How Long Can You Store Propane?

propane tank

What is propane tank storage? 

Propane, aka LPG or liquid petroleum gas, is colorless, non-toxic, odorless gas that is compressed and stored in a liquid form. It is either a byproduct of  natural gas processing or from crude oil refinement. Because of the natural gas supply increase, propane supplies in America are becoming more and more abundant. It is stored in various propane tank storage methods, depending on the proposed end use. 

When Using propane tanks, it is important to keep the propane tank storage safe because it is a highly flammable material.  Propane is used for several different things in this country including, cooking, heating, and operation of equipment and vehicles. Among the equipment and vehicles, propane is used in farm equipment, forklifts, buses, and fleet vehicles. For each of these uses, there is a specifically designed propane tank storage, and it is important to know How to propane tank storage so that it is convenient to use, but safely. 

Propane tank storage for a business, farm, or individual should be outside in an area that is not directly in the sun, off the ground, and is well ventilated. You want to choose an adequate storage location that will ensure safety while keeping it useable. 

How do you store propane tanks?

Propane storage tanks should be kept upright on a dry, solid, surface. Suggest surface would cinder blogs or wood. They can get wet as long as they are off the ground to prevent rust. A rusted propane tank should be properly disposed of and not used. Make sure the valve on each propane tank is closed so that gas doesn’t leak. Never store in an attic, garage, or anywhere that can get hot.

There is no special method for propane tank storage in the winter. Freezing temperatures do not affect the tank or any propane gas inside the tank. They should still be kept away from the house or nearby house, at least 10 feet away, and protected from the weather; a plastic tarp will suffice and off the ground as described earlier. Propane gas sinks to the lowest level of air, so any propane tank storage must be above the grade of the yard in case of any gas leak. 

How dangerous are propane tanks?

Propane gas is an affordable and efficient method for cooking, heating homes, operating water heaters, and even generating electricity. It must be handled properly to keep it safe, so a new propane grill owner should study the recommended best practices. 

Always be cautious when handling the propane tanks, the fuel lines, and the appliances and generators that use propane. With the use of recommended best practices and respect the need to ensure safety, especially with propane tank storage, propane gas is a save and very versatile fuel.

Is it better to store a propane tank full or empty?

Propane tank storage can be empty tanks or full tanks, either one is acceptable. The caution is how and where it is store. The only time a propane storage tank should be indoors is when it is completely empty. Never, NEVER store a propane tank with any amount of propane inside a home or any type of structure. Indoor propane tank storage can cause the temperature inside the tank to heat up quickly, a dangerous scenario.  

How long can you store a full propane tank?

Diesel, gasoline, and other fuels will degrade as they age, so, if you don’t use them, you lose them. Propane gas however has an indefinite life when kept in a good tank and proper propane tank storage is practiced. 

A quality propane tank will last thirty years and with truly little possibility of anything going wrong, this makes propane a must have for emergency stand-by use.  Propane tanks are available in the following materials: 

  • Galvanized Steel – subjected to rust if stored in dampness
  • Aluminum – does not rust
  • Composite Material aka carbon fiber – does not rust

The rubber hose and valve on a propane storage tank is the weakest point of a tank because rubber will degrade, and the valve may begin leaking. Propane gas will not degrade or go bad, it will simply leak if the rubber hose or valve become weak. 

Can you store a propane tank in the garage?

No!  Propane tank storage should not be in an attic, basement, garage, or shed. It should nt be stored inside at all unless the tank is 100% empty. It must be stored where the tank is kept off the ground and the area should be well-ventilated, outdoors only. Never leave a propane tank, empty or full, in your car. When transporting to exchange an empty for a full tank, be sure to remove the tank from your car immediately. 

damaged and worn tank

What is the best way to store propane tanks? 

Small propane tanks come in convenient portable sizes and are less expensive than a large propane tank. Storage is still a concern though and the following three safety measurements should be followed: 

  • Keep propane tanks outside. They should never be kept indoors in the attic, basement, or garage. 
  • Keep propane tanks should be kept cool places. 
  • Keep propane tanks away from open flames, including cigarettes, or spark-producing tools, any type of flame can cause combustion. 

Need propane for your home needs? Call 817-341-7240 today for expert help!