Propane fuel plays a number of important roles in the home. It is used to power barbeques and other gas grills, and for general heat and hot water. If you rely on propane only for seasonal use, there are a number of things to consider when it comes to storage. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe and prevent damage to your propane tank.
Portable Propane Tanks
Smaller, portable propane tanks should never be stored indoors. To prepare a tank for winter, shut off the main valve and disconnect it from your grill’s gas line. Keep it on a flat, stable surface, away from open flames, where it will be undisturbed. Also, avoid damp areas where moisture can build up and cause premature rusting.
Portable propane tanks are equipped with a relief valve that activates when internal pressure builds up. This safety feature is especially important in the winter months when temperatures drop. Proper storage of a propane tank should ensure liquid propane is not in contact with the relief valve. This is done by keeping it stored upright at all times, particularly if the tank is more than half full.
The best time to put your tank into storage will depend on how frequently you use it. Many homeowners choose to set a seasonal reminder for themselves to ensure it doesn’t get forgotten.
Home Propane Tanks
Most larger propane tanks used to heat the home are stationary and don’t need to be moved into storage when not in use. However, the change in season is a good time to schedule regular maintenance for your tank. This will involve checking the safety controls and performing a thorough visual inspection for any signs of rust or damage. Often, these checks can be performed along with general HVAC maintenance for your furnace and burner systems.
Larger propane tanks, like their smaller counterparts, feature a pressure relief valve that prevents dangerous buildup of propane gas. It is dangerous — and illegal — to fill a propane tank beyond 80% of its capacity as this will jeopardize the functioning of this valve. This is especially important when storing your tank for an extended period of time.
Our Role as Your Propane Supplier
Foster Fuels provides seasonal maintenance and refueling for home propane tanks in Virginia and beyond. To learn more about how to safely store a propane tank when not in use, give us a call and speak with a representative directly.