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Old 08-26-2011, 01:35 PM   #1
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LP Gas Guage

Do they work? How accurate are they?
Cheers,
T_
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:31 PM   #2
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I bought this one based on the reviews (on amazon) this year for my camper (as I only have one tank and really needed to know when I'm getting low).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001T4M522

As best I can tell it's working just as it should. Looks like I'm around or a little below 50% and that seems about right to me.

- Justin
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:10 PM   #3
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Thanks jbwjbw. I'm currious how they work. I assume the guage shows pressure. I think propane is a liquid in the tank with an LP gas pocket. We draw gas from the top (unless it's a special horizontal tank it has to be upright to make sure we only get gas, not liquid) to the appliance. When gas is flowing the liquid "boils" due to the reduced pressure. The boiling will cause the temperature of the liquid to drop which is why the tank gets cooler when in use. So, the measure of pressure is more of an indication of the propane temperature than how much is in the tank.
I have a deep fryer that has a stick-on strip on the tank and color change is supposed to show you the level (the liquid is colder) but it's never been useful to me. I remember the instructions saying to run water over the tank (warm up the gas filled part) and look for the diffent colors blah, blah blah. Too much trouble, I run it till it's out of gas and maybe we eat raw turkey or catfish or whatever was dumb enough to fall in the oil.

Anyway, I can't figure out how the dang things work. I think like jbwjbw all I really want to know when it's time to fill (the bride really doesn't like raw catfish).

Maybe when the liquid volume gets really low the temp drops really low (less liquid to cool) and the pressure will drop.

Maybe I'm thinking too hard about this and should take my meds...........
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:52 PM   #4
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I just bought one from Costco and I am a little disappointed in it. When we bought our trailer in the end of May I was surprised to find out that we went thru a 20 lb tank as quick as we did. We used the furnace a lot and consequently the tank didn't last long. Normally I take one of the 20lb tanks and place it beside the picnic table. My plan is to put it on the tank left behind. I knew that the tank I took off was getting real low so I decided to put it on this tank to see how it worked. I was surprised to find the tank read half way thru the green. When the tank was in use it registered the tank as low , which it was. It did not read that I needed to fill it yet but from the weight I knew it needed to be refilled. The next use the tank quickly ran out of gas. My plan is to put it on the tank I just refilled and see if it can do a better job from the get go. It has one reading when you turn the valve on which didn't seem accurate and another reading when the tank was in use. This reading was more accurate but never gave enough of a window to let you know that it should be refilled. Sorry for the length of this but I wanted to let you know my experience.
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:46 PM   #5
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Thanks Murphie. I'm thinking the tank has to be in use to see anything meaningful and that it will only tell you when it's mostly empty. I'd appreciate an update when you learn more.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:10 PM   #6
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Thanks Murphie. I'm thinking the tank has to be in use to see anything meaningful and that it will only tell you when it's mostly empty. I'd appreciate an update when you learn more.
Cheers,
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I think you are right...I don't see how they can be very accurate since the pressure coming out the tank should be fairly constant until it gets low....so it is either green or red.

Here is my method -- I kind of slap my hand against the tank with my wedding ring. As you move up and down the tank you can hear the difference and come pretty close to figuring out the level. You really can "learn" the sound of your tank and have a good idea on how empty it is....

I just filled up one of my 30#s today...I think I have about 11 days of water heater, stove/oven, and some fridge. I was just below 50%.....
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:24 PM   #7
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Ahhhh, that's good input Terry. About 11 days on a half-tank. Your "ring" method is probably more accurate than anything but a scale, and a dang site more convenient.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:58 PM   #8
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I like the wedding ring idea.I've used that way before. Another good reason to be married.. Most of the time just picking the tank up gives you a good idea how full it is, or pour water over the tank. With the tank snugged down in the holder, if a person was able to just open the top hatch and read the gauge that would be handy and the reason I bought it.
The new gauges that are able to read your holding tanks and your propane tanks would be the optimal solution. They read the tank from the outside of the tank, ultrasound maybe. You would then have a digital readout in the trailer.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHorse1 View Post
Thanks jbwjbw. I'm currious how they work. I assume the guage shows pressure. I think propane is a liquid in the tank with an LP gas pocket. We draw gas from the top (unless it's a special horizontal tank it has to be upright to make sure we only get gas, not liquid) to the appliance. When gas is flowing the liquid "boils" due to the reduced pressure. The boiling will cause the temperature of the liquid to drop which is why the tank gets cooler when in use. So, the measure of pressure is more of an indication of the propane temperature than how much is in the tank.
I have a deep fryer that has a stick-on strip on the tank and color change is supposed to show you the level (the liquid is colder) but it's never been useful to me. I remember the instructions saying to run water over the tank (warm up the gas filled part) and look for the diffent colors blah, blah blah. Too much trouble, I run it till it's out of gas and maybe we eat raw turkey or catfish or whatever was dumb enough to fall in the oil.

Anyway, I can't figure out how the dang things work. I think like jbwjbw all I really want to know when it's time to fill (the bride really doesn't like raw catfish).

Maybe when the liquid volume gets really low the temp drops really low (less liquid to cool) and the pressure will drop.

Maybe I'm thinking too hard about this and should take my meds...........
It has to go on more then just pressure as says it's not going to be very accurate when you first connect it until you use propane for a few minutes. So it must gauge on pressure and flow or something like that, not 100% sure.

When I fill up next spring for the camping season, I'll have a pretty good idea of how accurate it is.

- Justin
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jbwjbw View Post
I bought this one based on the reviews (on amazon) this year for my camper (as I only have one tank and really needed to know when I'm getting low).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001T4M522

As best I can tell it's working just as it should. Looks like I'm around or a little below 50% and that seems about right to me.

- Justin
This looks very simular to the gauge I bought a couple years ago at Walmart. I used it on my grill but I'm sorry to say it did not work very well. It would either be Green or Red and when I say Red I mean empty. After Leaving some steaks on the grill a couple of times while I went to get propane, I lost faith in my gauge real quick. I now use the pickit up method. You pickit up and best guess.
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