The 80/20 Fill Rule: What’s That?

Learn all about this important propane safety rule

propane tank fill rule new yorkHave you ever taken a propane delivery from Depew Energy, then checked your tank gauge and wondered why the gauge reads 80% full and not 100% full?

No, it wasn’t a mistake. This was done deliberately, and it is done for your safety. In fact, it’s a rule that every fuel delivery company follows. To understand it, you first need to understand the science of propane. Let us explain:

Empty space is safe

Propane (chemical formula C3H8) is a liquid. Like other liquids, it expands when it is heated. Propane, when in its liquid form, can’t be burned. To ignite so it can be used properly in your home’s heating system, water heater, range, or whatever appliance you are using it in, propane needs the room to expand.

Propane expands a whole lot more than other liquids. For example, it expands at 17 times the expansion rate of water in the same conditions!

With that kind of expansion, there simply needs to be empty space in your propane tank so your propane has room to accommodate.

Think about how hot it can get here in the Hudson Valley in the summertime. In those conditions, the fuel can begin to further and further expand inside your tank. If the propane in your tank does not have that room to expand, it can be very dangerous for you, your family, and your home.

At Depew Energy, we take propane safety seriously. Our delivery drivers and service technicians are trained to meet the highest industry and regulatory standards when it comes to safety. We will not fill up your propane tank beyond 80% full, no matter what.

Fluctuations in your propane tank gauge

If you’ve noticed that your propane tank gauge levels sometimes go up and down, again, there’s a scientific reason behind that as well.

This is a common occurrence. Like we said earlier, it can get very hot here, especially in months such as August as it is now. Similarly, it can cool down quite a bit at night, especially with clear skies. Those temperature swings create a lot of expanding and contracting of your propane. The tank gauge levels on your propane tank could fluctuate wildly depending on what time of day you are looking at it. For the most accurate reading, we advise going out in the early morning hours after the sun comes up, and before it reaches peak to get the most accurate reading.

For safe, dependable propane delivery, you can’t beat Depew Energy! Located in Newburgh, NY, Depew Energy has been the area’s go-to heat comfort specialists since 1998. We are a family-owned and operated business that started from one simple truck to now over 20! We offer simple, convenient payment options, and are ever-growing in our array of products and services available to you.

Become a customer today and experience the difference of Depew!