How Can I Tell If My Propane Tank Is Low?

We go to great lengths to ensure our loved ones are safe — having reliable heat in the home is a big part of this. If you’re one of the many households that rely on propane, regularly checking your fuel levels should be as important as locking the doors at night, or making sure the stove is off before you leave for the day.

Checking a propane tank’s levels is quick and easy. Doing it regularly is a habit every homeowner should get into. Here’s how to do it:

  • Locate your propane tank. Large propane tanks can be installed either above or below ground, at least 10 feet away from the home and any other potential sources of ignition. An above ground tank should be easy to spot. To locate a buried tank, look for the small plastic dome that houses its valves and other components.
  • Check the float gauge. Unlike a smaller canister, large propane tanks are equipped with an easy-to-read float gauge system. As the name implies, this system uses a floating element to determine the level of propane fuel in your tank. This is clearly indicated by a simple dial that shows you the approximate percentage of fuel left.
  • Know when to refuel. Above ground propane tanks should not be filled beyond 80% of their capacity. Underground propane tanks should not exceed 85%. Most fuel suppliers recommend filling up when the float gauge indicates that the tank is around 20-30% of its capacity. However, many homeowners will choose to top off sooner than that, particularly when propane prices are at their seasonal low points.

While a float gauge can give you a good idea of how much propane is left in your tank, it’s not 100% accurate. For this reason, we recommend always erring on the side of caution to avoid running out.

Protect Yourself and Your Family — Never Run out of Fuel


Running out of fuel isn’t just a nuisance. It can also potentially introduce air into your heating system which can cause damage. Propane furnaces that have run out of fuel need to be restarted by a qualified professional.

As you become more familiar with your home’s heating needs, you’ll be able to anticipate in advance when refilling is required. Many homeowners like to set themselves calendar reminders or place a note on the fridge so they don’t forget to perform periodic checks.

Contact Foster Fuels for Propane Tank Refueling

Need a refill fast? Foster Fuels can help. Give us a call to schedule service at your convenience.

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