If you’re like most people, you use your Coleman propane tank for camping and backyard cookouts. But how long does a Coleman propane tank last?
The size of your Coleman propane tank will determine how long it lasts. If you are using a standard 16 oz propane canister, you can expect it to last for approximately 2 hours.
Read on to learn more about the time it takes for a Coleman propane tank to run out, as well as how to extend its life.
How Long Does A Coleman 1lb Propane Tank Last?
16.4 ounce (1 lb) Colman propane canisters are popular among campers and backyard grillers. They are small, lightweight, and easy to store.
Most of these tanks will last for about two hours, give or take a few minutes. This is based on an average burn time of 12 minutes per hour.
For high-heat cooking, a 16.4-ounce propane tank will last about an hour. It is easy to calculate how much propane one cylinder will last you if you know your portable stove, tent propane heater, or other propane appliance’s BTU rating.
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. To keep it simple. For one pound of water to be raised one degree Celsius, one kilowatt-hour (kWh) is needed. Therefore, it can be used as a way to estimate items like propane.
A disposable propane tank of 14 or 16 ounces will last for about 1.5 to 2 hours when consistently in use.
How Long Will A 5lb Propane Tank Last?
5 lb propane tanks are great for those who love to grill. They are big enough for grilling and have a longer burn time than the smaller propane tanks. They hold approximately 1 to 1.2 gallons of propane within them.
If you’re using a 5 lb tank on a medium grill, it will last between 18 to 20 hours. This depends on how much you’re cooking, how high you have your grill set to, and the size of your grill.
This tank will last a long time in storage as well. Proper care and use of a standard 5 lb propane tank can potentially extend its life by 50 years or more. These tanks should be periodically checked for damage, leaks, etc., and recertified 12 years after they are manufactured, then every five years thereafter.
How Long Will An 11lb Propane Tank Last?
11 lb Propane tanks are great for grilling, camping, and tailgating. They hold around 11 pounds of propane gas in them.
An 11 lb propane tank will last between 20 to 30 hours on a medium grill for cooking or heating food. If you’re using your pumps intermittently, this tank may last up to 50 hours (provided that the pumps are turned off when not in use).
This tank is great for weekend camping trips. It is also a good choice for those who have a large grill that requires more propane than the standard-sized tanks can hold.
Just like the smaller tanks, it’s important to check your 11 lb propane tank periodically for damage, leaks, and other issues. Doing so will help to ensure safe and proper use of the tank.
What Affects The Burning Time Of A Propane Tank?
The size of your propane tank affects how long it will last. Larger tanks hold more fuel, while smaller ones contain less. This is the main factor in determining burn time.
Temperature also affects burning time because colder temperatures cause pressure to drop inside the tank. This means that it takes longer for gas to exit through the burner, so the flame will be lower than if you were using it in warmer conditions.
Your usage can also impact how long a tank lasts. If you’re cooking or heating at a high-heat setting, your tank will not last as long as if you were using it at low heat settings.
The type of burner on your portable stove also makes a difference in the amount of time the propane tank will last. A single jet burner uses more fuel than a dual jet burner.
How Do I Know When A Propane Tank Is Empty?
There are a few different methods that you can use to tell when your propane tank is empty.
Using Warm Water
By using this simple and safe trick, you can figure out how much propane is left in your tank. It simply involves following these steps:
- Pour warm to hot tap water into a small bucket.
- Fill the bucket with water, then pour it down the side of the tank.
- Feel for a cool spot along the side of the tank with your hand.
It’s cool because the liquid propane inside absorbs heat from the water, causing the tank’s metal wall to cool to the touch. This will let you know how much gas remains in the tank.
Using a Weight Scale
You can use any kind of weight scale to weigh your propane tank. It’s best if it measures in pounds, but ounces will work too.
Two numbers are usually stamped on the handle of propane grill tanks – the water capacity (“WC”) and the tank’s “Tare Weight” (TW – its empty weight). The average grilling tank weighs 17 pounds when empty and holds about 20 pounds of gas.
Simply weigh your tank on a scale and subtract the TW number to find out how many pounds of propane are left. As an example, if a 27-pound tank has a TW of 17, there is slightly more than half of a tank left – about 10 pounds.
Installing an External Gauge
There are a few different options you can use to install a propane tank gauge on your tank. You can either go with an analogue gauge or one that is digital and shows you the current pressure reading from outside of the grill itself.
The first thing to do is remove any caps or covers over where you will be installing the external gauge, then carefully thread it into place so it’s tight.
Once it’s in, you can attach your hose to the regulator and turn on the gas. Now, when you open up the grill lid, you’ll be able to see both the current pressure inside of the tank as well as how many pounds are left.
Here are the three main types of gauges you can use, which can be easily found online or at a local retailer:
- Using inline pressure gauges, which are installed between the gas line from the grill and the shutoff valve on the tank, you can measure pressure to determine the tank’s fullness.
- Unlike digital propane scales, which are designed to calculate your tank’s TW, analogue propane scales appear like luggage scales.
- With a propane tank scale, you can see how much gas is left in the tank and how much cook time is left. Some models have apps for smartphones.
How to Extend the Life Of a Propane Tank
There’s nothing worse than running out of propane gas when you need it the most, especially when you’re camping or hosting a BBQ. Here are some tips that can help you extend the life of your Coleman propane tank.
- Cook your food before your camping trip so that it’s quicker to reheat
- Use cookware that can trap and retain a lot of heat so that less energy is needed to heat your food. Make sure to use a lid if possible to further trap heat.
- Use a grill cover so that your food will stay warm longer.
- Use aluminium foil instead of tin foil when cooking
- Store your propane tanks in a cool, dry place when not in use. This will help keep the fuel from evaporating and extend the life of your tank.
- Use a grill with an auto-ignition feature so that it wastes less gas than manual connection grills do.
- Make sure to keep your heat low when you’re not boiling or frying food. This will help conserve fuel and extend the life of your propane tank.
- If you’re using a portable stove, tent heater, or other appliance that runs on propane, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to get an estimate of how long the tank will last.
- Cook your food in smaller portions so that it can cook fully much more quickly.
- Use your campfire to aid your cooking when possible to save gas.
Just following a few of the above tips can save you a considerable amount of propane. Make sure to bring back up propane canisters just in case, as well as non-perishable or room-temperature stable food, so that no matter what happens, you’ll still have options for food.
Safety Precautions With Coleman Tanks
- Store your tanks in a cool, dry place when not in use. This will help to prevent rust and corrosion from occurring.
- Do not expose tanks to direct sunlight or heat sources for extended periods of time.
- Make sure the valves on your tanks are tightly closed when not in use.
- Always check the pressure gauge before turning on your propane tank. If there is any damage or wear and tear, replace the hose immediately. Don’t use damaged hoses because they can lead to leaks and fires.
- When using a portable stove, heater, or other appliance that runs on propane, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
- Keep animals, children, and food away from the fuel source.
- Never use a tank that has been dented, cracked, or damaged in any way. This can lead to leaks and explosions if not properly cared for.
- If you have any questions about how to use and store your Coleman propane tanks, be sure to consult the owner’s manual or ask a local retailer. It’s better to ask any questions beforehand so that you know exactly what to do when you’re using your propane.
Can Small Coleman Propane Tanks Be Refilled?
When you use the propane from a disposable 1 lb propane tank, you throw it away after you’ve used it.
An alternative is a refillable propane tank that holds 1 lb. Initially, this type of tank is empty and needs to be filled with propane before use. The tank is designed to be refilled as it is emptied.
The cost of refillable 1 lb propane tanks is higher than the cost of disposable 1 lb propane tanks, which is one reason people prefer pre-filled tanks.
You can also refill disposable propane canisters if you have a propane refill adaptor, which is a small device that fits over the mouth of the propane tank.
It allows you to refill your disposable canister with propane from another source, such as a bulk tank.
The adaptor is reusable and costs approximately $20 on Amazon. It works by allowing gas flow from one container into another without letting any out through leaks in the valve system.
However, you should know that refilling a disposable propane tank is illegal in many states and provinces. While it’s possible to do so with an adaptor, you’ll want to make sure that it’s legal where you live before using one of these devices on your own propane tanks.
Also, note that even if it is legal to refill disposable tanks, the process can be dangerous. If you’re not careful or don’t know what you’re doing, there’s a risk for explosions and fires when refilling these types of propane containers.
Just like larger tanks, make sure to check the pressure gauge before refilling and only use tanks that are in good condition.
How to Refill a Coleman Propane Tank
- The tank should be placed on a flat surface away from flammable materials. Make sure it is working correctly so that you do not have to go through the entire process without needing it.
- If you want to refill the Coleman propane cylinder, you will need an adapter that fits it. A suitable adapter can be found online, and once you receive it, it needs to be connected to the cylinder.
- Attach the adapter to the tank while it is upside down. By doing so, it will be easier to get the propane into the bottle.
- Once you have turned on the tank, you should locate the pressure relief valve and open it. The gas will now be able to flow into the bottle. As long as everything is functioning properly, you should hear the gas flowing into the tank.
- You should not have to wait too long for the actual refill. Make sure you close the valve on the tank tightly after you have filled it for a few minutes. Make sure you do not allow the tank to leak!
- Disconnect the tank and the adaptor. Make sure that all is in order before you turn on any stoves or handle any flammable materials around the propane tank.
Can Coleman Propane Tanks Be Refilled Safely?
Coleman propane tanks are designed in such a way that refilling them is quite safe. It is still better than buying new tanks over and over again to refill the tanks yourself, even though it could be unsafe to do so without any previous knowledge.
When you buy a new propane tank for each camping trip, you are more likely to litter. When the tank is no longer needed, it will need to be disposed of, and since it isn’t biodegradable, it will end up in a landfill and pollute the environment.
Generally, refuelling such a tank is safe if you know what you’re doing. You can learn more about how to prevent propane leaks, as well as other larger catastrophes. Still unsure? Ask an experienced person for some advice.
The most important aspect of all this is to make certain that your propane tank can be refilled. Refilling something that shouldn’t be refilled can cause a lot of problems.
In the end, it is also better to be safe than sorry. Do not do anything with the tank until you have verified that it is refillable and functioning properly.
Do Camping Propane Tanks Expire?
Many people wonder how long a propane tank will last. Those who bought one and didn’t use it might wonder what the expiration date is and whether it will go to waste. In short, unopened and unused camping propane tanks won’t expire, so you generally don’t have to worry about it.
Nevertheless, a more detailed answer can be helpful if you’re planning on storing your tank for a very long time. In this case, the tank will expire rather than the propane. Due to its metal composition, it can suffer some damage over time, decreasing its lifespan.
Keep in mind that tanks that have not been opened do not have an expiration date, but those that have been opened do. It is more likely that they will malfunction, so you should be very careful when handling and storing them. Here’s what you need to know.
The propane tank should be placed in a well-ventilated area once it has been opened. Make sure it is far from flammable materials, regardless of whether it is outside or inside. In addition, you need a cool, dry place to store the tank, as well as an upright position at all times.
You are sure to have no problems with your propane tank if you store it properly following these tips. To be on the safe side, you can also check with the manufacturer to see if your propane tank has an expiration date.
How Do I Safely Transport Propane Fuel?
When transporting propane fuel, there are a few things you need to remember.
First and foremost, always transport the tanks in an upright position. This will help ensure that the gas doesn’t escape from the tank.
Additionally, make sure that the tanks are properly secured while in transit. Not only is it dangerous for them to move around, but it is also unsafe for the other people in your car.
When storing propane fuel, you need to make sure that the tanks are properly secured and stored in a cool dry place away from flammable materials. As with any gas tank, never store them near heat sources or open flames because this can be very dangerous!
How Do BTUs Work?
BTU is a unit of measurement that defines the amount of energy required to heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit at sea level. BTUs are used in many ways, but they are most commonly associated with gas or propane grills and other appliances like stoves and ovens for cooking food on camping trips.
In order to understand how much energy your grill uses, you need to figure out its BTU rating. This can be done by looking at the manual or on the internet for more information about BTUs and how they work.
Once you know the BTU rating of your grill, you can then figure out how much propane you need to fuel it. You can further control the amount of propane you use by turning the grill’s heat down or up.
Remember, if you’re cooking for a large group of people, then you’ll need a higher BTU rating to ensure that everything is cooked evenly. On the other hand, if you’re only cooking for a small number of people, then you can use a lower BTU rating and save on propane.
What is the Difference Between Propane and Butane?
Butane and propane differ greatly in their boiling points or the temperature at which they vaporize. Since propane has a boiling point of -43.6 degrees Fahrenheit, it can vaporize as soon as it is released from its pressurized container. The boiling point of butane, by comparison, is 30.2, or just below freezing.
There have been several instances in US history of temperatures dropping below -43.6 degrees F, and most notably Rogers Pass, Montana, achieved a record-low -69.7 degrees F in 1954. Even in the coldest conditions, propane will be readily available.
Nevertheless, if butane were the primary fuel source, you might end up with no gas for heat or cooking in some areas of the country.
In conclusion, the size of your propane tank will determine how long it lasts. But remember, this is only an estimate and does not include any extra factors that may be involved in estimating burn time (such as weather conditions). You should always prepare for the worst-case scenario so that you don’t run out of fuel before your trip ends.