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How to Prepare Your Propane Tank & Equipment for Winter

propane tank gauge in winter

Follow These Tips to Keep the Propane Following

Fall is a smart season to take some time to inspect your propane tank and equipment to be sure it’s ready for the cooler months. You’ll likely use more propane to keep your home or business warm during the winter. You shouldn’t have to worry about running out of propane or other issues that reduce or eliminate your ability to warm your space. There are some things you can do now to get your tank and location ready for the winter months. Preparing your propane tank for winter with the tips below will help for a smooth transition this season.

Make sure you have enough propane.

Talk to your local DLE office about keep-full plans. If you’re responsible for monitoring your propane supply, check your tank’s gauge  regularly. Call us before the propane level gets too low. Checking your tank’s levels will reduce your risk of a run out. Contact DLE when your tank’s level is at 30%. This will allow enough time for you to be placed on a regular route with plenty of fuel to hold you over until your delivery. You can also check the level of the propane in your tank by slowly pouring a glass of hot – but not boiling – water on one side of the tank. You should see condensation appear on the tank. The highest part of the tank with condensation is where the liquid propane is inside the tank.

Call us immediately if you run out of propane.

Should you run out of propane, DLE qualified service technicians will need to inspect your system for leaks. This will happen before we can turn your propane back on. Anytime a customer runs out of propane and they have not contacted us with sufficient time to put them on a regular route, there may be additional fees associated.

Check for leaks.

A quick way to do so is to, spray a mix of warm, soapy water on the tank and gas lines. If there is a leak, bubbles will appear. We’ve also lined out an extensive list of ways to find out if you have a leak in our blog post How Do I Know if I Have a Leak In My Propane System.

Maintain a clear path to your propane tank.

Clear enough space in your driveway for a delivery truck. Also, be sure to shovel a path to the tank through snow and ice. This also means keeping the path to your tank clear of debris and overgrown brush or weeds if you do not live in an area with snow or ice.

Make sure the tank is on level ground.

To decrease the risk of the propane tank tipping over, even on level ground, check the dirt below and around the tank for settling or an increase in moisture. Confirm that the concrete that the tank is on is in good condition. Chipping or flaking is a sign of deterioration, which could lead to an unstable base. Also ensure that the wood is not rotting or molding.

Keep outdoor vents, chimneys, and flues clear of snow, ice, and debris.

Unclear vents, chimneys or flues can cause poor ventilation of your propane appliances. This can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning! 

 

Never use outdoor appliances indoors.

Keep grills, generators, and patio heaters outdoors. While it may seem like a good idea to use these appliances for warmth indoors, they may emit carbon monoxide, an odorless gas that can cause sickness and death.

 

Another Word on TANK SAFETY

Several factors play into the safe and efficient operation of any size propane tank. These factors include, but aren’t limited to:

  •  Making sure to shut off valves when the tank is not in use.
  •  Keeping the amount of reserve tanks on your property to a minimum
  •  Not leaving portable propane tanks inside a vehicle
  • Securing all portable tanks properly when they are being transported and stored
  • Replacing weathered and/or worn cylinders. Cylinders must be re-qualified 12 years after the initial date they were put into service then once every five years after that. If your cylinder is outdated, it cannot be filled until it has been re-qualified.

 

Sources: 

Is Your Propane Home Prepared for Winter? via PERC

Power Blanket

Click here for a printable: Fall 2020 Propane Press