Propane is a clean-burning and efficient source of energy that has many uses in modern life. Many homes have appliances that are powered by propane, and businesses often rely on propane to power vital pieces of equipment.
The larger tanks required for these applications are usually refilled on-site by a professional. But there are smaller propane tanks that consumers are responsible for refilling themselves.
If you have a propane tank that connects to your RV or barbecue grill, you will have to visit a refill station yourself. Here are three tips that you can use to ensure your safety when refilling propane tanks in the future.
1. Turn Off the Valve on Both the Tank and Appliance
Propane refill safety should be on your mind from the moment you disconnect your empty tank at home. It's important that you know your propane system well enough to be familiar with all shut-off valves connected to both the tank and the propane appliance.
The proper procedure for removing an empty propane tank starts with turning off the supply valve on your propane appliance. Next, you should turn off the valve on the propane tank itself. Only then is it safe to disconnect the tank by unthreading the supply hoses.
If you don't have all valves in the closed position, you could allow propane to leak out of your tank and into your car while traveling to the refill station.
2. Transport Tanks Properly
Once you are sure you have the valve on your propane tank closed securely, it's time to load the tank in your vehicle.
Always stand your propane tank upright while it is in transit. Even an empty propane tank can still have enough gas left inside to cause a dangerous leak. Use ratchet straps or a containment basket to keep your propane tank upright and in place.
Don't let the interior temperature of your vehicle get too high, and travel directly to the nearest refill station to minimize the possibility of propane-related complications.
3. Don't Overfill the Tank
If it is legal to fill your own propane tank at a refill station in your area, be sure that you avoid overfilling.
Propane expands when it gets hot. You must leave some excess space inside of the tank to allow for this expansion. Otherwise, the tank could explode.
Modern propane tanks are fitted with overfill protection devices, but you should still take the time to calculate the tare weight and fill weight of your tank to avoid any issues.
For help with a propane refill, contact a local service provider.