If you move into a home where propane is your main heat source and you have had no experience, leaking gas may become one of your primary concerns as a homeowner. However, propane is just as safe as other gaseous components used in home heating, even though you will likely have a large storage tank situated on your property. Here are a few of the most common questions homeowners usually have about propane leak detection and prevention.
What does propane smell like?
Propane gas on its own has no odor, so it would be difficult to detect on your own without professional tools. However, during the manufacturing process, chemicals that are added to give the propane an odor so that it is more detectable. Most people describe the odor that these chemicals produce as the smell of rotten eggs or sulfur and this odor is easily detectable even in small amounts.
If propane is leaking from your tank, what should you do?
If you suspect that there is a propane leak at your home, you have to contact someone immediately to have your tank and gas lines checked thoroughly. You should look for the emergency shut-off valve inside of your home first and turn the gas supply off here. If your tank has an emergency shut-off valve as well, it will be located beneath the lid and should be turned off while you wait as well.
How do you know a propane storage tank is safe for use?
If you move into a home that has an older tank that has not been used in a while, it will have to undergo a thorough inspection by the propane gas sales and service center before it can be filled. This usually involves the use of a small camera that is dropped inside of the tank to look for signs of corrosion, which is a big problem with empty tanks that have been sitting for long periods. Air and moisture that makes its way inside of an empty tank can start to break down the empty lining and if any discrepancies in the surface are found, the tank will have to be replaced.
At least 10 percent of homes in the United States heat with propane or heating oil. If you move into a home where you will be using propane for the first time, talk to a propane sales and service agent, like those at Graves (John) Propane Of Arizona Inc, for more information about safety and detecting leaks.