the propane tank is empty? Well, there are several ways to do this, from a warm water test to a gauge. In this article, I will talk in great detail about all these methods. Keep reading below to find out:

How to tell if the propane tank is empty – Different ways

You must hold a propane tank to your dear life because it becomes your biggest energy source in an RV or during those chilly winter nights. They power all our appliances, and the whole system may collapse if they run out of gas. So, it is very necessary to always actively check the propane tank.

Well, there can be many signs that the propane tank is low. To look for these signs and how to check if a propane tank is empty, follow the given methods:

Check whether the tank feels empty

First and foremost, you may try to understand whether your tank is reaching its limit by simply feeling the weight of the tank and making a guess. We know that when a tank is brand new, it feels super heavy. So, try carrying the tank, and if you feel a drastic difference, you are likely almost out of the liquid.

But you will feel a drastic change only if the tank has reached its very end. So, this method is not that effective in determining how to tell how much propane is left. Below are some of the more effective ways to do so.

Do the warm water test

The warm water test is a very effective way to check how much propane you have left in your tank. It is a simple test that works wonders, thanks to science. To execute this test, disconnect your propane tank from the main line.

Then, warm some water at a moderately hot temperature. Next, pour the water on a specific side of the tank from the top and ensure it reaches the bottom. Inside the tank, heat from the water will be absorbed wherever there is propane. So, after pouring the water, feel the side of the tank with your bare hands.

From the point you start feeling that the tank has become cold, that’s where the propane level is currently. If you cannot feel any temperature switch, your tank has emptied.

Check the weight of the tank

Another very effective way to figure out how to tell if your propane tank is empty is by checking the weight of the propane tank. It is an extremely simple process. But the only catch is you will need a weighing scale.

So, to do this test, first, check on the body of your cylinder what its ‘Water capacity’ and ‘Tare Weight.’ What are these? The water capacity is basically how much propane the tank holds in pounds. On the other hand, the tare weight is the weight of the empty tank.

Therefore, to figure out how much propane your tank currently possesses, disconnect the tank from the main line and measure its weight using a weighing scale. Note down the weight.

Next, subtract the tare weight from the weight you noted down. That’s it; you have found out how much propane your tank currently holds. You know the tank is empty if you get a value of 0 or something close to that. It is time to refill the tank.

Attach an additional gauge

Now, if you do not prefer any of the methods mentioned above and would just like to have something straightforward, this idea is for you. You can simply attach an external gauge to your tank to keep a record of the gas at all times. The only con is that you will need additional monetary investment, but the money is worth it.

Attach the gauge at the joint where the tank and hose to the main system connect. You will get appropriate readings on how much gas is left in each tank there. If the meter reaches the red zone, an empty tank is indicated, and it is time to change the cylinder.

Use smart technology

Last but not least, if you want something extra for yourself and want to invest in ultra-modern technology, get modern propane tanks with smart meters. Many tanks in the market have digital meters attached to them. They are also connected to your phone, so you can get the tank meter reading on your phone at all times.

You do not have to physically measure the level of liquid left.

Final Words

Keeping propane tanks’ liquid levels in check is an extremely crucial task. It is a big hassle if the tank goes empty midway while we are cooking or using the heater. That’s why, in this article, I have told you about all the ways how to tell if propane tank is empty.

Apply these techniques, and you can always have an idea about how much propane is left in your tank. If it is almost empty, contact your nearest refilling store or your supplier.