Propane gauge help

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by bloomingtonbbq, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. I have a GOSM and therefore the only concern I have about keeping a steady temp during a smoke is the possibility of running out of propane. In the past, I have used a CFM propane gauge that has not worked for me - it is sensitive to outside temperature and is very unreliable.

    Does anyone have either a better gauge or a better method for approximating how much propane is left in a tank?
  2. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Theoretically, you could weigh the empty tank, then weigh it after filling. How to tie weight remaining to time or whatever would be thru experience... or knowing the cubic foot per time your smoker consumes, etc.

    I just keep a full 2nd tank handy.
  3. gooose53

    gooose53 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I have three 20lb tanks between the gas grill, H20 and my big one....I finally went and bought a 40lb tank....If I run out of gas I told my son he could kick me.....
  4. lcruzen

    lcruzen Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd recommend a spare tank. That way you don't have to go and refill a tank that still has some gas left in it. Cost of the refill is a flat rate normally.
  5. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Do you mean this thing?

    No complaints with it yet, but have not used it in cold weather either.
    I hear you can take some hot water and pour down the outside of tank. It will show you where the fuel line is.
    of course, I have three tanks also. One for smoker, one for fish fryer and one for gas grill. Every once in a while, I have to rob Peter to pay Paul.
  6. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Just my opinions , given freely and worth no more than you paid for them.[​IMG]
    1. have at least 2 tanks so you have a full spare.
    2. grab a partial tank by the handles and swing the bottom a bit. That liquid you feel sloshing around is what you have left. You will get an idea of time left after a few cooks.
    3. Did I mention to have a full spare ?
    4. you will get more gas out of that tank in 90 F weather than you will in 20 F temps. Just a temp = pressure thing.
    5. as mentioned , they also make 30# and 40# tanks , same principle, just more in each tank.
    6. avoid the temptation to turn that tank upside down to get the last bit out of it. Not a good idea for a smoker. ( I've done it with roofing torches and there is a big difference between the vapor from a right side up tank and the liquid you get from an upside down tank. ) Big fire hazard for a smoker.[​IMG]
  7. daddio

    daddio Meat Mopper

    a guy at the local mom and pop store explained to me one time lp gas weighs 4 lbs per gallon and a full 5gallon tank should weigh about 37 empty tank weight shold be stamped on tank.just do the math after you weigh it to see approx how much you have left.he said alot of times if you weigh those tanks you get at the quickie mart,they aren't really full but when he fills his he actually does it by weight.
  8. jfoust

    jfoust Smoke Blower

    Like everyone else above me said... have a spare tank! I have a GOSM and a gas grill, so I can always steal from one or the other to get something cooked. The neighbors have two spares and on one occasion I actually had to go steal a spare from them because both of mine went dry at the same time!

    Dad had an old Weber gas grill that you put the tank on an arm that I guess had some kind of spring or something on it. There was a gauge on the front of the grill that showed how much gas was left in the tank based on the weight. It wasn't extremely accurate, but it was good for a ballpark figure. Don't know if they make a similar addon, but that might help if they do.
  9. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have this product and have used it in the cold with no problems. I was told a while ago that the general rule of thumb is 1lb or propane per hour. Now that will depend on the size of your burner and what temp your running at. But to date I have filled every 20 hours and have never run out. Take is usually between 1/4 and 1/3 full still.
  10. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    So to refill your tank , someone has to open the valve and let that gas out, then charge you to replace it along with what you actually used ?
  11. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You cannot just "open your tank" any more. There is a valve preventing this.
  12. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG] Just turn the knob open ? or the flat head screw on the side of the brass stuff ?
    Places around here open the knob at the top , let off any pressure , hook up the fill line , loosen the screw to vent untill vapor/liq comes out the top. No scales , full is when the liq comes out.

    I'll try my new tank though , report back in a few .
  13. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmmm well, I'd assume the vent screw will empty the tank. They are trying to make them idiot proof. Of course the world will just produce a better idiot. ;{)
  14. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Hey , I never tried it but Richtee is correct , with nothing attatched to the tank the main valve lets nothing out [​IMG]
    The flat head screw on the side does though [​IMG]
  15. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    My memory goes back to the old tanks , you could open and drain them of that last bit of pressure. The new ones ( with outside threads ) seems you can't.
  16. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG] I've resembled that before [​IMG]
    I'll see how the sound and vid work on the point and shoot , it's loading slow. But the two places around here open the vent screw until the vapor / liq starts coming out before they call it full.

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