ON YOUR SIDE: Safety feature on propane tanks may allow leaks during extreme heat

Published: Aug. 20, 2019 at 5:41 PM CDT
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When the weather heats up, propane experts say you may notice a pop and hissing coming from your propane tank.

"Once it starts hitting the upper 90s you will start hearing a few of them here and there." said Drew Simon, with MS Propane.

He says that is the sound of a pressure safety valve releasing gas into the air when the tank has too much pressure inside.

"That is what that relief valve is for, is to release pressure so that your tank doesn't have issues." Simon explained.

He says that release in gas vapor is not toxic, but can come with other safety concerns.

"Propane is a safe gas, but it is a flammable gas," said Don Gregory, a fire marshal with the Ozark Fire Protection District. "We want people not to have open fire or open flame near their propane tank."

Gregory says as the gas is being released from the tank, money is being lost with it.

"Losing a little bit of gas in order to ensure that there is proper pressure is a much safer option than having it fail." Gregory added that could mean a possible explosion if the valve fails.

But there are things you can do to keep your safety valve from having to open, and save yourself some money, like buying a cover for your tank.

"If it pops off you need to call your propane provider, put a hose on it and cool it off, they will come out and pump out gas, get it to where it is stable." Simon explained.

Using a garden hose to spray off the tank when it is really hot will cool off the tank and lower the pressure inside. You will know it is cooled off when the valve closes back up. If you have any concerns about your propane tank you should call your propane provider.

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