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Old 06-06-2011, 09:06 AM   #1
Ryland
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Default Propane tank size for a cooktop

I am finally working on the new kitchen and need to spec out the propane tank size for the cooktop but I have no idea how big I would need. Would dual 50lb tanks be enough with an automatic switchover so that I can pull the empty tank and get it refilled?
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

It really depends on how much cooking you will be doing. A 20lb tank (the common gas-grill size) lasts a pretty long time cooking. I have dual 20's on my 30' camper. I've never gone through more than 1 bottle in a season (4 or 5 trips a year). That's mostly summer camping with not much furnace use though. I wouldn't want to lug 50's around. 30lb bottles are also available and are a popular size in the camper world.

FWIW, I keep 5 20lb bottles around and always wait until I need at least 3 filled before I go to the gas place. My local gas co drops the price per gallon way down if you're getting more than 10 gallons (2 20lb bottles filled) at a pop.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

Well this is for a home. I go through a single 20lb tank/year with my gas grill but that doesnt get used much.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

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Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
Well this is for a home. I go through a single 20lb tank/year with my gas grill but that doesnt get used much.
Are you using propane for anything else in the home? Hot water? Furnace? If so, I'd just get a big, horizontal stationary tank (200 gallons or so) and have the gas co come out and keep it filled.

At any rate, I wouldn't want to go any bigger than the 30lb bottles if I was going to be hauling them back and forth to the gas co.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

The only other propane device I have is my grill which is on the other side of the house. These tanks would only be for the cooktop.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

My sister has a propane oven/stove. This is the only appliance that uses propane. It took her 8 years to empty a 100 gallon pig(this is the only one I have ever seen). She cooks 3-4 oven meals a week for a family of 5.

I myself use a 3 burner propane camp stove to do all my vegatable canning. It usually takes me a week to do all this canning, using the 3 burners 3-5 hours a day. I use 1, 25lb can per year.

I would say going with a primary/secondary set up you will get much use before a change out. Theonly thing I would wonder about is if the stove top has a standing pilot. This would use gas and shorten the window between fill ups.

Like others said, get the size of can that you can handle easily, we aren't getting any younger.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

We have a butane cooker in our holiday home and a 32lb bottle has lasted us five years! Ok it only gets used maybe six weeks a year but it lasted way longer than I expected.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

I should be able to handle a 50lb tank, especially if it is outside and easily accessible plus I could always put it from the car to my atv and drive it out to the side of the house if I was feeling really lazy or put it into a wheelbarrow.

I have also been trying to find the maximum propane tank size that can be transported in a vehicle.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

I have a propane tank for the cooktop in my home. It is just the wife and I, a 20 gal tank lasts about 10 months. The tank for my grill lasts about 2 years. I have one spare tank for either the cooktop or grill. The only issue we have had, it is so long between fillups.. sometimes we forget to fill the spare and I have had to pull the tank from the grill for the cooktop.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

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I have a propane tank for the cooktop in my home. It is just the wife and I, a 20 gal tank lasts about 10 months. The tank for my grill lasts about 2 years. I have one spare tank for either the cooktop or grill. The only issue we have had, it is so long between fillups.. sometimes we forget to fill the spare and I have had to pull the tank from the grill for the cooktop.
That sounds like I could go with dual 30lbers and be set for around a year/tank
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:55 AM   #11
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

Does anybody have a preference on auto cutover valves for propane tanks?
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:05 AM   #12
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

My folks used to have a propane stove, tank was std tank for area, maybe 80-100 gal, would last about a year.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

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I have also been trying to find the maximum propane tank size that can be transported in a vehicle.
We use propane at our hunting camp and transport 100lb tanks for filling. They are about as large as I would want to handle and we transport them by truck (1/2 ton.) Usually two guys to load or unload.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:10 PM   #14
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

Well I only have my wife's minivan that I can use for transport and I need a tank size that I can handle on my own which is why I was maxing out at dual 50lbers
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:48 PM   #15
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

A few years back I was planning on doing some winter projects in the garage and was going to get a 100bls tank and I was told by a local propane supplier, in Michigan, that anything over 40lbs tank has to be transported in an open vehicle. i.e. pick up, open flat bed, or on outside of RV. At the time I only had an Explorer and they would only let me get a couple of 40 lbs tanks. Worked out better in the end. Only needed one tank and ended up using the other on my grill for about a year and a half. If had gotten the 100 lbs tank I don't think I could have hooked it up to my grill without changing the regulator hose.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:41 PM   #16
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

We get about 16 months out of one 100lb tank running our 6 burner commercial cook-top at home. Costs about 50 bucks to refill it. Would do it again...
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:15 PM   #17
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

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Originally Posted by Hmrhead View Post
A few years back I was planning on doing some winter projects in the garage and was going to get a 100bls tank and I was told by a local propane supplier, in Michigan, that anything over 40lbs tank has to be transported in an open vehicle. i.e. pick up, open flat bed, or on outside of RV. At the time I only had an Explorer and they would only let me get a couple of 40 lbs tanks. Worked out better in the end. Only needed one tank and ended up using the other on my grill for about a year and a half. If had gotten the 100 lbs tank I don't think I could have hooked it up to my grill without changing the regulator hose.
This is the information I was looking for. I couldn't find the max tank size I could transport in an enclosed vehicle.
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

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Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
Does anybody have a preference on auto cutover valves for propane tanks?
Personally, I don't care much for the auto-cutover valves. These are a common option on camper trailers and I know from experience that they have a fairly high failure rate.

Also, if you run one tank empty and the valve switches over, you run the possibility of eventually emptying both tanks without knowing/realizing it.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

My wife and I are building a home and are doing the same thing. We're going to heat with geothermal and will only need gas for a cooktop. (The ovens will be electric.)

The Mrs. and I do a lot of cooking and currently live in a condo with gas for the cooktop, oven, and heat.

During the non-heating months, we use around 1 Therm of gas per month for cooking. 12 Therms per year works out to be 1,200,000 Btu per year. Using a conservative fudge factor for oven vs. cooktop, lets say the cooktop is 1,000,000 Btu per year.

At 21,600 Btu per lb. of propane, that would put us at 46 lbs. per year.

My going-in plan has been to be to have two tanks hooked up to a "Y" coupling, drain one tank half way, and then open the second tank. If the tanks are identical, my understanding of physics (I may be off, its been a while since I hit the text books.) is that the tanks will drain at the same rate, allowing me to disconnect an empty bottle and refill it while the other is still hooked up.

Even though, it would be overkill - I'm thinking of doing dual 100 lb. tanks as I want to go with an ASME tank. (I can't find ASME tanks under 100 lb. - only DOT tanks.)

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Old 06-06-2011, 11:53 PM   #20
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Default Re: Propane tank size for a cooktop

i am amazed at the responses on how much propane you guys use, i know im a fat man but we burn through right at 3 x 100 lb tanks a year on our BBQ alone. 99% of the cooking and baking we do is on the grill as i cant stand cooking smells in the house. makes me wonder if a gas stove in the garage is worth looking in to.
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