Can Propane Freeze inside Your Tank?
As we saw last week, it can get pretty cold when it wants to here in the Hudson Valley – a good reason why it pays to have a healthy supply of propane on hand to keep you warm, safe, and prepared for the worst this winter.
But what does propane itself think of the cold weather?
In general, propane fares well as temperatures drop – although it does have some problems as the mercury reaches the extreme end of the scale. Why? Well, remember that propane is stored in your tank as a liquid under high pressure – a liquid that must expand and vaporize to be used as a fuel. The problem is as temperatures drop, so does pressure inside your propane tank – to the point where eventually that pressure may be too low to power your propane furnace or boiler.
When we say extreme cold, we mean it: propane turns to a liquid at -44 degrees F. Still, some precautions should be taken if you own a propane-powered home in a cold climate like ours.
To avoid pressure problems during cold weather extremes:
- Order propane when your tank is no less than one-quarter full to keep positive pressure inside the tank (and prevent runouts).
- Clear snow away from your tank quickly.
- Keep the regulator free of snow and ice.
- Turn down the thermostat in your home – Decreasing the temperature in your house will lessen the time your system/appliance operates, permitting the pressure in the tank to build.
Some other extreme weather propane tips:
- Clear snow and ice from propane tank regulators, vents, piping and valves to prevent damage that could cause a gas leak.
- Remove snow and ice from appliance vents, flues and chimneys to allow the gas to vent properly.
- Place a flag, pole, or stake next to your tank that is tall enough to be seen over the expected snowfall and drifts; this will help you find the tank in heavy snow.
- Turn off the main gas supply if an appliance fails to light or if a gas leak is detected.
Winter is almost here – do you have enough propane to keep your family safe, warm, and comfortable? Fill up today with Porco Energy! Contact us today to learn more.