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How to Safely Handle and Connect Propane Cylinders

Last updated 4 years ago

A common misconception with propane storage tanks is that they are volatile, high-pressure time bombs waiting to go off at the slightest touch of a flame. In truth, propane cylinders are extremely difficult to damage and are designed with several fail-safes to prevent accidental ignitions. However, it’s still important to properly handle propane reservoirs in order to avoid untimely mishaps and costly tank replacements. Take a look at how to properly handle propane cylinders below:

Oxidation and Physical Damage

  • Propane cylinders are designed to withstand extreme conditions and avoid dents or ruptures, but particularly severe physical abuse can create dents, bumps, or ruptures in the tank, compromising its structural integrity. They also have protective coatings to protect them from rust, but physical damage can chip away the coating and expose the underlying metal to the elements. Rust slowly eats away at the metal, creating a weak spot in the tank and possibly leading to a leak. If a small flame source such as a spark or cigarette is nearby, it can ignite the propane gas.

Transportation and Storage

  • It isn’t uncommon for propane regulators—a component which manages a constant outlet pressure to appliances—to freeze in cold temperatures. While freezing condensation is normal in cold weather, a regulator can also freeze if liquid propane enters due to overfilling or improper positioning of the tank. Conversely, warm weather can significantly increase the interior pressure of tank. It’s important to keep it right-side-up when transporting or storing propane tanks; overfill prevention devices (OPDs) can prevent them overfilling and building up too much pressure, but they will not prevent liquid propane from leaking out. Additionally, the liquid inside of an improperly positioned propane tank can block the pressure release valve, potentially allowing dangerous amounts of pressure to build up.

We here at Kamps Propane have over 40 years of experience in installing, maintaining, and refilling propane storage tanks for both commercial and residential customers in California. Call (209) 823-7641 for more information about our propane services and rates near you.


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