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Consumer propane bottles - 5 gallon, 7 gallon and 10 gallon cylinders

Consumer Propane Cylinders

Most often referred to as bottles, propane cylinders most consumers are familiar with are used to fuel a gas grill. There are different sizes and shapes of propane cylinders used by consumers for a variety applications ranging from cooking and grilling to weed burning. These consumer type cylinders are commonly used in residential and agricultural applications and operate in vapor service similar to that of an ASME propane tank. These propane cylinders conform to DOT (Department of Transportation) standards and are sometimes referenced as "DOT bottles" or "DOT Cylinders".

Consumer Propane Bottle Operation

Propane cylinders used in vapor service will only operate properly when they are vertically upright. While certain types of cylinders are designed for liquid service, most consumer propane bottles are designed for only vapor service, such as with a gas grill.

Overfill prevention device (OPD) equipped cylinders, along with cylinders not equipped with OPD valves (propane cylinders over 40#) will allow liquid through the service valve if placed on their side or inverted. Cylinders such as these are designed for vapor service only and will create a potentially dangerous situation if placed in a position other than upright which would allow liquid propane through the service valve. Consumer propane cylinders such as these use dedicated LP Gas bottle regulators that are designed for use in low BTU appliances such as gas grills and outdoor fryers.

Consumer Propane Cylinder Dimensions

The dimensions presented below are approximate measurements of common size propane cylinders found in service today. The measurements are not exact so contact your propane company or container manufacturer for precise cylinder dimensions.

 
20#
30#
40#
100#
Capacity (gallons)
Weight (empty)
Weight (full)
Overall Height
Diameter
BTU Capacity
4.7 gal
18 lbs
38 lbs
18 inches
12.5 inches
430,270
7.1 gal
24 lbs
54 lbs
24 inches
12.5 inches
649,980
9.4 gal
29 lbs
70 lbs
29 inches
12.5 inches
860,542
23.6 gal
68 lbs
170 lbs
48 inches
14.5 inches
2,160,509

Propane Cylinder BTU Capacities

Propane cylinder BTU capacity indicates the total number of BTU's per full cylinder. This information is useful when determining the total appliance running time. Naturally, larger propane cylinders will allow for longer running times but sometimes larger cylinders are not practical for use in certain applications due to space, hose length, etc. To calculate the total propane bottle supply time, divide the total BTU's of the cylinder by the appliances BTU rating. Keep in mind that listed BTU appliance ratings indicate the total BTU load when the appliance is running at 100%. In other words, a gas grill with a listed rating of 50,000 BTU implies the grill will use 50,000 BTU's per hour when all burners are turned on running at capacity.