How Long Does A Propane Tank Last On A Fire Pit? (Find Out Now!)

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by Upgraded Home Team

Very few outdoor experiences are as lovely as spending time surrounding a fire pit. Propane-fueled fire pits make an excellent option for people who want an easily movable fire pit with simple on and off power. It can be difficult to estimate how long a propane tank will last for a fire pit for a night with friends. The last thing you want is to be stranded without any available fuel for your fire pit.

For a fire pit that uses a 20-pound propane tank, expect to get about three to six hours of usage. Much of how long your propane tank will last depends on how high you adjust the flame and how strong the wind is. If you keep the flame low, it is possible to extend the use of your propane tank in your outdoor fire pit.

Outdoor fire pits have plenty to offer homeowners, but the convenience does come at a cost. Propane tanks can be costly to refill and can be challenging to determine the amount left. For savvy homeowners, though, it is possible to accurately calculate the amount of propane fuel remaining with some simple mathematical equations.

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What Size Propane Tank Is Normal For a Fire Pit?

How long a propane tank will last on a fire pit depends on the size of the propane tank. Most residential fire pits come with a 20-pound refillable propane tank. Some smaller outdoor fire pits only include a 5-pound propane tank, though, providing a limited amount of fuel for your fire.

Your propane tank should be easily accessible and visible on your fire pit so you can determine the appropriate size. Unless clearly stated in the manufacturer’s instructions, you should never change the propane tank size, increasing or decreasing the amount of propane intended for your specific fire pit.

How Much Does a New Propane Tank Cost?

Usually, a residential fire pit will use a 20-pound propane tank. These can be easily refilled at several big box hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s. You can expect to pay about $20 for a new 20-pound tank. When considering the total cost of your new gas fire pit, be sure to think about how frequently the fuel will have to be changed, adding an extra cost. Regularly changing fuel with repeated use can cause the overall cost of your fire pit to escalate pretty significantly.

How Quickly Will My Fire Pit Burn Propane?

Every fire pit is different and is designed to burn at different heat capacities. Most fire pits will have a BTU rating, indicating how hot the fire pit burns. Most fire pits will have this number written directly on the fire pit. If you do not immediately see a BTU value for your fire pit, consult the owner’s manual or look online for an accurate rating.

A simple internet search with your specific make and model should give you an accurate BTU rating. Using the BTU value, you will be able to estimate the time your propane will last.

BTUPounds of Propane Used Per HourNumber of Hours of Fuel
10,0000.5 pounds40
20,0000.9 pounds 22
30,0001.4 pounds15

How Can I Calculate Fuel Consumption?

If your particular fire pit does not neatly fit into the above chart or has an uneven amount of propane left, it is also possible to calculate how many hours of fuel you have left. Please note that this equation uses pounds of propane and not gallons. The equation to calculate fuel consumption is:

Pounds of Propane X 21,600 (average BTU)/BTU Capacity = Number of Hours

For example, a full 20-pound propane tank will be able to provide 432,000 total BTU capacity. For a fire pit that burns at 50,000 BTU, you will have about 8.64 hours of fuel. Every fire pit design has a different BTU rating, so check your specific model before performing your fuel consumption calculations.

Does the Wind Affect The Flame On My Fire Pit?

Wind gusts can impact your fire more than you may think. When the wind blows to the side of the flame, it can cause the flame to decrease and sometimes blow out. To compensate, the flame will use more propane gas to fuel it, making it stronger. Throughout a night, strong winds can cause your propane to run out much more quickly than normal.

If you position your gas fire pit in an area of the yard that experiences a great deal of wind, you may want to consider investing in a wind guard. Not only will a wind guard make it more comfortable for you and your friends to sit around a fire, but it will preserve your propane fuel throughout the night.

Where Should I Position My Fire Pit?

Choosing the place to put your fire pit depends on where you will use it most in the yard. Select a space that is easy to get to, and that has ample seating. Be sure to choose a place that is protected from the wind. High winds can make your flame burn higher and brighter, causing your fuel to burn more quickly. Even partial protection from the wind will save a significant amount of propane fuel.

What Fire Pits Are Most Fuel Efficient?

There are countless makes and models of propane fire pits available for purchase, and each has its own design. Some fire pit options are highly regarded for their fuel efficiency, making them an excellent choice for homeowners. Not only are fuel-efficient gas fire pits easier to take care of, with fewer fuel replacements required, but they are also cheaper to run long-term because they will require fewer propane tank replacements.

One manufacturer that continually stands out as a top performer is the Blue Rhino Endless Summer Outdoor Firebowl. Not only is this an attractive design, but it boasts a high fuel efficiency, making it long-lasting. With the Endless Summer Outdoor Firebowl, you’ll be able to spend hours outdoors shared with friends and family.

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Related Questions

What are some benefits of a gas fire pit vs. a wood-burning fire pit?

Although homeowners have to pay for propane fuel, there are several advantages of having a gas fire pit. First, burning gas is much cleaner than burning wood because homeowners don’t have to worry about the ash and soot that comes from burning wood. Plus, gas fire pits are easily moved throughout the yard, allowing you to change positions.Lastly, gas fire pits benefit from a convenient on and off switch, allowing you to get instant heat when turned on or immediate cessation of heat when you are done at the end of the night.

Can you cook on a gas fire pit?

It is certainly possible to cook on a gas fire pit, but it is not recommended. Gas fire pits tend to burn cooler with a yellow flame. The yellow flame can add smoke to your food, making it taste differently. Plus, cooking over a gas fire pit runs the risk of dripping food grease into the internal elements that create the flame. The grease can make the burner dirty and eventually cause it not to work.

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