How Many Gallons of Propane in a 100 Pound Propane Tank?

It probably goes without saying, but a 100 lb propane tank is designed to hold 100 pounds of propane. Because propane is stored and delivered as a liquid, it can be helpful to know what this looks like in terms of gallons.  While there’s a fairly simple answer, there are a few different factors that can affect how many gallons are in a 100 pound propane tank.

The Simple Answer

To put it simply, there are 0.236 gallons per pound of propane (at 60°F).

So, 0.236 gallons x 100 pounds = 23.6 gallons

A 100 lb tanks contains 23.6 gallons

Other Factors

Additional factors don’t add a significant difference to the total volume of 100 pounds of propane, but are interesting to consider.

Water Capacity

Each gas cylinder will have a water capacity number stamped on the collar (it will be something like WC 240). This is the total mass of liquid, stated in pounds, that a cylinder could hold if filled entirely with water.

However, when filled with propane, gas cylinders can only be filled up to 42% of the water capacity (this is to accommodate for the fluctuations in tank pressure as temperatures change)

For this example, 240 (water capacity) x 0.42 (max. capacity)= 100.8 pounds

So our tank can actually hold a maximum of 100.8 lb.

As stated above, we know that each pound of propane is 0.236 gallons.

0.236 gallons x 100.8 pounds = 23.789 gallons

Again, this doesn’t make a huge difference, but is still a factor to consider.

How Temperature Affects Tank Pressure

The examples above assume an ambient temperature of 60°F. At this temp, a “full” tank would produce a reading of about 40% on a tank gauge. When temperatures drop, however, that reading will go down. This is not because there is less usable propane in the tank, the propane has just become more dense or compact and the volume has decreased. The reverse happens as temperatures rise; the tank gauge reading will go up, but it’s still the same weight of propane in the tank– the molecules have just become more spread out.

What Happens When Tanks Get Cold?

While there is still the same usable amount of propane in a cold tank, the lower pressure can cause tanks to stop working properly. Keeping tank pressure up may require more frequent refills; even when there is still “usable” propane in the tank, the volume is not high enough and additional propane must be added to bring tank pressure back up.

Heated propane tank wraps can keep you from having to make time consuming and expensive refills by raising your tank temperature and, consequently, your tank pressure. If you frequently use propane during cold weather months, they’re definitely worth checking out! (Give us a call at 888.316.6324 if you have any questions!)

How Does a Ground Heater Work?

If you participate in projects that require digging or pouring concrete during cold weather, you’ve probably used or considered using  ground heaters. Ground heaters can extend working seasons into the winter and make tasks otherwise complicated by low temps a bit easier. They can be used to thaw frozen ground, cure concrete, and even to warm up surrounding air temperatures. How ground heaters work depends on which type of ground heater you’re using; the most common are hydronic heaters and heated blankets. Hydronic heaters work by heating a propylene glycol mixture and pumping it through long loops of hose that are placed over the area to be heated. Heated blankets work via heating elements that run through the blanket and distribute heat over the surface of the blanket.

Why Use Ground Heaters?

As mentioned earlier, there are a few good reasons to look into using a ground heater.

1. Thaw Frozen Ground

Even with power tools, digging through frozen ground is unnecessarily time consuming and labor intensive (and without power tools, it’s pretty much impossible). Not to mention, most specifications prevent teams from placing concrete on frozen ground. Without ground heaters, that could mean pushing pause on all concrete projects for months at a time! Using a heater will make digging a (relative) breeze and keep operations running all winter long.

2. Cure Concrete

Concrete curing involves a chemical reaction that requires fairly specific temperatures. When temperatures aren’t high enough (above 40-50°F), the necessary chemical reactions will slow down and the concrete can essentially stop curing.

According to the American Concrete Institute (ACI), when concrete is poured at or below 42°F, there must be heat protection for an adequate cure.

Ground heaters can keep concrete at ideal temperatures during the entire curing process and help achieve max cure strength.

How do Ground Heaters Work?

Hydronic Heaters

Hydronic heaters are portable and can be rented out for projects or bought (a better option if you’ll be using a heater frequently). They use a propylene glycol mixture to heat large areas of ground. Here’s how they work:

  1. A boiler heats the propylene glycol mixture (this mixture effectively conducts heat).
  2. The heated mixture is pumped through a length of hose that is laid in loops over the area to be heated.
  3. A vapor barrier is used to cover the hoses and to keep moisture from escaping.
  4. Typically, Insulated blankets are also laid over the vapor barrier.

Heated Blankets

Heated blankets offer all the portability and convenience of hydronic heaters and then some — they take less time to install and remove and, because they take up less space, are easier to transport.

Instead of long loops of hose and a propylene glycol mix, heated blankets use electric heating elements that run through the blanket and heat the ground surface.

  1. The blanket is spread out over the area to be heated and plugged in.
  2. Electricity powers the heating elements that run through the blanket.
  3. Heated blankets typically include an insulating top layer that traps heat and keeps the blanket working even more efficiently.

Powerblanket provides ground heating blankets including ground thawing blankets and concrete curing blankets. If you’re interested in these heating options, please give us a call at 888.316.6324.  We’d be happy to answer any questions!