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How to Check Your Gas Bottle Level

25 Jun, 2023 | Business LPG Blogs, Residential LPG Blogs

In this article:

Easy ways to check amount of LPG left in your gas cylinder.
Hot water test for LPG level

LPG bottles offer convenient storage and easy access to Australia’s extensive LPG infrastructure networks. Additionally, with Elgas, you can enjoy easy online ordering and quick delivery to ensure you never run out of clean-burning LPG.

Checking your gas bottle level

Finding out how much gas is left in a gas bottle is easy.

Here’s how it’s done.

  1. Fill a bucket with hot tap water.
  2. Slowly pour the hot water (not boiling water) down one side of the gas bottle.
  3. A line of condensation may appear indicating the gas level. If not:
  4. Wait a few moments, then feel the side of the gas bottle where you poured the warm water.
  5. You should feel a noticeable cooler change of temperature at the level of the gas.
  6. If you feel no difference, the gas bottle may be empty.

Checking gas bottle levels regularly will let you stay on top of your usage for your cooktop and gas heaters and know when it’s time to check levels and re-order. This process works not just for regular LPG gas bottles but for BBQ bottles too.

It’s worth noting that butane is not the same as LPG (propane). Butane has a much higher boiling point and is an effective propellant, often marketed as Autogas.

Watch a quick video on How to Check Gas Bottle Level

Did You Know that Your LPG Boils?

LPG (propane) is stored under pressure as a liquid in a gas bottle. It turns back into a gas by ‘boiling’. LPG draws heat from the steel walls of the gas bottle. This ‘boiling’ LPG makes the gas bottle feel colder. When gas escapes the bottle rapidly, ice can even form on the gas bottle exterior, providing the perfect gas bottle level indicator.

Gas bottle level gauge

A gas bottle level gauge is an ultrasonic unit that sits under the BBQ gas bottle and sends a reading via Bluetooth to an app on your mobile phone. You can download and install the app. The sensor works well on BBQ bottles but cannot be used with a 45kg gas bottle. For larger gas cylinders, you’ll need to stick with the hot water test.

It‘s worth noting that pressure gauges don‘t tell you how much gas is in a gas bottle. This is because LPG isn‘t compressed gas – it is liquified gas. The pressure in an LPG bottle can vary but it won‘t tell you how full the gas bottle is. With LPG, the pressure inside your cylinder remains the same until the last of the LPG is vaporised.

How to tell when a gas bottle is full

Your gas bottle will probably never be 100% full, for various reasons. Firstly, gas bottle dimensions aren’t regulated in Australia, so manufacturers have the liberty to create their own cylinder designs. To ensure all gas bottles are filled to the same filling level of LPG, SWAP’n’GO bottles are all filled at around 80% capacity. Another reason to fill below full capacity level is to allow for natural expansion of the gas during warmer days.

Alternative way to check gas bottle levels

An alternative way how to check BBQ size gas bottle level is by using a scale. Turn off the gas regulator, disconnect the bottle and place it on a scale, making sure the valve is firmly closed. The tare (empty) weight of the bottle is stamped on the neck ring. The difference between the scale reading and the tare weight should tell you how much gas is in the gas bottle.

What size gas bottle will I need?

Gas is a well-known energy source, and as people become more aware of carbon emissions, switching to gas makes complete sense as a good environmentally friendly energy option compared to other fuels such as diesel, fuel oil and wood. LPG has a huge number of uses around the home, while camping, in motorhomes, and for large industrial enterprises.

LPG gas bottles are available in different sizes to suit both residential and commercial applications, but how do you decide which one will suit your needs? Choosing a cylinder size will be determined by your space, storage capacity, and gas consumption. Start by asking yourself a couple of questions:

  • Are you using gas for cooking or heating or both?
  • How many people live in your home?

45kg LPG Gas cylinders are the most common size for domestic use and a typical installation includes two 45kg gas bottles connected in tandem. A changeover lever allows you to switch between bottles when one is empty for uninterrupted supply. Make sure to order a replacement gas bottle from Elgas when you switch to a new bottle so you never run out of gas.

8 quick tips for never running out of LPG

We know that there is nothing more inconvenient than being out of home LPG gas. Here are a few handy tips from Elgas.

  1. If you‘re using 2 gas bottles, always order gas as soon as the first bottle runs out.
  2. Remember to order sooner, rather than later, during the busy winter season.
  3. Remember to check gas bottle levels more often in cold weather.
  4. Having additional house guests can also increase your usage if you have gas hot water.
  5. If you only have one gas bottle attached to your home, you should consider adding another.
  6. If you are an Elgas customer you can receive Gas Check Alerts™ by Text (SMS).
  7. Remember to increase gas bottle level checks if you use additional gas appliances.
  8. Let Elgas know of any changes so we can adjust your LPG cylinder delivery schedule.

With over 40 Elgas branches around the country, there’s bound to be one near you. Contact us online, over the phone, or in person at your nearest Elgas branch for great LPG ideas and inspiration to get your project started.

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