Over the past few years, propane gas has proven very useful to us in our everyday lives. 

We use it to cook our food and heat our homes. 

In this article, we will give you some of the most important information about propane gas tanks.


Using propane gas tanks in our homes.

The first thing that you should know about propane grill tanks is their shelf life.

Please take note that the average 20 lb propane tank contains about 4.6 to 4.73 gallons of propane.

When it comes to propane tanks, there is a rule of thumb according to manufacturers:

medium-sized grill that is operating at high heat will consume about two pounds of fuel. This is for every time you cook a meal on it.

Considering this, we can be assured that a 20 lb. propane tank will be able to last about 18 to 20 hours. That is if you are cooking on a medium-sized grill.

For larger grills, it is a different story because they tend to consume more fuel. 

This is why, if you are using a large grill on your propane tank, except that it can only last for around 10 hours.

Some claim that even if they were only using a medium-sized grill, their tank only lasted for around 10 hours.

While there are those who say that with the help of an optional accessory hose, you will be able to use your 20-lb tank for more than 20 hours.

Thus, we can say that your average hour cook time and the type of grill that you use can also affect the number of hours that your tank will last.

The use of certain accessories can also help in making your tank last longer. The 20 lb tank is only good for cooking.

If you need propane fuel for the entire house, you will need something bigger, one that can produce more pounds of gas.

Most homes with a home heating system and other propane-reliant appliances usually use a 500-gallon propane tank.

You need that much fuel for an entire house. This 500-gallon propane tank can last for at least one month depending on usage.

If you have many appliances that rely on propane, you have to make sure that they are well maintained.

Some of them may emit carbon monoxide if they are left without proper care.

Propane gas tank for camping.

Considering the weight of the tank, a 20-pound propane tank will be too heavy to be moved around during camping and day trips.

Don’t worry, because there are smaller tanks available.

This is especially true since you will not need that much gas for cooking during these times. A small propane tank is already okay for a camp stove.

The most commonly used smaller tank is the standard 1-lb propane tank. A 1lb of propane tank can give you about 1 1/2 hours of cooking time. Some even last for about 2 hours.

Keep in mind that a 1 lb. or 16 oz. propane tank has around 0.236 gallons of propane gas.

It is, however, a different story if you will be bringing your RV (Recreational Vehicle) to your camping.

This is because, apart from cooking, you will also need propane gas for some of your appliances there, like your water heater.

An RV’s water heater, depending on its water capacity and specs, will consume 20 lbs. of propane for around 22 straight hours of continuous use.

Since you are most likely to use it for a maximum of 15 minutes, you will not consume that much propane.

Hence, your 20-pounds of propane can last for several days. This is if you are just going to use it for cooking and your water heater.

Expiration Date of Your Propane Gas Tank

Propane gas tanks are refillable. This is why many are opting to just refill their propane grill tanks instead of buying new ones.

Just remember that an opened container must be consumed completely within one to two years.

This means that even if you keep on refilling it, make sure to consume the propane fuel within one to two years.

Also, refilling it is okay as long as the age of the propane tank has not yet exceeded 12 years.

Propane cylinders with less than 100 pounds capacity do have expiration dates. They can only last up to 12 years.

You may count the years starting from the date of manufacture.

Using & Storing Tanks


If you want to move your grilling tanks, do not roll them on their side. Move them upright and with care.


You should always make sure that your propane bottle or propane tank is stored in a cool place.

Keep in mind that the storage space must be a dry area that does not get wet often or easily.

You also should not store it indoors. Many would even suggest that you have to store it several square feet away from your house or any building.

The distance should be at least 10 feet from a flammable object and from any building or property line.

Please make sure that you store your propane gas tanks properly.

This is regardless of your tank’s size and weight. This means that you still have to make sure that your 16-ounce of the propane tank is located in a dry, cool area.


If you are uncertain of the remaining amount of gas in your 20 lb cylinder, then don’t worry because you can actually check if your tank still has enough propane.


Checking the remaining propane fuel in your 1 lb tank is a lot easier because it’s lighter.

Usually, the tare weight is placed on the handle of the gas bottle. That tare weight is the weight of the tank without the gas.

Measure the gas bottle. If it exceeds the tare weight, then it is not empty.

It is more difficult if you have a 20-pound tank because they are heavier.

A typical tank of propane will have a weight of 17 pounds if it is empty. This is despite the fact that they carry 20 pounds of gas.

Nevertheless, you can still apply the same procedure.

If you want a more accurate reading, you will need a propane tank gauge.


The safest way to dispose of your empty cylinders is by giving them to the nearest supplier or Home Depot.

Most of them will be happy to give you a full tank at a cheaper in exchange for the empty one.

Also, make sure to always turn your supply of gas off whenever you are not using your gas grill.

It does not matter what your fuel source is or where it is located, you have to turn it off.


Can you refill the 1 lb. propane tanks?

Yes, you can refill it. In fact, you can refill your propane tanks until they are full and similar to their original capacity.

Is it safe to use propane tanks in fire pits?

As long as you will be using it outdoors, it is fine. The standard 1 lb. propane tank can last about 8-9 hours if you use it for your outdoor fire pit.

How long does a 1 lb propane bottle last on a Mr. Heater?

On average, it takes about six hours. Just make sure to use at least two pieces of a 1 lb propane bottle.


The standard 1 lb propane tank can last for at least 1 1/2 hours while the 20-pound tank can last up to 18 hours.

These figures, though important, will vary depending on a number of factors, including the number of times it is often used.

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D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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