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Propane tank exhange costs ~7x as much as natural gas? Is my math right?


Joined Oct 20, 2010
I've got a natural gas outlet in my backyard sticking out from my house just itching to be used. I'm looking for a reason, maybe just for my propane-powered ecb rig hack-job, not my grill. I've heard you can't always get enough flow for a high btu grill. But my ecb rig takes so little fuel surely it would work.  And besides not worrying about my single propane tank running out in the middle of smoking something, maybe it's lots cheaper.

Tell me if I'm right in my math.

I looked at my gas bill and at the top it has 2 charges, service fee and rider fee that look like are static, stay the same whether I use gas or not. Everything else, fuel cost taxes etc are variable on that month's reading. I subtracted the static costs from the amount due and divided the leftover by my dekatherms used and got $7.57 per dekatherm. I found out a dekatherm is 1 million btus.

Page here says 1 pound LP holds 22000 btus


So to get a million btus you need 45.45 pounds lp.

I paid $19.52 at walgreens for a 17 pound tank exhange, tax and all so I paid $1.15 a pound. So 45.45 pounds, 1 million btus worth would cost me $52.27 where 1 million btu NG costs $7.57.

Am I right?
Last edited:


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Joined Sep 12, 2009
All I can add is my brother has a natural gas line in his back yard, hooked to his BBQ grill (he doesn't smoke), and he has plenty of flow. I would think you need a lot less flow for a smoker than for his BBQ grill.


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