Propane tank maintenance
Your propane tank is a crucial part of your propane installation. Although propane is a safe source of energy and its use, including propane tanks and maintenance, is highly regulated, it remains a flammable gas that becomes dangerous if it is not handled according to the relevant standards.
Ask your propane company or a qualified service technician
It is dangerous and often illegal to maintain your propane tank yourself. Irregular or incomplete maintenance of propane tanks increases the risk of gas leaks and propane related accidents, be they fires or carbon monoxide intoxication. This is why you should always use a qualified service technician when it comes to propane tank maintenance.
Therefore, it is recommended that propane tank maintenance be included in your propane supply agreement:
- This is usually the case if you rent a tank from a propane company but before signing a contract you should request quotes from different companies and, when comparing them, you ought to examine whether maintenance is included and what services companies offer.
- Similarly, if you own a propane tank you can request quotes that include maintenance as part of a propane supply agreement, which saves you the trouble of having to find a qualified service technician each time an intervention is necessary.
When a propane tank is installed on your property you should have a gas appliances system check. A qualified service technician will inspect your tank, connections, piping and appliances to ensure that your system is set up correctly. If you are having a propane tank installed it is important to check that the company installing your tank includes this service.
If have just installed a propane tank or you run out of propane, a leak check is required by law. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 54 8.2.3), “[immediately] after the gas is turned on in new system or into a system that has initially been restored after an interruption of service, the piping system shall be tested for leakage.” This is simply to ensure that there are no gas leaks and minimize leak risks.
Yearly installation inspection
You should have your entire propane appliance system checked once a year. This allows technicians to identify issues that pose a safety risk or can damage your system, such as a faulty connector or valve or a damaged gas line from your tank to your home. Again, it can be convenient to have a yearly system check included in your propane supply agreement.
Valves, gauges and regulators
It is also important to keep an eye out on the state of your tank valves, gauges and regulators. They are listed and illustrated as follows:
- The filler valve allows the delivery truck to pump propane into your tank.
- The service valve allows for conversion from propane into vapor for appliances.
- The vapor eliminator allows for the removal of excess pressure.
- The liquid withdrawal valve allows for the removal of liquid propane from the tank.
- The float/dial gauge tells you how much propane is in your tank.
- The fixed liquid level valve tells you when your tank is at or above 80% capacity.
- Regulators (high-pressure, two-stage or integral twin-stage) controls gas flow and pressure.
Propane valves and regulators