When you venture out to the propane tank, check for a sticker or something that identifies the company servicing the tank. If there are no stickers on the tank, open the dome and see if there is anything identifying a propane gas company such as a tag, sticker or something that gives the name and number of a propane company. This will give an indication of who (or what company) is familiar with your tank and LP Gas system. Most propane companies keep records of tanks that they service by location and by the tank's serial number.
Other firsts for new propane users after inspecting the tank and based on individual situations include:
Knowing what propane smells like will help you know if there is ever a leak in the LP Gas system. Don't be overwhelmed or feel unsafe by seeing a propane tank on your property...there's nothing to be afraid of. Contrary to first time propane user beliefs, propane tanks do not explode. Propane is safe and reliable when understood and respected, just like electricity or natural gas.
Propane is a hydrocarbon (C3H8) that is produced from both natural gas processing and crude oil refining. It is nontoxic and colorless. Propane is an approved, alternative clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act as well as the National Energy Policy Act of 1992. Propane is used by more than 14 million families to fuel their furnaces, water heaters, outdoor grills, fire places, dryers and range tops. Propane is easy to transport and can be used in areas beyond the natural gas mains.
Propane heats comfortably and fuels most major home appliances from your water heater to your gas fireplace. It is an environmentally friendly, efficient, and economic alternative to costly oil or electric energy.
Tanks of 50 gallon capacity or larger have a float gauge (see photo below). The gauge is located on the top of the tank, under the liftable lid. The tank gauge reads in percentages from 0% to 100% with 80% being full.
Operation of a propane tank service valve is similar to that of a water faucet. The operational part of the valve consists of a hand wheel that closes and opens gas flow by turning the wheel clockwise and counter-clockwise. To turn the gas off, turn the valve all the way to the right or clock wise.
NEVER use outdoor propane appliances, including patio heaters, barbeque grills, and portable generators indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death.
ONLY use appliances that are designed and approved for indoor heating use.
Lids should NEVER be locked as the valve is used to shut off the entire system in an emergency and is located under the lid. The lid is designed simply to protect various valves and fittings from the elements.
Tank colors vary from state to state, and often according to local homeowner association rules, but generally should be a light, reflective color. Because they retain heat more readily, dark colors can cause excess pressure to build in the tank causing the relief valve to discharge. The tank or cylinder paint should be kept in good condition, but be sure that you do not paint tank valves, caps, regulators, or data plates.
For any other questions about propane, please visit Propane 101.
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