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The Original Grill Gauge

Picture this: you’ve had a tough day in the shop and your mouth is watering for a cold one and some beer-can chicken, but you’re not sure how much gas you have left.   That’s where the Original Grill Gauge helps — simply attach the gauge to your gas tank and lift to tell whether you need to make a gas run before you light the fire.

It’s not a new concept; Even my Weber grill has a similar — if not as accurate — gauge on the bracket that holds the tank.  These gauges work much like the fish scale that Sean used to test Penntek’s Power Pull Hammer, weighing the tank — and taking into account an average tank’s empty weight — to guess how much gas remains.  But I’m a little dubious of the Gauge’s accuracy claims.  Doesn’t empty weight vary from tank to tank?

That said, it’s still better than other solutions I’ve seen that involve sticking crap to the tank or attaching dials to the nozzle.  Those limit you to measuring the gas in a single tank.  If you’re like me, you’ve got a few tanks that you rotate in and out of service during the grilling season. 

I figure that at a street price of about $15, it can’t hurt to keep one of these around.  And if you’re shopping for one, check the Google Products link below where I managed to find one for under $10.

The Original Grill Gauge [Corporate Site]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

 

12 Responses to The Original Grill Gauge: Determine Remaining Gas By Weight

  1. Evan N. says:

    I like that it’s calibrated. I’ve used a scale to weigh the tank to just make sure there some left in there, but knowing roughly how much would be nice. I assume the tare weights on all the propane tanks are the same to within a half a pound or so? I’ll have to pick one of these up.

  2. Michael says:

    First rule: Have a 2nd tank. They are fairly inexpensive and a save money in the long run by not having you fill a partial tank “just in case”. I had a propane business and we filled many a half full tank –we would tell them how much gas they still had in the tank but most would insist to fill it.

    Having said that, when your friends borrow your 2nd tank and you back to one and worrying, I use a bathroom scale. New ones are pretty accurate.
    An empty tank will weigh between 17 and 22 lbs–look on the collar for the TW followed by a number. It may be hard to find but it is there. The TW stands for Tare Weight which is essentially the empty weight of the tank. The standard grill tank is a 20# tank, so if the TW was 19 and the weight on the scale was 29# the tank would be half full.

  3. Michael,
    Thanks for the great info. Sounds like they are pretty consistent, with at most a 1/4 tank variation (5 lb range for TW – out of 20lbs of gas in a full tank).

    If I was measuring something else, I’d be more concerned, but for gas to grill with, a 1/4 tank margin of error is acceptable to me. Usually if I have anything less than 1/4 tank I’m prepared to swap it out if I run out.

    Would you know how and by whom the TW is set for these tanks? Is there some regulatory body that determines the tare weight?

  4. If I have to disconnect my tank, I’d rather just use the bathroom scale. It’s cheaper and I always know where it is. I have seen grills with built in scales. I also have seen inline pressure gauges which show you when your tank is low. My next grill will have one of these features built in.

  5. Benjamen,
    You don’t have to disconnect the tank. You do have to be able to lift it off the floor, but you can leave the gas line still attached. This is easier/possible on some grills than others.

  6. A pressure gauge will only show you when there’s no liquid at all left in the tank, since until that point, the pressure is set by temperature and first-year physics. (I think; I never took physics.) Weighing the tank is reliable, but why not just park a cheap bathroom scale in the base of the grill and be done with it?

  7. Good point Nate..
    Although these guys claim that their gauge DOES measure the amount of liquid and not just whether there’s pressure.
    http://www.thetankonline.com

    Bad news: It’s $54 and it only works on one tank at a time.

  8. Correction: The $54 is for the tank AND the gauge. Still not cheap, and it means if you want multiple tanks, it adds up quick. And right now they’ve got free shipping, but it’s usually $10 more for that, plus 6% tax if you’re in PA.

  9. PutnamEco says:

    If you want to go over the top, get yourself a gas cylinder scale.
    They work with welding and refrigerant tanks too.

    http://www.acsensor.com/download.asp?BigClassName=Scales

  10. Will Tophinger says:

    I was so impressed with this Grill Gauge, I bought another for my brother. The fact that it is “weight-calibrated” is the best way to measure propane. I think they do allow for a reasonable margin of error as tare weight can vary slightly from tank to tank.

  11. Dan Zabelny says:

    I’ve had the Grill Gauge for about 3 months now and for something so simple it works perfect for me! I paid less than $15 for it and I even take it to the Home Depot when I get another propane tank just to verify I am getting all the propane I’m paying for. Works fine with my LP tank connected. Best little BBQ gadget I’ve seen since the propane tank itself!

  12. Terry McGuire says:

    I bought the Grill Gauge for my husband last month and he said it was the “best grill device” I’ve ever bought him and he is a serious griller. He says it has been very effective and he can take it to the U-haul place where he refills propane to verify his next fill-up…it works for us!

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