How to Read the Gauge on a 100 Lb Propane Tank

Propane gas tanks provide an easy and secure way to store fuel for heating and cooking.

The main problem with a propane tank is knowing when the gas is about to run out. This usually happens in the middle of grilling a meal or right when a blizzard is about to hit. Fortunately, you can use a gauge to monitor the propane in your tank so you'll be prepared to get it refilled. Just follow these steps to read the gauge on a 100 pound propane tank.

Connect the gauge between the tank and the fuel line so the dial is facing up. Most propane gauges screw into the side nozzle of the tank and twist to secure.

Connect the fuel line to the other end of the propane gauge and hand-tighten.

Open the valve on top of the propane tank by twisting counterclockwise. This will allow the pressurized propane to flow to the gauge so you can measure the quantity.

Check the dial to gauge how much propane is in the tank. On color-coded gauges, green means you have at least half a tank of fuel. Yellow indicates the propane level has dropped to 25 percent. When the needle drops to the red zone, the tank will be empty in 10-15 minutes, depending on your rate of consumption. For cooking purposes, the remaining time will depend on how high the burners are set.

For graded gauges, simply read the number on the gauge lined up with the needle. If the needle is at the halfway mark on the dial, you have approximately 50 pounds of pressurized propane remaining in a 100-pound tank.

Use a weigh-scale gauge by hooking the wire clamp on the gauge to the handle on the propane tank, then lift the tank from the ground. The needle on the gauge will move to show an approximate reading on the amount of propane remaining in the tank. These types of gauges are marked to show fuel at the 3/4 mark, as well as 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8th increments in-between.

Things You Will Need

  • 100 pound propane tank with gas gauge


  • Some in-line gauges are also equipped with a leak detector for added safety. If you get a leak reading, shut off the tank valve and do not use until the problem is solved.

About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.