How Long Does Propane Last In A Tank?

The way you utilize propane will have an impact on how long it lasts. Consider the most popular propane applications:


As previously stated, 20-pound propane tanks are used for small chores such as cooking single meals. If you’re grilling on a medium-sized barbecue, one tank of propane will normally last between 18 and 20 hours. Larger barbecues, on the other hand, can consume 20 pounds of propane in as little as 10 hours.

If you use a medium-sized grill on high heat, you’ll need one or two pounds of fuel per meal on average. That works out to about 8 grilling sessions per tank.


The industry standard for measuring the heating efficiency of domestic equipment is the British Thermal Unit, or BTUs. One gallon of propane equals 92,000 BTUs, and the average house furnace uses 100,000 BTUs. The average house furnace consumes about one gallon of propane each hour.

Depending on how often you turn on your furnace, a house furnace might burn anywhere from 500 to 1,200 gallons of propane every year.

Hot Water Heaters

The amount of hot water you use depends on how many bathrooms you have and how many people are in and out of your home. The average residence uses approximately 1.5 gallons of propane per day for conventional hot water heating.

For hot water, the average homeowner will use between 200 and 300 gallons of propane each year.

The average homeowner will consume about 2.5, 500-gallon propane tanks for house heating and cooking each year.

How long can propane be stored in a tank?

We get asked all the time how long propane can be stored before it spoils.

The basic reason is that propane has a long lifespan. It is, in fact, one of the most storage-friendly, reliable, and durable energy sources currently available. Propane has an unusually long shelf life because it has no expiration date and does not degrade or lose its potency over time. To clarify, “shelf life” is defined as “the amount of time a commodity can be stored before it becomes unfit for use, consumption, or sale” (Wikipedia). Unlike diesel, which has a one-year shelf life and gasoline, which has a three- to six-month shelf life, propane can be stored indefinitely, making it a highly effective and convenient fuel for both residential and commercial applications, as well as an excellent partner in emergency preparedness plans.

Furthermore, the cylinders in which propane is kept have a very long shelf life. This is why propane cylinders must be recertified by a skilled propane technician on a regular basis. When regular cylinder maintenance is followed, it is possible to get 30 or 40 years out of a stored propane tank.

Home heating, portable cylinders for BBQ and gardening/landscaping, space heating, forklift, autogas, and emergency preparedness are just a few instances of how propane outperforms other fuels in terms of convenience and longevity.

Oil-fired heating systems are colossal, filthy behemoths that take up valuable space and necessitate regular maintenance. If heating oil is stored for an extended period of time, it might become dangerous. What is “too much time”? Think 18 months or fewer, depending on how properly it was stored in the first place.

BBQ cylinders are widely used. They’re lightweight, portable, refillable, and easy to store. They can last for years if stored properly, with no need for replacements or additives.

Propane in portable, tiny cylinders up to and including 1,000 gallon cylinders can be used for emergency preparedness.

Space heaters and generators powered by diesel or gasoline emit a foul odor, can cause messy spills and stains, and must be replaced on a regular basis. However, not propane! Its long shelf life makes it an ideal fuel for portable use or powerful backup generator systems that can power a whole house.

It’s no surprise that propane is popular among homeowners and businesses because of its convenience, versatility, and peace of mind.

Visit our Residential and Commercial sections to learn more about all the wonderful things propane can do for you.

At Paraco, we’ve got you covered with daily fuel.

How long will a 20-gallon propane tank keep you going?

Grills, water heaters, and fireplaces all use small, portable propane tanks, often known as DOT tanks. They can weigh anywhere from 20 to 100 pounds. Its lifespan is determined by the size of your grill and how frequently you use your heater or fireplace.

A medium-sized grill on high heat will use about two pounds of fuel per meal as a rule of thumb. On a medium grill, a 20lb propane tank will give 18-20 hours of cooking time if you follow this rule. In as little as 10 hours, a larger barbecue can burn through 20 pounds of propane.

Is it true that propane vaporizes in the tank?

Propane, often known as LP (Liquefied Petroleum Gas), is a different type of fuel than most others. Natural gas is a gas vapor fuel, whereas diesel and gasoline are liquid fuels. LP is a hybrid of the two, with a few distinct characteristics. To begin, LP can be utilized as a liquid or as a gas vapor. Gas vapors are used to power everything in your RV, including portable items like heaters. Most engines, such as forklifts, employ liquid withdrawal because it is easier to handle in their carburetion systems. However, the same propane tank can provide both liquid and gas. Let’s take a closer look at what propane is to see how it operates.

Propane is a liquid in the strictest sense of the word. That’s why it’s referred to as LP. It does, however, have a boiling point, just like any other liquid. When you fill a bucket with water, it sits there doing nothing. When you light a fire under the water and raise the temperature to 212 F, it starts to boil and water vapor escapes (steam). The water eventually evaporates, leaving the bucket empty. When you fill a radiator with water and add a pressure cap, the boiling point of the water rises as the pressure rises. This is also the basis of geysers, which build up enormous amounts of pressure in order to hold back super-heated water until it can no longer hold it back, at which point it blows.

Propane has a boiling point as well. It’s -44 degrees Fahrenheit outside. So, if you had a pail of propane and the temperature outside was 50 or 60 degrees Fahrenheit, it would not evaporate. However, once it reaches that temperature, it will boil, the gas will evaporate, and you will be left with an empty bucket. When we pump propane into an enclosed cylinder, however, there will be nowhere for it to evaporate. However, we would like to use part of the evaporated gas to power our propane appliances, and there is a way to do so. There will be an open space above the surface of the liquid propane where the evaporating gasses can accumulate if a propane cylinder is filled to no more than 80%. A small amount of liquid propane expands to a significant amount of propane gas, which is what we’re looking for.

A propane tank that has been filled to 80% capacity will have an output outlet with a shutdown valve that allows access to the gas at the very top of the tank. If you turn a portable tank upside down or put it on its side, you’ll be running raw liquid propane through it, and your grill will likely have flames shooting out of it 6 feet high, therefore you should always utilize portable tanks upright. Although the tanks in an RV are set horizontally, the pickup tube still extends to the top of the tank. If a propane tank is filled more than 80%, the liquid propane will stream through the system, posing a major fire threat. As a result, when filling a motorhome’s propane tank, it’s critical to keep an eye on the bleeder valve. It’s time to cease refueling once the liquid starts to come out.

Propane contains fewer BTU per gallon than gasoline or diesel, so it will take more gallons to complete the same task. However, propane offers a number of advantages over liquid fuels that make it suitable for specific applications. For starters, propane is kept in a sealed container. There’s no need to be concerned about unclean gasoline, water in the fuel, or algae growth. Prior to filling, the LP tank is purged with methanol to remove any water vapors that may have entered. It burns very cleanly because it is a light gas. Imagine how delicious your cuisine would be if you used diesel fuel in your cooktop or outside barbecue. Due to its lack of energy compared to other fuels, propane will be more expensive to run engines, especially generator sets. It is, however, most commonly utilized in interior applications, such as forklifts, where the emissions from a gasoline or diesel engine are unacceptable. Propane has the disadvantage of having a low boiling point, which makes it difficult to use in cold weather. It won’t be able to keep up in the gas production area if you try to squeeze too much propane out of a too little cylinder. Your gas pressure will diminish, and your appliances will have a difficult time burning.

Is it permissible to leave a propane tank outside during the summer?

Propane tanks can be safely stored outside, but it’s important to find a location that’s not too close to your home. When it comes to storing your propane tanks in the winter, it’s crucial to remember that freezing temperatures aren’t a concern for propanein fact, you don’t even need to cover your tank if you’re storing it outside.

Place the tank on a solid surface, such as a piece of wood or a slab of concrete, and store it open or closed.

It’s also simple to store propane tanks during the summer. During the summer, your propane tank can be kept outside on a flat, firm surface. Keep the tank in a shady area so it doesn’t sit in direct sunlight for lengthy periods of timethis will keep the tank at a safe temperature, which should not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius).

Is it permissible to store a gas tank outside during the winter?

Propane tanks must be kept in a ventilated, open environment. Storing your propane tank inside or in an enclosed space is risky and can result in damage. Storing your propane tank in a basement, automobile, tent, or garage is not a good idea.

Outdoors, in the shade, is the best place to keep your propane tank. If you’re storing your propane tank, ensure sure it’s disconnected from the grill when you’re done with the season.

Because low and freezing temperatures aren’t as dangerous as high temperatures, you can keep your gas tanks outside throughout the winter. You should be warned, however, that the damp patches formed by rain and snow might lead to rusting on the tank itself.

On a 20 pound tank, how long will a Mr heater run?

Two 1 pound propane cylinders provide 3-12 hours of heat, and two 20 pound propane cylinders provide up to 220 hours of heat with optional hose attachments. For Up To 220 Hours On Your Feet!

On a patio heater, how long does a 20-pound propane tank last?

The amount of propane you’ll need for your particular application will be determined by factors including fluctuating outside temperatures, the size and setting of your heater, and whether or not your workstation is insulated or otherwise protected from the elements.

Outdoor spaces, such as a deck or patio, provide unique issues when it comes to heating. Patio and portable heaters function to raise the ambient temperature of a small area, rather than an enclosed place like a garage or workspace, because the location is open to the weather. On the maximum setting, most patio heaters emit around 40,000 BTUs per hour, which means a 20-pound propane tank will give upwards of 10 hours of heat.

What should you do if your propane tank runs dry?

Allowing your propane tank to run out of gas is never a good idea, not just because it will disrupt your heating service (which will cost you money to restore), but also because it poses serious safety threats to your propane-powered home.

If you let your propane tank run empty, these are four things that could happen. It’s simply not worth the risk, as you’ll see:

  • If your propane tank runs out, your appliance pilot lights will go out, which can be deadly if not handled appropriately.
  • When air and moisture enter an empty tank, rust forms, masking the rotten-egg odor of propane and making it more difficult to identify a leak.
  • When you run out of propane and leave a valve or gas line exposed, you risk a leak when you recharge the system.
  • In order to meet federal code standards for propane use, you must engage a competent technician to perform a leak test (which you must pay for).

The good news is that you can prevent all of these issues with Carroll’s FREE Automatic Propane Delivery! Sign up today and you’ll never have to worry about refilling your propane tank again (it also benefits us by minimizing the amount of emergency fills we have to schedule…which is why we give it out for free!).

Will the propane tanks blow up?

The short answer is yes, a propane tank can explode, despite the fact that this is not a typical occurrence. Approximately 600 propane tank explosions are reported each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. However, according to a study conducted by the Department of Energy, the chance of dying in a propane explosion is one in 37 million.

However, propane tanks do not spontaneously burst, rupture, or disintegrate. Under normal circumstances, a propane tank is quite safe. It’s actually quite tough to bring a propane tank to the point of “explosion.”

Explosions, accidents, and propane tank ruptures or breaches are all prevented by safety systems and processes. However, just like with any other hazardous material, accidents can occur if proper precautions are not taken.

Why is propane so dangerous?

Because propane is widely used in both households and businesses, the chances of being exposed to harmful levels of the gas are high. Propane is an asphyxiant, meaning it can cause suffocating at extremely high doses. High-concentration exposure might potentially result in cardiac arrest, unconsciousness, or seizures. Frostbite can be caused by prolonged skin contact. Propane exposure at lower amounts can harm the central nervous system, lungs, and eyes, among other organs.