I'm looking at an 11lb-capacity propane canister (2 1/2 gallons). The canister itself ostensibly weighs 13 pounds. If filled to the max (which you're not supposed to do anyway), is the maximum this filled canister going to weigh be 24 lbs (propane and tank together)?

This is the one I was looking at.

I lifted the propane tank in-store yesterday, and it felt heavier than 13 lbs, but was empty. I didn't weigh it, so I could be mistaken, but it felt much heavier. Would the air inside it make all that much difference?

  • Just so you know how much 5 gallons of air would weigh: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Density_of_air At 0.0765 lb/(cuft)) and at 0.133681 cuft/gallon, we're talking about a hundredth of a pound, or, a sixth or so of an ounce, or, about 4.5 grams.
    – Beanluc
    Mar 8 '18 at 20:21

Yes, propane in pounds is measured in weight.

Answer: Propane can be measured in a few manners. The most common way is by gallons. It can also be measured by pounds (one gallon = 4.2lbs). When measured in gallons, a meter at the pump is used to determine the amount of propane that has been filled into a tank. When measured in pounds, the tare (empty starting) weight of the tank must be known first. After this weight is taken into account, the tank is then filled to capacity with the correct volume. (i.e. A BBQ tank is commonly referred to as a 20lb tank. This is because these tanks hold 20lbs or approximately five gallons of propane).


As for your second question, the simple answer is that you are mistaken in your estimate.

  • Thank you! Me overestimating the weight definitely the most likely answer. So I estimate how full a tank is by weighing it (with an actual scale =P) and comparing it to it's empty weight?
    – Jamin Grey
    Mar 8 '18 at 15:11
  • @JaminGrey Yes, that should work Mar 8 '18 at 19:45

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