“How long will my tank of gas last?”

“It depends on the BTU load.”  said the gas man.

“What is BTU load?” said the customer.

Weatherford, TXWhen considering the cost of gas and appropriate tank size for a new installation, customers often ask the same question, “How long will a tank of gas last?”  We usually respond “It depends on the BTU load.”  Most customers don’t understand what BTU load means.  Usually, an explanation is necessary and it is often lengthy.  However, it is important to understand how it is calculated if you want a good answer.  In it’s simplest form it is a measurement of use at a specific moment in time.  Therefore, how OFTEN you use the appliance or heater is very important when trying to calculate how long a tank will last.


Here is an example of BTU use in action.  If it is a 35,000 BTU log set then it will burn for about 3 hours with 1 gallon of propane.  That’s if you have the flame set on high.  There is your rule of thumb.  If you have a tank with 5 gallons in it, you will get 15 hours of constant burn time and then it will simply run out of gas.  If you have a swimming pool heater with a 400,000 BTU load, it becomes much more complicated because you are trying to get it to a certain comfortable temperature so you can jump in!  It could take days if it’s really cold out and you might just run out of gas!

If you have a gas stove and it is a 65,000 BTU stove but you only use one burner at a time, then you have to know the BTU load of that one burner.  You can find BTU load on a data plate on the appliance.  Sometimes, you have to ask the manufacturer.  Every appliance you have that runs on gas has a different BTU load and it turns off and on during the day either by you or automatically.  Because some appliances do not run constantly, it is hard to gauge gas use.

Over time, consumers learn their own lifestyles and habits and can eventually guess when they might run out of gas.  We also try to give ballparks when we can.  Be on the safe side and sign up for our VIP Autofill program.  This will take the guesswork out of the equation for you most of the time.

Cleburne Propane, LLC

Serving Cleburne, TX, Weatherford, TX, Granbury, TX and Glen Rose, TX