Few people know i was a mean propane filling maker in mine high college days in ~ Taylor Hardware. As a result, I know a couple of things around tank tare weights (an empty tank"s weight) and other propane lingo.

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For the critical 7 years I had my trusty Weber grill hooked into a 500 gallon secret tank in ~ the residence in Taylors. Once I moved earlier this year come an all-electric residence I had actually to switch earlier to a traditional 20 lb BBQ grill tank. I additionally considered 30, 33, 40, 60, and 100 lb cylinders, to prevent refilling as often. I discovered that new 30 or 33 lb cylinders room at least double the price of a 20 lb, and also finding lightly used ones on Craigslist wasn"t happening.

I choose up a brand-new 20 lb tank in ~ the house Depot because that 29.97, minus 10% off rivals coupon and also a 10% discount top top a gift card purchased on eBay. (Costco selling tanks because that 28.99 contrasted to Amazon"s about $45). Now, wherein to fill it?

A small About Propane Tanks

These "20 lb" tanks room designed come take approximately 20 pounds of propane. Girlfriend may gain a pound or 2 less, relying on the temperature the the tank and surrounding air once the tank to be filled. Cooler = an ext propane in, hot = much less in. Tanks can actually fit one more 20% in the tank, yet that extra an are is design for development as the temperature rises.

In very cold winter climates, choose Canada, there might be an ext concern/rules around filling a tank come a complete 20 lbs. This is since if you leaving a tank outside in an extremely cold temps, fill the tank as soon as the tank is cold, and also then lug it into a hot basement/garage because that a an are heater, the gas will expand as the tank warms. With sufficient of a temperature increase, the tank"s push relief value will release a little of gas. This would be much less of an problem if the relief worth were bleeding to external air.


All propane tanks have a "tare weight" or "T.W." stamped on the collar the the tank. Because that a grill size tank you just calculate the tare load + 20 lbs, and that"s how much the tank must weigh as soon as it"s full. Most 20 lb tanks have actually a tare weight of +/- 17 pounds when fully empty. This method a "full" propane tank must weigh about 37 pounds.

There is additionally a month and year ~ above the collar describe the date the tank to be made. Because that 20 lb propane tanks, you have 12 year from the to produce date before the tank have to be re-certified with a brand-new date stamped on it. The re-certification just adds 5 years before having come re-certify again. The cost and inconvenience that re-certifying virtually always outweighs the price that a brand-new tank.

Brand new propane tanks may come with air inside and need to it is in "purged" before the very first fill. Some newer tanks, prefer Bernzomatic, will have actually a sticker top top them saying they don"t have to be purged in ~ 6 months of the produce date.

Purging requires a one-of-a-kind adapter to enable a small amount of propane in. The press then pushes air out of a one-way bleeder valve. Purging may add another $3-4 dollars come a new tank, though some areas don"t charge, specifically if girlfriend buy the tank native them.

The mathematics on Refills at Costco

Internet searches indicate the following:

1 gallon the propane weighs 4.2 poundsA "full" 20 lb cylinder should have 4.7 gallons or propane in it

I referred to as around and also the neighborhood U-Haul ar wanted $16 because that a refill. I remember Costco has actually a authorize for $9.99 refills. I thought I was getting a great deal, but it turns out i pretty much obtained no deal.


Costco in Greenville, SC is a little deceiving due to the fact that they first hand you a on slide that states "20 lb cylinder". As soon as you pay within the receipt claims "20lb PROPANE", and also the filling print out claims "Cylinder: 20S lbs." The only defense is the the filling publish out is honest and also says "3.6 gallons". However, nobody knows off the top of your head that a propane tank is claimed to have 4.7 gallons come be taken into consideration "full". By saying 3.6 gallons, they space masking the truth that they put in 75%. If they wanted to it is in upfront they"d say "we will placed 15 lbs that propane into this 20 lb cylinder".

This method Costco place in 15 lb that propane.

3.6 gallons / 4.7 gallons = 75% that the common fill.

or, said an additional way

(4.2 pounds/gallons) * (3.6 gallons) = 15 pounds

The word on the net forums is the the Blue Rhino and AmeriGas comparable exchange services put in 75%, or 15 lbs.

If you execute the math on Costco, it"s actually not a bad price. It"s in line, if not cheaper, 보다 paying $16 for a full 20 lbs. Though, Costco"s use of the "20 lb" expression is unfortunate. I think their motivation is to have a cheaper price, therefore members think they are getting a an excellent deal. Plus, by only filling 75% they do members come back much more often, and also go inside to shop while lock wait.

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ConclusionIf you"re in search of the finest price, owning a propane tank and also re-filling that is going to be cheaper than using an exchange service. Together always, you salary a premium because that convenience.Ask just how much propane is going into the cylinder. There need to be 20 pounds walk in for complete capacity.Weigh the tank when you acquire home and it must be around 37 pounds. If that weighs 31-32 pounds climate you know they only put in 15 lbs the propane.Costco"s propane price is tho fair once you carry out the math.Bonus - Weber Grills

I also assembled the grills at Taylor Hardware. Weber Grills were by far the finest we sold. Reasonable care and a covering will quickly give her Weber grill 10-20 years of life. You deserve to buy various other cheap brands and they will have steel components that rust out in 2-3 years. You deserve to buy a fancy looking stainless stole brand from home Depot and it will most likely not rust, but it will chef unevenly or the handle or wheels will certainly break off and also you"ll be earlier to the store in 5 years for a brand-new grill.

Bonus - next Burners

I additionally helped market the BBQ grills. We sold a couple of with side burners, but we never ever pushed them. Ns recall countless conversations v customers who had actually paid more for a next burner in the past and never provided it, regardless of their best intentions. Opportunities are that you will use the side burner once or twice, therefore don"t invest the money unless you room absolutely sure you"re going to usage it