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Propane tank weight and level (refill tank vs exchange tank)

I’m thinking about brewing in the morning and I knew my propane was getting low. So I just bought a brand new propane tank from Lowe’s so I could fully use the propane left in the Blue Rhino exchange tank before swapping it out. Also so I wasn’t stuck without a way to finish the boil if I did run out.

My local propane fill station charged $3.29 per gallon so I paid $15.88 for 4.5 gallons. So I weighed the tank and got 35.2 lbs on a body weight scale and subtracted the tear weight of 16.6 lbs. I came up with 18.6 lbs. Now my Blue Rhino exchange tank is labeled as 15 lbs of propane. I called a local exchange place and the price is $18.99. So a full tank from Blue Rhino should weigh 31.6 lbs right?

I also weighed my almost empty feeling Blue Rhino tank and it weighed 19.4 lbs and used 16.6 lbs as tear weight but I’m not sure if that was correct weight leaving me 2.8 lbs of propane. Is there a way to figure out how many gallons of propane is in 2.8 lbs? So I could then calculate if it is 1/4 left or 1/8 left? It looks like 4.7 gallons is full for 20 pound tank.

I forget the exact numbers, but if you look at the fine print for Blue Rhino, you are not getting a full tank.

An empty 20lb tank weighs roughly 18 lbs. Totally full (with 20 lbs of propane) it will weigh roughly 38 lbs. I don’t know exactly how many gallons there are in 20lbs of propane, but I know I can get about 5 or 6 brews out of a full tank, so I just weigh the tank and do the math.

And flars is right, the tanks that you exchange are not fully filled-they cost you almost double compared to getting one filled. Hope this helps a little. I’ll see if I can get some more info.



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4.11 lbs per gallon at 77 degrees F.

Gotta love Wikipedia


Only do the exchange in a pinch. They are short filled.

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Yes they fill to 75% of 20 pounds which is 15 lbs of propane.
From Blue Rhino website :
“Inflationary pressures, including the volatile costs of steel, diesel fuel, and propane, have had a significant impact on the cylinder exchange industry. In 2008, to help control these rising costs, Blue Rhino followed the example of other consumer products companies with a product content change. We reduced the amount of propane in our tanks from 17 pounds to 15 pounds.”

Just like when the Propane company fills yer tank at home, only up to 80%. Why? room for the liquid gas to evaporate and turn into vapor… If it was full and with the temp was at 60* when filled and it got up to 80* then it would start releasing gas… a safety measure… Sneezles61

The weight of the tank should be stamped on every tank. It’ll be T.W. then the number is the weight of empty tank.

Most the info you can find in the neck of the tank. Well you guys are lucky. Go to lows get a new tank here on bonaire. 3to 4 weeks wait for a new gastank. And a wait in line for two hours. Me got two tanks they are 20lbs. One empty exhange time. Not even talk about the big gas tank for cooking. That a 2 to 3 months wait.

I would surmise that there are benefits on each shore then…:sunglasses:Sneezles61

Sim wondering if you could use a solar hot water system down there. I’m sure you could. That would be a fun project and cut down on your need for a lot of propane.

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