How Much Propane Does a Generator Use?

Usage Depends on the Generator Size

generators tennesseeSummer electrical storms and power outages go hand-in-hand. As just one of many examples, in mid-June, about 36,000 Tennessee residents lost their power after a storm knocked down trees and power lines. Many of the reported outages, which happened in the midst of sweltering temperatures, occurred in the Nashville area.

Fortunately, many Tennesseans have found a solution to wide-scale power outages: whole-house propane gas generators, which are available in varying sizes to power as much or as little as you need to keep your family and home safe and comfortable.

Once considered a luxury, whole-house generators are growing in use because they ensure your sump pump, home security systems, heating and cooling equipment and any needed medical devices will continue to run in the event of a prolonged electrical power stoppage. (A smaller, portable generator is much more limited in capacity).

The question is, how do you pick the right generator unit for your Tennessee home? People also wonder, “how much propane will my generator use?” If you’ve been considering purchasing a whole-house generator for your home, here is vital information to consider.

Generator Size and Capacity

The size of the generator you will need depends on two factors: the square-footage of your home and what appliances you want to power during an outage. A good way to think about the “electric load” in your home is to break your usage down into two categories:

  • Essentials: medical equipment, lights, refrigerator, sump pump, furnace fan, security system, TV/computers.
  • High-wattage items: air conditioning, heating, clothes dryer, water heater, oven/stove.

Generators come in a range of sizes and prices; a small, easy-to-place 8-kilowatt (kW) unit, for example, can operate power essentials such as lights, refrigerator, TV, and other small appliances. A large 25 kW commercial-grade generator, on the other hand, can easily run an HVAC system in addition to those smaller items.

Propane Usage

According to Generac, a leading manufacturer of generators, a 22-kW generator would burn approximately two gallons per hour (gph) at a 50% electrical load and 3.6 gph at full load. A larger 38- kW unit would burn three gallons of propane per hour at half-load and 5.4 gph at full load.

This may sound confusing, but an experienced licensed electrician can help you with all of these load calculations to ensure you choose a generator that can handle the desired emergency electrical power needs of your household.

Other key points to understand when researching generator fuel usage, in addition to a particular generator’s fuel consumption rate, are the characteristics of the fuel that powers that engine.

Propane offers advantages that other fuel sources can’t match. Propane doesn’t degrade over time, unlike diesel or gasoline. This makes propane the ideal stand-by power fuel.

How Does a Propane Generator Work?

A whole-house propane generator is a permanent fixture located outside your home. It’s connected to your home’s electrical system with its own fuel source. Basically, it looks like an outdoor central air conditioning unit with a cap on it.

The generator is designed to start automatically when you lose power from your utility –usually between 10-30 seconds after an outage. When utility power is restored, the generator will shut itself down. All of this happens whether or not you’re at home.

Benefits of a Whole House Propane Generator

The biggest benefit to a whole house generator, of course, is that you’ll never be without power again! Being able to switch between the grid and generator power is a priceless convenience.

Imagine never having to suffer through the inconveniences of a power outage again – no more unexpected nights at a hotel or friend’s house, no more spoiled food, no more loss of TV, phone or computer service, no sweaty nights without your air conditioner or cold nights without heat, and no pipes bursting due to lack of heat in the house, to name just a few of the hassles—and costs–you have to deal with during an extended power outage.

To learn more about propane gas generators, please reach out to your Tennessee propane company and they’ll be glad to give you expert advice. If they don’t install propane generators, they’ll most likely be able to refer you to a trusted contractor who does.

Checking Your Grill’s Propane Supply

grill tank tennesseeAbout the fastest way to throw a damper on your backyard barbecue is having your propane cylinder run out of fuel—right when those fat and juicy steaks have just started to cook.

Since most propane portable cylinders don’t come with a built-in gauge, you need another way to figure out how much fuel is left in your tank. You obviously don’t want to wait until your grill shuts off to tell you that your propane tank is empty. (That’s why it’s best to always have a back-up propane cylinder on hand—just in case.)

3 Simple Methods to Measure Your Cylinder Level

  1. Use water. You can determine the approximate level of propane in a tank by using a little bit of water. Here’s how:
    • Fill a small bucket with hot tap water.
    • Pour the water down the side of the tank.
    • Run your hand along the side of the tank and feel for a cool spot.

    The top of the cool spot is the fill level of the tank – it’s cool because liquid propane inside the tank is absorbing the heat from the water, which makes the metal wall of the tank cool to the touch.

  2. Weigh the tank. Most propane grill tanks come with two numbers stamped on the handle – the water capacity (“WC”) and Tare Weight (TW – the weight of the tank when it’s empty). Most grilling tanks weigh about 17 pounds when empty. To measure how many pounds of propane are left in your tank, simply weigh it on a scale and subtract the TW number. For example, if a tank weighing 27 pounds has a TW of 17 pounds, there’s about 10 pounds of gas left—or about 2.5 gallons.
  3. Use an external gauge. External propane tank gauges come in several different forms
    • inline pressure gauges install between the gas line from the grill and the cut-off valve on the tank, measuring pressures to determine how full the tank is.
    • analog propane scales look like luggage scales and are pre-set to take your tank’s TW into account.
    • digital propane tank scales provide a digital readout of remaining cook time and gas fill percentage. Some even come with smartphone apps.

    Pick the device that you’re most comfortable with and give it a try!

Understand the Safety Behind the 80/20 Rule

When you take your portable 20-lb propane tank to a refill station or tank exchange, you should get four gallons (or 17 pounds of propane; propane weighs 4.25 pounds per gallon). For safety reasons, the propane cylinder should only be filled to 80% of its maximum capacity. Leaving it 20% empty leaves room for the LP gas to expand, which it will do when the temperature rises. A propane cylinder illegally filled to 100% capacity could burst. This same 80/20 rule also applies to your home heating propane tank.

Storage and Transportation of Propane Cylinders

Please review these safety handling tips for your portable propane cylinders.

  • ALWAYS store or place a propane cylinder outdoors and in an open area, and not in a basement, garage, shed or tent.
  • ALWAYS keep cylinders away from a stove, fireplace, or other heat source. This is also why you should not store a spare cylinder under or near your barbecue grill.
  • ALWAYS stay aware when you are handling cylinders. You don’t want anyone smoking near it and make sure your cylinder does not come into contact with ignition sources such as flames or spark-producing electrical tools.
  • ALWAYS leave the care and repair of a cylinder in the hands of a skilled propane professional. You should not make any attempt to modify or repair valves, regulators, or other cylinder or appliance parts.

That’s because propane cylinders incorporate special components such as valves, connectors, and other parts to keep them safe for use with grills and other propane appliances. Damage to any component can cause a gas leak. Don’t risk it! Instead, contact a qualified propane service provider for assistance.

We want to make sure you know how to approach propane safety in and around your home or business, no matter how you’re using propane. We encourage you to go here to review propane safety and operation tips, courtesy of the Propane Education and Research Council.

Enjoy Your Pool More, Heat It with Propane

heating a pool tennesseeIn our previous post, we took a quick look at some of the ways we Tennesseans use propane to enhance our outdoor living at home. Although propane pool heaters were mentioned, we think a deeper dive into their benefits is in order.

Now, with all of the sunny, warm days we enjoy in the Volunteer State, it may seem like a pool heater is an unnecessary luxury. But while average temperatures enable the typical swim season to last from May through September, we still have to contend with some below-average temperature days and evenings during that time.

And what will your plan be or the rest of the year—especially if you’re someone who enjoys a daily swim as a fun form of aerobic exercise? It seems a shame to travel elsewhere and just let that backyard swimming pool go to waste.

That’s where the best pool heaters come in. There are a few different types, each of which offers its own benefits to help keep your pool warmer when the temperatures cool down.

It goes without saying—but we’ll say it anyway—that our obvious choice would be a high-efficiency propane pool heater (sometimes referred to as a gas pool heater). It’s a popular option because propane pool heaters can quickly heat your pool to your desired temperature. Many people feel that this is the best pool heater around.

If you rely on one propane fuel and service provider, they know your home’s heating source and can seamlessly integrate your pool heater and install it quickly and properly for you. Your propane service professional can also take care of annual maintenance to ensure your heater runs problem-free.

How a Propane Pool Heater Works

A propane pool heater simply burns gas to warm water from the pool pump, then cycles the water back into the pool. That’s why propane pool heaters are an ideal choice for in-ground and aboveground pools and spas.

The best propane pool heaters are:

  • easy to install and maintain
  • efficient
  • durable and reliable
  • eco-friendly
  • available in a number of sizes and colors

Propane Pool Heaters Vs. Other Options

Propane pool heaters have distinct advantages over other pool heater types, including:

  • Electric heat pump heaters – While this system is more cost-effective than using a simple electric element pool heater, it needs to use surrounding air to warm water in the pool – which means it can only produce water that’s slightly warmer than the temperature of the air. That’s a problem if you feel like a swim when there’s a chill in the air.
  • Solar pool heaters –These have higher upfront costs and take longer to heat your pool compared to a propane pool heater. A solar system also doesn’t work at night or on cloudy days when the sun isn’t at its brightest. Since these heaters can only heat the pool when the sun is shining, this type of pool heater is limited in how much heat they can provide. So if you enjoy midnight swims, solar pool heaters aren’t for you.
  • Natural gas pool heaters – If you have natural gas service in your neighborhood, keep in mind that propane pool heaters give you the same performance of natural gas heaters without the expensive hardware and hassle needed to connect the pool heater to your home’s gas line.

To learn more about propane pool heaters and the many other ways you can take full advantage of propane inside and outside your home, please contact your Tennessee propane service provider and they’ll be glad to give you advice.

Read more about how propane raises the bar on outdoor living.

Propane Provides Energy for Everyone

propane uses tennesseeAre you familiar with all the of ways propane can enhance outdoor living right here in Tennessee? Here are some ideas to add more fun to your summer—without leaving home.

Propane Grilling

There are many reasons why propane grills are overwhelmingly the most commonly owned grills in America.

Nothing beats the clean-burning precision of a propane gas grill. Whether you cook on a simple portable or a high-tech built-in model, you’ll get the same even-cooking performance time after time, with no starter fluid smell, dangerous chemicals, or mess.

When your cookout is done, propane gives you even more advantages. Instead of having to wait an hour or more for coal embers to cool, you can simply turn off the grill, shut off the propane, and clean the grate. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Propane Fire Pits

There’s nothing like gathering with family and friends around a fire pit on a cool night. Whether the kids are toasting marshmallows for s’mores, or you’re relaxing over a glass of wine with friends, propane just makes the night more enjoyable.

A propane fire pit gives you plenty of heat with just the flip of a switch. No need to lug firewood, or wait for it to ignite. And, when you’re ready to go inside, just turn off your fire pit and that’s that. Many fire pit models have ignition systems that can be turned on and off with a smartphone.

Propane Outdoor Space Heaters

It can get a bit chilly when the sun goes down. With propane patio and deck heaters, you can stay outside later this summer and even extend your outdoor season well into the fall!

With freestanding or wall-mounted models available, you’re sure to find a propane outdoor heater that meets your needs and budget – and one that will work even if the power goes out.

Propane Lighting

Before electricity became widely used, gas was the common source for both indoor and outdoor lighting for homes. With propane, you can get that classic warm light to make your patio and pathways glow. In most cases, it’s cheaper than electricity and works even when the power is out. Propane-powered outdoor lights can burn for just pennies per hour, and they can be matched with almost any outdoor décor.

Propane Pool and Spa Heaters

Enjoy a swim or a soak in your backyard spa throughout the season by investing in a propane pool heater, which will heat your pool water quickly and efficiently – and far more effectively than an electric model.

Please go here to read more about the benefits of propane—inside and outside your home!

Understanding the Propane Gas Markets & Price Fluctuations

propane cost tennesseeThe impact of the war in Ukraine continues to send shock waves through the world’s energy markets. Natural gas rates have doubled. Electricity costs are surging. And heating oil, gasoline and yes, propane, have all spiked skyward.

Your local propane company knows this is hard for you; it’s hard for them too. When prices spike like this, people tend to think that their propane supplier makes more money. In fact, the opposite is true. Customers cut back on fuel use. They have trouble paying their bills. Meanwhile, your propane company has to pay their wholesale suppliers promptly at much higher rates. Plus, supply chain issues haven’t improved very much. All in all, it’s an awful mess for everyone involved.

While facing the current challenge of higher propane prices can be stressful, try to take comfort in the fact that propane remains one of the most cost-efficient, eco-friendly ways to heat your home and fuel your appliances.

Plus, historical trends have shown us that, when it comes to prices, what goes up must come down. It’s just a matter of when. For all local propane companies and the industry in general, the feeling is, the sooner the better.

Propane Price Swings Are More Moderate than Oil

You may have noticed price swing trends with propane tend to be more moderate compared to heating oil, gasoline, and other fuels derived from a barrel of crude oil.

This is because propane is a completely domestic form of energy. The U.S. actually exports about twice as much propane to the rest of the world than we use in our own country. 

Even though propane is still priced in the world market like oil is, this abundance of domestic North American supply gives us supply security and helps moderate the pricing in the U.S. 

In contrast, crude oil–while we produce a lot of it here–is still an imported product as well, and we still get it from some countries that really don’t like us very much. 

Supply and Demand

The combination of high demand and lower-than-average inventory is always a common driver for higher propane prices. While you may just think of propane demand for home heating and appliance use, it goes well beyond that.

As an example, global demand for propane has risen because of its increased use as a petrochemical feedstock, the vast majority of which are derived from crude oil and natural gas. These petrochemicals serve as the basis of many end products, including plastic, paper, adhesives and detergents. Petrochemical manufacturers are the largest consumers of propane.

Global demand for U.S. propane has remained steady despite higher U.S. prices because international prices for propane and other feedstocks have also increased, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Here are a few more of the multiple factors that can affect the price you ultimately pay for your propane.

Global Conflicts and Natural Disasters

When war, political strife, conflict, or natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes or hurricanes occur in other regions of the world, this can impact crude oil and natural gas prices. Since propane is a by-product of both crude oil and natural gas, rising prices for these fuels have a ripple effect on propane.

Before the start of the war in Ukraine in late February, energy prices had been rising in anticipation of the potential sanctions that could be levied on the Russian energy sector if the country went ahead and invaded Ukraine.

Russia carries clout because it is one of the largest petroleum and liquid fuels producer in the world. It’s a major exporter of both crude oil and natural gas.

Even the hint of a possible disruption in energy supply will heavily influence the buying and selling done by commodities traders. In the frenzied world of investment, this is known as the fear factor.

When Russia eventually invaded and the U.S. placed a ban on Russian imported oil and petroleum products–with other countries expected to follow–that meant there would be a big energy void to fill, particularly in western Europe.

Propane Exports

Many people don’t realize that the U.S. is a large exporter of propane, and that the export business continues to grow. This is good business for the large wholesale propane suppliers, but it increases demand even further in an industry that traditionally doesn’t store huge quantities of propane at once. Many propane suppliers are obligated to provide the quantity of propane they’ve committed to export, leaving even less of propane inventory for domestic consumption.

Weather Extremes

If a reduction in supply occurs during a time of high demand, such as the colder months, a scarcer market develops. When a cold snap is especially extreme or lasts longer than usual, this scarcity gets further compounded. People may start to panic buy, similar to what we saw at the start of the pandemic with the toilet paper shortage.

And it’s not just cold temperatures that can increase propane demand. Heavy rains during the agricultural growing season create bumper crops that need to be dried rapidly, in great volume. Propane is among the fuels used for crop drying. Propane consumption in corn-producing states typically rises in September and October with the corn harvest, followed by a larger rise related to space-heating needs in January.

Other Factors That Influence Price

Long-time factors that have always influenced where prices go include proximity of supply, transportation bottlenecks, energy policy, and manufacturing trends. More recently, these issues have also come into play:

  • the actual cost of delivering fuel has risen.
  • new expenses have occurred because of COVID-19 related workforce issues.
  • supply chain problems have caused shortages, resulting in shipment delays and inflated prices for supplies, parts, tanks and other materials.

What Will Happen Next?

Nobody can say for certain where things will go from here, but if history is a guide, we can expect to see prices drop pretty significantly in the not-too-distant future. And nothing will make your local propane company happier than when prices return to normal. 

Until then, trust your propane supplier to look out for you and let’s hope that—regardless of what happens with propane and other energy prices—we will soon be living in a more peaceful world.

You May Not Have a Gas Pilot Light

pilot light tennesseeMany Tennessee homeowners who grew up in a gas-heated home may be surprised when they find out that their new propane gas furnace doesn’t have a pilot light (also known as a standing pilot or safety pilot). But pilot lights have become outdated technology for gas-powered furnaces and most other gas-burning appliances, like water heaters, fireplaces, and stoves. Today’s furnaces ignite propane gas through advanced technologies.

If you have an older gas furnace, your heating unit relies on a small blue flame known as a pilot light to ensure the ignition of the burners. Water heaters, gas fireplaces, and old gas stoves often have similar pilot lights. If your furnace has a round knob on the gas valve with the words OFF/ON/PILOT/, you have what’s known as a standing pilot ignition.

As you probably know from experience, the biggest drawback to pilot lights is that they will get extinguished at times, causing you to lose your heat. Common reasons include a nearby draft, dirt buildup, or a malfunctioning thermocouple.

Another pilot light drawback is energy waste. Since the pilot light needs to remain active, your furnace is always consuming some propane gas. It’s not a lot, but that obviously adds up over time.

There is a safety issue as well. Pilot lights can develop problems that cause them to burn inefficiently. When this happens, a small amount of carbon monoxide can be released into your home.

Modern Furnaces and Electronic Ignition

All of these problems are not an issue when you have a modern propane gas furnace, which uses electronic ignition instead of an old-fashioned pilot light.

Most furnaces with electronic ignition have a device called a hot surface igniter. This is a small electronic device that receives an electrical current whenever your thermostat calls for heat. The ignition heats up to a temperature that is hot enough to ignite the gas to your burners, and then it shuts off after it has done its job.

Another type of electronic ignition is an intermittent pilot light. This uses a small flame to ignite the burners just like a conventional pilot light. The difference is that the flame is only lit (by an electronic spark) when your furnace is ready for a heating cycle. When the pilot light is not needed, it is completely off, saving you money on propane gas.

If you would like to read more about new propane gas furnaces, please go here. And if you would like to explore all the benefits of using propane in your home, please go here.

A Remarkable Fuel, But How Do We Get It?

origin of propane tennesseeAn abundant, right-at-home supply makes propane a reliable and efficient fuel choice for your Tennessee home, including all of its appliances, throughout the year. But you do know how propane is created in the first place?

Propane was identified as a volatile compound in gasoline in 1910. Over the years, business leaders and scientists have worked to make propane the viable fuel source it represents today. The process itself of making propane has evolved over the last century or so. Today, there are two primary ways propane is produced.

Natural Gas Production

The majority of propane is derived from natural gas production. To stop condensation from forming in natural gas pipelines, propane is extracted from liquid compounds as the natural gas is being processed. Butane is also extracted during this process. Propane, being much denser as a liquid than as a gas, is stored and transported as a liquid in this form of production.

Crude Oil Refining

Propane can also be created during the process of crude oil refining. There are a lot of products that can be derived from crude oil refining, including gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, jet fuel, heating oil—and propane as well. During the stabilization phase of the refining, the heavier hydrocarbons fall to the bottom. But propane, being a lighter hydrocarbon, is at the top and it’s easily extracted.

Propane: An American Made Fuel

Because propane is created through the processing of natural gas and crude oil, it is a fuel that is largely a domestic product. In fact, about 90% of the American propane supply is generated right here in the United States!

Propane Gas Vs. Natural Gas

Natural gas can only get to your home through an underground pipeline. If something goes wrong with that pipeline, you can’t get any gas. Propane gas is easier to move around because it gets compressed, or squeezed, until it turns into a liquid. It is then put inside tanks and your propane supplier delivers it right to your home.

It’s similar to the air in a car tire, which gets squeezed to about two or three times the normal air pressure. But the gas in a propane tank gets squeezed about 100 times more than that. This is why even a small tank can deliver a lot of propane gas.

Make propane the green clean fuel energy source for your Tennessee home or business! Contact your local propane company to explore ways to expand your use of propane.

Read more about the benefits of propane.

Which One Has a Lower Carbon Footprint?

propane and electricity tennesseePropane is such a crucial part of the energy mix. American-made propane remains abundant and provides comfort and convenience and saves you money. And you don’t get propane blackouts or large groups of people experiencing service interruptions.

But despite all of this, there has been an aggressive push from those in government to champion the increased use of electricity in favor of other fuels, especially propane, natural gas and heating oil.

But this policy-driven electrification would increase the average residential household cost, result in minimal reductions in emissions and put a severe strain on the electric grid.

In contrast, propane is affordable and available to everyone everywhere, without requiring forced conversions to electric heat pumps, or overburdening the electric grid.

Consider these Propane Facts

Propane gas, like natural gas, is clean-burning and highly efficient. Modern propane gas furnaces are 90% efficient, meaning very little heating energy is lost up the chimney and into the atmosphere. This also means your home burns less fuel to stay warm.

Propane is more efficient than electricity when evaluating the total energy consumed (this includes the energy consumed in the extraction, production, processing and transportation of the fuel to the point of use). Based on this analysis, propane is 87% efficient; electricity is 32% efficient.

It takes three units of source energy to get one unit of electricity into your home. That means more coal has to be burned, generating even more carbon emissions, to get electricity to our homes.

Looking at Emissions

The minimal amount of emissions released by a propane-heated house are cleaner than most alternatives. Propane contains virtually no particulate matter–a known carcinogen–and releases significantly less carbon dioxide (CO2) than other energy sources.

Homes with propane-fueled furnaces emit up to 50% less nitrogen oxide and 82% less sulfur oxide than technologies fueled by electricity. These emissions contribute to acid rain and cause respiratory ailments.

What Does the Future Hold?

Scientists are successfully increasing the renewable content of propane. At the point of combustion, renewable propane is carbon neutral, meaning zero new carbon is added to the atmosphere!

Of course, this important work will not continue if lawmakers stifle innovation and force full electrification. Propane is a vital part of a balanced energy plan!

This Energy Measurement Helps You Compare Fuels

propane btus tennesseeDid you know that propane generates a lot more Btu than an equivalent amount of electricity? This means you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat energy. That’s a big reason why propane is better for the environment. Because the less energy you use, the greener you are.

To appreciate propane’s big advantage over electricity in energy efficiency, let’s take a closer look at BTU content.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a British thermal unit (Btu) is a measure of the heat content of fuels or energy sources. It’s measured by the quantity of heat that’s required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit–at the temperature in which water has its greatest density (approximately 39 degrees Fahrenheit).

What Propane BTU-Per-Gallon Tells Us

BTUs can be used to compare energy sources on an equal basis. To compare propane to electricity, we need to know that:

  • one gallon of propane = 91,452 Btus
  • one kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity = 3,412 Btu

To make these two energy sources “equal,” divide 91,452 Btus by 3,412 Btu. Your answer will be:

  • One gallon of propane = 27 kWh of electricity. In other words, one gallon of propane contains the same amount of usable energy as 27 kilowatt hours of electricity.

Propane101.com makes this comparison to illustrate the efficiency of propane compared to electricity. A 100-watt light bulb left on for a full day–24 hours–will consume 2.4 kWh. If propane could be used to power the same light bulb. it would only use 9/100th of a gallon of propane.

How Much Propane Will I Use?

Thanks to BTU telling us how much heat energy is in a gallon of propane, we can make estimates about how much fuel the average homeowner will use. The estimates below are expressed as BTU per hour. This is a way to represent a measurement of deliverable power applicable to each propane gas appliance. (Think of it like the horsepower rating of a car). As an example, a typical furnace is about 100,000 BTU per hour. You can go here to read more about BTU per hour.

  • Furnace – 100,000 to 200,000 BTU/hour: about 1 to 2 gallons/hour
  • Fireplace with ceramic logs – 26,000 BTU/hour: 1 gallon / 3 hours
  • Gas cooktop/range – 65,000 BTU/hour: 5 to 10 gallons / month)
  • Tankless water heater – 40,000 BTU/hour (about 1.5 gallons /day)
  • Gas clothes dryer – 35,000 BTU/hour: less than 1 gallon/ day)

Read more about the benefits of propane.

The Coldest Time of the Year Brings Challenges

winter propane safety tennesseeWith winter looming, this is a perfect time to review some propane safety protocols that are sometimes overlooked.

Being aware of propane safety practices is important year-round, but the coldest time of the year brings us specific challenges and potential hazards.

Here are some tips designed to help you remain safe as in your Tennessee home.

If You Need Propane Repairs, DON’T Do It Yourself

Propane repairs present unique challenges that more often than not require extensive training and expensive diagnostic equipment to assess and fix.

Attempting to fix or modify a propane appliance can cause severe damage and lead to dangers like explosions or carbon monoxide leaks.

The bottom line: If you need a propane repair, don’t attempt to do it yourself– please contact your propane service company and request a service visit.

Tips for After a Storm

  • If there’s been a snowstorm, clear a path to your propane tank at least one foot wide for your propane delivery driver. Be sure to clear any snow from your propane tank, including from piping, tank regulators, vents, tubes, and valves.
  • Always clear any snow and ice from your driveway so the propane driver can safely navigate his truck.
  • Use a broom (not a shovel) to clear snow from all vents and flues around your house to reduce the risk of toxic carbon monoxide gas backing up into your home.
  • If you believe that any of your propane equipment has been damaged, don’t use it and contact your propane service contractor for an inspection.

Check Your Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors

Your home should have at least one CO detector on each level—and there should be one outside every bedroom. Once a month, test them, and replace the batteries if necessary. Every five years, replace your CO detectors. Follow the same procedure for smoke alarms.

Use Propane Gas Appliances Safely

Never use any outdoor propane appliances—including propane grills—in an enclosed space or inside your home. DO NOT use your propane-fueled stove for heating or for any reason other than its intended purpose.

Leave Your Home If You Smell Gas

If you smell the distinctive rotten-egg odor of propane gas in your home or around your propane tank, get everyone out of the house immediately. Don’t use any electrical switches or phones, and extinguish potential ignition sources like cigarettes or candles. Once you’re safely away, call your propane service provider or 9-1-1 for help.

Read more about propane safety.