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Does Cold Really Affect the Level Gauge on a Propane Tank?
Propane is like the majority of other types of materials in that it is affected by cold temperatures. The propane gas contracts as the temperature declines. That reduced level of gas inside the tank is reflected by the gauge which reflects the level on the propane tank. Normally, this comes into play whenever a homeowner checks the gauge during cold conditions and sees the amount of the tank level before and after delivery. Depending on the weather conditions, the tank level may not go up as much as anticipated.
The propane tanks guage would show what fraction of the gas tank is still full. Tanks are normally not filled over 80% full since this would allow for the gas to expand during hotter temperatures. For example, a five hundred gallon tank, at a reading of 80% at normal temperatures reflects roughly four hundred gallons of propane in the tank. This is around how much could be stored.
The web site Propane 101, that is operated by the propane industry, considers an exterior temperature of 60 degrees to be the reference or baseline point. Like for example, if the gauge reads 50% of capacity on a day when the temperature is near sixty degrees, then a 500 gallon tank will have around 250 gallons of propane. If the temperature that day is much lower than sixty degrees, the gauge will read lower. Similarly, if the temperature is much higher than 60 degrees, the gauge will actually read higher due to the expansion of the gas.
The energy contained or amount of energy contained within a tank would not change as the gas either contracts or expands, based on the propane industry website. The amount of propane itself has not changed, but just the density of the gas has changed.
If a homeowner orders one hundred gallons of propane to be delivered, they would receive 424 lbs. of propane. If the homeowner has a one thousand gallon propane tank, they may expect the gauge to go up by 10% with the delivery of one hundred gallons. These numbers will be correct if the temperatures were close to 60 degrees at the time of delivery. If the delivery took place during colder weather conditions, these chillier temperatures would result in a smaller increase reading on the propane gauge.