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Why Aren’t Propane Tanks Filled Higher Than 80%? February 10, 2019

Wilton, Fairfield County
Why Aren’t Propane Tanks Filled Higher Than 80%?, Wilton, Connecticut

When you ask for your propane tanks to be filled, you might wonder why the gauge reads at only 80%. While you might think that you were short-changed, the truth is that 80% is as full as the tank can get. Why? If this level is surpassed, you not only run the risk of losing fuel but also putting your safety at risk. To help you use propane safely, here’s a brief guide to why tanks should never go beyond this limit.

Why Is 80% the Limit on Propane Tanks?

At any point above -44°F, propane will turn from a liquid into a gas. When this happens, the gas will expand and take up more volume inside the tank than the liquid did. If the tank is filled beyond the 80% range, the fuel may not have adequate room to expand into a gas.  

What Can Happen If You Overfill a Propane Tank?

propaneWhen propane tanks are exposed to hot temperatures—such as in the summer—the gas inside will expand. In minor cases, the excess fuel will escape through a release valve, causing you to lose propane. In more severe situations, the expanding gas may combust, causing a fire or an explosion that puts your safety in serious danger.

Why Does My Propane Tank Gauge Read Higher Than 80%?

While professional fuel delivery services will only fill your tank to 80%, you may notice that it climbs slightly higher when the weather is warm. This occurs only because the gas is expanding and exerting additional pressure on the gauge. It is not a cause for concern.

When Should You Refill Your Propane?

If you’re keeping an eye on your propane tank gauge, you’ll likely wonder when you’re close to running out of fuel. In general, if your gauge falls to 30% or below, it’s best to call your preferred propane supplier to refill the tank and prevent you from being left without any fuel.


Fairfield County homeowners who want to experience the clean-burning and cost-efficient qualities of propane should look no further than Servco Oil & Propane for high-quality fuel services. Serving the Wilton, CT, community and beyond for more than five decades, this propane and heating oil supplier has gained a reputation for on-time service, first-rate fuel products, and safe tank-filling practices. And if you want to simplify your home heating needs even further, this team can also provide automatic fuel delivery, 24-hour emergency assistance, and heating system maintenance to give you peace of mind. Visit this heating service online to learn more about their capabilities or call (203) 762-7994 to request responsive care.

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