Guide to Propane Tanks

Propane Tank : What is it?

Propane Tanks

Propane tanks are airtight containers that carry propane gas and deliver them to heat-generating devices such as stoves and heaters. They are usually made from thick metal cylinders with valves fitted on top, which allow a controlled transfer of propane gas from the tank to the device. A rubber tube usually connects the tank to the device and serves as the passage for the propane gas.

Most propane tanks are reusable, although some are also designed for single use. Propane tanks usually come in four to 40-pound capacities, depending on the use. Smaller tanks with four- to five-pound capacities are typically used on grills and barbecues, and are often called “barbecue bottles.” Larger tanks are used on home and industrial stoves and propane heaters.

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Types of Propane Tanks

Propane TanksPropane Tanks

Kinds of Propane Tanks include the following:


Refillable tanks can be refilled with propane when it runs out.
They are usually made of thicker metal cylinders to prevent leaks from frequent hauling and regular use.
They are commonly used in home gas stoves and heating systems.


Single-use propane tanks contain just enough propane for a single use, and are discarded afterwards.
They are lighter and less durable than refillable tanks, which makes them more portable.
They are normally used with portable grills for camping and outdoor trips.

Types according to valves

POL valve

POL valves can be tightened by turning the valve counterclockwise, often using a wrench to seal it tightly enough to prevent leaks.
When not connected to a grill or other device, the opening is usually stopped with a plug to keep the propane from flowing out.
They also have built-in bleeder valves and pressure relief devices, which help monitor the propane content when refilling.

Acme valve

Acme valves feature thin strands known as Acme threads, which allow the valve to be tightened clockwise and without the use of a wrench.
They also have larger grill fittings for easier tightening and loosening.
They usually come with built-in safety controls, which are opened when the tank is connected to a grill.

Overfill prevention device (OPD) valve

OPD valves have three-lobed handwheels, unlike the other valve types which have five or more lobes.
They are required on all tanks with capacities of four to 40 pounds.
They also feature and additional safety control built into the cylinder, which monitors propane content and prevents overfilling.


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Choosing Propane Tanks (Buying tips)

Durability: Choose a propane tank with a thick, sturdy metal body. Make sure the cylinder will not crack or dent when bumped during transport. Refillable tanks should be heavy and compact. Single-use tanks may be lighter, but should still be airtight and well-protected against impact and heat.

Safety: Make sure you propane tank is tightly sealed and will not allow propane to flow out. Even small amounts of propane can explode when ignited, so make sure there are no openings in the tank. Check the body for leaks and cracks, and check the valve for proper fitting and tightening.


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