Propane FAQs by Our Missouri Propane Company

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Hello again! MS Propane here, back with some handy information about propane. This time, we’d like to answer some frequently asked questions that people have about propane.

If you have questions, we’ve got answers! Have a question we didn’t answer? Contact us, and we’ll get in touch!

How Is Propane Made?

Propane is mostly made by extracting it during natural gas processing in America. This happens during a process called fractionation, which involves cooling natural gas to a low enough temperature that different components can be siphoned off based on their cooling points. So, natural gas companies create propane by understanding its chemical properties and composition.

Thanks to the shale oil boom over the past 20 years, domestic supplies of propane have become more plentiful. 

How Much Propane Does a Fireplace Use?

Most fireplaces burn 1 gallon of propane per hour for every 100,000 BTUs. Your actual propane fireplace usage will vary based on the BTUs it consumes. However, one gallon of propane produces 91,500 BTUs. 

You can figure this out by reading your propane fireplace owner’s manual to see what BTUs your appliance will burn over a specific timeframe. If your propane fireplace burns 50,000 BTUs an hour, that will use about half a gallon.

How Do I Tell When a Propane Tank Is Empty?

First, look at the gauge on your propane tank. You should call MS Propane when it reaches 25% because you never want to run out of propane. Otherwise, you can tell your propane tank is empty when your propane appliances don’t generate heat or won’t ignite.

How Long Does a Tank of Propane Last?

A 500-gallon propane tank can last several months before it needs to be refilled, but it depends on a few factors. 

  1. Number of propane appliances in your home or business
  2. How often you use these propane appliances
  3. The size of your propane tank
  4. Efficiency of your propane appliances
  5. How many BTUs your propane appliances use

If there is a colder-than-normal winter, your propane tank will likely use more propane. Your actual results will vary, and we cannot guarantee that the propane in your tank will last a certain amount of time. The easiest way to ensure your propane tank has enough is to enroll in our autofill program.

How Much Does a Gallon of Propane Weigh?

One gallon of liquid propane weighs 4.24 pounds. By comparison, a gallon of water weighs 8.33 pounds. For a 500-gallon propane tank, the propane alone with a filled tank (400 gallons) is 1,696 pounds. For a 1,000-gallon tank filled with 800 gallons, that’s 3,392 pounds of propane (not including the steel in the tank).

Does Propane Freeze in Cold Weather?

Not when it gets cold during Missouri’s chilliest winters. The freezing point of propane is -306.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Propane is a gas at room temperature and normal pressure. 

When Does Propane Turn Into a Liquid?

Propane turns into a liquid at -44 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the pressure inside a propane tank keeps it a liquid. Under normal conditions, propane is a gas. When put under pressure, it turns into liquified petroleum gas (LPG), the technical name for propane.

That’s why a propane tank is made from steel and has gauges to monitor the pressure. It’s stored as a pressurized liquid, but it’s completely safe when handled by the experts at MS Propane!

What Does Propane Smell Like?

Propane gas itself has no odor. However, propane companies add ethyl mercaptan, which smells like sulfur or rotten eggs. If you smell this odor around your stove, it could be that a pilot light is out. Take measures immediately if you smell this odor in other parts of your house.

Does Propane Expire?

Propane does not expire or degrade when stored properly. However, additives in other fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, and diesel, do degrade over time.

How Long Are Propane Tanks Good For?

Propane tanks of 120 gallons or more can last for many decades. They may have to be refurbished and have the gauges replaced with newer equipment at some point. We have some propane tanks in the field that are from the 1950s and are still safe and operational!

How Much Does an Empty Propane Tank Weigh?

Based on the size of the propane tank, the empty weights are as follows:

  • 250 gallons: 485 pounds
  • 330 gallons: 610 pounds
  • 500 gallons: 950 pounds
  • 1,000 gallons: 1,760 pounds

So, when empty, a 1,000-gallon propane tank holds four times as much propane and weighs almost four times as much as a 250-gallon tank.

How Much Does a Full Propane Tank Weigh?

Based on the size of the propane tank, the total weights at 80% are as follows:

  • 250 gallons: 1,335 pounds
  • 330 gallons: 1,732 pounds
  • 500 gallons: 2,650 pounds
  • 1,000 gallons: 5,160 pounds

How Hot Does Propane Burn?

Propane burns at 3,560 degrees Fahrenheit and is very efficient at producing heat. Up to 95% of propane is converted directly to heat! One cubic foot of propane generates 2,520 BTUs of heat versus just 1,012 BTUs for natural gas.

Does Propane Produce Carbon Monoxide?

Yes, propane produces carbon monoxide as a result of combustion. However, all propane appliances are designed to shunt any gasses away and leave behind only heat. To be safe, install carbon monoxide detectors at critical locations in your home, particularly in or near bedrooms.

Where Can I Get Propane Service in Missouri?

If you live in Southwest Missouri, MS Propane has offices in these three cities:

  • Rogersville
  • Buffalo
  • Fair Grove

We service these cities and the surrounding areas:

  • Cabool
  • Camdenton
  • Ava

We serve a roughly 25-mile radius around these cities with propane deliveries. The easiest way to keep your propane tank filled is with our autofill service.

Tips From MS Propane: Heating the Way!

We hope you find answers to these frequently asked questions about propane helpful. We can supply your place with propane thanks to our propane delivery services.If you have any questions about your propane supply, feel free to contact us!