Propane can provide an efficient and convenient means for heating your home and powering its appliances. We at Modern Gas want to be sure you are using propane safely and know how to maximize its benefits most effectively.
You can easily check your gauges to be sure you have enough fuel. As we start a New Year, mark your calendar and schedule routine gauge inspections throughout the year. Since propane is stored as a liquid and expands and contracts based on outside temperatures, tanks are filled to 80% capacity. Simply open the lid of your tank where the gauge is located. The numbers on the gauge reflect the percentage of capacity. For example, if the needle is on 80, then your tank is full. If your tank runs out of propane completely, you must call us to schedule one of our expert technicians to check the tank before your gas can be turned on again. Therefore, regular inspections can ensure that your tank stays full in order to serve your home’s needs.
If you think your tank has a leak or if you smell gas, be sure to turn off the tank if it’s safe. Open the lid of your tank to reveal the valve. Turn the valve to the right (or clockwise) to turn off the flow of propane. Remain outside a safe distance from the tank until one of our trained technicians can inspect the tank. Also, if your tank is ever moved or if the lines are bent or broken due to a storm or other event, follow the same steps above to turn off the tank if it’s safe to do so. Once you’ve turned off the tank, never turn it back on again yourself. National safety codes require a trained technician to inspect the tank before turning the gas on or relighting pilots. This gives you peace of mind in the event there is damage or a problem with your tank.
Propane has a chemical additive that smells like rotten eggs, a skunk spray, or a dead animal, so you can quickly and easily detect a leak. Take these precautions if you ever smell propane:
- Evacuate your home and move everyone a safe distance from the house.
- Extinguish any open flames or smoking materials.
- Do not operate any lights, appliances, telephones or cell phones which could cause a spark and ignite the propane.
- If it’s safe to do so, turn off the main supply valve to your propane tank following the process listed above.
- Call Modern Gas to have your propane system inspected.
Many homes use small propane cylinders to power grills, generators, and other outside appliances. When transporting these smaller tanks that aren’t connected to your larger system, you want to do so s0afely. Always transport cylinders upright and secure them so they cannot tip over or roll. Never store your tank in a hot vehicle for a long period of time. Move the cylinder to its destination and remove it as soon as you arrive. Turn the appliance off before connecting the cylinder, and then follow the manufacturer’s instructions for connecting check for leaks between the cylinder and the outside fitting. You can use a leak detection spray or just soapy water. Slowly open the cylinder valve and watch for bubbles. If bubbles appear, tighten the valve and check again. When storing small cylinders, always keep them outdoors. Never store cylinders in a basement, garage, shed, or tent, and keep them away from the house or areas that can get too hot (over 120° F) like a stove, fireplace, or other heat sources. If you use small cylinders for your outdoor grill, never store extra cylinders near the grill or any type of ignition source.
Routine inspections are essential for your propane system. We can work with you to determine the best plan for your home. When we discuss your inspections, be sure to let us know about any changes to your system, appliance installations or removals, construction or maintenance work near your system, and any unusual smells or suspicions of a gas leak. Inspections vary based on the type of system you have. Your inspections could include a review of the propane container, regulators, and outdoor piping; a leak check of the piping system and appliances; and/or a review of important safety information that you can pass along to your family.
Contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your propane system. We’re here to serve you!