How to Winterize & Safely Store Propane Tanks
As a premier propane gas supplier, we know there are many uses for propane in your home. Residential propane can be used to power tankless water heaters, propane heaters, your propane gas stove, propane kitchen appliances, or even your washer and dryer for laundry. If you are using your propane tanks for seasonal use, then there are steps you need to take to properly store your tanks.
We have been offering propane services and residential propane for years. As a premier gas company, we have created a complete guide to help you out. Our guide to properly store your propane fuel and tanks will allow you to avoid common mistakes and give you peace of mind.
What is the Best Place to Store Propane Tanks?
Ventilation is key here. You need to store your tanks of fuel in an open area or a place that has proper ventilation. You should avoid areas that can have stagnant air, people are often around, or tight places. That is why you should not store your propane in your car, basement, garage, or closet to a bedroom.
The ideal place to store your propane containers is outdoors or in a shed. If you are storing them outdoors, a place in the shade or covered is best. If you do not have access to outdoor space or a shed, then an area in your home that you do not occupy a lot with ventilation is a must. We will talk about temperatures later but moisture can cause damage to metal tanks.
What is the Temperature You Should Store Your Residential Propane?
High temperatures are the enemy of propane and other natural gases. It is important to not store your tank in an area that can get hotter than 120°F or 49° C. At these temperatures the gas can expand past the capacity of most tanks and could cause an explosion.
The good news is that cold temperatures have the opposite effect on the gas in the tank. The gas gets more condense and causes the tank to have no pressure while holding the gases.
Some propane tanks have a safety valve. When the tank’s pressure reaches a dangerous level, the safety valve will blow off. All of our propane services and residential propane have this safety feature. The problem with the safety valve is if you store your tank in hot temperatures and the safety valve pops, you will have a gas leak. That is why it is important to store it in well-ventilated spaces and away from the sun when possible.
Other things to consider when storing your tank is what is around your tank in storage. We have seen it time and time again: propane being stored in the storage closet. While this seems like a no brainer, the closet is designed for storage, there are other appliances often in a storage closet that can be dangerous for a gas tank to be around. Keep your propane tanks away from dyers, hot water heaters, ovens, and other appliances that might heat up your tanks. Having a propane leak in the storage closet with the hot water heater is a recipe for disaster.
Preparing Your Tank for Storage
The most common seasonal use of propane is your barbecue grill. If grilling season is over, then it’s time to turn the valve on your tank off. You can keep the tank connected to the grill if you like but it is best to disconnect and clean both valves.
If you are storing your grill inside your house or your garage, then you need to remove and disconnect the tank from your grill. The connection from the tank and valve might create a small leak of the gas that was trapped from usage.
Checking Your Gas Tank and Storage
You should always look over your propane tank before storing it away. You should look at the connector hose, valves, and tank itself. A good exercise to do before storage is to mix dish soap and water. Take the soapy water and put it all over the tank, valves, and hose connector. Watch for the soapy water to bubble. If you start to see bubbles forming anywhere that means you have a leak and your tank is compromised. You will need to replace the tank before storing it.
After you have tested for leaks, you will want to completely dry your tank and tank parts off. Remember water and soap can cause corrosion over long periods of time. The last thing you will want to do is double-check the shut-off valve is turned off.
It is finally time to store your propane. You will need to store your tank in an upright position. Finding a flat area is important to the integrity of your tank. A trick a lot of people will use is getting an egg carton or box to store the tank in. The box or carton will ensure the tank stays upright and that the elements, pets, or people don’t accidentally knock the tank over.
Why Storage Safety Matters
As a premier gas company, we know how dangerous an improperly stored tank can be to you and your family. A leak can cause serious illnesses to those around the leak, or worse, cause a fire/explosion.
The good news is if you follow all of our safety guidelines above, there is no need to worry. You and your family will be safe from any leaks or fire-related issues. Proper storage will not only keep everyone safe, but when you are ready to use your gas again, you won’t miss a beat it will be ready.
If you are interested in any of our services or feel like we missed something in our article feel free to contact us using our contact us page or leave a comment below.