How To Turn Off Your Propane Storage Tank
When—and How—to Shut Off Your Tank
Typically, you probably leave your propane tank alone other than to check the gauge for your current fuel level. And that’s okay, however, while propane is completely safe under most conditions, it can be highly flammable, so leaking propane lines can be dangerous. That’s why under certain emergency conditions, you may need to turn it off. Make sure everyone in your household understands propane safety basics like the smell of gas and what to do if they detect it.
Shutting off the Flow of Propane
It’s not hard—but it’s important to familiarize yourself with your tank so you know what to do when it’s an emergency.
- Know where the shutoff valve is. Your tank should have a large round lid with a hinge. When you lift the lid, you should see the gauge and a round knob that looks like a small steering wheel. That’s your shutoff valve.
- To stop the flow of propane, turn the knob all the way to the right, or clockwise. If you have more than one tank, turn them all off.
When Should I Turn Off My Propane Supply?
- If you smell gas and suspect a leak, turn off the gas at the tank—if it’s safe to do so—and stay outside and away. Call 911 and PitStop once you are away from the building.
- If there has been severe weather, flooding, or a natural disaster and your tank appears to have moved, or if there appears to be damage to the tank or the gas lines. Once you’ve turned off the gas, move away from the area, then call PitStop or 911.
If it feels unsafe to turn off the gas, first move a safe distance away and outside and then call for help.
Once you’ve turned off your propane, do not go back in the house until a certified technician has confirmed that it’s safe. Also, never turn the propane back on yourself. Turning the gas off changes the pressure in the lines, which can cause the seals around pipe fittings to contract and create a leak.
A professional propane technician needs to perform a leak test to check the integrity of these joints and seals. Pressure tests are required by state and federal law, as well as insurance rules.
Winter Storm Safety Tips to Remember
The season has been on the mild side—so far. But it only takes one Nor’easter or a major snowstorm to wreak havoc and create dangerous situations! Here’s what to know to keep safe:
- Order propane if you aren’t on automatic delivery. Have an adequate supply of propane in your tank, because during and after a storm, it may be hard to make deliveries until roads are cleared. Don’t let your tank fall below 25% full before making a call for a delivery!
- Check the area. After the storm passes and it is safe to do so, check all around for downed power lines, damaged gas lines, or damage to your propane tank. Fallen trees and branches can damage gas lines and tanks. Use flashlights—not candles—if it’s dark, and immediately call your local utility company and us if any of these hazards exist. Do not attempt repairs yourself.
- Operate appliances safely. If you lose power, NEVER run generators indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Likewise, appliances such as outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators should only be used outdoors. NEVER store, place, or use a propane cylinder indoors or in enclosed areas such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
At PitStop Propane and Fuels, your safety is our number one priority. If you have questions about your tank or propane safety, please contact us any time. We’re always happy to help.