20 Lb. Vs. 30 Lb. Propane Tank: What Is The Difference?
Curious about the differences between a 20-pound and a 30-pound propane tank? You’ve probably deduced that a 30-pound tank is the larger of the two, but what else sets them apart? Knowing the various characteristics of each propane tank will help you figure out which one is best for your situation.
A 20-pound propane tank or grill cylinder is 18 inches tall and is most often used to power gas grills. Meanwhile, a 30-pound propane tank is two feet tall and frequently fuels the heat and appliances for campers. Twenty-pound tanks are easier to transport at 37 pounds when full; 30-pound tanks weigh 55 pounds, and they last longer.
In this article, we’ll talk about 20-pound and 30-pound propane tanks in depth. We’ll also cover the pros and cons of using each one before going into a direct comparison. Finally, we’ll offer some suggestions as to whether a 20-pound or 30-pound propane tank is best for your particular situation.
Sizes Of Propane Tanks
What Is A 20-Pound Propane Tank?
Twenty-pound propane tanks are the most commonly used tank size. They’re also frequently referred to as grill cylinders. They have a cylindrical shape with a collar and carrying handle on the top.
Twenty-pound tanks are required to have an overfill prevention device (OPD) valve. This prevents the propane tank from being overfilled, which can be dangerous.
What Are 20-Pound Propane Tanks Used For?
The reason 20-pound propane tanks are often called grill cylinders is that they’re used for gas grills. They’re also the standard for small space heaters, mosquito magnets, and turkey fryers. There are tons of other propane applications in which you could use a 20-pound propane tank as well.
How Much Does A 20-Pound Propane Tank Weigh?
You might think that a 20-pound propane tank weighs 20 pounds, but that’s not true. When empty, a 20-pound propane tank weighs about 17 pounds.
When it’s full, a 20-pound propane tank weighs about 37 pounds. It contains 4.6 gallons of propane, which equals out to 20 pounds. This is where its name comes from.
What Are The Dimensions Of A 20-Pound Propane Tank?
A 20-pound propane tank has a diameter of 12.5 inches. It has a height of one and a half feet tall, so it is 18 inches tall.
What Is The BTU Capacity Of A 20-Pound Propane Tank?
The BTU capacity of a 20-pound propane tank is 430,270 BTU (British Thermal Unit).
Pros of 20-Pound Propane Tanks
The main benefit of using a 20-pound propane tank instead of a 30-pound tank is that it’s more lightweight. Twenty-pound propane tanks are easier to carry and transport. (Always be careful when transporting propane tanks; never place them on their side or leave them in a vehicle.)
Rather than using a 30-pound propane tank, many opt for two 20-pound tanks. This way, their supply of propane lasts longer and is easier to handle when refilling. When one tank runs out, the other can replace it and continue to provide fuel.
Cons of 20-Pound Propane Tanks
The downside of a 20-pound propane tank is that it has a relatively small capacity. Therefore, depending on what you’re powering with it, a 20-pound propane tank might need to be refilled frequently. For example, a 20-pound propane tank would fuel a wall heater for about 14 hours before running out of propane.
What Is A 30-Pound Propane Tank?
Thirty-pound propane tanks are one of the most popular tank sizes. Just like a 20-pound tank, a 30-pound tank is cylindrical. It has the same collar with a carrying handle as well.
A 30-pound propane tank is required to have an ODP valve to keep it from being overfilled. This regulation applies to all propane tanks between four and 40 pounds.
What Are 30-Pound Propane Tanks Used For?
You’ll most often see 30-pound propane tanks used to power campers and camper trailers. These tanks supply gas for the heat, fridge, and stove top inside the camper. Usually, there will be two 30-pound tanks located on the tongue of the trailer.
Thirty-pound propane tanks have other uses as well. They can power construction heaters, space heaters, and other propane-fueled appliances.
How Much Does A 30-Pound Propane Tank Weigh?
A 30-pound propane tank weighs about 25 pounds when empty and 55 pounds when full. It holds seven gallons of propane, which weighs about 30 pounds. The weight of the propane is where the 30-pound propane tank got its name.
What Are The Dimensions Of A 30-Pound Propane Tank?
A 30-pound propane tank is 12.5 inches across and two feet or 24 inches tall.
What Is The BTU Capacity Of A 30-Pound Propane Tank?
A 30-pound propane tank has a BTU capacity of 649,980 BTU.
Pros of 30-Pound Propane Tanks
The biggest advantage of a 30-pound propane tank is that it has a larger capacity than smaller propane tanks. This means that it will last longer before needing to be refilled.
Cons of 30-Pound Propane Tank
Since 30-pound propane tanks weigh about 55 pounds when full, they can be unwieldy and difficult to handle and transport. In addition, if you use a 30-pound tank to power your gas grill, it likely won’t fit under it. This type of grill typically has a space meant for a 20-pound propane tank instead.
Another consideration to keep in mind is that you may be charged a premium to fill a 30-pound propane tank. This isn’t always true, but happens it often enough that it’s worth mentioning.
20-Lb. vs. 30 Lb. Propane Tank: Evaluation Criteria
Now that we’ve gone over the details of each size propane tank, we’ll directly compare a 20-pound and 30-pound tank.
A 20-pound and 30-pound propane tank have the same diameter. Each one is 12.5 inches across. However, a 30-pound propane tank is six inches taller than a 20-pound propane tank. A 30-pound propane tank is 24 inches tall, and a 20-pound propane tank is 18 inches tall.
Twenty-pound propane tanks hold about 4.6 gallons of liquid propane, and 30-pound tanks hold about seven gallons.
Twenty-pound propane tanks are most often used to fuel gas grills. They’re also frequently used for mosquito magnets, turkey fryers, and small space heaters.
Meanwhile, thirty-pound propane tanks are primarily used to power the heat, stove top, and fridge of a camper. Campers and camper trailers often use two 30-pound propane tanks.
How long a 20-pound or 30-pound propane tank will last depends on what you’re powering with it. However, a 30-pound tank will last longer than a 20-pound tank due to its higher capacity for liquid propane. Thirty-pound tanks also have a higher output at 649,980 BTU; a 20-pound tank’s output is 430,270 BTU.
How long should a 20 lb. propane tank last?
When used to power a grill, a 20-pound propane tank lasts between 18 and 20 hours.
How tall is a 30 lb. propane tank?
A 30-pound propane tank is two feet or 24 inches tall. It’s six inches taller than a 20-pound propane tank, which is 18 inches tall.
How many gallons of propane are in a 30 lb. tank?
There are seven gallons of propane in a 30-pound tank. The seven gallons weigh about 30 pounds, giving the 30-pound propane tank its name.
20-Lb. vs. 30 Lb. Propane Tank: The Final Verdict
Neither a 20-pound nor a 30-pound propane tank is necessarily better than the other. They both have their benefits, drawbacks, and best uses.
You’ll probably want a 20-pound propane tank if you intend to power a gas grill or other small appliance with it. Twenty-pound propane tanks are lighter and easier to transport.
However, if you’re powering a camper, you’ll want to consider one or two 30-pound propane tanks. A 20-pound propane tank likely won’t last long enough to provide all the fuel you’ll need. Thirty-pound propane tanks are also better for larger appliances or gas grills that are very frequently used.
With a lifelong passion for writing plus strong enthusiasm for home improvement and DIY projects, joining the team at Upgraded Home was an easy choice. Jessica Allen likes to share helpful information with current and aspiring homeowners. Aside from writing, Jessica loves doing yoga, playing the piano, and dabbling in graphic design.
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