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How Long Will a Full Tank of Propane Last?

Written on: August 28, 2023

The Right Size Tank and Beeline’s Reliable Service Makes All the Difference

propane delivery With all the things on your to-do list, you shouldn’t have to worry about how much propane is in your tank and when to call for a propane delivery. But if you feel like you have to order propane too often, you may need a larger tank.

Obviously, a bigger tank holds more propane, and more propane will last longer. Propane won’t spoil, like other types of fuel, so having too much isn’t a problem. But there’s no need to have the largest possible tank just to avoid runouts. Beeline’s convenient tank monitors and automatic delivery service eliminates any need to worry about running out of propane. So what’s the sweet spot when it comes to propane tank size? As with most things, it depends.

What are you using your propane for?

If you use propane to power an appliance or two, a 500-gallon tank could last as much as 14 months. If you use propane to heat your home, your water and run multiple appliances, you’ll probably need a fill-up every six to eight weeks. That’s based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which finds the average American home uses about 750 gallons each winter. Our heating season tends to be much shorter.

Of course, the age and efficiency of your heating equipment and appliances will make a difference in how much propane you need, but different appliances burn propane at different rates, regardless of how efficient they are.

Some appliances don’t use much propane. For example, a propane range only uses about 35 gallons a year. If that’s your only propane appliance, a 500-gallon tank will last 11 years. A propane fireplace uses about 200 gallons a year.

A traditional water heater burns about 1.5 gallons of propane a day, or about 200-300 gallons per year. A tankless water heater will use between a half a gallon and two gallons per running hour—basically, how long you are using hot water, since they heat on demand. Pool heaters use more propane, because they’re heating a lot more water.

One other factor: How many people are in your household? One or two people will use a lot less water for bathing, dishwashing and laundry than a big family.

When the Power Goes Out

One of the many benefits of running your home with propane is that you can also use propane to power a whole house generator. When storms bring down power lines, a stand-by generator goes on automatically, and can run key equipment or everything in your home. And the average 5000-watt stand-by generator will run for 7 to 10 days on a 500-gallon propane tank.

The bottom line:

If your propane storage tank is too small, you’ll need to order propane too often—or risk the cost and hassle of runouts. Getting a big tank means you’ll need fewer refills—and you may be able to avoid or lessen the sting from price spikes. But, a bigger tank is, well, bigger: you’ll need space to bury it. And if it’s above-ground, a huge tank can be less attractive.

The experts at Beeline can help assess your needs and make sure you get a propane tank that makes sense for your home. Our tank monitors and convenient automatic delivery service help you streamline by eliminating the need to call for deliveries. Contact us for more information and to become a customer today.