Propane is a common fuel source used for camping, outdoor grilling, and other outdoor activities. A 20lb propane tank is one of the most popular sizes used for outdoor activities. It is essential to know how long a 20lb propane tank lasts to avoid running out of fuel in the middle of a camping trip or outdoor activity. In this blog post, we will discuss how long a 20lb propane tank lasts, factors that affect its lifespan, and tips to extend its life.
How long does a 20lb propane tank last?
The lifespan of a 20lb propane tank depends on several factors, including the size of the flame, the frequency of use, and the ambient temperature. However, a rough estimate of the lifespan of a 20lb propane tank is between 18 and 20 hours. This estimate is based on using a 20,000 BTU grill with a moderate flame.
Factors that affect the lifespan of a 20lb propane tank
The lifespan of a 20lb propane tank can vary depending on several factors, including:
- Flame size: The size of the flame is a significant factor in determining how long a 20lb propane tank lasts. The larger the flame, the faster the propane will be consumed, reducing the lifespan of the tank.
- Frequency of use: If you use the propane tank frequently, it will last for a shorter time. In contrast, infrequent use will extend its lifespan.
- Ambient temperature: Propane gas expands in warmer temperatures, causing the pressure inside the tank to increase. This increase in pressure causes the propane to be consumed at a faster rate, reducing the lifespan of the tank.
Tips to extend the lifespan of a 20lb propane tank
To extend the lifespan of a 20lb propane tank, follow these tips:
- Use a smaller flame: Using a smaller flame will reduce the amount of propane consumed and extend the lifespan of the tank.
- Store the tank in a cool, dry place: Storing the tank in a cool, dry place will reduce the pressure inside the tank, slowing down the consumption of propane and extending the lifespan of the tank.
- Keep the tank upright: Storing the tank upright will prevent the propane from escaping and reduce the rate of consumption, extending the lifespan of the tank.
- Use a propane gauge: A propane gauge will help you monitor the level of propane in the tank and avoid running out of fuel unexpectedly. This will help you plan your usage and avoid wasting propane unnecessarily.
Additional Things to Consider
There are a few additional factors to consider when using a 20lb propane tank:
- Altitude: At higher altitudes, the pressure inside the tank decreases, which can affect the lifespan of the tank. At elevations above 7,000 feet, it is recommended to use a regulator designed for high-altitude use to ensure proper pressure and consumption.
- Type of appliance: The type of appliance you are using with the propane tank can also affect its lifespan. For example, a high BTU burner or heater will consume propane more quickly than a small grill.
- Tank age: Propane tanks have a lifespan of 12 years from the date of manufacture, after which they must be re-certified or replaced. It’s essential to check the age of your propane tank before using it to ensure it’s still safe and functional.
- Refilling vs. exchanging: When it’s time to refill your propane tank, consider refilling rather than exchanging the tank. Exchanged tanks are typically only filled to 15 pounds, leaving you with less propane than a full tank. Refilling your tank allows you to get the most out of it and avoid wasting propane unnecessarily.
By considering these additional factors, you can ensure that you are using your 20lb propane tank safely and efficiently, and getting the most out of its lifespan.
In conclusion, a 20lb propane tank can last between 18 and 20 hours, depending on the size of the flame, frequency of use, and ambient temperature. To extend the lifespan of the tank, use a smaller flame, store the tank in a cool, dry place, keep the tank upright, and use a propane gauge. By following these tips, you can avoid running out of fuel in the middle of an outdoor activity and get the most out of your propane tank.