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How To Store Your Propane Tank For The Winter

Not many people want to think about how they are going to store their BBQ grill and propane tank once the cold weather sets back in, but if you have gone out and gotten your first propane BBQ grill this summer, you'll be glad you did once it's time to move it off the porch and into a safe area for the winter. You have to be particularly careful how you store the propane tank since improper storage can affect how well the tank holds up over time. Here is how you should store your tank over the winter.

Pre-Storage Inspection

You should inspect your tank for leaks and damage before you put it away for the winter by checking the following two items:

Gas Leaks: If you smell propane gas after you have shut the tank off and removed the gas line connection to the grill, then your tank should not be stored anywhere on your property. A leaking propane tank is a serious hazard that can start on fire and explode.

Take the tank to the nearest propane tank service center and have them release the gas from the tank and dispose of it for you. Do not release the gas yourself as it can come into contact with an ignition source (like someone nearby lighting a cigarette) and start a fire at your home.

Rust and Dents: You should also check the tank for rust and dents. If there is a lot of rust and dents, you should also take the tank to a propane service center so they can test it and make sure it is still in a useable condition.

Storage Procedure Rules

  • Never store a propane tank inside your home. The valve on the tank could accidentally get opened or broken by kids playing around it, or because something heavy fell on top of it. This could lead to a hazardous condition in your home (you should immediately have everyone evacuate the home and call the fire department if this ever happens to you). If possible, store the tank in a locked shed away from your house and garage (especially, if it's an attached garage), and away from prying hands.
  • Make sure the tank stays in the upright position. The propane gas in the tank was put in under a good amount of pressure, and the tank is designed to store the pressurized propane while in the upright position. Placing it in any other position could compromise the design of the tank and cause it to leak.
  • Make sure the storage area is dry. Moisture can cause the tank to rust over the winter and compromise its integrity.
  • Keep it out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause the propane molecules to become exited and expand. The gas in the tank can expand so much that the increased pressure can cause the tank to explode.

For more information, check out companies like Blue Flame Gas Service.