Costco Propane Tank With Gauge: Do They Really Work?

When you are planning a nice barbecue it always is nice to know how much propane you have on hand. You could buy a separate gauge to monitor your supply. Or you could simply buy a propane tank that includes the gauge with your purchase price.

From all the reports that we have seen so far, these gauges really work. The biggest difference between the reports was that some owners call them float gauges while Costco advertises them as pressure gauges. Other than that most owners are quite happy with them.

To learn more about these propane tanks and gauges, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can buy one for yourself and keep track of how much propane is in the tank at all times.

Do Propane Tanks Have Gauges?


Not all do and in fact, the majority of propane tanks sold today do not have any type of gauge on them. They come with a pressure release safety valve that monitors the pressure inside of the tank and releases the pressure if it gets too high.

However, with that said, some propane tanks do come with gauges. Those gauges may only indicate temperature or if you are full or empty. There is rarely a middle ground on the latter type of gauge.

You can buy gauges separately and attach them to your propane tank. These gauges are quite accurate and keep you informed of how much propane you have left. Camco makes one, as does Cuisinart and Astor.

Those three brands along with 2 others are said to be the most accurate of all gauges you can buy separately. If you are not sure if the gauge is accurate, then weigh the tank to see how much fuel is left inside.

Does Costco Sell 20-Pound Propane Tanks?

Yes, Costco does sell propane tanks. They sell different sizes of these tanks making sure you have the fuel level you need. We have seen ads for 5, 20 & 30-pound propane tanks and may have a 100-pound option on their website.

The problem with buying at Costco is that many RVers and barbecue kings may get there ahead of you. The store may be out of stock by the time you get some free time and can go to the store.

This has been known to happen but we have heard that Costco will check with their sister stores to see if any are in stock at those locations. Pick a good time to go and summer may not be the right time. Many people like to have barbecues and snap up the tanks to make sure they have enough on hand for their parties.

Propane Tanks With Gauges Pros


It seems that Costco is the only store selling propane tanks with gauges built-in. We have not seen one rating so far that gives the pros and cons of these tanks. The ratings are all for the gauge themselves.

However, we can tell you that the gauge is made from brass which is very good construction material for propane tanks. It is accurate and it is said to be a float valve which is supposed to provide a more accurate reading.

The large dial is easy to read and gives you three colors. Once it gets out of the green zone you will have a yellow and red zone letting you know you really need to refill the tank.

With the gauge already attached to the tank, you do not have to install anything nor do you have to run out to the store to buy a separate gauge. This saves you about $12 to $20 approx depending on the brand you buy.

Costco Propane Tank With Gauge

It seems that Costco may sell 2 brands of propane tanks with built-in gauges. One is called Flame King and the other is called Bernzomatic. The former brand seems to sell for $29.99 with the gauge and empty, while the latter brand is selling for approx. $65 and empty of course.

You will have to check your local Costco to see which brand they stock and the actual price you will have to pay. The Flame King brand states it is DOT certified and US-approved and both are pre-purged.

We will conclude that the Bernzomatic meet Canadian regulations. But double-check to make sure. Both tanks come with over-fill protection and powder coating to make them last longer.

It seems that the Bernzomatic brand is sold in the Canadian Costco stores which explains the higher price and lack of American certification.

How Accurate Are Propane Tank Gauges?


It is hard to judge the total amount of propane in a tank because many gauges are pressure only. That means you will get a reading of either full or empty and not how much fuel is left inside the tank.

It is said that the Costco gauge is a float system and that type of gauge is much more accurate than a pressure gauge. Whether it is a true float model or not is up to some debate.

But from what we have seen of this model is that it is very accurate but maybe not the most accurate of all the brands out there. DOZYANT Propane Tank Gauge Level Indicator is said to be the best but no one is complaining about the Costco gauge or its accuracy so that model may have a top challenger in the Costco version.

Do They Sell Gauges For Propane Tanks?

Yes, they do and you can get them just about anywhere propane tanks are sold. The cost at Amazon is relatively reasonable as you can get a variety of these gauges for under $30.

These gauges are made by different brands and the 5 most accurate models are made by the following companies DOZYANT Propane Tank Gauge Level Indicator,

Astor Propane Tank Pressure Barbeque Gauge., Cuisinart CTG-200 in-line Propane Tank Gauge, Camco Propane Gauge/Leak Detector, GASPRO Propane Tank Gauge Level Indicator.

There may be others that would make that list and the final judgments are usually very subjective in nature. From everything we have read about the Costco version, it could easily fit into the top 5 in accuracy.

When you go to Amazon, you will see how many brands make these fittings and you can make your own choice. Having the gauge built-in solves the problem of the gauges getting lost or damaged when not in use.

Are Propane Tank Gauges Worth It?


Without a doubt, these gauges are worth the money. Knowing how much fuel you have inside protects you from embarrassing moments when you run out of propane at the wrong time.

Even if you are still in the green zone, you can see how close you are getting to empty and can make the decision to buy more propane or chance it. No matter what, knowing how much fuel you have in the tank, even if it is an approx. helps you out.

Then the built-in gauge saves you a trip to the store to find one and from having to pay an extra price for the tool. That saving lets you focus on other activities. There are a lot of positive benefits to having a gauge on hand or attached to your propane tank.

The trick, if you have a pressure gauge, is to make sure you can tell by the weight of the tank if you need more propane or not.

Can a Propane Tank Gauge Get Stuck?

Yes, it can. It is a mechanical device that relies on different parts to function correctly. There is a way to test the gauge to see if it is stuck or not. You take a magnetic and move it back and forth across the face of the gauge.

If the needle moves freely back and forth, then the gauge is working fine. If the needle does not move, then you have a problem and you need to replace the gauge. There is no repair kit that we know of that can have you dismantle the gauge and replace stuck parts.

You can have the propane company replace it for you or you can buy a new gauge. For built-in models, this is a question you need to ask Costco and see if theirs can be repaired or not. So far, there have been no complaints about this happening.

Some Final Words

Having a built-in gauge is very convenient. Not only does it save you some money but it makes sure you know how much propane is in the tank at any given time. It is a handy tool to have and so far Costco’s version seems to be holding up well.

Read the reviews of those tanks to make sure you get the full picture before you buy.

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