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Old 04-24-2014, 05:59 PM   #1
BikerBill
 
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Propane tank volume in gallons or pounds

OK, I'd rather do a search but nothing specific ever shows and too many general answers pop up, so here goes.

Our 2014/13 Interstate is supposed to have an 18.9 gal tank. Now I don't fit underneath to see the actual tank stamp so I don't know the answer.

Is that "gross gallons" or do I factor in the 80% fill rule which then makes it 15.1 gallons?

I can also do the conversion in pounds.
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:17 PM   #2
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The notion of gallon when dealing with propane is a tricky one because a gallon of propane at, say, 50 degrees is not a gallon of propane at 100 degrees. That's why fillers rely either on pounds or volume (removable cylinders) or on only volume (non-removable cylinders as on motorhomes). Volume is determined by a spew valve that is mounted at exactly the 80% level.


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Old 04-24-2014, 06:48 PM   #3
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The ASME tank on my Interstate holds 14 gallons by volume. That's actual volume, or 80% of total capacity. Exactly how many pounds you get for those 14 gallons depends on the ambient temperature when you fill it.

Since you can't take the ASME tank off to weigh it, unlike the removable DoT cylinders, the propane is usually dispensed by the gallon because flow meters do a good job of measuring volume but not of measuring weight.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:00 PM   #4
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Well, technically, the meters are temperature compensated so they're effectively measuring mass.

Larger (125 gallon and up) propane tanks are filled by volume using a temperature-compensation curve printed on the gauge placard, which shows the maximum fill volumes based on temperature. The curve is designed to provide 80% fill at, iirc, 60 degrees.
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:23 PM   #5
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In a big installation the meters are SUPPOSED to be temperature compensated to I believe 60 degrees F. But in the real world many small installations DO NOT HAVE temperature compensated meters. I have filled many small tanks at local places, especially gas stations that have the scale to fill the 20 # tanks and also a meter for larger tanks, and there is no compensation meters on them. The truck that comes to my house to fill the 500 & 1000 gal tanks with propane DO HAVE temp compensating meters though.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:23 PM   #6
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Same here in NM: Smaller operations that fill propane cylinders do not have temperature compensation. That's why filling by the gallon is a no-no.

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