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IowaCowboy
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join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
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1 edit

Signs of low grill propane

What are the signs that a 20 lb propane tank on a Weber grill is about to run out. I have a flame but it seems to be dropping in temperature on the thermometer.

At least I have an extra tank ready.

I get my tanks filled at BJ's (which charges by the gallon) so it's not like I'm throwing money away by filling or exchanging tanks with propane left in them.


TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3

Once there's no more liquid propane left in the tank you start to lose pressure very quickly and the flame will go out completely, usually within a few minutes or less.

It'll be pretty obvious when the tank is out.



dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
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join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
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reply to IowaCowboy

If the grill isn't getting hot, smetimes the regulator needs to be 'reset' - shut the burners off, shut the valve on the tank, disconnect and reconnect the hose, turn the valve back on, and relight the burners.



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to IowaCowboy

»www.cookingclub.com/Magazine/Mag···-7-18-11

»www.familyhandyman.com/grills/ho···view-all
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


psafux
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join:2005-11-10
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reply to IowaCowboy

said by IowaCowboy:

What are the signs that a 20 lb propane tank on a Weber grill is about to run out.

They weigh close to 20 #


beck
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-29
On The Road
kudos:1
reply to IowaCowboy

When the tank is running low, stink, stink, stink. Because the stinky stuff they put in is more in proportion of the gas.

Also, I pick them up. They are lighter when empty.


TheMG
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join:2007-09-04
Canada
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reply to psafux

said by psafux:

said by IowaCowboy:

What are the signs that a 20 lb propane tank on a Weber grill is about to run out.

They weigh close to 20 #

Actually the "20lb" is the capacity of the tank, in other words the NET weight of the propane when full.

Empty tank will weight less than 20lb. Typically around 16-18lb.

So a full tank will be about 36-38lb (GROSS weight).

The weight of the empty tank is usually stamped somewhere on the tank, with the letters "TARE" or "TW" (tare weight).


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to IowaCowboy

I lift my tank and feel the weight.
You gotta get used to what is weights when empty.

When the flame is low and the temperature is dropping, you have 5 minutes of gas left

However, you might have just triggered the overfill protection by mistake. You reset it by closing the tank valve why the burner valve is open (so the gas in the tubes and burner drains away).

Then you close your burner valves, reopen the tank valve slowly, and start again.



IowaCowboy
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reply to IowaCowboy

I did a regulator reset by disconnecting the tank and opening the burner valves. I then closed the burner valves, hooked the tank back up, and then lit it like I usually do.

This is what the flame now looks like




Now I'm trying to cook burgers while dodging Mosquitos.

Maybe I'll haul out a bug zapper.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


UHF
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reply to TheMG

said by TheMG:

Actually the "20lb" is the capacity of the tank, in other words the NET weight of the propane when full.

Empty tank will weight less than 20lb. Typically around 16-18lb.

So a full tank will be about 36-38lb (GROSS weight).

Yes. Every 20# tank I've run across has had a tare weight of 18lbs. Except the one time a guy brought a fiberglass tank to have filled, but I believe that all of those have now been recalled.


IowaCowboy
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said by UHF:

said by TheMG:

Actually the "20lb" is the capacity of the tank, in other words the NET weight of the propane when full.

Empty tank will weight less than 20lb. Typically around 16-18lb.

So a full tank will be about 36-38lb (GROSS weight).

Yes. Every 20# tank I've run across has had a tare weight of 18lbs. Except the one time a guy brought a fiberglass tank to have filled, but I believe that all of those have now been recalled.

One thing I've come across is the exchange services (Blue Rhino/Amerigas) have downsized the amount of propane they put in the exchange cylinders that you find outside of your typical home center or supermarket from the full 17.5 lbs to 15 lbs. A 20 lb cylinder is designed to hold 17.5 lbs as they are intended to be filled to 80 percent of their capacity. Also places that do flat rate fills also shortchange you on propane.

Best bet is to find a dealer that fills your tank and charges by the gallon. I have two cylinders and I bought them empty (one at Home Depot and one at Lowe's), had them purged and filled. I have the same cylinders that I have since I bought my first gas grill. I have them filled at BJ's since I get member pricing and they charge by the gallon so I don't get charged full price for a partial fill.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

robbin
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join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

1 recommendation

That is totally incorrect. A 20 pound tank is designed to hold approximately 20 pounds of propane when it is 80% full.


Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV

Yes heat and flame output will slowly diminish when getting near empty.

My Weber has a simple spring hanging scale built in but it gives me only a estimate. When it is near the empty mark, I pick it up and guess the amount by feeling the weight myself. I have a couple of spare tanks on hand, so I just change them out when I think they feel empty. I pay by the gallon so it doesn't matter if they aren't completely empty.

As for the post about the smell getting stronger, mine doesn't have any strong smells when near empty. So I am not sure what that is about.



Anonymous_
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reply to IowaCowboy

said by IowaCowboy:

What are the signs that a 20 lb propane tank on a Weber grill is about to run out. I have a flame but it seems to be dropping in temperature on the thermometer.

At least I have an extra tank ready.

I get my tanks filled at BJ's (which charges by the gallon) so it's not like I'm throwing money away by filling or exchanging tanks with propane left in them.

when the needle says 0%

lol
--
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workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
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reply to dennismurphy

said by dennismurphy:

If the grill isn't getting hot, smetimes the regulator needs to be 'reset' - shut the burners off, shut the valve on the tank, disconnect and reconnect the hose, turn the valve back on, and relight the burners.

This!

I had no idea I was 'resetting the regulator' but dammit if that doesn't do the trick for me.

Can you expand on this? What are the mechanics behind it?

Just curious and like to add new info to my databrain.

Blob
--
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MrFixit1

join:1999-11-26
Madison, WI

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressure_regulator is a fairly concise description of how regulators work . What happens is that the regulator " thinks " that there is too much pressure on the output , so it starts to reduce the gas flow in order to decrease the pressure . This can be from the mechanical linkage " sticking " , or from something partially blocked .
A good example of this is when a LP regulator gets too cold and starts to freeze up .



dennismurphy
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reply to workablob

said by workablob:

said by dennismurphy:

If the grill isn't getting hot, smetimes the regulator needs to be 'reset' - shut the burners off, shut the valve on the tank, disconnect and reconnect the hose, turn the valve back on, and relight the burners.

This!

I had no idea I was 'resetting the regulator' but dammit if that doesn't do the trick for me.

Can you expand on this? What are the mechanics behind it?

Just curious and like to add new info to my databrain.

Blob

Here is a good video from Weber that describes what's happening and how to reset it:

»youtu.be/YhufRwsNy_M

Liberty

join:2005-06-12
Tucson, AZ
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy

"Maybe I'll haul out a bug zapper."

Do a bit of research on this
You will discover the bug zappers get almost no mosquitos
They are very effective at killing beneficial insects though

Studies have shown that less than 1% of insects killed in the most common bug zappers are mosquitos
Beneficial night pollinators are the primary causalities of those devices

Please do us all a favor and toss it in trash and spread the word they only waste electricity and primarily kill only beneficial bugs

Here is one of many articles:
»home.howstuffworks.com/do-bug-za···toes.htm



54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 edit
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

However, you might have just triggered the overfill protection by mistake. You reset it by closing the tank valve why the burner valve is open (so the gas in the tubes and burner drains away).

Thats not overfill protection, it is an excess flow limiter which is normally set for 1.5 times the maximum operating flow.

And it is reset by closing the burner valves while leaving the tank valve open allowing the pressure across the excess flow limiter to equalize allowing the spring to push the limiter back to the fully open position.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to workablob

said by workablob:

Can you expand on this? What are the mechanics behind it? Blob

There is a spring loaded orifice valve in the POL spud, when the flow of gas exceeds 1.5 to 2 times the maximum required to run the appliance that flow will overcome the force of the spring moving the orifice valve against the seat, limiting the flow of gas to the amount set by the orifice.

The purpose of this device is to prevent a high volume discharge of gas or liquid propane should the regulator be broken off of the POL spud.

Now what commonly happens is an operator will open the tank valve with a burner(s) turned on or not wait long enough the after opening the tank valve locking the orifice valve in the limiting position.

You can actually hear the orifice valve make an audible click when the tank valve is opened and then another click a few seconds later when it retracts as the pressure between the tank and the regulator is equalized through the orifice.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
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reply to Liberty

said by Liberty:

"Maybe I'll haul out a bug zapper."

Do a bit of research on this
You will discover the bug zappers get almost no mosquitos
They are very effective at killing beneficial insects though

Studies have shown that less than 1% of insects killed in the most common bug zappers are mosquitos
Beneficial night pollinators are the primary causalities of those devices

Please do us all a favor and toss it in trash and spread the word they only waste electricity and primarily kill only beneficial bugs

Here is one of many articles:
»home.howstuffworks.com/do-bug-za···toes.htm

Do mosquito magnets/mosquito deletos really work or are they just a $300 gimmick.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD

They work if you run them all season so that the population never explodes. Putting one out mid-season won't get them under control.


Liberty

join:2005-06-12
Tucson, AZ
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

said by PSWired:

They work if you run them all season so that the population never explodes. Putting one out mid-season won't get them under control.

Curious where you came up with that 'fact'

And the definition of control is a bit unclear, more of shade of gray term instead of black & white

When it comes to mosquitoes, short term immediate area population reduction is pretty much all you can expect

Yea yea, major efforts like swamp draining, community wide poison spraying and other large scale environmental projects can have dramatic effects....

decx
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Vancouver, BC
reply to IowaCowboy

Make a smoke pouch or if you have a built in smoke drawer put some wet wood chips in. In addition to making everything nice and smokey it is quite effective in driving mosquitoes away.


Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV
reply to IowaCowboy

Mosquitoes are drawn by carbon dioxide. If you have a way to produce carbon dioxide near the zapper then it will work. Until then I suggest Citronella plants or oil. They are effective at repelling mosquitoes.



tahoe

@charter.com

1 edit
reply to IowaCowboy

Here's a propane pressure tank level gauge right here...

»www.amazon.com/GasWatch-TVL212-P···00S5S3M4


PrntRhd
Premium
join:2004-11-03
Fairfield, CA
reply to IowaCowboy

First visual symptom is the flames will have much more yellow than usual, followed by lack of temp control and finally the food not being heated enough to get done.


Kayln

join:2013-06-10
reply to IowaCowboy



I think you just buy an elcheapo walmart scale and leave it under your tank all the time.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by Kayln:



I think you just buy an elcheapo walmart scale and leave it under your tank all the time.

I thought of that, but then realized such el-cheapo scales would overstate the weight over time as the springs got weaker and weaker from the constant weight over the scale.

I use a fish weight scale and simply lift my tank up to the hook when I'm not sure if I have enough propane for what I am going to cook.

If it's too close for comfort, I simply let the grill go through the propane at high heat for a little self-cleaning, then I go refill the tank.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to IowaCowboy

My grill has a built-in scale that you hang the tank on...
Pretty good indication of how much gas is left in the tank.