Reading Your Propane Gauge Accurately

Hand Hold Propane GaugeReading your Propane Tank Gauge to see if you need propane can be as simple as checking to see if you need milk.

Here’s a simple “how-to” guide for you to check your tank gauge. Knowing how to read your propane tank gauge will help accurately relay the information to one of our Customer Service Representatives if you are asked for a percentage on your tank(s), or call for a delivery.

You may have heard before that the gauge shows the total amount of gallons in the tank. Incorrect! It actually displays the liquid propane level as a percentage of the capacity of your tank. Propane is actually stored as a liquid in your tank and vaporizes as needed to provide fuel to your propane appliances.

First, you will need to find the gauge under the dome on your tank. It looks like an old-style meat thermometer. Not every propane tank has the same gauge. But they all have the same purpose, to show you how much propane is in your tank.

Below are three examples of propane gauges:

Using these examples, Gauge A is reading 5%, Gauge B is reading 40% and Gauge C is reading 18%. This is the percentage that you will relay when you call for a delivery.

If you want to know how much propane your tank has based upon your gauge percentage, you will need to know your tank size. Some common sizes are 28 gallon, 57 gallon, and 120-gallon vertical tanks. Horizontal tanks range from 120 gallons up to 1,000 gallons and can be above or underground. If you are unsure of your tank size, you can call and ask us to provide that information to you.

Different Size Propane Tanks

To calculate how many gallons of propane you have in your tank you multiply the gauge percentage by the size of your tank. For example, if your 57-gallon tank is at 40 percent you have approximately 22.8 gallons of propane. Another example would be if you have a 250-gallon horizontal tank to run your generator and the gauge is reading 30% you would have 75 gallons of propane.  

If calculating your fuel level isn’t something you want to take on, consider being on Automatic Fuel Delivery. We will monitor your fuel usage manually based upon your fuel consumption patterns, or by supplying a tank monitor. We schedule deliveries based upon these methods to ensure you don’t run out of propane giving you total peace of mind.

While we always recommend Automatic Delivery, knowing how to read your propane tank gauge is excellent homeowner knowledge! If you do choose to be a “Will Call” account, please call us when your gauge is between 30% and 40% to schedule a delivery. 

Looking for a visual demonstration? Propane.com has put together a short video on reading the gauge on your propane tank.