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How to Read a Propane Tank Gauge

Everything you need to know about your propane tank levels.

gas gauge Rockaway, NJ Having a propane tank on your property can free you from the service interruptions associated with natural gas utilities and their often outdated infrastructure. However, you still need to ensure that your tank is filled so you can accommodate the energy needs of your heating system, water heater, cooking range, clothes dryer and other gas-fired products.

For households in Rockaway and throughout Northern New Jersey, Dixon Energy provides extremely dependable propane delivery service, including several ways to avoid unexpected run-outs. He can also offer guidance on how to keep track of your propane levels. Here are some answers to common questions we receive on this topic.

How do you read a propane tank gauge?

You can typically locate the gauge under a dome situated on top of your tank. Lift the hood, and you should see a gauge with numbers ranging from 5 to 95. These numbers indicate the percentage fill of your tank, not the number of gallons. So, if the needle is pointing to 50 on a 250-gallon propane tank, the tank likely contains about 125 gallons of fuel.

Bear in mind that this gauge measures the current volume of your propane (how much space it takes up) using a float on the end of a stem. Because propane expands and contracts with outdoor temperature fluctuations, there might be slight variations in your gauge reading if temperatures drop or rise quickly.

Why do you never see a propane tank gauge reading 100%?

You might have noticed that, after a propane delivery, your tank gauge normally reads about 80%. Propane companies never fill an aboveground propane tank higher than 80%. That’s because propane’s volume can expand quite a bit in warm weather. The “80-20 fill rule” is a safety precaution, leaving adequate space for your propane to expand safely.

How can you avoid propane run-outs with Dixon Energy?

Life gets hectic. It can be all too easy to forget to check your propane tank gauge. But a propane run-out is a huge, potentially pricy inconvenience. You could lose your home’s heating and hot water, plus other crucial appliances. We’ll rush someone out with an emergency propane delivery, but we won’t be able to fill your tank until we perform a safety leak test.

Happily, Dixon Energy offers Garden State homeowners some convenient ways to ensure they never run out of propane.

You can take advantage of FREE automatic delivery. With this service, Dixon Energy calculates your propane usage based on your home’s size, your prior propane usage and current weather conditions. Then, we’ll set up your next delivery well in advance so you won’t run low.

Want around-the-clock access to your propane tank levels? We also offer propane tank monitoring with TankUtility. A wireless tank monitor transmits real-time data about how much fuel you have on hand. We can track this monitor to know precisely when you need fuel. (Tank monitoring is especially useful for households with irregular usage patterns.) Plus, you can follow your readings via a smartphone app wherever you are!

To take advantage of these convenient automatic delivery programs, become a Dixon Energy customer.