A Guide To Refilling Your BBQ Propane Tank

Bbq Grill

Tips For Staying Grill-Ready All Year Long

In Cayman, we are lucky to be able to grill all year long. Propane is a safe, clean, and cost-effective way to fuel your BBQ. With a year-long grilling season, how do you avoid running out of propane? And what do you do if it happens?

Fortunately, it’s easy and convenient to exchange your propane tank or pick up an extra at Clean Gas.

Here’s what you need to know about your propane tank. 

Standard BBQ Tank Size

A 20-pound cylinder is the standard barbeque propane tank that you will use for your grill and other outdoor appliances. Don’t be concerned if your new tank feels a bit light. Legally, propane tanks may only be filled to 80 percent capacity for safety reasons. 

The overfill prevention system on 20-pound cylinders limits the amount of propane to approximately 17.8 litres. This safety precaution is essential because propane expands and contracts at different temperatures, so the additional space acts as a buffer against pressure buildup on extremely hot days.

Checking the Propane Tank Level

Before you begin grilling, you should determine the amount of propane in the tank. You can purchase a gauge to read tank levels, but here’s a simple trick to get a quick read. 

Simply pour warm water down the side of the cylinder and then feel along the side. The level of remaining propane is indicated by the point at which the cylinder turns significantly colder to the touch. This portion of the tank becomes cooler as a result of the propane absorbing the heat from the warm water.

Average Duration of a BBQ Propane Tank 

Curious about how long your BBQ propane tank will last? Depending on the size of your grill, fuel consumption varies considerably. A 20-pound tank can typically fuel a medium-sized grill for 18-20 hours. That’s quite a few cookouts! While cylinders can be refilled numerous times over the years, they do expire after 10 years and must be replaced or requalified. 

Attaching Your Propane Tank To Your Grill 2

Refilling A BBQ Propane Tank

In Cayman, propane cylinders must be changed or examined and requalified by a certified technician every 10 years. This is because the tank is pressurized to contain flammable propane gas as a liquid, and any filling errors or damage to the tank could result in a fire or explosion. It is illegal and a safety hazard to fill an expired or damaged cylinder, especially on your own. 

Propane Cylinder Storage 

Propane is generally safe to use, though there are some precautions to keep in mind to prevent potential danger: 

  • Keep propane cylinder outside whenever possible 
  • Keep propane cylinder away from ignition sources such as heat and matches 
  • Disconnect the cylinder when storing and ensure it is properly capped or plugged 
  • Do not store the propane cylinder under or near your BBQ 
  • Store cylinder upright in a secure, well-ventilated area, off the ground if possible, on a non-combustible surface

Additionally, it is crucial not to transport propane in an enclosed environment, set the cylinder on the floor of the trunk with the windows open and ensure the tank is not rolling about.

Explore this helpful resource to learn more about propane safety. 

BBQ Propane Tank Expiration, Requalification & Recertification 

Examine the markings on the collar of your tank to determine the expiration date. These markings will indicate the date it was manufactured or requalified. The manufacture date displays the month and year of the cylinder’s production. For instance, a marking of “04 19” indicates that the cylinder was made in April, 2019. Therefore, the cylinder will be subject to requalification or replacement in April, 2029. 

If the manufacturer date is older than 10 years, look instead for a requalification stamp indicating it has been examined by a certified requalifier. These markings are a set of letters and numbers ending with the letter ‘E’. There may be multiple markings, so locate the most recent one to identify the expiration date. 

Important to note, if you need to discard your propane cylinder, it must be disposed of with hazardous waste and never with domestic recycling or rubbish. Contact Clean Gas to return or exchange an unwanted used tank.

As grill enthusiasts, we want you to stay grill-ready year round. Follow this guide to ensure you always have enough propane in the tank for that next BBQ. 

If you found this blog helpful, check out our interesting article on how to create your dream outdoor kitchen with propane.

Reach out to a propane specialist at Clean Gas to learn more and to receive a free home energy assessment. Call 223-4427 or drop us a line at gopropane@cleangas.ky