# Propane tank question

I've got a 500 gal tank. How do you determine how many gallons are currently in the tank?
Thanks
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I've got a 500 gal tank. How do you determine how many gallons are currently in the tank?
Thanks
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It depends on what you will do with the information.
If you want to ensure that you don't exhaust the supply, call for a refill and note how much it took to bring it to the full condition. Over time, you will be able to estimate your usage by month.
If you want to move it or dispose of it, pick it up and weigh it. The fuel is about 4# per gallon, then add the weight of the empty tank. Probably weighs less than 2 tons full (4000#).
The use of water to determine the level of the liquid fuel in the tank could be useful, though the tank geometry will distort the result: the first two inches of use corresponds to more fuel than the last two inches since the vessel is curved.
wrote:

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I've got a 500 gal tank. How do you determine how many gallons are currently in the tank?
Thanks
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snipped-for-privacy@ignore.com says...

One way is to dump (maybe a lot of) ice water on the tank. Assuming the dew point is above 32F, you'll see a line of dew where the gas level is. The liquid propane will supply more heat to the tank and there won't be dew there, but the gaseous propane on top won't absorb as much and the tank will cool causing condensation. I've seen LCD strips for 20lb cooking cylinders that would on the same principle.
Of course, you could weigh it. ;-)
--
Keith

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Does the tank have a guage? If so, it should show percentage of 500 gal that is in the tank. So, 50%%0 gal, 10%P gal, etc. The guage is probably not super accurate, so it is only going to be approx
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Kurt Gavin wrote:

Accurately - weigh it and compare to the tare weight that should hopefully be listed on the tank data plate.
Roughly, get one of those liquid crystal stick on propane tank gauge things and keep moving it down the side of the tank (doing the hot water thing) until you find the LP level. You'll have to watch extra closely since the tank wall will be thicker than the wall on a 20# tank. Just remember that other than the half full point, the scale is not linear due to the cylindrical shape of the tank.
Pete C.
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How do ypu propose lifting the 500 gallon tank onto a scale?

For those to work, the gas has to be siphoning off to create the temperature differential. I think you'd have to be using a lot of gas to make it read.
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verrrry carefully
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Toller wrote:

You don't need to lift it very high. With a crane scale attached to the crane or forklift you only need to get the tank off the ground, 1/4" would be enough.
Actually I expect that a standard floor jack and a set of electronic scales as used for race cars would do nicely. You'd only need to lift each end of the tank a few inches to slip the scales under the feet.
Pete C.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Forklift? Crane? I didn't say it was very practical, only accurate.

I don't think so, the rate of heat loss will be different above and below the liquid line and should show that differential as that tank cools from the hot water application.
Pete C.
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Why not call your propane dealer for a 'fill up'. After he gives you the bill for how many gallons he pumped into the tank, you'll then know exactly how much was in the tank before he filled it.
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I might be doing a deal in which I buy the amount of propane currently in the tank. I need a way to verify.
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wrote:

That would still work. The buyer or the seller can fill up the tank, then you can reimburse the seller if he paid for the fillup, and take possession of all of it.
You'r e buying the house next to it, yes? If you are just out there buying propane as a business, you should probably find another guy who does this and learn all the details.
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You (OP) are the one who asked about buying your tank from the supplier, rather than have the propane metered out and billed monthly. I agree that the thing to do is have the supplier fill it up, then pay them for 400 gallons. Note: 400 gallons is not a mistake-- propane tanks are filled to 80% of capacity to allow for expansion, thus a properly filled 500 gallon tank will hold 400. Also. now (summer) is the time to do this as the price is usually at it's lowest this time of year. Good luck Larry
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