Are All Propane Tanks the Same?

If you are new to the world of propane, you may have some questions, specifically related to tanks and storing propane. You may use propane only for your grill or a specific appliance, or you may use propane for your whole house heat.

Whatever you use propane for, it is important to know the options that you have available to you when it comes to tanks. To answer the questions briefly, no, not all propane tanks are the same. There will be differences depending on how much propane you need and what you need it for. The main differences in propane tanks are:


There are two basic shapes when it comes to propane tanks: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal propane tanks, sometimes referred to as “torpedo tanks” are generally larger and can hold more propane. This is important when you consider how much propane you need and what you need it for. 

If you heat your entire home with propane, it may be useful to have a horizontal tank, so you can have more propane at hand when you need it and require less fill-ups throughout the coldest months, when the weather may be bad and it may be difficult for trucks to reach your house.

Vertical tanks are generally smaller. If you only use propane for a few appliances or have an alternative heat source for your home, vertical tanks may be a good option. Since vertical tanks are smaller, they are easier to place out of sight if you are concerned about curb appeal.


The next main difference when it comes to propane tanks is size. Sizes of smaller propane tanks are measured in pounds (lbs.), while sizes of larger propane tanks are measured in gallons. If you have a propane grill or have recently switched to propane, you are probably familiar with the standard, compact 20 lb. cylinder used for grills.

Other small sizes include 30 lb., 40 lb., and 100 lb. cylinders. These sizes may be used for RVs and some small heaters.

Once you start getting into larger size tanks, they begin being measured in gallons. For example, a 60-gallon tank can run one or possibly two appliances, while a 120-gallon tank can run several more appliances (basically all household applications, except whole house heat). Tanks in the 325 to 500-gallon range can provide whole house heat, and tanks in the 1000+-gallon range can heat larger residences and can also be used for commercial and industrial purposes.

Besides these two main differences, there are a few other considerations when it comes to propane tanks. You should consider where the valves are located on the tanks, as well as whether you want to own or lease your tanks. If you do decide to lease, your propane supplier is generally in charge of installing and maintaining your tanks as shown on HellersGas.

If you are new to the world of propane grilling, heating, or propane appliances, you are well on your way to understanding what you need in a propane tank. Just consider what you will be using the propane for and how much you will need. This will help you to determine what kind of tank and how big of a tank will work for your specific situation.