man reading a gas gauge

How to Read a Propane Tank Gauge

According to recent information provided by the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), 50 million households in America use propane for cooking, heating, and more! That’s certainly a lot of propane storage tanks with a propane tank gauge that needs monitoring!

So, how to read a propane tank gauge? 

Reading propane tank gauge means setting aside all you know about reading other types of gauges, such as the gas gauge in your car. A propane tank gauge does not work in the same way.

In addition to discussing exactly how to read a propane tank gauge, we’ll also go over propane uses and, most importantly, propane tank safety, as these are topics that every residential propane user should know. Propane 101 is now in session!

Propane Use

There are many propane use ideas for any household, from primary and backup heating sources to ovens and grills. Generators, fireplaces, tankless water heaters, stoves, and pool heaters are just a few items that can be powered efficiently, cleanly, and affordably by propane gas.

You might not even think about other products, such as specialty cookers, fryers, and even lighting, can use propane. You’ll save between 30% and 50% when you use propane-powered products compared to electric-powered products. That’s quite substantial!

Partnering with many top manufacturers in the business and using highly trained and knowledgeable technicians, Diversified Energy is ready to help incorporate propane into your daily life. Diversified Energy does it all: supplying and installing above- and underground propane storage tanks, laying out the design of outdoor kitchens and propane gas lines, installing and maintaining propane products, and so much more.

Whether you’re remodeling, upgrading, or building new, Diversified Energy can bring your ideas to fruition if propane is in your plans.

Propane Tanks

Residential propane use depends on having a storage tank on your property. If you’re using propane to power your heating source and appliances such as your clothes dryer and stove, you have a propane storage tank near your home or buried somewhere in your yard.

When it comes to propane storage tanks, one size does not fit all. There are four propane storage tank sizes most commonly used for home use:

  • 120-gallon tank: handles basic propane use for a home, such as cooking and space heating.
  • 250-gallon tank: for more moderate propane use, such as small home or supplemental heating.
  • 330-gallon tank: a tank with this capacity is used for medium home heating (as the main source or supplemental), hot water, and multiple burners; adequate for propane use of 200-400 gallons/month.
  • 500-gallon tank: most frequently used for large home heating and powering all appliances and other products and for small commercial operations.

The 120-gallon propane storage is available in a vertical or horizontal configuration; all other tank sizes are horizontal-only.

For esthetic reasons, tanks can be installed underground; however, it is important to stress that installing an underground propane storage tank is not a weekend project for the average homeowner. Licensed, trained professionals such as those working for Diversified Energy can properly install your underground tank that is guaranteed to meet all safety and other standards.

How to Read a Gauge

Okay, we may have taken a little detour, but now that you know more about propane usage and storage tanks, back to our opening topic: how DO you read that gauge on your propane tank?

Remember that we said a propane tank gauge does not work as many other gauges work. You have six gallons available when your car gas gauge is at half and you have a 12-gallon gas tank. One of the most important facts about your propane tank gauge is that it reflects the percentage of your tank’s capacity, NOT the available gallons of propane.

Another important fact is that your gauge reads 80% when full: that’s the maximum fill percentage of any propane tank. Since stored propane is in liquid form, it will expand and contract due to temperature changes. Thus, a filled propane tank puts the gauge at 80.

So, when your gauge reads 20, your tank is 20% full. If you have a 250-gallon tank at 20%, you have 50 gallons of propane left.

When calling in for propane delivery, it’s a good idea not to let the tank get below 20%. That’s an excellent marker to go with when it’s time for a refill and gives you a few days’ cushions. Less than 10%, and you’ll need to get propane delivered as quickly as possible to avoid running out.


Knowing how to read your propane storage tank gauge is essential to identifying when you need to get a refill and avoiding potential problems with letting your storage tank run totally out of gas.

Running out of propane means your appliances don’t work. If you rely on propane for home heating, for instance, and you’ve used up all of your propane supply, your furnace doesn’t operate.

But beyond the obvious, there are safety issues involved with letting your propane tank empty itself. First, a valve could be left open, so when a propane delivery company like Diversified Energy shows up to fill your tank, an open valve could result in a gas leak.

Also, any pilot light will go out if you entirely run out of propane. This can be dangerous, as the propane will continue to vent, and any spark, such as a cigarette or even static electricity, could cause an explosion or fire. So, you’ll need to make sure that it is addressed properly to avoid any problems.

Finally, federal regulations call for a leak test for any storage tank that has been drained of propane. There is a charge for this test, and it falls on the homeowner to foot that bill. This cost is easily avoidable by being vigilant about monitoring your propane tank gauge and not allowing the tank to be drained of gas.

Knowing how to read your propane tank gauge will save you money and aggravation. A short walk outside and applying a simple math formula is all it takes!

In every delivery, installation, and maintenance process Diversified conducts, safety is first and foremost. Our technicians are thoroughly trained and knowledgeable in all areas of safety standards and local codes. Every job performed by Diversified Energy follows every safety precaution and procedure to the letter.

Contact Diversified Energy

Suppose you reside in North Carolina or in or near Mount Joy, PA. In that case, you’re in luck: Diversified Energy has nine showrooms/offices servicing these areas and parts of South Carolina and Virginia. You can take full advantage of one of the largest propane retailers on the East Coast and enjoy propane delivery, product sales and installation, and propane appliance repair and maintenance.

There’s automatic “watchdog” delivery, which ensures you’ll never run out of propane. Diversified also offers 24/7 emergency response for leaks and other emergencies, storage tank leasing and sales, installation, and convenient bill pay and pricing options.

Join the Diversified Energy family and see how they adhere to top customer service principles that make them the choice of more than 25,000 satisfied customers.

Diversified Energy understands that no two person’s situation is the same. What works for one may not work for another. In keeping with our dedication to customer service and satisfaction, Diversified offers some budget-friendly pricing options.

Price Protection

Cap Price and Lock Price are two ways you, as a Diversified Energy customer, can best manage costs and budget for residential propane use.

With the Cap Price option, you pay a small sign-up fee, then commit to a monthly payment starting in early or mid-summer, before propane prices typically rise in the winter. You are capped at a certain level in this agreement, and your payment will not exceed that amount.

In the Lock Price option, you pay for pre-determined usage in advance or three bi-monthly payments starting in early or mid-summer. You are locked into those prices even when the cost of propane fluctuates during the colder months.

At Diversified Energy, we strive to make residential propane affordable for everyone!

Contact Us Today!

If you’re ready to work with a team that always puts their customers first, contact Diversified today! We have a friendly team that is eager to assist you with all your propane needs!

Diversified Provides Convenience

How else can Diversified Energy make you feel like a valued customer? By making sure you save time and effort! 

Propane Delivery

You don’t have to take the time to monitor your propane usage and call to arrange delivery. Let your propane supplier do the work for you!

You’re ensured interrupted supply with an automatic “Watchdog” delivery service. You never have to worry about your gas fireplace, stove, or tankless water heater losing the ability to function, even quickly.

This service is 100% worry-free. You never have to check your propane level or call to arrange propane delivery. Diversified keeps track of your propane and when to deliver with GPS-dispatched service vehicles in sync with a computerized system. It’s all done conveniently and with no effort from the homeowner!

Online Bill Pay

Well over half of all consumers’ bills are paid online. It’s easy and it’s convenient.

As a Diversified Energy customer, you can enjoy this convenience. Log into your account, and your bill is paid with a click or two. But wait, we’ll take it a step further: you can choose to have your payment auto-drafted in our Online Bill Pay option!

No need to call, log on, or write a check. Bill paid, propane tank full, you’re living a hassle-free life. It doesn’t get any better.

Not Only a Propane Supplier

As if our no-worry automatic delivery system, emergency response, and easy bill pay aren’t enough, you get more than just a propane supplier when you join the Diversified Energy family.

Here are some other ways being a Diversified Energy customer is worthwhile:

Assist with Home Upgrades

From securing necessary permits to conducting leak and pressure tests, Diversified Energy is truly your one-stop-shop for building or remodeling your home.

Our professionals can:

  • Design gas piping layout
  • Install gas pipes and propane storage tanks
  • Sell and install gas fireplaces, stoves, grills, and more
  • Sub-contract on natural gas systems
  • Complete all required tests for leaks and proper pressure

Endless Hot Water Products

Dreaming of endless hot water, where you never run out of steam in the shower or while washing the dishes? That dream is a reality with a tankless hot water heater, and it’s one more way that Diversified Energy goes above and beyond for its customers.

Working with three top manufacturers of tankless water heaters, Diversified Energy sells and installs these gas-powered, efficient systems in new and existing homes. Whether you need one or multiple fixtures, Diversified Energy lays out your water heater system, and you’re left with hot water when you need it, as much as you need.

Endless Propane Use Ideas

Diversified isn’t called Diversified for nothing! This propane supplier offers numerous propane use ideas, from outdoor kitchens to specialty cookers.

Partnering with the best manufacturers in the business, such as Hearthstone, Kozy Heat, Rinnai, Bradford-White, and Majestic, Diversified Energy introduces you to various ways propane can power your life from cooking and heating to grilling and even lighting.

Save money, save the environment, and save yourself a lot of headaches from dealing with other power companies and let Diversified Energy be your go-to residential propane supplier.

Contact Diversified Energy

Diversified is proud to be the best customer-oriented propane delivery company on the East Coast. Join more than 25,000 satisfied customers and contact Diversified Energy at one of their eight North Carolina locations or Mount Joy, PA, office, and learn more about how they can add you to their growing list of customers who rely on their prompt propane delivery, quick response, polite and certified technicians, and the highest quality products on the market.