Whether you use propane to heat, fuel gas appliances like stoves, or both, knowing a few basics about the fuel and tank system helps ensure smooth operation. If you have some questions about your propane services, you may be able to find the answer below.
How can I tell if there is a leak?
There are several symptoms that your tank is leaking. The most alarming is the odor of rotten eggs. Propane companies add a substance to propane to produce this foul odor so it is easier to detect leaks. A hissing noise from the valves can also indicate a leak. If it's a valve on the tank hissing, then your leak is at the source. Leaks along hose valves only indicate an issue with that hose and valve. Don't ignore a leak. For safety's sake, get away from the house and call your propane service for an emergency repair.
What does it mean if the pilot light isn't blue?
The pilot light on your propane heater or stove should burn a nice, steady blue. Lights that flicker or burn yellow or orange indicate a problem. The issue could be something as simple as a dirty or obstructed pilot valve that simply needs to be cleaned, or an orange light could indicate that there is air trapped in the fuel delivery line. Turn off the affected appliance and avoid using it until you can have the pilot light serviced.
How do I locate my tank?
Aboveground tanks are easy to find, but it can be more of a challenge to find an underground tank. Your propane service can mark the tank and fill valve location for you. Once you have the location, use flagging or some other marker to make it easy to locate. Having a marked tank is especially useful in winter when snow may cover the landmarks you use to locate the tank each time you need to have it filled.
Can any propane appliance be used indoors?
Yes and no. Certain appliances, like stoves and hot water heaters, were made to run off propane indoors. Appliances that produce a lot of exhaust, like a generator, should never be used indoors. Before hooking up anything new to an indoor propane system, verify that the item has been rated for indoor use.
Does the tank ever need to be replaced?
A propane tank can have decades of service life. The main thing that leads to the need for a tank replacement is rust and pitting. You can prevent rust on above ground tanks by painting them a reflective color. The reflective color prevents the tank from overheating while the paint prevents rust.
Contact a propane service in your area for more help.