The Basics of Residential Propane Tank Sizes

Do you use propane in your home, or are you considering starting? Propane is an earth-friendly, cost effective fuel source that can save you big money. But it’s important to get the right size residential propane tank for your needs. Here is our concise guide to the most common tank sizes and what they’re good for.

The 20 lb. tank

20 lb. propane tankThe twenty pound tank is the basic propane tank you will commonly see at supermarkets. These are most commonly known for home use but, unlike other residential propane tanks, they do not have the capacity to power large in-home systems. Mostly, 20 lb. tanks are used for propane fired barbeques and grills, or for small outdoor patio heaters. Because they are so small, we do not offer home refill, and only provide exchanges with businesses that use them. If you are looking for one of these for the backyard grill, your average supermarket or hardware store will usually have them.

The 100 lb. tank

Going from 20 lbs. to 100 lbs. may seem like a jump, but 100 lbs. of propane is still a pretty small amount and is about right for light residential use, such as if you have a propane fireplace or propane stove, but no other propane appliances to fuel. Of course, they can also be used for heaters and the like. Although you can use one of these tanks on its own, it’s more common to have two hooked up with an indicator and automatic switchover. That way when one runs out, you can move seamlessly to the backup.

The 420 lb. / 120 Gallon Tank

This is where we get into the kind of capacity you will need if your home has several propane appliances. For example, if your kitchen and fireplace are both propane-fueled, or you use propane for your primary home heating source, you will need this kind of capacity. 420 lbs. is doable for several major appliances and for whole house systems for small to medium houses. These can be refilled on site at your home, either on a set schedule or when you call for more.

The 500 and 1,000 gallon tanks

1,000 gallon residential propane tank500 or 1,000 gallon tanks are the recommended size for most households with a whole home system. Medium sized homes (approximately 2500-3500 sq ft.)  are usually best fitted with the 500 gallon tanks and large houses (3500+ sq ft +) are best with 1000 gallon tanks. In other words, if propane is your main energy source throughout your home, a 420 lb. tank may start you off, but the 500 gallon or 1,000 gallon tanks will be more appropriate. Again, this tank is filled commonly on a forecasted schedule, by a propane truck that comes to your home.

What size tank do you use? Are you considering upgrading? Call or contact us at Gas Tec so that we can assess your propane needs!

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