Propane refill – 4 ways to tell if you need to refill your propane tank

A grey-haired white man holds up his hands in exasperation as he sits outside of a large propane tank outside in the snow.
How do you know if your tank propane tank is empty?

Fills are important for everyone that uses propane as a heating source. For some, it is an expense that will vary depending on the weather, and for others, it is a set amount every time the tank runs low. A refill may become more than just your monthly heating bill if you do not have your appliances properly maintained. This article outlines four steps to finding out if you need a refill so you can decide if certain maintenance is necessary for your home.

1. If the Propane Gauge Is Below 20% it is DEFINITLEY time for a refill

All big residential tanks 100 gallons and above will have fuel gauges on them. These will look like a pressure gauge that goes from 0 to 100. The number reads the percentage of the tank that is full, NOT the number of gallons in the tank.

Since propane easily changes between a gas and a liquid, it's best to leave a little extra room in the tank for fluctuation. So a tank is "full" at around 80%.

In order to avoid running out of propane and being left without heat, fill your tank when it is as 20%.

Oregon Propane makes it so that you don't even need to go check. We install wireless gauges that send us a signal when the tank gets low.

2. When smaller propane tanks get light

For smaller propane tanks that you can pick up, a good method to see if you need a refill is to just lift up the tank!

Propane is about as heavy as water. Imagine if you filled your 15 gallon tank with water - it gets pretty heavy and definitely takes both hands to lift.

So if you can lift the tank easily it is time for a propane refill. It can also help to shake it around a little.

Full tanks are heavy and don't slosh too much. Half full tanks slosh a good amount. Empty propane tanks are light and don't slosh.

3. Get a propane refill when the weather gets colder

The winter months mean that you’ll have to use your propane differently. As temperatures drop, your heat is on more and more often.

Being out in rural Oregon means we have to do a lot to winterize our homes. Insulation on the water faucets, patching leaks, and topping up on propane should all be on the checklist. You don't want to be caught with an empty tank during the first frost.

Oregon Propane makes it easy to adjust to the changing seasons by monitoring your propane levels for you. That way you don't even have to check to see if you need a propane refill yourself! We'll do it for you.

4. If the Flame Is Weak On Propane Appliances you should refill

Piolet lights and gas stoves should always have an blue, steady flame. Without a steady stream of fuel, propane appliances shut off and can’t generate heat. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs that your supply might be low.

Appliances to check:

  • Oven (this is inside the oven)
  • Hot water heater (there should be a little window near the bottom of the heater)
  • Propane Refrigerator (there should also be a little window)

Propane piolet lights are blue and burn evenly. If the light has flecks of orange and is sputtering or dancing, it's time for more gas.

Oregon Propane can help you keep your appliances working so that you never have to go without heat, hot water, or refrigeration.

Get the best service from Oregon Propane

There are few things more annoying than a winter fuel shortage. In fact, being out in rural Oregon like Bend and Eagle Creek, being without heat can be downright deadly.

Running out of propane can be avoided by making sure you have a plan in place. Regularly check your levels to make sure you don't run out.

Feeling anxious about constantly checking levels? Oregon Propane can lift that burden by installing wireless gauge monitors that alert us when the tank needs a refill.

Call us today! Switching is easy.

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