Looking to paint your propane tank? Luckily, you can! However, there are certain rules and regulations that must be followed, including restrictions on color choices, per NFPA 58. Aside from the National Fire Protection Agency, there may be other rules that vary according to state regulatory agencies! To put is quite basically, you may paint your propane tank, but only in heat reflective colors, unless you plan to keep the tank in an extremely cold environment.
Which Colors Can I Safely Paint My Propane Tank?
Often, propane tank owners decide to paint their tanks in a color meant to match their landscape or building. However, this poses a safety issue, and it poses a serviceability issue if the tank is painted in a dark or non-reflective color. As you’ve probably noticed when you wear darker clothing, or when you drive a dark car instead of a light one, dark colors absorb heat, and light colors reflect heat. With this in mind, why would you want to paint a tank filled with heat-sensitive substance a dark color? It is essential that your propane tank reflects heat, instead of absorbing it.
The main reason we need to avoid dark or matte colors on a propane tank can be reasoned with simple chemistry. When gases or fluids are heated, their volume will increase with the temperature. In the tank, propane exists as both a liquid and a gas, and overheating may cause an extremely high pressure situation. Higher pressure in the tank can compromise the safety relief valve, which means less safety for everyone around.
Propane Tank Maintenance: Rust And Painting
When it comes to rust on your propane tank, it is important to keep in mind that rust is a color, and not a light one! Rusted tanks can pose a high temperature problem, as well as an issue called pitting. Pitting occurs when excessive rust damages the surface of the tank, and begins to eat away at the surface. Rusted tanks often require sanding or scraping, and then a coating of protective paint and sealant.