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Can Propane Freeze in Your Outdoor Tank?

Thermometer in snow

If you power your home with propane, you already know how well it does its job of keeping you warm and safe no matter how cold it gets here in Buffalo or Rochester. But just how cold can it get outside before propane starts to act a little…funny?

The answer is pretty darn cold: propane turns to a liquid at -44 degrees F. If it gets that cold or colder, pressure inside the tank will drop to the point where it is too low to effectively power your propane heating equipment.

The good news is that as cold as it gets in this part of New York State, temperatures won’t quite reach that low (for you trivia buffs, Buffalo reached an all-time low temp of -20 way back on February 9, 1934, according to the National Weather Service; Rochester reached its own record low of -22 degrees the same day), but it still pays to take some precautions if you own a propane-powered home in the area.

To avoid pressure problems during cold weather extremes:

  • Order propane when your tank is no less than one-quarter full to keep positive pressure inside the tank (and prevent runouts).
  • Clear snow away from your tank quickly
  • Keep the regulator free of snow and ice
  • Turn down the thermostat in your home – Decreasing the temperature in your house will lessen the time your system/appliance operates, permitting the pressure in the tank to build.

Other extreme weather propane tips:

  • Clear snow and ice from propane tank regulators, vents, piping and valves to prevent damage that could cause a gas leak.
  • Remove snow and ice from appliance vents, flues and chimneys to allow the gas to vent properly.
  • Place a flag, pole, or stake next to your tank that is tall enough to be seen over the expected snowfall and drifts; this will help you find the tank in heavy snow.
  • Turn off the main gas supply if an appliance fails to light or if a gas leak is detected.

Winter is almost here – do you have enough propane to keep your family safe, warm, and comfortable? Fill up today with the pros at Irish Propane!

The Irish Family of Companies