A fire table is a beautiful addition to your home’s backyard. Moreover, it makes outdoor time warmer and more enjoyable. You can even roast marshmallows just like with a bonfire, which is delightful.
It’s no surprise that a propane fire table is more efficient than others. However, when buying a propane fire table, it’s necessary to know how long your propane tank will last. After all, you don’t want the fire going out in the middle of an outdoor hangout with friends. This article will answer the question, “How much propane does a fire pit use?”
A 20 lb propane tank lasts on average three to nine hours. The amount of time your tank lasts will vary depending on the gas volume, the flame intensity, and the fire table’s BTU rating. To determine the exact amount of time a propane tank will last, you can divide the amount of BTU by the fire table’s BTU rating.
I have created a table to show you the time propane tanks of different volumes will last on a fire table. I have also included BTU ratings for fire tables ranging from 40,000 to 60,000 to show you how long these propane tanks would last with each BTU rating at different heat intensities.
|40,000 BTUs||45,000 BTUs||50,000 BTUs||60,000 BTUs|
|20 lb. Propane Tank||High – 10.8 hrs|
Med – 16.1 hrs
Low – 21.5 hrs
|High – 9.6 hrs|
Med – 14.5 hrs
Low – 19.2 hrs
|High – 8.6 hrs|
Med – 13 hrs
Low – 17 hrs
|High – 7.2 hrs|
Med – 10.8 hrs
Low – 14 hrs
|33 lb. Propane Tank||High – 17.8 hrs|
Med – 26.7 hrs
Low – 35 hrs
|High – 15.8 hrs|
Med – 23.8 hrs
Low – 32 hrs
|High – 14.3 hrs|
Med – 21.4 hrs
Low – 28.5 hrs
|High – 11.9 hrs|
Med – 17.8 hrs
Low – 23.8 hrs
|100 lb. Propane Tank||High – 54 hrs|
Med – 81 hrs
Low – 108 hrs
|High – 48 hrs|
Med – 72 hrs
Low – 96 hrs
|High – 43.2 hrs|
Med – 64.8 hrs
Low – 86.5 hrs
|High – 36 hrs|
Med – 54 hrs
Low – 72 hrs
The table above is only an approximation, as several other things like wind, size of fire table burner, etc., can affect how long the propane tank lasts.
How Do You Make Your Propane Gas Last Longer?
To make your propane gas last longer, you should stick to medium or low heat at all times. Wind can also be a significant reason why your propane tank ends up empty after one night. The wind will continuously blow out your flame, which means less propane is actually being used for combustion.
Fortunately, there’s something called a wind guard. A wind guard is a glass that shields the fire from the wind. More propane will combust as less gas is lost to the wind when the fire is shielded. That way, you can maintain low to medium heat comfortably.
What Size Propane Tank Do You Need for a Fire Table?
There’s no one answer to this question as the size of the propane tank you need varies based on what type of fire table you have. The most commonly used propane tank size is 20 lb. There is no hard or fast rule on this so you can use a 33 lb or 100 lb if you want.
A 20 lb propane tank should be enough for a standard fire table. How often you intend to use the fire table and how long it will be on with each use are important to consider when choosing a propane tank. Also, it’s always best to confirm the BTU rating of your fire table. Doing so will allow you to make the best choice when purchasing a propane tank for your fire table.
You can refer to the table above to check the estimated time for the BTU rating of your fire table with different propane tank sizes.
How Does a Propane Fire Pit Table Work?
Fire tables come in a variety of designs, all of which work in a particular way. Before you can understand how a fire table works, it’s important to know the basic components of a fire table.
The area of the propane fire table is called the housing. This housing holds the gas line—which is connected to the propane tank—and has a large heat-resistant bowl placed on top of it. Some fire tables have a single burner, while others have multiple. The burner(s) are always beneath the heat-resistant bowl. Most people put heat-resistant lava rocks, fire beads, or fire glass inside the bowl to cover the burners and provide a more natural feel.
There should be an automatic switch on the table to light up the burners. While not every fire table comes with an automatic switch, you can always use a lighter or matches as well. Depending on how big your fire table is and how high you want the flame to be, you can use a different propane tank size.
How to Get Bigger Flames on a Fire Table
The warmth and ambiance a fire table provides might be absent without the proper flame. There are several ways to achieve a larger flame, including the following:
- Add More Lava Rocks: As we mentioned previously, some people choose to add lava rocks to the bowl of their fire tables. Doing so can increase the heat intensity of your fire table.
- Clean Your Fire Table’s Gas Pipes: To achieve bigger flames, you might need to consider cleaning your gasp pipes. To do this, follow these steps:
- Take out your lava rocks to gain access to the gas pipes.
- Clean the gas pipes well. You can use an air compressor to remove ash or dust from the gas pipes.
- Replace your lava rocks and increase the gas adjustment valve. After doing these, you should notice an increase in your flames.
- Increase the Gas Pressure: The higher the gas pressure, the faster the gas will flow. Therefore, burning a greater volume of gas will allow for a much larger flame.
Pros and Cons of a Propane Fire Table
Having a propane fire table has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the major reasons people love them, as well as some of their downsides:
- Mobility: Due to its compact design, you can move a propane fire table anywhere you want to. However, you might need to change your backyard’s outdoor furniture arrangement. Additionally, another great perk of a fire table is that you can bring it with you wherever you go. For example, if you go camping or to a friend’s backyard bash.
- Can Be Used Without a Flame: While a fire table’s main purpose is to produce heat, you can use it without turning on the flame. For example, you can place food or drinks on it. In addition, you could even play board games on the fire table. So long as the propane line is closed, there’s no danger.
- Does Not Smoke: With a fire table, you don’t have to worry about it producing smoke. Smoke is a form of debris. Since all that’s burning is the propane, no smoke is created.
- Resalable: Have you decided to upgrade to a new fire table? Perhaps you’ve moved to a new apartment with no backyard and no longer need a fire table. A fire table is easily resalable, as it is a high-demand commodity. Fire tables do not lose value due to its durability, and people are willing to pay for a used model.
- Cost of Refueling the Propane Tank: Using your fire table at high heat can often result in you refueling your propane tank several times a year. Propane is not free, and the cost incurred could significantly affect your budget. To reduce the amount of money you’ll be spending on propane in a year, it’s best to use your fire table on low to medium heat.
- Not Warm Enough: During cold winter nights, the heat a fire table produces might not be hot enough to keep you warm, even at high heat.
So, how long does a propane tank last on a fire table? The exact number of hours varies since every person uses their fire table differently. However, you can refer to the table included in this article to determine approximately how long your propane tank will last on the fire table you own or would like to purchase. To make your propane tank last longer, keep your fire table on low to medium heat at all times. Fire tables are enjoyed by many because they are easy to set up and use and require little to no maintenance, but regularly cleaning your gas lines will ensure your fire table burns hotter for longer.