Using Propane For Heat? Use These 4 Tips To Avoid Trouble

7 July 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Like many people, you might not think very much about your propane heating system until something goes wrong. However, staying aware and doing the right things with your tanks can help you avoid problems. Here are some propane tips to keep in mind throughout the year.  

Inspect the Tank Regularly

Keeping an eye on your propane tank is one of the best things you can do to make sure that everything is safe. This is especially important after storms. When you inspect your propane tank, first make sure that the pressure relief valve is closed, so you know that no vapor is seeping out. Then, look for any signs of rust or damage on the outside of the tank, which may indicate that it needs to be replaced. If you see anything unusual, call the propane company right away.

Recognize What a Leak Smells Like

You may have heard that propane has no smell, and that is true. However, propane companies add an additive to the gas so that leaks can be detected by smell. The scent may remind you of rotten eggs. If you are unsure what the smell is like, when you get a propane delivery, talk to the delivery man about safely smelling the propane in your tank.

Of course, a leak may also cause physical symptoms in your family that you need to be aware of. Some symptoms that a propane leak may cause are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Watering eyes

If anyone in your family experiences these symptoms, contact your propane company right away.

Fill an Empty Tank as Soon as Possible

If you leave your tank empty for some time, moisture and air may build up and ultimately cause rust to form. In some cases, a rusted propane tank may make it more difficult to smell leaks. Even if you don't plan to use your propane for a prolonged period of time, make sure that you don't keep the tank empty for that reason.

Keep Extra Propane Tanks in Well-Ventilated Areas

It is best to keep extra propane tanks in an enclosed, well-ventilated area away from anything that could ignite, such as water heaters and wires. Remember that propane gas is heavier than air, so it will sink and collect in a low lying area, unless it can seep through windows or cracks in the wall. That is why it is so important to keep the tanks away from your living quarters.

It is also important not to keep your propane tanks out in the sun, as the pressure relief valves might open because of the heat, resulting in a dangerous situation. 

Now you have some ideas about how you can keep your propane tank in good shape. If you suspect a problem, don't hesitate to call your propane company for help.

For more information, contact a professional like Blue Flame Gas Service.