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The Dangers Of An Empty Propane Tank

Propane is a versatile and affordable gas that can be used to heat your home, produce hot water, and power certain household appliances. Residential propane users typically house their excess propane supply in a storage tank located outdoors. It's critical that you never allow your storage tank to run dry.

An empty propane tank could pose a serious safety risk and should never be approached lightly. Take the time to educate yourself on the dangers of an empty propane tank so you know why you must schedule regular propane deliveries throughout the year.

1. A leak could occur when your tank is refilled.

When you rely on propane fuel to help power your home, all appliances connected to the propane tank must be properly vented. Leaving the valve or gas line for an appliance open while the tank runs dry could result in the formation of a leak once the tank is refilled with propane.

These leaks can expose your family to noxious fumes and even lead to an explosion if ignited. The best way to avoid these leaks is to keep propane in your storage tank at all times. If your tank does happen to run dry, have your propane company complete a thorough leak inspection prior to starting up your propane system once again.

2. An empty tank is more likely to rust.

Your propane storage tank must be in good condition to properly contain the gas your home relies on each day. An empty propane tank is more likely to be infiltrated by air and moisture, causing the tank to rust from the inside.

Rust poses a threat not only to the structural integrity of your storage tank but to the safety of your family as well. A rusted propane tank can negatively interact with the propane inside it, reducing the concentration of the gases that produce propane's odor.

Lower odor concentrations will make it more difficult for you to detect dangerous leaks. Avoid rust by keeping your propane tank filled at all times.

3. Empty propane tanks can extinguish pilot lights.

Propane appliances often rely on pilot lights for proper function. These pilot lights are fueled by the propane gas that enters an appliance. Any excess gases are burned off by the pilot light before they can enter your home.

An empty propane tank might not produce enough gas to keep the pilot light lit. Despite an extinguished pilot light, an empty propane tank can still send low levels of gas into your home. These gases might build up over time, posing a threat to the health and safety of your family.