Propane Problems: How Do I Know What Size Propane Tank I Have?

As many as 60 million Americans use propane gas in their home. It’s a smart choice for powering your outdoor grill, stove, and many other home appliances. The fuel has many advantages; it’s clean, produced in America, safe to use, and portable.

Speaking of portable, you need a tank to store your propane in. They come in a variety of standard sizes. The tank size you need will depend on how much propane you want to keep and the amount of propane you plan to use.


This guide will help you determine what size propane tank you currently have or need. 

What Sizes Do Propane Tanks Come In?

There are two versions of propane tanks, residential and commercial. We are going to focus on the residential options for this article. 

Propane tanks come in several standard sizes. You can typically tell the size of the tank you have by looking at it since the different propane tank sizes are easily recognizable. 

20 Pound 

These are the small portable tanks that you see running grills, generators, and patio heaters. You can easily find them for sale at your local hardware, grocery, or general goods store. These tanks measure about a foot in diameter and a foot and a half tall. 

120 Pound 

These tanks are slightly larger and measure about four and a half feet tall. The larger size makes them perfect for use with a hot water heater, dryer, or stove. You may also hear this tank referred to as a 420-pound tank. 

250 Pound 

At this size, propane tanks get turned on their side and become a horizontal cylinder. This site is just under eight feet long and 30 inches in diameter. It will hold 200 gallons of propane, which is plenty for heating your home or running multiple home appliances. 

500 Gallon

Homeowners that want to power their entire home with appliances, hot water heater, and generators will have a tank this size. It measures just under ten feet long and 35 inches in diameter. It will hold 400 gallons of propane. 

1,000 Gallon 

This tank is long as just over 16 feet long and 41 inches in diameter. It’s used for heating and running larger homes with multiple propane-powered appliances. The tank can hold 800 gallons when full. 

How Do I Measure My Tank? 

Measure the diameter and height of your tank. Include the base and metal collar in your measurement. Compare your measurements with the standard sizes listed here. The size that your measurements match up with is the size of your tank. 

Another easier method is to look at the labeling on your tank or other homeowner information. This documentation should tell you the size and capacity of your tank. 

What Size Propane Tank Do I Need?

To determine what size propane tank you need, start by making a list of everything you’re going to use the propane to power. A single appliance that you use occasionally may only need the 20-pound tank. Supplying an entire large house that’s home to several family members may require a 1,000-gallon tank. 

Check out our other home articles for more useful information about maintaining and repairing your home. 

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