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New Propane Tank Fill Question

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Post by Ezzie on Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:07 am

Trying to figure out if I got ripped off or not. I just installed a brand new 300 ltr. tank from Cytsa. I had the gas guys depressurize it (Cytsa ships them pressurized with air) and put 200 ltrs. in it today. The gauge now shows 45%.

My question is - the gauge reads in percent. Does that mean % of some specific rated "pressure" or % of "capacity" in liters of liquid gas?? Eg. 200 ltrs. into an empty 300 ltr. tank should be 66% no??

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Post by Canmex 87 on Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:13 am

Ezzie wrote:Trying to figure out if I got ripped off or not.  I just installed a brand new 300 ltr. tank from Cytsa.  I had the gas guys depressurize it (Cytsa ships them pressurized with air) and put 200 ltrs. in it today.  The gauge now shows 45%.

My question is - the gauge reads in percent.  Does that mean % of some specific rated "pressure" or % of "capacity" in liters of liquid gas??  Eg. 200 ltrs. into an empty 300 ltr. tank should be 66% no??

Your math is correct. I would suggest that they only gave you 135 ltrs.

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Post by Ezzie on Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:29 pm

OK. It was a company called "Vela Gas" out of Guadalajara.

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Post by Clueless on Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:43 pm

Just watch the flow meter at the truck. Make sure it's at 000 when it starts and watch it until finish; usually much less than 2-minutes.

Don't just accept the receipt; it could be from a prior job, etc.
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Post by RVGRINGO on Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:05 pm

If your metered receipt shows 200L pumped, it is probably correct. Remember that you are reading a pressure gauge, not a volumetric gauge. As such, it will vary a bit with temperature and immediately after a fill, the contents are very cold. Check the gauge again, later.

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Post by CanuckBob on Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:07 pm

Or the gauge is malfunctioning.
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Post by RVGRINGO on Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:39 pm

True. Those little gauges are notoriously sloppy.

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Post by Ezzie on Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:54 pm

Brand new tank/gauge/regulator - everything.  Metered receipt shows 209 ltrs. and I watched them do it. It was cold to the touch when they finished putting gas into it.  Has been sitting in the sun for awhile now and should be at ambient temperature so I rechecked it.  Gauge still shows 45% so has not changed due to temp.  I questioned the guys on the truck about it and they seemed to think it was normal because it is a new tank and did not have anything in it to start with.  They said it is a non-linear reading and the next 50 ltrs. would take it up into the 70-75% range.  It would make sense if it was a pressure gauge but not if it was a volume gauge (liquid height inside the tank).

Who to believe?

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Post by RVGRINGO on Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:06 pm

Next time you call them, ask that the tank be filled to the maximum 80% and see what the gauge reads then. Ours was always allowed to drop to 5% and we would have them fill it. It then read 80-85% when filled with about 240L.
I assume that you have bled the air out of your lines to your appliances and have ignited them. That will take a bit of volume.

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Post by Ezzie on Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:24 pm

No, not in use yet - still shut off at the tank. I am just waiting to use up the last of the gas out of the old tank before I switch the line coming into the casa over top the feed coming from the new tank.

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Post by Ezzie on Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:09 pm

OK, got it figured out now.  I found a web site that explains this and have learned something new.  It seems that the nominal capacity of a 300 ltr. bulk tank is the capacity of the tank at atmospheric pressure and that they hold more than 300 ltrs. of propane that is under pressure.  Here is an explanation from their site of what the gauge readings mean.

"Not all propane cylinders / tanks have gauges and not all gauges look the same. With different manufacturers the gauges vary in style, size and look but all have the same purpose, to allow the user to see how much propane fuel is in the tank at a given time. Most gauges on tanks are a float gauge style, which is a basic concept of an arm inside the tank that as the level of liquid propane drops the floating arm drops reducing the indicating number on the dial of the gauge. The gauge on the tank shows the approximate percentage of fuel and should not be use to fill the cylinder/tank. Propane tanks can not be legally filled passed 80% capacity of the tank to allow for expansion of the liquid propane. The numbers on the dial of the gauge indicate the percentage of propane fuel in the tank. Most dials on the propane gauges range from 10 to 80 on cylinders and 5 to 95 on tanks. These gauges are not to be confused with pressure gauges that range from 0 to 300 (most tanks don't have pressure gauges)."

They also have a chart that gives the approx. ltrs. of propane that the gauge% reading indicates.

80% = 360 ltrs.
70% = 315 ltrs.
60% = 270 ltrs.
50% = 225 ltrs.
40% = 180 ltrs.
30% = 135 ltrs.
20% = 90 ltrs.

So according to this, I was not cheated.  The 209 ltrs. I just put into my brand new (and completely empty) tank should give a reading of around 45%.  All good now! The reference site I found this on is www.eaglepropanesales.com/reading-propane-tank-gauge

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Post by CallMeBob on Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:36 pm

'Course a "great" thing about the Interwebs is that for any "fact," it can be easy to find a contrary one (sometimes several!  Very Happy).

For example, http://www.propane101.com/floatgauge.htm shows a simple, linear relationship between the %age shown and the quantity remaining (whether gallons or liters).

On the broader topics of "which vendors/trucks' gauges seem to be accurate?" and "is my tank's gauge accurate?" please visit https://primo.herokuapp.com (and, ideally, add your data, too!).

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Post by CanuckBob on Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:59 pm

Ezzie wrote:OK, got it figured out now.  I found a web site that explains this and have learned something new.  It seems that the nominal capacity of a 300 ltr. bulk tank is the capacity of the tank at atmospheric pressure and that they hold more than 300 ltrs. of propane that is under pressure.  Here is an explanation from their site of what the gauge readings mean.

"Not all propane cylinders / tanks have gauges and not all gauges look the same. With different manufacturers the gauges vary in style, size and look but all have the same purpose, to allow the user to see how much propane fuel is in the tank at a given time. Most gauges on tanks are a float gauge style, which is a basic concept of an arm inside the tank that as the level of liquid propane drops the floating arm drops reducing the indicating number on the dial of the gauge. The gauge on the tank shows the approximate percentage of fuel and should not be use to fill the cylinder/tank. Propane tanks can not be legally filled passed 80% capacity of the tank to allow for expansion of the liquid propane. The numbers on the dial of the gauge indicate the percentage of propane fuel in the tank. Most dials on the propane gauges range from 10 to 80 on cylinders and 5 to 95 on tanks. These gauges are not to be confused with pressure gauges that range from 0 to 300 (most tanks don't have pressure gauges)."

They also have a chart that gives the approx. ltrs. of propane that the gauge% reading indicates.

80% = 360 ltrs.
70% = 315 ltrs.
60% = 270 ltrs.
50% = 225 ltrs.
40% = 180 ltrs.
30% = 135 ltrs.
20% = 90 ltrs.

So according to this, I was not cheated.  The 209 ltrs. I just put into my brand new (and completely empty) tank should give a reading of around 45%.  All good now!  The reference site I found this on is www.eaglepropanesales.com/reading-propane-tank-gauge

Not quite sure I understand. Are you saying your 300 liter tank is going to actually hold 360 liters? Mine has only ever held 265 liters (80%).
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Post by Ezzie on Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:09 pm

That is how I understand it Bob.  When your tank is "empty", is it really empty? If the table is to be believed, if you refill the tank when the gauge says 20% and take it up until it reads 80%, it would take (360-90=) 270 ltrs.

Does this sound correct?? Note that the "nominal" capacity of a tank is expressed as "water" capacity, not propane (LP gas) capacity.

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Post by CanuckBob on Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:27 am

When my tank is completely empty (no more gas coming out) they put about 265 (or probably 270) liters into it. I have never had anyone put any more in it.
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