How Long Will A 500-Gallon Tank of Propane Last?

Written By: on April 17, 2023

We Help You Calculate Your Fuel Needs for Heating, Hot Water, or Appliances

propane usage  Jerome, az At Superior Propane Inc., we sell, lease, install, and maintain propane tanks in a wide range of sizes. New customers often ask how large of a tank they think they need—and how often they can expect a fuel delivery.

To answer these questions, let’s look at one of our more common tank sizes: 500 gallons.

How Much Propane Will a 500-Gallon Tank Hold?

This might sound like a trick question, but aboveground propane tanks are generally only filled to 80 percent. The reason has to do with heat expansion. Like water, propane expands in the heat. But propane expands 17 times more than water with the same temperature change.

Propane companies address this with an “80/20 fill rule”. Leaving 20 percent empty space in a tank allows a safe amount of room for the fuel to expand. If you have a 500-gallon propane tank, it can only be filled to 400 gallons.

Bear in mind that underground propane tanks can be filled slightly more than 80 percent because being underground insulates them from much outdoor heat.

Is A 500-Gallon Propane Tank Right for My Home?

We recommend a 500-gallon propane tank if you use propane for home heating, plus multiple appliances such as a water heater, fireplace, space heater, range, clothes dryer or even a generator.

In short, this is a propane tank that can service a lot of equipment and appliances, without you needing to fill-up all too often.

How Long Will a 500-Gallon Tank Last?

Determining how long a propane tank of any size will last requires you to consider how much fuel your systems and appliances use. Here are some estimates based on national averages for annual propane consumption:

Heating Systems 1,000 gallons annually
Water Heaters 200-300 gallons annually
Fireplace Products 100-200 gallons annually
Gas Ranges 20-50 gallons annually
Gas Dryers 15-25 gallons annually

Depending on the number of propane products you have and how often you use them, you might use 1,500 gallons of propane each year. This translates to four 500-gallon tank refills of about 400 gallons.

These propane deliveries won’t be evenly distributed. Most of your fuel consumption is in the fall and winter, so you will burn through more propane and receive more deliveries in those months than in the spring and summer.

Let Superior Propane Inc. Take the Guesswork Out of Propane Deliveries!

The households that we serve in Williams, Flagstaff, Sedona, Prescott, and other northern Arizona communities use propane in many ways. But we have a tried-and-true way to ensure that they never run out: automatic propane delivery.

When you choose Keep Full automatic delivery, you don’t need to worry about checking a tank gauge or remembering to call us for fuel. Our state-of-the-art system tracks your usage based on the number of propane products in your home and current weather conditions. Then, we deliver propane to you before you run low.

There’s no extra charge for Keep Full automatic delivery. On the contrary, our Keep Full customers get a 10¢-per-gallon discount on their propane!

You can enjoy the most attentive and reliable propane delivery in the Grand Canyon State by becoming a Superior Propane Inc. customer today !