An empty 20-pound propane tank weighs between 17 and 19 pounds. The exact weight can vary based on the tank manufacturer and model.

Propane tanks are essential for fueling grills, heaters, and other appliances. Knowing the weight of an empty tank helps you estimate how much fuel you can add and when it’s time for a refill.

It’s crucial for safety and efficiency to recognize the weight of these cylinders.

Whether you’re preparing for a barbecue or ensuring your home heating is in check, understanding the specifications of your propane tank is key.

As users exchange or refill their tanks, they should be aware that the weight of the tank will influence the total amount of propane needed.

Regularly checking your propane tank’s weight helps in maintaining proper fuel levels and guarantees optimal performance of your appliances.

How Heavy is an Empty Propane Tank?

Propane Tanks And Their Uses

Propane tanks are versatile containers used to store and transport propane gas. Propane gas serves many purposes, from heating homes to fueling barbecues.

An empty propane tank’s weight depends on its size, typically around 18 to 20 pounds for a common 20-pound tank. Knowing the weight is crucial for safety and refilling.

Common Applications

Propane tanks power up various applications:

  • Home heating: Keeps houses warm.
  • Cooking: Fuels stoves and grills.
  • Hot water: Heats water for baths and showers.
  • Generators: Provides energy during outages.

Types Of Propane Tanks

Propane tanks come in different shapes and sizes:

Type Capacity Empty Weight
Portable 20 lbs 18-20 lbs
Residential 500-1,000 gallons 950-1,800 lbs
Commercial 2,000 gallons+ 3,700 lbs+

Choose the right tank for your needs. Safety and capacity are key.

Components Of A Propane Tank

Components Of A Propane Tank

Understanding the components of a propane tank is essential. Whether for a backyard grill or a camping trip, these components ensure safe and efficient operation.

Let’s delve into the details.

Material Constructs

A tank’s main body is usually made of steel or aluminum. Steel tanks are heavier but more resistant to damage. Aluminum tanks are lighter, making them easier to transport.

  • Steel: Durable and cost-effective
  • Aluminum: Lightweight with corrosion resistance

Safety Features

Propane tanks include several safety mechanisms to prevent accidents:

Feature Function
Pressure Relief Valve Releases gas if pressure gets too high
OPD Valve Prevents overfilling of the tank
Service Valve Connects to devices, controls gas flow
Fixed Liquid Level Gauge Indicates when tank is at filling capacity

Determining The Empty Weight

Understanding a propane tank’s empty weight ensures safe and proper use. This guide simplifies the process of finding out just how much an empty tank weighs.

It involves two key elements: learning about tare weight and reading tank markings. Knowing this weight is crucial for refilling and transportation.

Tare Weight Explained

The term ‘Tare Weight’ refers to the weight of an empty propane tank. This does not include any gas inside.

The tare weight lets users know the weight they’ll handle without the propane. It varies by tank size and material, like steel or aluminum.

Typically, for a 20-pound tank, the tare weight is around 17 to 19 pounds.

Reading Tank Markings

Every propane tank has markings that provide essential information. Among them, the tare weight is stamped directly on the tank.

Look for the letters ‘TW’ followed by a number. This number is the tare weight in pounds. For example, TW-18 would mean the empty tank weighs 18 pounds.

Common Tank Sizes and Tare Weights
Tank Size (lbs) Tare Weight (lbs)
20 17-19
30 23-25
40 29-32
100 65-80
  • Identify the ‘TW’ stamp on your tank.
  • Note the number that follows ‘TW.’
  • This number represents the tank’s tare weight.

Weight Differences Across Sizes

Weight Differences Across Sizes

Not all propane tanks weigh the same. Empty tanks differ in weight. We will explore how much different sizes weigh.

Tanks range from small portable to large residential. Let’s dive into the specifics of each size category.

Small Portable Tank Weights

Small portable propane tanks are light. They are easy to carry. Common sizes include 1 pound, 5 pounds, 10 pounds, and 20 pounds.

  • 1-pound tank: about 2 pounds when empty
  • 5-pound tank: roughly 8 pounds when empty
  • 10-pound tank: usually weighs 16 pounds empty
  • 20-pound tank: about 18 pounds empty, typical for BBQ grills

Large Residential Tank Weights

Large residential tanks fuel homes and appliances. They are much heavier than portable tanks. Sizes vary widely here as well.

Size (gallons) Empty Weight (pounds)
100 gallons 175 pounds
250 gallons 480 pounds
500 gallons 950 pounds
1000 gallons 1800 pounds

Remember, the weight depends on the size. Make sure to choose the right tank for your needs. A suitable tank ensures safety and convenience.

Refilling & Weight Considerations

Understanding the nuances of refilling and the weight considerations for propane tanks is essential.

It ensures safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Let’s explore ‘How Heavy is an Empty Propane Tank’ and clear up our refilling queries.

When To Refill?

Known as the “20-pound tank,” a typical steel propane tank weighs about 17 to 19 pounds when empty. With propane, it reaches about 37 pounds.

Check the tank’s tare weight (labeled as “TW”) to know its empty weight. Refill the tank when it’s empty or nearly so.

You don’t want to run short on propane during important times like a family barbecue!

Signs telling you to refill include:

  • Decreased flame size
  • The dismal performance of propane-fueled appliances
  • The gauge reads 20% or lower

Calculating Propane Needs Based On Weight

To calculate your propane needs, consider:

  1. The tare weight (TW) of your tank
  2. The capacity it can hold when full (usually 20 pounds of propane)

A full tank minus the TW equals the weight of the propane. So if your tank’s TW is 18 pounds and it weighs 38 pounds, you have 20 pounds of propane.


Weight Status
Below TW Empty Tank
Equal to TW Ready to Refill
TW + 20 pounds Full of Propane

Plan your refills based on use. For grilling, refill early to avoid running out mid-cookout. For home heating, consider regular delivery to never run low.

Safety Tips For Handling Propane Tanks

Propane tanks are vital for fueling many home appliances and outdoor grills. Even an empty propane tank carries weight and holds potential risks.

Understanding these risks is crucial. Ensuring your safety requires proper handling. Bold moves and careful attention are your tools of the trade.

Transportation And Storage

Getting your tank from point A to B should not involve risky business. Always transport your propane tank in an upright position.

Secure it to prevent it from tipping over. Use a crate or a safety strap if necessary.

Make sure the vehicle is well-ventilated. This keeps everyone safe from possible leaks. Never leave a propane tank in a hot car.

Extreme temperatures can cause a build-up of pressure.

Propane Tank Storage Checklist
Storage Tips Description
Location Store outside, in a shady spot.
Orientation Keep upright, on a flat surface.
Cover Protect from elements with a cover.

Proper Disposal And Recycling

Never throw a propane tank in the trash. Its materials can be recycled. Check local regulations for disposal rules.

Many communities offer special collection days for hazardous materials.

For tanks that are no longer usable, find a certified recycler. Follow these steps:

  • Empty the tank completely.
  • Remove all attachments.
  • Contact the recycler to confirm the drop-off process.

Serviceable tanks can be refilled by professionals. Always choose safety and responsibility. Your actions protect you and the environment.

FAQs About the Weight of an Empty Propane Tank

What Is The Weight Of An Empty Propane Tank?

Empty propane tanks, specifically the common 20-pound BBQ-style models, typically weigh around 17-19 pounds. They are designed to hold about 20 pounds of propane when full.

How To Determine If A Propane Tank Is Empty?

To determine if a tank is empty, check its weight and compare it to its tare weight (TW), which indicates the tank’s empty weight. Another method is to pour warm water on the side of the tank and feel for a temperature change where the level of propane starts.

Can Propane Tanks Be Different Weights?

Yes, propane tanks can vary in weight depending on their size and capacity. Smaller tanks for grills may weigh less while larger residential or commercial tanks will be heavier. Each tank has its weight stamped into its collar for reference.

Is An Empty Propane Tank Lighter Than Full?

An empty propane tank is significantly lighter than a full one. A full 20-pound propane tank weighs about 37 pounds, with 20 pounds being the weight of the propane itself. An empty tank’s weight is the tare weight, usually around 17-19 pounds.


Understanding the weight of an empty propane tank is essential for safe handling and transportation.

Typically, these tanks weigh between 18 to 30 pounds, depending on their size and construction.

Remember to check the tank’s tare weight, often marked on the collar, for accurate figures.

Proper knowledge ensures you’re equipped for efficient use and refills, so keep these details handy for your next barbecue or camping trip.


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