For many people, the arrival of summer means it's finally time to bust out the pool supplies, dust off the coolers and fire up the grill for some backyard fun. But before the fun begins, it's a good idea to take a minute and make sure that your propane grill and propane fuel tank are safe and in proper working condition.
Remember, if you encounter any issues with your grill or propane tank, we’re happy to help you pick out a grill, upgrade to a smoker and refill or replace your propane tank at a U-Haul Location near you. Follow these propane tank safety this summer to ensure your backyard fun goes off without a hitch.
How to tell if your propane tank is in safe, working condition
- When you first approach your tank, pay close attention to the smell. If you smell rotten eggs, skunk, rotten cabbage or sewer, your propane tank may have a leak. Propane leaks needs to be serviced immediately; do not use a tank that is leaking.
- Check around the outside of the tank and the safety valve for any signs of rust or deterioration. A rusty tank can quickly become unsafe if propane begins to leak out.
- Make sure the tank valve is in proper working order so that the valve will safely open and close in between uses. Double check for any rust where the valve and tank meet.
If you find any of the above issues with your tank or valve then there’s a good chance the tank is inoperable in its current condition. You can swap out your old tank and buy new one at any U-Haul Location that sells propane.
How to tell if your propane accessories are in safe, working condition
- Check the hose running from your grill to your propane tank. Look for any cracks or holes in the tube. Carefully check both ends where the hose meets the connector valves. Test with a leak detection solution, like a soap and water mixture that does not contain ammonia and watch for bubbling - that could indicate a leak.
- Clean your grill drip trays and grates of any leftover grease residue. Pro tip: A safe grill is a clean grill. A large percentage of backyard grill fires are caused by grease buildup.
How to safely handle and store your propane tank and grill
- In order to store your propane tank safely, never store your propane tank indoors. This includes the shed, basement, attic and garage. Should a leak occur, the gas could build up inside the structure until finding an ignition point.
- Store your propane tank outside in a shaded area, away from anything flammable.
- Propane can be safely stored in outside temperatures up to 125 degrees, but should always be stored in the shade to avoid residual heat from surrounding surfaces heating up the tank.
- If you are storing your propane tank and grill in the same place, it's a good idea to disconnect the hose leading from the grill to the tank.
- Before leaving the tank unattended, double-check to make sure the valve is turned fully to the off position.
If you encountered any of the issues listed in this propane safety guide, please reach out to the propane retailer near you for further assistance. They will be able to help fix or swap out old tanks as well as upgrade any outdated equipment like grills, smokers or space heaters