Propane is an affordable, convenient source of energy for your whole home. Summer residential propane tank and propane grill cylinder maintenance can protect your energy source from the heat in Central Virginia. Before the temperature rises, you can follow these tips to keep your propane tanks and cylinders in excellent condition.

Residential Propane Tank Inspection Checklist

If you own your propane tank, as you prepare the rest of your home for the upcoming heat, remember to include propane tank inspection on your to-do list. Regularly inspecting and maintaining your propane tank ensures your appliances will run efficiently and safely throughout the year. Keep this checklist in mind as you get your propane tank ready for the summer:

  • Inspect your propane tank for rust: After the snow melts off your propane tank, check it for rust, which can cause long-term damage when left untreated. Remove any signs of rust to prevent contamination and propane leakage.
  • Give your propane tank a fresh coat of paint: Once you clean the outside of your tank and get rid of any rust that may have formed, you may want to paint your tank to protect it from damage and enhance its appearance. All propane tanks are required to be painted in a light color to help keep the temperature down and prevent overheating.
  • Clean the area around your tank: Make your propane tank more accessible for technicians by cleaning the bushes, branches and debris away from it. You may also want to remove any flammable materials near your tank to prevent potential fires.
  • Check the gauge on your tank: Though you’ll probably use your propane tank more in the winter, it’s best to have your propane provider keep your tank full so you don’t need to make an emergency call after allowing your tank to run empty. You can safely store propane gas during summer months as long as the tank is in good condition.
  • Consult the manufacturer: Your propane tank may need specific care in extreme heat. Reach out to the manufacturer or your fuel provider for any instructions you may need to know about caring for your propane tank.
  • Check your carbon monoxide and propane detectors: Carbon monoxide and gas propane detectors can help alert you of a potential problem that you may not notice yourself. If you have them already, make sure they work and replace the batteries as necessary.
  • Schedule an appointment with a service technician: It is recommended to have a professional technician perform a complete check of your propane system. You may want to schedule an inspection if you notice signs of damage.


Where to Store a Propane Grill Cylinder in Summer

For many people, summer means spending evenings outdoors and hosting cookouts for friends and family. This pastime leads to the sale and use of a lot of propane and propane grill cylinders. Proper handling and storage of these tanks are essential for everyone’s safety as you operate and store your propane grill. Here are some tips for storing your propane grill cylinder this summer:

  • Avoid high heat and direct sunlight: High temperatures and direct sunlight can put your propane grill cylinder at a greater risk of leaks and malfunctions. These cylinders must maintain a safe internal temperature for safe operations, so keep your cylinder in a shaded, cool area as much as possible.
  • Keep your propane grill cylinder on a flat, sturdy surface: A sturdy foundation is essential for safe grilling. Make sure you keep your grill’s propane cylinder on flat, level ground to ensure nothing tips over while you’re working around your high-temperature grill.
  • Store your propane tank upright: Most propane grill cylinder manufacturers design their tanks to operate in the upright position. Choosing to operate your cylinder on its side could result in poor performance or unsafe conditions. Plus, the cylinder can roll away if stored on its side. Keep your propane grill cylinder in the upright position to avoid any of these issues.
  • Always store your propane grill cylinder outdoors: It is unsafe to store your propane grill cylinder in your home. Instead, find a safe place outdoors to store your cylinder. Make sure the area has level ground and plenty of shade to ensure it stays in the best shape possible.
  • Do not leave a grill cylinder in a vehicle unattended: Your grill cylinder should exit the vehicle when you do. Storing a propane cylinder in a vehicle where on average it is 40 degrees hotter than the outside temperature is forbidden.

Propane Appliance Inspection

The summer is an excellent time to maintain the propane appliances in your home. It is very wise having your home’s propane appliances and propane tank inspected in the summer. This decreases the chances of having to make an emergency call in the winter when you need your tank the most.

Having the propane appliances inspected and cleaned by a professionally trained technician will keep them in optimal working order and increase their energy efficiency. Some of the appliances on this list are used seasonally and some are needed year-round, but they are all equally important to be professional inspected annually:

  • Propane gas logs: Propane-sourced gas log fireplaces are cleaner and more convenient to use than burning wood. Keep your fireplace in excellent condition by cleaning the glass and other components. You may also want to get your fireplace and chimney inspected once a year to increase your appliance’s energy efficiency.
  • Tanked or tankless water heater: You still need hot water during the summer for washing your clothes and dishes and taking showers. Inspecting your water heater is best left to a professional. They’ll check your system’s pressure valve and other components to ensure everything is in working order. You’ll want to get your water heater replaced if the technician notices any leaks or drips.
  • Propane oven and range: Propane stovetops and ovens are more efficient than electric ones. When you get a new oven or range, you should always replace the gas line along with it. A professional technician can check your propane cooking appliances to make sure everything is in working order. As you clean your oven, make sure you unplug it to keep yourself and your property safe.
  • Outdoor propane gas grill: Your outdoor gas grill gets a lot of use over the summer. Keep it in excellent condition by keeping it covered when it’s not in use and cleaning it after each use. It’s also helpful to check for propane leaks about once a month.
  • Propane lighting and torches: Propane-powered outdoor lighting is helpful over the summer when you entertain guests. Consult a professional technician for inspecting and maintaining your propane lighting.
  • Propane patio heating: Propane-powered patio heating also comes in handy when you have guests over on an unusually cool summer night. Have a professional conduct a thorough inspection of your patio heating system so you can keep your outdoor living space warm all year long.
  • Propane clothes dryer: An energy-efficient propane clothes dryer can help you save money on your energy bills. Get the most out of this appliance by keeping it clean, including clearing out the lint screen to prevent fires.


Contact Foster Fuels for Propane Service

Foster Fuels offers propane appliance maintenance programs for homeowners in Northern Virginia. Before the summer heat hits the area, we’ll inspect your propane tank and appliances to get your home ready. Reach out to us online or call 800-344-6457 today to schedule an appointment.