ELGAS Knowledge Hub

How to check Gas Cylinder level?

25 Jun, 2023 | Business LPG, Residential LPG

In this article:

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

LPG Cylinders 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.

Here’s a simple way to check the LPG level in your cylinder

1) Fill a bucket with hot tap water.
2) Slowly pour the hot water (not boiling water) down one side of the gas cylinder.
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 cylinder where you poured the warm water.
5) You should feel a noticeable cooler change of temperature at the level of the gas.

If you feel no difference, the gas cylinder may be empty. Checking gas 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 cylinders but for BBQ ones 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 do this.

Did You Know that Your LPG Boils?

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

Gas level gauge

A gas cylinder level gauge is an ultrasonic unit that sits under the BBQ gas cylinder and when configured correctly it sends a reading via Bluetooth using an app on your mobile phone. You can download and install the app. The sensor works well on BBQ cylinders but cannot be used with a 45kg gas cylinder. 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 the cylinder. This is because LPG isn‘t compressed gas – it is liquified gas. The pressure in an LPG cylinder can vary but it won‘t tell you how full the gas cylinder 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 cylinder is full

Your gas cylinder will probably never be 100% full, for various reasons. Firstly, gas cylinder dimensions aren’t regulated in Australia, so manufacturers have the liberty to create their own cylinder designs. To ensure all gas cylinders are filled to the same filling level of LPG, SWAP’n’GO cylinders 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 cylinder levels

An alternative way how to check BBQ size gas cylinder level is by using a scale. Turn off the gas regulator, disconnect the cylinder and place it on a scale, making sure the valve is firmly closed. The tare (empty) weight of the cylinder 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 cylinder.

What size gas cylinder 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 cylinders 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:

1) Are you using gas for cooking or heating or both?

2) 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 cylinders connected in tandem. A changeover lever allows you to switch between cylinders when one is empty for uninterrupted supply. Make sure to order a replacement gas cylinder from ELGAS when you switch to a new cylinder so you never run out of gas.

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.

If you‘re using 2 gas cylinders, always order gas as soon as the first cylinder runs out.
Remember to order sooner, rather than later, during the busy winter season.
Remember to check gas cylinder levels more often in cold weather.
Having additional house guests can also increase your usage if you have gas hot water.
If you only have one gas cylinder attached to your home, you should consider adding another.
Remember to increase gas cylinder level checks if you use additional gas appliances.
Let ELGAS know of any changes so we can adjust your LPG cylinder delivery schedule.
With several 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.

New Residential LPG customer?

New Business LPG customer?

New Business LPG customer?